Welcome To Symposium 2010!


It’s finally here, the Symposium, the weekend we’ve all been waiting for….maybe some of you knew what to expect when you got here but as much as I’ve been warned, I wasn’t entirely prepared!

My name is Jordan and I am a soon-to-be-graduating senior at American University with a journalism major and psychology minor.

I have spent the last few months at Psychotherapy Networker, assisting with the editorial process of the magazine and, of course, hearing about the famous Symposium. I’ve heard tales of Rich Simon’s comedic presentations onstage, of thousands of old and new friends meeting in one place to share information and have a good time, of fascinating exhibits, exciting workshops, and basically about a “Mardi Gras” of a weekend, as Rich likes to describe it. What a way to earn a few CE credits!

What I wasn’t counting on is learning something before the workshops had even begun. Just sitting by the coffee and danish station, I met a few wonderfully friendly women who engaged in a very interesting conversation about their individual practices, education, and past Symposium experiences.

Welcome to Symposium 2010 everybody-I just can’t wait to see how everything will unfold! If you’re a first-timer like me or if you’ve been a Symposium attendee for as long as you can remember, comment on how the weekend is going so far.
03.20.2010   Posted In: NETWORKER EXCHANGE   By Psychotherapy Networker
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    • 0 avatar meghan oconnell 03.25.2010 05:47
      I'm a second-timer.

      And I agree about the people! So open! So generous. That's how I feel about this entire gathering--its generosity.

      I am in Robert Taibbi's workshop on Improv. That's about generosity too--embracing what's offered with a big "yes, And..."
    • 0 avatar Brett Topping 03.25.2010 05:55
      For me the experience also is about embracing the unexpected.

      I'm in the singing workshop where we started by collectively contributing to a story about "The Winnebago and the Goat."

      So interesting......

      I'm curious about what was unexpected for others....
    • 0 avatar Amy Heikkinen 03.25.2010 09:37
      I was in "The Heart of Healing," with Maggie Phillips. I think the most powerful thought, for me, was the idea that chronic pain can come from a (many?) childhood freeze-responses. As someone who works with many people with fibromyalgia and pain conditions, this made SO MUCH SENSE! Definitely a lightbulb moment for me. The different awareness and guided imagery exercises at the end were also pretty cool. I'm glad I went.
    • Not available avatar jaleksic 03.26.2010 12:24
      I am a first timer too...and very much enjoyed my first day. I sat in on the "2 Dans" seminar this morning- which was (in a very basic nutshull) about social consciousness and taking care of humankind without borders. The timing of the lecture was remarkable as just last night I met a new friend on my flight in (I flew from Chicago), his name is Austin and he is a 17 year old "wayward" youth. He had left home 2 years ago (so you can gather his familial history...and you would be right) and has been living on the streets of Chicago, he was FULL of tattoos and piercings. My fellow cabin mates cringed to see him board the plane....I ushered him to sit by me....I thought that surely this boy had a story worth hearing. Turns out I was right. He poured himself out to me unabashedly and by the time we gathered our luggage we had exchanged Facebook info and shared a good long bear hug.
      This beautiful exchange that I had for the 90 min flight was a moment that I will never forget and a reminder that cosmic design is tangible....as I listened to the Dans and used their words to reflect upon my 'special moment in time' it occurred to me that we are therapists in our every breath- we come to this field with a natural gift for emotional intelligence. It is not just the 50 min therapy session where our gift comes alive, and it is not just that 'hour a week' where we effect people. Every moment has the potential to be therapeutic- as the energy of healing comes through us as naturally as water breaks against the rock- it is not only our gift but our responsibility to use it wisely.
    • Not available avatar Stephanie Baffo 03.26.2010 19:10
      I'm a rookie and believe in love at first sight! I already put the symposium on my calendar for next year.

      The surprise for me was the degree of warmth and camaraderie that greeted me at every turn.

      I'd love to get involved next year. This conference is in a league all its own.
    • 0 avatar Christine Sam 03.27.2010 16:01
      It is my first time at the symposium. It is almost over. I am definitely impressed. It is popssibly the best conference of it's type I have ever attended. Superbly organized, I especially liked the personla schedule complete with instructions on how to find the room the workshop was in. In case I couldn't follow the instructions there were plenty of volunteers around to help me find my way. The quality of all the epakers from keynote to workshops was superb. I am glad that I finally made it here and plan on coming back. Chris sam from Anchorage AK
    • Not available avatar paul 03.28.2010 15:27
      I have been going to this symposium for 22 years...it transforms and renews my life each time ..I have been a social worker for 30 years. There is no greater gift I can give to myself.
    • 0 avatar jon moneymaker 04.02.2010 04:03
      This was my first time at the symposium. I was struck by several things. 1. the sheer size of the conference. There was apparently over 3000 people in attendance. 2. The organization of the conference. I am familiar with setting up such an event and fully appreciate all the pre-planning and ongoing work required to make such an event "work." The organizers did an amazing job. I can't recall ever attending a more well organized professional event. Kudos to all the people in the background. Unsung heros all.
      I also had a concern. I understand the benefit and efficacy of having options and alternatives in life. However, when wandering around the various vendors in the exhibit hall I became acutely aware of a number of product and services that at BEST could be categorized as PSEUDOSCIENCE, and at worst outright quackery. Products such as Amethyst Crystal heating pads, or stainless steel medallions to protect against EMF, just to name a couple. I have been in the clinical field for more than 22 years and worry that my fellow clinicians in their genuine drive to look for alternatives to offer their clients are opening themselves up to pseudoscience, and deceptive marketing that (though well intentioned)is only going to bilk them of their hard earned money, and may even be harmful despite fancy sounding terminology and bogus claims. We as helpers cannot afford that. I caution all of us to keep a cautious ear open to such claims, ask questions (don't just accept anything at face value). Check out the product on the web, though realize that what you see on the web isn't necessarily accurate either. This profession has come a long way, fought long and hard for legitimacy and a place among the helping professions. We can't afford to blindly sidle up to quacks. I fully realize not everyone will agree with me, and that's not the point. The point is, perhaps, to open up a discussion of this issue......
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