Affiliated member of the WPA – World Psychiatric Association

Review of the last Congress

The 18th World congress of the World Association for Dynamic Psychiatry (WADP), an affiliated WPA member, “Creative Processes in Psychotherapy and Psychiatry” was held in Florence, Italy from the 19 to 22 April 2017. The capital of renaissance, city of arts, culture and natural beauty was the best possible host for such a scientific event. No wonder that it was the best attended WADP congress ever, speaking about the geography of the participants. Psychiatrists, psychotherapists, specialists in neuroscience, clinical psychologists and social workers from 36 countries, including besides Europe, Russia, USA, Israel, Australia, Argentina, China, India, Malaysia, representatives of various cultures and religions came from all over the world to have the possibility to present their papers and to have exchange and vigorous discussions on different aspects of creativity.

The actual congress topic was chosen because we are living in the rapidly changing world, globalization and overwhelming amounts of often contradictive information define new challenges for the patients and professional mental capacities, the changes and development of virtual dimension of psycho-social relationships determine the new vulnerabilities of mental health. In the situation where we can’t solve the new problems using the well-known techniques we have to be creative to find new solutions. Speaking about treatment one of our main goals is to use all the creative potential of the patients in the service of his or her resilience and recovery.

The aim of the congress was to provide an overview of the achievements, concerning the research of creative processes in different fields of science, including neurobiology, clinical psychology and philosophy and present the most promising trends in the implementation of creative processes and
psychotherapeutic methods in various areas of mental disorders. It provided comprehensive coverage of the various areas dealing with the research of creativity.

In her greetings WPA president-elect. Prof. Helen Herman emphasized the role of the WADP in the integration of psychotherapy in the treatment system of the wide range of mental disorders. In his plenar lecture WADP President Prof. Neznanov stressed the importance of the search of the creative solutions we need to find, to overcome the still existing prejudices and stigmatization of mentally ill as well the mental health specialists in the society. The WADP general secretary Prof. M. Ammon presented the highlights of the G. Ammon theory of creativity, stressing that the treatment goal is not only to reduce symptoms, but also help the patient to find his own creative life style, providing him the with an appropriate level of life quality. During the congress the WPA sections of Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis in Psychiatry presented a variety of symposia and there had been very interesting WPA section meetings.

All the sessions were very well attended. 624 participants took part in the work of the congress. Many speakers expressed their surprise and appreciation about the interest raised even by symposia dealing with sophisticated research topics. The congress was excellently organized by the Italian branch of the World Association for Dynamic Psychiatry by Dr. Ezio Benelli, President of Congress from Erich Fromm School of Psychotherapy, Florence, and Dr. Irene Battaglini, International Foundation Erich Fromm, Florence.

In conclusion we can say that the congress succeeded to be a synthesis of different approaches dealing with the processes of creativity in psychiatry and psychotherapy. It provided the participants with new ideas, new experiences and new friends.

Prof. A. V. Vasileva, Chairperson Russian Branch WADP