Driven by Futures

ISPSO European Regional Meeting, Berlin
16-18 March 2018


We welcome members of ISPSO and our professional network partners from the psychoanalytical and psychodynamic field to participate in this ERM 2018 in Berlin, the city of innovations. The central theme of this ERM 2018 is:

Driven by Futures

Never before in the history of mankind have futures been so present as now. This is especially noticeable in technical innovations. Years to decades used to lie between the announcement of a technical development and its use in everyday life. Now twenty-year-olds use social media apps or other intelligent machines long before they are described publically. In other words, the reference system of our present is changing at a rate previously unknown. Youth cultures are sort of early warning systems for cultural change processes, and they show us possible futures we are in fact already facing. But also from an intergenerational perspective, technical progress doesn’t really let anyone stay behind. We allow ourselves to become more and more predictable for artificial intelligence, for example we let our cars drive us automatically or we let ourselves be measured voluntarily by health apps.

What delusion do we fall into when we only inform ourselves through social platforms – even about politics? How is the nature of our object-relations changed by the selections we make in communication cultures that focus on the technical possibilities of WhatsApp and Twitter? The individual of our own and future times takes its choices maybe less from the side of the object-relations implicated by the recurring form of a conflict-bearing destiny, the foothills of earlier erotic complications in the family object cycle. Rather they are faced in the regressive form of a pre-oedipal searching accorded to external stimuli and satisfaction impulses, with which the subject stabilizes itself from frustration-inducing object relations.

We want to explore the impact of digital and technical innovations on our interpersonal relationships, on our phantasies, affects and anxieties. We want to discuss with you the origins of dystopian futures, brave new words, apocalyptic fears and secular salvation fantasies mirrored in the shared visions of the futures that drive us.


The Organizational Team:

Stefan Aal
Raphael Herkommer
Prof. Dr. Thomas Kretschmar
Dr. Claudia Nagel
Michael Pavlovic
Dr. Moritz Senarclens de Grancy
Dr. Nadine Tchelebi
Eva Weiße
Nicola Wreford-Howard

Enquiries: Please email:



Venue: Kastanienallee 82, GLS Campus, 10435 Berlin, Prenzlauer Berg

Moderator: Dr. Moritz Senarclens de Grancy

16.00 – 17.00 Registration with coffee & tea at Kastanienallee 82, GLS Campus, 10435 Berlin - Prenzlauer Berg
17.00 – 17.15 Welcome with Richard Morgan-Jones
Opening, Introduction to the theme, further detail program
17.30 – 18.15 Keynote Speaker Dr. Stephanie Eichberg (ZfL):
Digital Flesh and Virtual Selves: (Bi-)Locating the Freudian Ego in Cyberspace
18.15 – 18.30 Dialogue with keynote speaker
18.30 – 19.30 Reception, bubbles, drinks and small bites

Moderator: Stefan Aal

08.30 – 09.30 Social Dreaming. Hosts: Nicola Wreford-Howard & Michael Pavlovic
09.30 – 10.00 Break and opening of the day with light breakfast
10.00 – 10.30 Keynote Speaker: Prof. Dr. Thomas Kretschmar (MI)
NanoTec, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and other Anxieties
10.30 – 11.30 The future of my clients and me (Workshops)
11.30 – 12.00 Break with coffee & tea
12.00 – 12.55 Balint groups
13.00 – 14.00 Lunch break
14.00 – 15.30 Balint groups
15.30 – 16.00 Break with coffee & tea
16.00 – 17.00 Closing reflection (plenary)
17.00 – 17.30 Break
17.30     Gathering for the Gala Dinner at Neugrüns Köche, Schönhauser Allee 135, 10437 Berlin

Moderator: Dr. Claudia Nagel

08.30 – 09.30 Social Dreaming. Hosts: Nicola Wreford-Howard & Michael Pavlovic
09.30 – 10.00 Break and light breakfast
10.00 – 11.45 Keynote Speaker Prof. Dr. Aleksandar Dimitrijevic (IPU)
Future without drives? Psychological changes future brings on the level of memory, attention, emotion expression, interpersonal relationships
11.45 – 12.30 Closing reflection
12.30 – 12.45 Closing ERM
12.45 – 13.00 Lunch and farewell




Key Note Speakers:

Dr. Stephanie Eichberg (ZfL)
Historian of medicine and science, research associate for the project Neuro-Psychoanalysis and the Zentrum für Literatur- und Kulturforschung (ZfL) Berlin.

