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Reflections on Symposium 2011 Experiences

 
It’s Monday afternoon, and hopefully all of you who attended the 2011 Symposium are back in your homes and resting after such a full weekend—and what a wonderful weekend it was! Between all of our inspirational—and hilarious!—keynote speakers, the thought-provoking presentations, and interesting workshops, it seemed as if everyone at the conference was constantly buzzing about what they’d learned and what it meant to them. As always, the Omni Shoreham was filled with people from all over the world (participants hailed from 25 different countries!). The hotel spilled over with the energy of people excited to be there, some for the first time, and some returning after dozens of Symposiums, marking the start of spring in their lives.

We’re really interested to hear what was most special for you during the conference. If you were a first-timer, what was your experience like; if you attended after many years, what was different about this year than others? Who was your favorite keynote speaker or workshop presenter, and why? What did you learn or do that inspired you and that’s most relevant in your life?
03.28.2011   Posted In: Symposium Highlights   By Jordan Magaziner
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The Science of Trust, John Gottman’s Keynote

 

“Do you trust me?” What a question to propose to a significant other or a friend. Maybe they’ll respond with “Yes, of course,” but when it really comes down a situation that requires absolute trust, they won’t. John Gottman’s keynote speech, based on research published in his most recent book The Science of Trust, covered the scientific data behind trusting one another—something that’s vital to the success of a romantic relationship, and that impacts so much else in daily life.

“Trust is the number one issue with struggling couples,” Gottman said, “And trustworthiness is the number one most desirable trait.”

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03.28.2011   Posted In: Symposium Highlights   By Jordan Magaziner
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Race Diversity Today, Eugene Robinson

 

It was an honor to attend Pulitzer-Prize winning journalist Eugene Robinson’s dinner presentation on race diversity in today’s America. His speech explored the research and insights that contributed to the creation of his recently published book Disintegration: The Splintering of Black America.

Robinson reflected on how he felt on the 2008 election night: “I knew it was happening, but like many other African-Americans, I didn’t really believe it was going to happen.” Once President Obama was elected, he said he called his parents to let them know that they’d lived to see the election of the first African-American president. So much had happened, he said, since he grew up, on the “tail end of the Jim Crowe era in South Carolina.”

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03.28.2011   Posted In: Symposium Highlights   By Jordan Magaziner
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Louann Brizendine Navigates through Gendered Brains

 

Is gender a social construction, caused when parents dress infant daughters in pink and paint sons’ walls blue? Or when they encourage sons to try out for sports and their daughters to try ballet? I always thought that there are minimal biological differences between men and women—until I heard Louann Brizendine’s presentation today, “The Gendered Brain.” Brizendine, a neuropsychiatrist who wrote the pathbreaking books The Female Brain and The Male Brain, took us on a tour of the male and female brains during each life stage, and pointed out the differences and similarities.

“The brains are more alike than different,” she said, “After all, we are the same species!” But from her extensive studies, it seems there are differences in the brains that really do make a difference. Some of it does have to do with society and culture, but some of it is biologically based.

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03.26.2011   Posted In: Symposium Highlights   By Jordan Magaziner
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The Heart of "Open Space"

 

The Symposium is a conference filled with many learning opportunities, events and programs that are fun, educational, thought-provoking, inspirational. . . and a little bit exhausting, too! On both Friday and Saturday night, psychologist and coach Lynda Klau is facilitating an event called Open Space, a method in which she is also trained, which will provide participants with whatever they want or need.

Klau said that typically, at conferences, the richest and most powerful times are actually at coffee breaks, or any unstructured times when people get together and share their various perspectives and understandings. So Open Space is a time when anyone who wants to gather can come and participate in activities—or not.

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03.26.2011   Posted In: Symposium Highlights   By Jordan Magaziner
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An Evening with Dick Cavett--The Art of the Interview

 
What a treat it was to be able to experience such a noteworthy and charismatic man as Dick Cavett in his area of specialty—an interview. Friday night’s dinner event featured Dick Cavett, the host of the Dick Cavett Show, in which he regularly interviewed stars such as Katharine Hepburn, Betty Davis, Groucho Marx, and innumerable others on the top of Hollywood and history’s “favorites” list.

