We just completed our 9th International Conference in Boston, Sept 26-28, 2019.
At least one person said it was the best conference she ever attended, and a number of people have told me it was among the best.
I was frankly bowled over not only by the quality of the presentations, but by the wonderful atmosphere that we have been able to foster in our community: passionate and devoted to a variety of approaches, but at the same time curious, welcoming, respectful, and compassionate. It is a rare combination that doesn’t happen by itself, and one that needs constant renewal. It is something that our world desperately needs more of, and I am very grateful that we are cultivating it in our corner of the world.
This conference was a lot of work for a lot of people, and they all deserve our thanks.
Our program committee was spearheaded by Allen Kalpin. He, co-chair Risha Henry, and Marni Millet performed the Herculean labors that ended up with our 50+ presentations. Allen helped in countless other ways, including organizing the the gala. Therapist/storyteller Susan Hurwit and poet Sunita Merriman plied their arts with us at the gala, and Allen’s daughter, whose name I don’t know, made the playlist for the dancing.
Ed Tronick, our keynote speaker, started us out with a masterful presentation, which many people referred back to throughout the conference. In addition to his other contributions, Rob Neborsky is the person who connected us with Dr. Tronick.
The session chairs ultimately selected the presenters in addition to making their own presentations. We owe the chairs and the other presenters a huge debt of gratitude for the high quality of work which we witnessed. The full list is here. I read all the bios because I put them on the website. Even the “junior” presenters are fantastically accomplished. I was actually a bit intimidated, and I don’t intimidate easily.
Chip Cooper headed up our “geek squad” for AV support, which also included Robert Johansson, Dion Nowoweiski, Luca Rossi, and Tony Rousmaniere. I had expected the AV to be relatively straightforward, but thought it would still be a good idea to assemble this group. I was wrong about the first, definitely right about the second!!
Jeffrey Frank and Marni Millet stepped up and created our scholarship program based on a conversation on this listserv. The scholarship fund is a wonderful way to spread interest in EDTs and to help launch the careers of budding therapists. In addition to Jeffrey and Marni, I want to thank everyone who contributed to the fund. We raised a total of about $1500, almost of a third of which came from a single donor who wishes to remain anonymous, and we were able to provide scholarships for all six applicants.
The folks at BOLD were very supportive, in particular Gaia Catalano, who took charge of the hotel situation when it got complicated.
My fellow board members, Ron Albucher, Leone Baruh, Chip Cooper, Susan Hajkowski, and Kristin Osborn were steadfastly supportive.
Rebecca Hughes, our virtual assistant, fielded inquiries and provided back-office support.
I am sure I am leaving someone out! If it’s you, I am very sorry, and please let me know.
Our partners at William James college, most especially Dean Abby, did a wonderful job of making it happen, before, during, and even after as they take care of evaluations and CEs. William James President Nick Covino was extremely generous in gracing us with his presence as we started. Bill Wears at our other co-sponsor, the Washington School of psychiatry, is taking care our our CMEs for US and Canadian MDs.
Jordanne Begin was our main point of contact at the hotel, but obviously many, many people there were involved in all aspects of the conference, including the food that many people said was the best conference food they’d ever had. The folks from PSAV were responsible for the fact that the AV stuff worked as well as it did.
And of course, huge thanks go to everyone who registered, paid, and attended. The numbers aren’t in, but we expect that we will make a modest profit. An ultimate word of thanks to everyone who stayed at the hotel. Even at the conference rate it was far from cheap, but to do the conference we had to commit to a certain minimum number of rooms, and so your reservation was a key element of making the conference possible.
Stay tuned for word on our next conference, in Venice in 2021!
Outgoing IEDTA President