Tag: Symposium 2011

David Whyte


I felt the wind at my back, just a few minutes into David Whyte's keynote address on Saturday morning. I knew I was embarking on a journey with a wise and generous guide who could show me how to see with fresh eyes. I followed, trusting his knowledge of the landscape of the heart and his willingness to share, with sincerity, the ups and downs of  his own journey.

He led us through a varied landscape  a mix of poetry and story, reflection and prophecy. Along the way he invited us to consider again the landmarks of our own interiority.  In his company, I was emboldened to look and to see how beauty can rise from ash; how the hurt and experiences we try to avoid are simply milestones on the road of a life rich in promise.

He shared a touching anecdote about connecting with his teenage daughter
over tea. Then there was his powerful reading of Shakespeare's Sonnet 29 and, just after, a turning in the road of his address brought us to this astonishing statement:

"There's no journey of sincerity that a human being can take in life without having their heart broken."

He invited us to engage in all aspects of our lives — our loves, our work, our relationship with ourselves — in the full knowledge that we will fall short:

"If you don't become disappointed in yourself, you're not trying."

Then, with his well-known gentleness and wit, he encouraged us to abandon ourselves anyway:  

"There is no way you can love without getting your heart broken, so why not get good at it?"

I laughed, I teared up and I was encouraged — literally. I left with my heart open and feeling brave about the road ahead and whatever I would encounter on my way.

I believe I was not alone.

Let us know how David Whyte touched you — in his morning address or during the workshops.
03.29.2011   Posted In: Keynotes   By meghan oconnell
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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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Sherry Turkle Questions Our Love Affair with Technology


It turns out that we’re not the only ones talking about MIT psychologist Sherry Turkle, our Symposium keynote speaker. Her new book, Alone Together, an insightful look at our shifting relationship with technology, has gotten a lot of press recently, earning glowing reviews from both Newsweek and Time.

Have you ever text messaged someone who’s in the same room or e-mailed people in your office rather talking face-to-face? While our beloved new gadgets make our lives more efficient—and entertaining—are they actually separating us, instead of connecting us? Turkle says they are. This week, she appeared on the Colbert Report to discuss it.

Read more
01.21.2011   Posted In: NETWORKER EXCHANGE   By Jordan Magaziner
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Meet this year's Visionaries


sherry_turkleOver the years, one important source of this sense of discovery has been the remarkable roster of speakers who have addressed the meeting, a group that over the years has included important figures like Maya Angelou, Elie Wiesel, Mario Cuomo, and Gloria Steinem. The group of featured speakers who will be presenting at the 2011 Symposium will hardly disappoint.

Opening this year’s Symposium will be MIT professor Sherry Turkle, a psychologist and anthropologist who’s spent the past 30 years studying the pervasive psychological impact of digital communications technologies on our lives. For a taste of her illuminating insights, click here to read an interview with her from the January issue of the Networker. You can also watch a video featuring Turkle on the process by which “we make our objects and our objects make us,” as she’s said.

On Saturday morning, poet David Whyte, a mesmerizing speaker and story-teller, will bring his unique powers of expression and vision to the task of describing the courage and creativity needed for “Crossing the david_whyteUnknown Sea” into the uncertain future this year’s Symposium will explore. If you’re not familiar with David, just click here for a Networker profile of him and his work. You can also watch a brief excerpt from his unforgettable 2009 Symposium presentation to see him in action.

Finally, Sunday begins with an address by renowned therapist Johnjohn_gottman Gottman on “The New Science of Trust.” At a time when the fabric of society seems to be irreversibly fraying, he’ll describe the crucial therapeutic significance of his latest research on enhancing human trust and connection. For an overview of John’s crucial contribution to the couples therapy field, check out this Networker article featuring him and his work or take a sneak peek at John in action here.

This blog will continue to give you a close-up view of the people and events coming up at this year’s Symposium that we think deserve your special attention, whether or not you decide to attend. Stay tuned on Fridays for more of our Symposium Countdown.

Rich Simon,
Editor, Psychotherapy Networker

01.14.2011   Posted In: Keynotes   By Rich Simon
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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.


Rich Simon
Editor, Psychotherapy Networker

01.06.2011   Posted In: Symposium Highlights   By Rich Simon
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