|Attachment Community of Excellence Symposium 2012 Gender Issues Wendy Behary The Future of Psychotherapy Anxiety Men in Therapy Mindfulness Couples Ethics Linda Bacon Clinical Mastery Future of Psychotherapy Challenging Cases Diets William Doherty Mind/Body Couples Therapy Brain Science Narcissistic Clients Etienne Wenger Clinical Excellence David Schnarch Trauma Alan Sroufe Great Attachment Debate CE Comments Mary Jo Barrett Attachment Theory|
|The Tribe Gathers - Page 3|
That note of communal identity and the rekindling of the creative was ignited in the first moments of Thursday's kickoff, when Afro-Caribbean dancer Richard Gonzalez led an exultant, hip-swaying, call-and-response that brought 1,500 therapists to their feet. Revved and emboldened, they then embarked upon a day of adventure outside the well-grooved pathways of their appointment schedules and to-do lists, choosing from a richly varied menu of experiential workshops on everything from singing, dancing, improv, and writing to meditation, feng shui, yoga, and even the zen-ish pleasures of the Internet. Throughout, the always palpable sense of community offered the container in which everything else took place, whether it was the collective sugar rush of the early-morning feast of coffee and carbs, the serendipitous encounters with new friends on the legendary Symposium bathroom lines, vagrant Woodstock flashbacks engendered by free spirits camped on the floor of the ornate Shoreham lobby casually munching a sandwich with their shoes off, slam-dancing alongside a featured speaker at the riotous Friday night soiree, or strolling blissfully through the bazaar-like alleyways of the Symposium Exhibit Hall. In a society devoted to the scheduled life and the endless hard sell, the Symposium is a respite, a world apart in which the overriding purpose isn't bottom-line commerce or professional advancement but communal connection.
The breakthrough promised by this year's Symposium title had less to do with individual illumination than with the recognition that, at a time when so many feel like anonymous cogs in an enormous, soulless mega-corporation, it's clearer and clearer that humans are hardwired for the small, intimate collective of the tribe. Hundreds and hundreds of studies have established that being in smaller groups of people with whom we share common interests and worldviews and purposes makes us feel healthier and friendlier. The scientific verdict is in: sociable tribes are better than lonely crowds any day of the week.
Underscoring the conference theme of "Breaking Through," the Networker proclaimed its own breakthrough in making sure that the high-spirited Brigadoon of the four-day Symposium didn't vanish from the attendees' nervous systems once they returned home. Instead, harnessing the new communication technologies of the social media, it unveiled a host of possibilities for maintaining a year-round conversation of learning and connection through Networker Plugged-In (see page 36), a cutting-edge, online smorgasbord of live interviews, interactive forums, clinical resources, CE courses, and free events offered at the Networker website—www.psychotherapynetworker.org. In what was described as an "end run around the Laws of Time and Space and Physics," Networker Plugged-In was presented as a chance for therapists everywhere to get first-rate training, stimulating conversation, and supportive connection no matter where they work or live. To illustrate the power of the new technology, the Networker website hosted a range of video and social media features during the conference itself, designed to add a new dimension of information and interaction to the Symposium experience—including a community blog that offered everyone, not only the keynote speakers, the opportunity to address the wider group, a program addition Simon referred to as "our version of American Idol."
In closing, Simon told about a veteran Symposium attendee who experienced the meeting as deeply nourishing each year, only to find that the conference "high" lasted a few weeks until the feeling of camaraderie and connection faded again. This year, Simon urged, "there's no need to let what you've discovered here fade. Take us up on our invitation to build a year-round professional community that will enable all of us to experience the collective wisdom of this formidable band of professional brothers and sisters throughout the year."