In July this year, I treated myself to the IARPP conference in Athens which Diane talked about in this forum. It was an inspiring experience but daunting to be immersed in the world of relational psychonanalysis/psychotherapy, meeting and hearing some of the people who have had a strong impact on the development of my therapeutic skills. Something was also missing there and I could not find what it was. But in Cambridge, the meeting of different traditions, the exchanges that took place amongst us, the panel's discussions and the workshops I attended had a different impact: it hit something which I will call home, a place inside me where I feel that this is the way forward for me. I feel that as an association we are on the right track, asking ourselves the right questions and making the right connections with other approaches.
I have also realised that I still carry some shame about being a body psychotherapist. Part of this is probably anchored in the tumultuous history attached to our approach and the never-ending, sensitive and complex issues around touch, physical touch, which was sometimes mentioned in a provocative way and then dealt with through different aspects throughout the three days. Initiating such a conference and allowing ourselves to be seen in our work, in our tradition with our beliefs and doubts make me think that Chiron has come a long way. I felt a sense of maturity which allowed the speakers to be more exposed and therefore let themselves be more vulnerable and also more embodied in what they do. It allowed me to accept the unbearable wound of "the end" of the Chiron training which I have carried with me since I started my training six years ago. I feel I can let go now because out of Chiron something else is emerging, something that encompasses "the Chiron philosophy" but which has already gone far beyond it. It is inspiring, motivating and promising.
Many of my friends and colleagues shared my sense of belonging to a kind of family. In this family, I hope to keep learning from my colleagues, get feedback, be challenged and - yes - argue too (as this is something I do well... ). I would like to thank the organisers again for all their hard work. Well done all of you! It will take some time to integrate it all because you provided us with so much food for thought.
I would like to conclude by acknowledging two people: Bernd Eiden and Jochen Lude, the founders of the Chiron Centre for Body Psychotherapy. If I were you, I would (dare I say it?) be proud parents!
These are my personal thoughts regarding the conference and I look forward to the future developments and projects which will emanate from it. Thank you again for this amazing three days.
Integrative Body Psychotherapist