Mapping The Future

Mapping The Future

Symposium 2011 Charts Terra Incognita

May/June 2011

It’s not every conference that kicks off with an apology, but that’s how Networker Editor Rich Simon started off his welcome address at this year’s Networker Symposium. After shushing the 3,000 therapists buzzing with anticipation at the opening session, Simon asked the audience’s forgiveness for interrupting their chit-chat. “It’s really a shame I have to spoil it all,” he said, “because listening to the music of all that chattering and jabbering—the more or less sustained roar as 3,000 people talk to, between, and over each other all at once—is really my favorite part of the whole conference.” Whatever got said in the plenary session or from workshop podiums throughout the meeting, according to Simon, “the real conference will take place in the thousand conversations people have while sitting in a ballroom waiting for a keynote, at lunch or dinner, or when standing in a line schmoozing with neighbors.” In fact, he concluded, “the Symposium may be the only conference where you should get CE credits for standing in a bathroom line.”

As a professional community, psychotherapists need this kind of extended schmooze-fest more than most. After spending the winter cooped up in their quiet, monastic, little cells, toiling in obscurity, comforting the afflicted, offering wise counsel to the confused, turning the wrathful away from their wrath—mostly unrecognized and often unappreciated—the members of our particular tribe need to get out each spring and feel their…

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