Dear Fellow Members,
It is impossible to imagine the different ways in which we all find our ways through the turning of the year. Whatever form of break you are having, I hope that it is peaceful and rewarding.
In January, the GASI Management Committee will have its first full, face-to-face meeting, since the Berlin symposium. This will take place on the Friday before the Winter Workshop, in Birmingham. It will be followed by an MC Awayday, in London on the Sunday. These meetings will give us an opportunity to think about the different forms of individual commitment, and the different motives, which bring us together to manage the Society.
It is a fine group of individuals, who together make up the MC – a group which promises to be able to manage the Society, effectively. However, looking at the world in which we are living, the task of surviving and developing requires more than maintaining established arrangements. In many spheres, we find broken institutions, inadequate systems and exhausted ideologies. Every sphere of life is touched by a sense of crisis, yet we scarcely have a language that enables us to grasp the character of our difficulties. The need to defend positions that have been hard-won in the past and which are now, in many cases, threatened takes precedence over the painful task of acknowledging the extent to which we are lost and feel at a loss. Grappling with this is the task of the whole membership.
At the Winter Workshop, we will be returning to the place where some of the roots of GA were planted. It will remind us of the war and one of its outcomes – the creation of a welfare state, which would become an important context for the future development of group analytic psychotherapy.
On the Saturday after the workshop, there will be the first Quarterly Members Group, in London. I am still hoping to hear from members who are interested in creating parallel members’ groups in other centres. Please write to me if you would like to discuss this.
In May, we will be treated to our ex-President, Robi Friedman’s Foulkes Lecture. I’m very much looking forward to hearing and discussing what he has to tell us.
In July, the Summer School has as its title, ‘Between Generations’. This is an important theme for the whole Society. In order to survive and to thrive, we will have to do more than maintain the institution in its familiar forms, which is what the MC is primarily tasked with achieving. We must allow new generations to inform and influence us. In GASI we have a freedom, not always possible for training bodies; this is a freedom to experiment, take new initiatives and share and discuss these with fellow members.
Contexts is the ideal place to do it.