Rome October 7-9 2022

"Assaults from Reality on the Analytic Setting? Re-Exploring the Countertransference Today "

October 7-9, 2022

Maria Santissima Bambina Institute, Vatican City,

Via Paolo VI 21, 00193 Rome, Italy

St Peter's Piazza

The Location

The View from the Roof

After two years of frustration and forced separation, the Comparative Clinical Methods Association (CCM) workshops for 2022 will be in person - within the walls of the Vatican City at the Instituto Maria Santissima Bambina - a convent spectacularly located just across from St Peter's Basilica.

Work begins at 2 p.m. on Friday7th and ends at 1 p.m. on Sunday 9th October.

We aim to match that the sublime view of of the piazza, St Peter's Basilica and the buildings around the square, seen above from the roof of the convent, to a unique personal and clinical experience. It will be guided by the new principles of discussing and reflecting on psychoanalytic clinical material with mutual learning that the group has been working on and which is now coming to fruition after 20 years.

The CCM method focuses on the central tasks the psychoanalyst takes on in every psychoanalysis - how to infer patient's unconscious repetitions, driven from their past, and how successfully to interrupt and modify them to give a patient more freedom.

Whether we know them or not, we all make suppositions about how to work. We have no choice but to enact those suppositions, consciously and, of course unconsciously, in the everyday work. But what suppositions are we making that are crucial to psychoanalytic work and how can we become aware and refine those we use?

CCM was built on work in the European Psychoanalytic Federation (EPF) beginning in 2002. The core proposition is that there are several very different and apparently successful ways to work psychoanalytically and we can learn a lot about our own work by looking deeply at the work of another clinician whose work is different to ours - much more than we gain by imposing our ideas on him or her, whether out loud or just silently, as happens so often. So, for many years the CCM group has worked to find a method and new set of concepts that avoid judgment and de facto supervision of colleagues and instead to allow everyone to explore what a presenter actually does and be stimulated by it.

In the last few years, forcing ourselves to put our thinking in writing for a book we hope to publish in 2023, we have found that the way to make sense of psychoanalytic work is to look at our suppositions in action - specifically to ask how do we suppose that we infer the unconscious meaning and repetitions in a patient's material in the analytic situation and what do we suppose we should then do and how does that work? .

In Rome we will present the simple schema that is the outcome of our 20-year work and describe how it has now resolved to a small set of precise and highly practical questions which help to specify and assist the particular mode of doing psychoanalysis any psychoanalyst chooses to adopt.

The pandemic was a massive assault on the psychoanalytic setting. Potentially it became lethal to meet people in the same room. During it, some analysts took to remote working, others, as most in Germany, stayed in their consulting rooms throughout. Now everywhere many have gone back, some have partially and some not at all. What happens now if a patient wants to move to another city or if their child or partner get ill and want to Zoom in? Or if the analyst does? What suppositions do we all have about all this and will psychoanalysis be better or worse, strengthened or weakened, as a result? Answers require analysis of the core suppositions we have been working on.

The Rome meeting will mainly consist of moderated small group clinical workshops discussing a presenter's method of doing psychoanalysis in one case (usually through two sessions) in depth using the CCM method. But we will have plenaries, grounded in the small group experience, to look at how the pandemic and its assault has or not changed things. Because we need to meet in small groups for a significant amount of the time, the meeting is limited to 50 registrants.

One group will mainly use Italian as its language, the others will be in English.


Registration is normally restricted to members of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA) and some invited guests and candidates. If you are a candidate or not a member of the IPA please contact one of the moderators or email

The CCM method, originally developed as part of the European Psychoanalytic Federation's Ten Year Scientific Initiative involves structuring discussion in steps - ordinary clinical discussion focused on the presenter's work in the sessions, close focus on the function of each of the presenter's interventions (Step 1) and construction of the presenter's working model of psychoanalysis (Step 2). These formulations are then further discussed in the moderators' group some months later and the overall thoughts eventually fed back to the workshop group and the presenter.

Fees and Practicalities

Registration is now open

Fee :250 Euros

The fee covers participation in all events and coffee and snacks during the meeting. Participants make their own arrangements for meals and accommodation.

Note: Up to 10 CCM associate fellowships will be offered to participants from countries in the former Soviet Union or what were its previous satellites., who receive a 100 Euro reduction in their fee.

Registration, Administration and Payment

The CCM Association is “virtual” (and so to keep costs down administered by the moderators with no clerical support) .

You will fill in a form - please be sure that the name you use for your money transfer refers to the name with which you register - anf the proceed to our Swiss credit card site. It will be possible to pay cash in Rome, if this has been agreed by email beforehand.

Tax receipts can be requested at the meeting.

Hotels, Accommodation, and Time of Arrival or similar websites have many hotels in Rome. Accommodation in the convent can be arranged via this link.

Be sure to arrive before 14.00 on Friday. We end at 13.00 on Sunday.


Small group workshops will run 4-8 pm Friday, 9-1 and 4-6 Saturday and 9-10.30 Sunday.

Plenary meetings will run 2-4 Friday and Saturday and 11-1 on Sunday.

Saturday Evening

An opportunity for a conference dinner "Roman style". All participants will receive an email invitation to participate nearer the event.


We are in the Vatican precincts. Arrange to visit the Vatican Museum or numerous other attractions on Friday morning or Sunday afternoon. Or come early or leave late!

Moderators in 2021

The workshops will be moderated by one or two moderators who have experience of CCM groups and take part in the moderator groups.The moderators and CCM members organizing the 2019 symposium were:

  • Elizabeth Allison : British Psychoanalytical Society; Georg Bruns: German Psychoanalytical Association; Anna Christopoulos: Hellenic Psychoanalytic Society; Michael Diercks: Vienna Psychoanalytic Society; Eike Hinze: German Psychoanalytical Association; Marinella Linardos: Italian Psychoanalytic Association; ; Michael Sebek: Czech Psychoanalytic Society; David Tuckett: British Psychoanalytical Society