In the classic talk show format, Cavett sat on stage across from Psychotherapy Networker Editor Rich Simon, in which the two went back and forth reminiscing about Cavett’s favorite times behind the camera, and Simon’s favorite times watching him on the screen.

Select clips from his talk show were played, to the audience’s delight. Some remembered seeing these interviews live so many years ago, and some enjoyed these scenes of celebrity interviews for the first time. Whether or not we grew up avidly watching Cavett’s show, the event was entertaining and enjoyable for everyone present.
03.26.2011   Posted In: Symposium Highlights   By Jordan Magaziner
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Creativity Day Workshops

 
Creativity Day is a rare opportunity for those of us stuck in the grind of day-to-day sameness and seemingly endless to-do lists. This particularly special day of the conference affords us an opportunity to try something new, to explore a passion we don’t get to pursue in our careers, or to discover creative techniques that can be incorporated into our daily personal and professional lives.

Each year, a host of talented and inspirational leaders inspire us in different arenas, offering us the chance to engage in creative adventures like dancing, yoga, photography, and qigong. Whether we’re seasoned singers or tone deaf, it’s a unique and revitalizing experience to try new things or engage in something you know you already love.
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03.24.2011   Posted In: Symposium Highlights   By Jordan Magaziner
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Creativity Day Kickoff

 
Welcome to Creativity Day! Richard Gonzalez led our Creativity Day Kickoff in Afro-Caribbean dance and song, awakening our minds and bodies from early-morning sleepiness, and signaling the beginning of a different kind of day: a day intended to spark inspiration in ourselves and others.

Check back later for some photos of this energetic event; maybe you’ll see yourself or your friends. If you attended the Creativity Day Kickoff—particularly if you’re a first-timer—what did you think?  
03.24.2011   Posted In: Symposium Highlights   By Jordan Magaziner
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The Hero's Journey, Part 1

 

“All of us work with people—we help people help themselves—but rarely do we take time for ourselves,” said Robert Dilts at the start of the Hero’s Journey, “Over the next two days, we’ll get time to regenerate.”

This first day of the mystical-sounding Hero’s Journey delved into what, exactly, is the Hero’s Journey, and then we explored our inner lives through cognitive and movement exercises.
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03.23.2011   Posted In: Symposium Highlights   By Jordan Magaziner
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The Fabulous Five Workshops

 

More than 1,200 attendees have already signed up--our largest registration ever! So this is a good time to see which Symposium topics are inspiring therapists the most.

Here are the five most popular sessions so far, in reverse order:

5. Paper Tiger Paranoia:  Transforming the Fearful Brain: Rick Hanson will demonstrate that, while evolution may have hard-wired us to overestimate threat--favoring chronic anxiety--we can use our own neuroplasticity to override this evolutionary heritage. Read more.

4. Treating PTSD and Complex PTSD: 101 Ways to Bolster Resilience: Amidst all the competing claims of different approaches, Donald Meichenbaum, one of the founders of psychotherapy’s “cognitive revolution,” will separate myth from reality in  the treatment of trauma. Read more.

3. The Therapist Under the Microscope: “In Treatment” and the Ethical Challenge of Practice: William Doherty will use clips from the popular HBO series to illustrate the ethical complexities of modern therapeutic practice. Read more.

2. The Attuned Couple: John Gottman, famous for his groundbreaking research on everyday couples interactions, will provide a practical roadmap through even the most densely overgrown marital jungle. Read more.

1. Creating a Beautiful Mind: Symposium keynoter and poet David Whyte will lead a journey through the uncharted challenges of 21st-century life. Read more.

Another workshop in particular that’s worth noting is the new The Hero’s Journey: A Special Two-Day Transformation Retreat. Come to the Symposium a day early for this newly created, two-day session. This popular workshop is filling up fast, as it'll be an unforgettable enrichment to your personal growth. Read more.

Of course, as more registrations come in, these Fabulous Five could find their stars eclipsed by yet newer wonders--after all, the Symposium season is young and we have 175 different events and workshops to choose from. Just click here to explore what workshops are likeliest to float your boat.

Let us know what inspires you the most about the upcoming Symposium.

Sincerely,

Rich Simon
Editor, Psychotherapy Networker

01.06.2011   Posted In: Symposium Highlights   By Rich Simon
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