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Tolchin, M. Perman, G.P. (2010). News from the Field. J. Amer. Acad. Psychoanal., 38(3):533-541.

(2010). Journal of American Academy of Psychoanalysis, 38(3):533-541

News from the Field

Edited by:
Matthew Tolchin

Reported by:
Gerald P. Perman, M.D.

The Consortium for Psychoanalytic Research held its 17th annual one-day conference at Sibley Memorial Hospital in Washington, D.C. on February 21, 2010. The six hours of Continuing Education Units for the meeting were provided by the Academy. The weather was ideal for a February day in D.C. with sunshine and temperatures in the mid-40s. This was fortunate since the Mid-Atlantic States had been battered by record-breaking snow storms all winter. With a registration of 93—but with a dozen no-shows, since some people chose to enjoy the beautiful day over sitting in an auditorium—audience participation was lively and most remained until the end. The evening before the conference, our presenter and board members were hosted to a delicious Italian buffet dinner at the D.C. home of CPR board member Erminia Scarcella.

The title of the conference was “Mentalization as a Multi-Dimensional Concept: Implications for the Treatment of Patients with Trauma-Related Psychopathology” and the presenter was Patrick Luyten, Ph.D. In his mid-30s, Luyten is remarkably accomplished. He has collaborated in cutting-edge research with Fonagy, Bateman, and Target in the U.K., Mayes, Blatt and Crowley in the U.S. (at the Yale Child Study Center), and Vermote, Lowyck, Verhaest, Vandeneede, and Vliegen in Belgium. He is peripatetic, traveling around the world presenting his research. He flew in from Brussels the day before the conference and returned to Europe the next evening. He was easy-going and eminently comfortable in English as his fourth language (in addition to Flemish, French, and German). He had a self-deprecating sense of humor and a lively appreciation for our American lifestyle.

After welcome and introductions, Luyten began the meeting with a 15-minute audience participation research exercise in which we looked at 18 photographed faces of individuals. We described on a checklist the affect that we saw—happiness, sadness, disgust, fear, anger, or surprise. We then rated our confidence in our impressions. This drill was then repeated with the same faces in a more exaggerated manner.

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