35th ISPSO Annual Meeting in Dublin, Ireland

18th-24th June 2018

Desires and Defences @ work 2018: Psychoanalytic Explorations

We live and work in fast changing times, where what was taken-for-granted can no-longer be relied upon. The digital age and network society are disrupting traditional organizations, and accepted norms are being challenged in every sector. This symposium will explore what conscious and unconscious desires and defences are at play for individuals and collective groups in today’s workplaces.

It invites you to apply a psychoanalytical lens using two distinct ways of looking. To be human is both to desire and to be anxious. It is also about defending against those anxieties particularly in uncertain times, and unchartered waters.

Desire in psychoanalytical terms
When we are able to understand and act out of our desires, the result can be positive and generative for employees and for the organization as a whole. However, we often disown or repress our desires leaving us feeling empty and dissatisfied. The resultant void demands to be filled up in order to defend against feelings of disappointment, frustration and envy.

Freud suggests that we can only know the state of ‘complete satisfaction’ if we experience its absence. He suggests that it is through a capacity to ‘hold’ and work through the frustration of ungratified desire and not succumb to the infantile impulse for instant gratification, then we can keep our desire alive. Organizationally, this represents a more developmentally mature way of functioning which can obviate a retreat to social defences.

We look forward to welcoming submissions that excite passion and insights both ‘old’ and new, into the theme.

Some of the emerging aspects of the theme that interest us are:

  • Under what conditions does individual and organizational desire flourish or decay
  • What dynamics, conscious and unconscious, demonstrate organisational desire at play
  • How does the dislocation of the ‘external’ world impact organisational desire
  • What societal legacies influence our relationship with desire
  • What psychoanalytic discourses help us to better understand desires and defences in organizational life.

For Archived details see: The AM2018 website


The Programme

  • Professional Development Workshops (Monday-Wednesday)
  • Members’ Day (Thursday)
  • The Symposium (Friday- Sunday)
  • Social Dreaming matrix
  • Keynote speakers
  • Parallel sessions of individual papers
  • Practitioner inputs
  • End of day reflective gatherings
  • Social, artistic and cultural programme to mirror Dublin’s vibrant community of artists, writers, musicians and cooks!

Key Dates

  • Final Date for Submission of Abstracts/Proposals: 5th January 2018
  • Papers, Presentations and Workshops Confirmed: 17th February 2018
  • Programme Announced: 24th February 2018
  • On-Line Registration opens: 24th February 2018
  • Early-bird registration closes: 27th April 2018
  • Full Papers/Proposals submitted by  27th April 2018



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