Warren S. Poland’s Keynote Address at the IPA Congress

Click Here To Register for:  The 46th Annual IPA conference in Chicago on July 27th 2009 to August 1, 2009. Early Bird Booking has been extended to April 17th. 

Click Here To Read: Warren Poland’s paper and the other IPA keynote papers on this website.

Warren S. Poland, M.D. will present a keynote address entitled “Problems of Collegial Learning in Psychoanalysis: Narcissism and Curiosity,” responding to his specific charge to address difficulties that interfere with analysts’ hearing each other.

Personal Background
 Poland practices psychoanalysis in Washington, D.C., where he has been a member of both the American Psychoanalytic Association, the New York Freudian Society.  He is the author of Melting the Darkness: The Dyad and Principles of Clinical Practice as well as a wide range of papers and essays on psychoanalytic technique, applied analysis, and diverse aspects of personal psychology such as humor, whimsy, courage, revenge, etc.  He has also won the JAPA Journal Prize for his paper “The Interpretive Attitude.” The implications of otherness has been a central theme of his work, with specific contributions including considerations of the analyst’s witnessing and outsiderness in general.
 Poland is author of a regular column “Clinician’s Corner” in American Imago and is past editor of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association Review of Books.  In addition he serves or has served on the editorial boards of ten peer reviewed psychoanalytic journals.
 In addition to frequent contributions to panels at meetings of the American Psychoanalytic Association and IPA Congresses, Poland has also organized and participated in a series of Franco-American psychoanalytic discussion groups.
Abstract of Paper
Despite clinical sensitivity when listening to patients, analysts have not fared well in hearing and talking to each other with respectful open-mindedness.  Underlying interfering factors are considered with particular attention to the interplay between self-aimed forces of narcissism and outward aimed forces of curiosity.
 Included in examination of problems of collegial communication are limitations structurally inherent to the human mind (such as the need to abstract aspects of experience in order to focus attention plus the mind’s tendency to categorical thinking), those derived from individual psychology (such as vulnerability of self esteem), and those related to group dynamics (such as the problems attendant to new ideas and the allegiances they stir, parochialism and the development of radical schools, the competitiveness between schools).  The contribution of cultural influences and the multiply determined uses of language are also highlighted. The core sense of smallness in the strangeness of the universe and in the presence of others is seen as a common thread.

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