Many North American analysts feel totally in the dark about what the IPA is doing and how they can possibly benefit from the IPA initiatives.
First, I want you to know about the new focus of this administration under the leadership of President Virginia Ungar and Vice President Sergio Nick. There is a new emphasis on reaching out in the community and changing our past ivory tower attitude where we kept ourselves apart from other professionals and did not make efforts to get involved in the community at large. To remedy this situation the IPA has created several committees that function under the heading of IPA in the Community. To give you an overview of the broad scope of this endeavor, the committees in this division include the IPA in Education, IPA and Humanitarian Organizations, and the IPA in Health, Violence, Law and Culture. As an example of the IPA’s social commitment, the president wrote a forceful letter condemning the separation of children from their immigrant parents.
The other important focus of the IPA nowadays is to assure high quality of training. This issue has been brought to the forefront as a result of the IPA’s Board vote last year changing the accepted frequency for analytic training to 3-5 sessions a week. This led to a concern among some that this flexibility would lead to a situation “where anything goes” and that standards of training were irrevocably altered. This attitude overlooks the fact that there has been a considerable gap between what is actually practiced and the Eitingon model as it was originally conceived. Current discussions about good training practice tend to devolve into a focus on concrete numbers, overlooking the qualitative aspects of training. It is generally agreed that quantitative standards are not an adequate way to discuss the complexities of the models, particularly the Eitingon model.
To address these controversies and concerns, the IPA has created three new task forces. The first one is the Task Force on Collegial Quality Assessment. This group is charged with developing a proposal for a collegial quality assessment tool or process. The purpose is to a provide means for sharing best practices among societies engaging all three training models and to reassure the Board and candidates that quality training standards are being achieved.
The next task force is the Task Force on New Groups and Equivalence which addresses the issue of equivalence for groups who want to join the IPA and aims to assure that high training standards were achieved by new applicant group.
The last new initiative is the Representation Task Force whose remit is to make recommendations to the Board as to what would be a fair system of democratic representation taking into account demographic changes in the IPA and to consider creating a Fourth IPA region for Asia-Pacific.
As you can see that there is a lot going on in the IPA. If you are interested in participating in one of the committees, please let one of the North American representatives know about your interest so you can be considered for an appointment.