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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

ISPSO AM 2023 Conference

26 June - 2 July 2023
South Africa


The South African AM Paper Selection Committee welcomes papers for Parallel Paper Sessions (PPS)  for the upcoming ISPSO AM 2023 in South Africa.



Deadline: 26th of January, 2023

This is the call for papers for the upcoming South Africa AM 2023 and Symposium. The South Africa AM Paper Selection welcomes papers for the Parallel Paper Sessions (PPS) on the theme “Tsoseletso - Resurfacing Soul, Circularity and Spirituality in Organisations.”

Over the last decades realities in organisations have changed – performance may have increased; but human relations did not improve accordingly. In addition, we are observing right now a number of external challenges for organisations. Main considerations include the impact of the Russian war in the Ukraine, the climate crisis, the impact of COVID and resulting economic and societal implications – and of course it includes for us as hosting country indigenous voices current and suppressed.

We also observe a severe turning away from soul, spirituality and the interconnectedness of humans in organisations. At the same time, there is the rising question whether the organisation should be taking care of topics of the phenomenon of this deeply engrained human nature.

If everything changes around organisations, how do these organisational systems adjust to changing conditions? And, how do organisations deal with the claimed loss of soul and spirit whereas everyone is talking about purpose? In the exploring of questions we adapt a psycho- and socio-dynamic lens in our exploration and we would like to explicitly invite all schools of thought, including indigenous meaning systems, to join in our inquiry.

This surfaces some important reflective questions:

• How do we experience soul and spirituality in our organisations and its manifestations, triumphs, joys, opportunities, and strengths?
• How do we experience loss of soul and spirituality in organisations and its manifestations, limitations, restrictions, and vulnerabilities?
• How can we discover new ways to integrate psychoanalytic understanding of organisations in relation to soul, circularity and spiritually?
• How can we integrate both traditional/indigenous and post-structuralist psychoanalytical thinking and find ways to weave these various stands (e.g., Jung, Freud, Lacan, and their descendants) to remember and re-surface soul, circularity, and spirituality in organisations?
• How can we explore the intersectionality between Indigenous Knowledge System (IKS) and psychoanalytic thinking as we are resurfacing soul, spirituality and the interconnectedness in our organisations. IKS entail, but is not limited to understandings, skills and philosophies developed by societies with long histories of interaction with their natural surroundings. These indigenous knowledge systems inform decision-making about fundamental aspects of day-to-day life (
• How can we use Performative Art to express through different modalities the resurfacing of soul, spirituality and the interconnectedness in our organisations. Performative art involves, but is not limited to movement, music, poetic, film, video, photographic and installation-based works through which the theme are conveyed by the presenters and participants.
• Which role can soul, circularity and spirituality play in organisations?
• And which role should it play?

Criteria for the Abstract 

  1. Addressing the Conference Theme
    Does the paper address this year’s symposium theme explicitly and include it as part of its core argument?
  2. Theoretical Rigour
    How well is the paper grounded in theory? Does the paper make sound reference to well-established and/or emerging psychoanalytic concepts?
  3. Relevance and Scope
    Is the presented argument relevant to the ISPSO membership with regards to clinical, organisational and academic applications of psychoanalytic and/or systems-psychodynamic thinking?
  4. Clarity of Argument
    Does the paper make clear which key argument(s) it is putting forward? Is it easy to follow / is there a coherent line of argument?
  5. Engagement and Originality
    Does the paper encourage discussion? Does it stimulate new ways of thinking? Does it further the ISPSO community’s way of thinking?

The abstract should really not exceed 500 words and needs to be submitted by 26th of January 2023.

Prof Michelle May, Paper Selection Chair ISPSO AM 2023
On behalf of the 2023 ISPSO AM team and the paper selection team


PRofessional Development Workshops

Deadline: 16 January 2023

This is the first call for Professional Development Workshops (PDW) for the upcoming ISPSO AM in South Africa. 

The PDW committee of AM2023 would like to invite you to submit proposals for PDWs. Following the tradition of the ISPSO, these workshops create an opportunity and provide a space for professional development for practitioners and also academics. The PDWs are not necessarily connected to the theme of the conference, “Tsoseletso - Resurfacing Soul, Circularity and Spirituality in Organisations”; although they may be related. Yet, they are not meant to be like a symposium paper.

The purpose of the PDWs is to address, explore, study and inquire about cases, methods, theories and new ideas related to the psycho-dynamic/psychoanalytical understanding
of organisations. We welcome practitioners (consultants and leaders), academics (teachers and researchers) and clinicians interested in professional development in the field of psychoanalytical work in organisations to share and work on:

  • theoretical knowledge on different schools of thoughts (Jung, Freud, Lacan, Bion, Object-relations and others) in form of a work-shop or seminar
  • established or new methods for consulting, coaching and research
  • practical participants case explorations from one or multiple lenses of our work

We not only have experienced, but also new members to whom we would like to offer workshops on basic or advanced knowledge on the many different angles of our work. Please indicate whether your workshop will be for beginners, advanced or very experienced members. Also, please consider that we want to attract new members in South Africa and elsewhere and would like to showcase our approach.

The description of your workshop should contain your aim, the learning outcome for the participants, the target group, the working method, the duration and whether it will be online or onsite.

Dr Adrian Parsadh, Chair PDWs, AM 2023
On behalf of the ISPSO AM 2023 team and the PDW team