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The walls within: working with defenses against otherness

Online Conference 5-11 July 2021

President's Letter March 2023

Dear friends and colleagues,

Time flies and we are already in March 2023 – it is incredible. I want to share with you some news and developments that occurred at ISPSO over the last month.

By now the registration for our Annual Meeting in South Africa/Johannesburg is open, the PDW presenter have been notified, and the paper presenter are about to get notified as well. Some of you have already registered, which is great to see. We have put all the necessary details on the website so that you can make your decision in a well-informed manner. The program our AM team has organised is extremely rich and brings Africa into life whilst adhering to our ISPSO tradition. One special event is the excursion on Wednesday, which takes place the whole day making us dive into African culture, art and history, and its positive energy. This is certainly not to be missed. We are also introducing several new elements which will hopefully find your appreciation.
This staying together in the middle of nature surrounded by wild animals like giraffes and zebras will be a unique experience for reconnecting with each other on an emotional and cognitive level. And not to forget, we will celebrate ISPSO’s 40 birthday on member’s day. For those coming this will be a wonderful event and celebration. I attach our new temporary logo which you may want to use this year in the footer of your email?

To register, please go here:

I just want to add that South Africa is a country I have fallen in love with many years ago - despite all its flaws and difficulties it is so beautiful, the nature, the kindness of the people, the culture… I must admit that I am always happy when I am there, although really nothing works as it is planned – this has always been a nice challenge to my adaptative qualities and flexibility and might be one for all of us when coming together. At the end it has always worked out well!

Now, I am just returning home from our very first business day in our ISPSO history.
We had a one-day business meeting at our venue in Johannesburg with corporate leaders to introduce them to our thinking, attract some attention to our AM in South Africa and to win maybe even some participants for it.
We organized that day as a journey through different aspects of our way of working: we started with a theoretical overview by me followed by a practical case reflection with David Sonnenberg, the owner of Diemersfontein wine estate. He is also a Tavistock-trained clinical psychologist, a background which made his contribution very rich. The last presentation was given by Dr. Rica Viljoen, our AM chair, it was an experiential dive into the difficulties of African corporate issues. In between, we conducted two Balint Group Rounds to show some practical application of one of our methods. All together it was very well received by the participants and more than ten already agreed to come to our AM in Joburg. We have recorded some parts of it and will put it online if they prove to be valuable for that purpose.

I also want to bring your attention to our board election taking place in April. We have a great slate of candidates, and you will see the ballot soon. Thank you all who nominated colleagues! Once the election starts, please consider voting – it is important for our society to find representatives of the membership and its different streams and needs so that we can develop ISPSO further taking your needs and ideas into account.

Please also note that Jeff has set up a scholarship fund to help members who do not have the means for traveling. This is also a great new endeavor. Please be so kind and donate to the funds so that we can help our less well-off colleagues to join us. This is the site for it:

We all know that these days, weeks, and month have not been easy for some of us and let me reassure you that we do not forget the hardship you are going through, in whichever corner of the world you are.

Sending warm greetings to all of you,

President & CEO of ISPSO


Select images from; Corporate Psychodynamics Day, 2nd of March 2023, South Africa

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