First, I hope everyone has had the opportunity to have a good holiday break and a good start to the new year.
My understanding is that the classical Greeks taught us to “observe moderation in all things” (it sounds like a different way to say “avoid splitting”).
In that spirit, I would like to direct your attention to the post from Mathieu Norton Poulin, our Co-Chair of the ISTFP Public Relations Committee.
Mathieu outlines a system of email communication that is designed to keep you from the annoyance of getting too many ISTFP communications but to assure that you get important news, information, and resources from our organization. His letter is of particular interest to those who have a leadership role in their local TFP group. I would like to thank Mathieu and the rest of the PR Committee for their hard and successful work.
A second thought is the power of the discussion that took place last week between Otto Kernberg and Thomas Kohut, PhD. It was the first part of a series of meetings sponsored by the Austen Riggs Center, entitled “Refugees and Immigrants: Their Experience and Contribution to Psychoanalysis in North America”. The discussion, moderated by Nancy McWilliams, was both very moving and very wise. It is reminder of our great good fortune in having Otto Kernberg as the inspiration of our group.
While this Austen Riggs meeting was not an ISTFP event, our new communications system sent notification of the discussion to our members, and I noticed many of your names among the 750 people who attended virtually. If you missed the event and would like to see it, the recorded version will be available from Austen Riggs in a month.
My final theme in this letter will be to encourage as broad participation as possible from the different TFP groups. All of our component parts have talented and creative members. At the beginning of TFP, the PDI in New York was the source of most TFP publications. Since then, the TFP literature has been enriched by contributions from many of you. I would like to encourage an increase in contributions from our different members. My contacts with you provide ample evidence of the richness of clinical, theoretical, and research thinking. There are papers to be written (I have in mind the example of an impressive case of treating a DID patient with TFP, among many others). So please do not hesitate to put your ideas on paper. If you need someone to work with or to offer you some mentorship, we can try to provide that.
In the spirit of maximizing the involvement of the different groups, Verónica Steiner, our new Executive Officer, has been meeting with leaders of the different TFP communities throughout the world in an effort to better co-ordinate our international community. In welcoming Verónica into this position, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Luis Valenciano for his years of excellent service as Executive Officer as he transitions to the role of Director of Training and Education.
My gratitude also goes out to Nel Draijer for her excellent work and the important changes she made as Director of Training and Education for many years.
Another transition to note is John Clarkin’s stepping down as ISTFP Director of Research, after having created that role and providing essential leadership in the research necessary both to establish TFP as an evidence-base treatment and to provide evidence of its mechanisms of change.
I welcome Emanuele Preti as the new Director of Research and am excited about his vision for future research directions for the ISTFP.
Well, that sums it up: a combination of change and continuity as we strive to meet the needs of those suffering from serious personality disorders.
I thank you all for your commitment to that goal.
Frank E. Yeomans, MD, PhD