Grotjahn’s 1948 description of the Los Angeles psychoanalytic scene could well describe the atmosphere of our annual University of California / New Center for Psychoanalysis Interdisciplinary Psychoanalytic Consortium (UC/NCP IPC) Meeting at Lake Arrowhead:
Life goes on in Los Angeles according to the unusual pattern which is usual in this city where Nature is so kind to grapefruit and oranges. One special feature was observed by the psychoanalysts of Los Angeles with delight. Like certain churches that have camp grounds and meeting places all over the country to meet and enjoy nature, so this year Los Angeles developed into an unofficial meeting ground for visiting analysts. [Dr. David Levy spoke on “Phases of the Hostile Act.” Dr. Franz Alexander gave a talk on “The Analysis of Therapeutic Factors” and Dr. Karl A. Menninger discussed the difficulties of being a training analyst today as contrasted to formerly].
Not quite everybody came, but those who did were in a vacation mood, a very rare condition for an analyst to be caught in. Some of the most productive analytic thinking was started in the Viennese coffee-house…
This new kind of vacation meeting seems to us here to be very promising. It is a kind of cross between the coffee-house and ‘The Institute.’ The vacation episode gave us a reassuring feeling, that being west of the West as we are, we were nevertheless able to have contact with the East.
—Dr. Martin Grotjahn, reporting on activities taking place in Los Angeles, 1948 (Bulletin of the American Psychoanalytic Association).
If you want to experience an “analytic vacation” in Los Angeles—truly an experience between coffee-house and psychoanalytic institute—consider attending the UC/NCP IPC meeting this year!