Society for Psychotherapy Research 55th Annual International Meeting

Jun 26 2024 - Jun 29 2024
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University of Ottowa
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We are pleased to announce the 55th international Annual Meeting for the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR) to be held in Ottawa, Canada from Wednesday 26th, through Saturday 29th, 2024 with an on-site/online format.The conference theme is “Going beyond symptom change: Promoting flourishing virtues and social changes”.

Psychotherapy has long focused on understanding and treating psychopathology and problems. It is essential that therapists empathically listen to, witness, and understand client’s suffering and that psychotherapy researchers empirically find effective ways to resolve problems. However, psychological health is not simply an absence of symptoms and suffering. Both psychotherapists and researchers need to explore and understand optimal mental health as rigorously as we examine psychological disorders and problems. Flourishing is an optimal range of human functioning including positive emotions and positive psychological and social functioning in which people are cultivating strengths, wellbeing, resilience, and realizing one’s potential to grow and develop.

In addition, the exploration of optimal mental health calls for extending our exploration into virtue to examine questions such as “What is the good life?” and “What gives meaning to life?”. Psychotherapy is intrinsically oriented toward cultivating virtues both in our clients and therapists. Exploring and understanding suffering can lead to wisdom about what is right and what is good, and to the determination to realize these both personally and socially, which can lead to larger collective change in society. Virtues such as justice, courage, truthfulness, or humor are foundations for a therapist’s character. They may also emerge as a result of the client enduring, facing, accepting, and tackling emotional pain and life challenges. Virtues are sometimes used with connotations of morally rigid and external conformity and perfectionism, but virtues are flexible capacities that promote personal and relational health. The theme of this conference calls for conceptual and methodological innovations in psychotherapy research to expand its roles in global mental health and the betterment of society.
We highly encourage you to join the conference in person since we expect a well-attended and vivid meeting. If you cannot make it to Ottawa, you can participate online. The program content will be available through our virtual conference platform. We are planning plenty of networking opportunities for all on-site attendees. Please pay attention, also, to our wonderful pre-conference workshop program.

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