"Digital Flesh and Virtual Selves: (Bi-)Locating the Freudian Ego in Cyberspace"

Since Freud’s theory of the bodily-derived ego that also influenced subsequent embodiment theories, our minds, emotions and sense of self have been quite firmly located within our corporeal frames. But what happens when our bodies become virtual ones? When our sense of self and reality is influenced by ‚illusions‘/‘delusions‘ in cyberspace? With the transformation of bodily borders and extensions of mind due to virtual reality, we appear to have entered a new stage of embodiment built on a reference system unlike any other we have ever encountered. Yet, as with neuroscientific theories reconnecting with Freud’s psychodynamic view of human nature, Freud’s thoughts on the role of simulations and projections, of phantasies and fictive experience to deal with pain and emotional distress might offer a theoretical basis for the malleable new identities forged in the digital world.

Dr. Stephanie Eichberg is a historian of medicine and science with an interdisciplinary range of research interests. She studied/worked at the FU Berlin, at Durham University and at UCL before joining the Project 'Neuro-Psychoanalysis. Neuroscience between Natural Science and Humanities" at the ZfL (Centre for Literary and Cultural Research, Berlin) in 2015. Her current work focusses on the 'inbetween'-nature of pain as a neuro-psychoanalytic case study.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Kretschmar (MI)

Business Economist, Clinical Psychologist, Psychoanalyst in Training and Managing Director at Mind Institute SE

"NanoTec, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and other Anxieties"

This keynote gives an overall view of the state-of-the-art in the major industry. It shows what is expected to come in the near future and how it will influence our work life. Some of these disruptive technologies might cause existential fear in our clients.

Prof. Dr. Thomas Kretschmar is business economist, clinical psychologist, psychoanalyst in training, managing director at Mind Institute SE and member of the ISPSO. He is the founder of Hypoport, a FinTec company with a transaction volume of 50bn EUR per year that he brought to stock exchange in 2007. He is also one of the major investors in the German start-up industry. He founded Mind Institute to apply psychoanalytic knowledge to organizations and leaders.


Prof. Dr. Aleksandar Dimitrijevic (IPU)
Psychoanalyst and research associate at the International Psychoanalytic University

"Future without drives? - Psychological changes future brings on the level of memory, attention, emotion expression, interpersonal relationships"

Freud considered drives to be the central element of “the mental aparatus” and considered their objects less important, even interchangeable. His strong dislike of the US came from the impression that life there was over-civilised, estranged from nature and drives, neurasthenic.Thinking about possibility that future life might be without drives is not focused on contemporary psychoanalytic approaches that criticise the “metapsychology of the drive model”, but on an imaginary situation: what would Freud think about life with television, word-processors, Skype, smartphones… Would he revise the idea that “sexual drive has no natural object” in view of sex-toys and dolls, and sociable sexual robots?

In this presentation, I will review and discuss how our cognitive, emotional and interpersonal lives are being changed and remoulded by technological innovations that are going on all too quickly, offering also a discussion of psychoanalitic implications of these new ways of leaving.

Prof. Dr.Aleksandar Dimitrijevic has been teaching various clinical psychology courses for 15 years. He has taught psychology of mental health, psychological prevention, community psychology, psychoanalysis, and many others, on all levels of university studies and in psychoanalytic institutes. For Prof. Dr. Aleksandar Dimitrijevic it was most important to “translate” concepts and definitions into everyday clinical practice, and from there return to artistic intuitions and cultural contexts that frame them both.



Berlin's Start up Scene will talk about innovation and future technologies.

The Social Dreaming Matrix will be hosted by Nicola Wreford-Howard and Michael Pavlovic.


  • Free association
  • Creative exploration
  • Inspiration group
  • Balint Group
  • Intervision



Venue: Neugrüns Köche, Schönhauser Allee 135, 10437 Berlin
When: 17 March (Saturday evening)
Price  € 55 per person

Please note BOOKINGS for the Gala Dinner have now closed.


Please note REGISTRATION is now closed.

If you wish to be placed on the waiting list, please email to discuss

Early Bird prices (until 15th January 2018)

  • ISPSO Members € 190
  • Non-members € 210

Prices after January 2018:

  • ISPSO Members € 215
  • Non-members € 235

The registration fee includes the reception on Friday, breakfast, lunch and refreshments throughout the meeting on Saturday and Sunday. The Gala Dinner is a separate cost.





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