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Simenauer, E. (1982). A Personal View. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 63:253-255.

(1982). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 63:253-255

A Personal View

Erich Simenauer

In the midst of an often felt malaise with regard to one branch of the administration of Congress arrangements, Helsinki had a welcome approach. To many participants the mere inclusion of the intention for change from the Chair seemed to signal thorough deliberations on the subject. A remarkable investigation from another professional body has now appeared (Dobbing, 1981) which reminds us that we do not stand alone with a problem lingering on for many a year, and contains not only a new scheme and specific proposals for its accomplishment but actual experiments on their workings. Thus put to the test, a new design of meetings can be followed up, and this with remarkable results. Their discussion is introduced by a frank remark by the Editor of the British Medical Journal, who goes so far as to say: 'Perhaps the most pernicious device for cementing international friendship is the round table composed of the same experts each year'. Briefly, it was proposed that each of the chosen participants of the meeting send their papers to each other of the group, numbering thirteen. They were to criticize all the papers, and these criticisms together with the original papers were circulated to all the participants several weeks before the meeting started. The meeting itself consisted exclusively of discussion. In this way the conventional conference where the pattern of presentation is apt to stifle discussion and the valuable interchange of ideas is squeezed into the coffee break is avoided.

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