Therapy in a Challenging World

Therapy in a Challenging World

Highlights from Symposium 2019

By Rich Simon

May/June 2019

The title of this year’s Symposium is “Therapy in a Challenging World.” Another way we thought of phrasing it was “Therapy in a World Gone Absolutely Completely Batshit Crazy.” As Charles Manson once said, “It used to be that being crazy really meant something. Nowadays everybody’s crazy.” Yes, crazy is the new normal. It’s no longer a big deal when people go crazy. What more often catches our attention is when they go “normal”—especially in this town.

Whatever happened to the days when people kept their unconscious to themselves? Name a forbidden fantasy that’s not on display 24/7. Show me the difference between our public discourse and the most utterly unfiltered train of luridly unspeakable free associations? Everywhere you look you see, staring straight back at you, Einstein’s definition of insanity—doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

So that’s the world we live in and, crazy as it may be, it’s the world we’ve somehow grown accustomed to. We can no longer pretend that the forces that drive people’s emotional lives are limited to those that emanate from the small circle of their family and friends. We’re all part of a relentlessly overstimulating, ever more interconnected—and, yes, crazy-making—world that the human nervous system was never designed to navigate.

This Symposium—in bringing together so many of our field’s innovators, creative minds, and visionary thinkers—offers us the widest and most compelling…

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