Notes from the President

by  Estelle Shane

As President of IAPSP, I'm pleased to be writing my second annual report concerning our progress. I want to stress in particular how much we've accomplished in strengthening IAPSP as a vibrant and viable democratic membership organization, and to share some of the work in progress by describing the activity of one part of our governance. It is in our committees and other governing groups that the vitality and growth of our organization resides and, therefore, we depend upon the active participations of the membership. I hope that by describing the activities of one of the governing groups in IAPSP you'll be inspired to join us. Consider what interests you, and then get in touch with the committee chair, who will welcome your participation.

I'll begin with our efforts to create an atmosphere of greater coherence and cohesiveness in the organization. This year, the Advisory Board of IAPSP, comprised of the chairs of each working committee and the members of the Executive Committee, initiated a policy of holding regular meetings. Three times a year, all twenty members of this Board convene through teleconference and, in this way, share the substance of their work, the decisions that they face, and, then, collectively shape a unified direction for IAPSP.

Issues important to the future of IAPSP were addressed and vigorously debated during their most recent teleconference this past February. Some of these issues included:

  • · efforts to reorganize the International Council of IAPSP: Should Council members be elected to represent a single geographic region, or to represent the organization at large? Should the Officers of IAPSP be elected by the Council, or by the membership at large? What is the optimal size of the Council, the body in which governance of our organization reside?
  • · plans to organize our first international conference, leading us in the direction of Turkey in 2010;
  • · creation of a greatly enhanced website, establishing a vehicle of communication and connection that members might visit regularly;
  • · consideration of a new designation for the formerly named "newsletter," reflecting its focus as much wider than IAPSP news, but, rather, its essence as a vehicle for current comment and analysis of issues facing all of us in contemporary practice. In addition, the Board took up the issue of a more effective, active means of distribution for the now re-named eForum than its current passive annual posting on the website. It was decided to feature a single article by emailing that article to each member, an effort to call attention to the excellence of the totality of articles that make up each issue;
  • · development of a process to create formal affiliates of IAPSP, a need that came from individuals and organized small groups seeking to achieve greater connection with self psychology; and
  • · maintenance of the welcoming committee that has so successfully introduced new participants to our conferences.

These are just a few of the important changes taking place in IAPSP through the work of members of its numerous committees. I urge your participation.

Finally, in this year of difficult economic and social times, I hope that my brief overview of the work of one working group communicates to you, our members, the degree to which IAPSP has discovered new strength and renewed vitality. Though self psychology has been an established psychoanalytic theory for more than thirty years, our membership organization is only in its fifth year of operation. Through our committees, the Advisory Board, the Executive Committee and the International Council, we are actively creating the structure and direction of our membership organization to best promote self psychology as a developing profession and a living science.

I look forward to seeing you all in Chicago for our next conference!



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