Message from the President
On behalf of the ISAPP Executive Committee I cordially welcome you to the new homepage of ISAPP. Our goal is for the website to be a forum for the exchange of questions on adolescence and treatment of adolescents.
Our plans for the newly designed website are
- To publish updates on important developments in the field of adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy.
- To post interesting publications of members
- To announce specific events, congresses and conferences
- To have interactive debates
Moreover, we want to encourage you to forward information on interesting and important aspects concerning adolescence, adolescent psychiatry and psychotherapy and to contact us.
As you can see on the homepage we have facilitated the application process for membership and administration. If you are already a member and have forgotten to pay your annual fee we will contact you directly. Please inform us if your e-mail address has changed.
By the way I want to thank Rosalie Landy (USA) and Colette Thevenin (France) for their long lasting activities as secretaries of ISAPP. Also in future there will be bureaus in the USA and Europe (see: contact us).
On the blog you find the announcement of the next international ISAPP-congress which will take place in New York 26th to 29th of March 2015 at the Marriott East Side Hotel in Manhatten. The theme of the congress will be “The Art and Science of Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.” Please contact us if you have wishes, proposals and suggestions in this regard.
Annette Streeck-Fischer MD, PhD.
The transition from adolescence to adulthood marks the junction of individual and collective destinies. Pivotal to the consolidation of one’s identity, this stage in personal development also guarantees the future of society. It is the springboard whence humankind makes the leap from one generation to the next, a leap into a future sketched out like a safety net by the adults responsible for the adolescent’s upbringing. These adults provide the support and orientation required by youths to take wing towards a relative freedom. It is relative because bound by numerous ties to the individual’s personal, family and cultural history. Yet, this is nonetheless a period of emancipation, as some of these ties will be broken by the risks that must be taken in order to take possession of one’s own life. However, other ties will remain as moorings to prevent the individual from floating adrift.
The passage is a simple walk across a balance beam for some, an acrobatic and perilous high-wire act for others. Either way, though, it can be a somewhat dizzying and solitary distance to cover. Adolescents see the safety and unconditional protection of their childhood pulled back and, what’s more, they must make inevitable choices in order to close a period where everything seemed possible and give back to time and limits their reality-defining function.
There is growing interest in the transition from the world of the child to that of the adult. This is not surprising, given the stakes and issues at play and the numerous questions raised by extremely rapid contextual and scientific changes. Recent advances in the neurosciences have in fact demonstrated that physical maturity is accompanied by extensive reorganization of the neuronal circuits and of brain functioning. The sociocultural context, too, plays a major role at this time. For example, the convergence between the omnipotence characteristic of adolescence and the illusions of Western society entranced by technological progress and hopes of eternal youth make it more complicated nowadays to leave adolescence behind.
What’s more, this period represents a critical stage in terms of psychopathology, as it coincides with the apparent onset of several psychiatric disorders, of which the seeds are often dormant in childhood, if not before birth. These considerations challenge the notions of early determinants, risk and protective factors, and continuity between child and adult pathologies.
Though the turbulence of adolescence is often associated with the tragedy of functional breakdowns, failure and pathology, these risks must not mask the incredible vitality of this transition marked by the creativity and freshness that each new generation brings to the previous one.
Patricia Garel, M.D.
ISAPP in the digital era
The International Society of Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology (ISAPP) is the only international society exclusively devoted to the mental health of adolescents. ISAPP seeks to provide a forum for intellectual exchange among professionals by organizing national and international congress, fostering publications and promoting research on adolescents’ mental health.
Our international congresses gather a great number of ISAPP members and are important occasions to discuss our way of conceptualizing and dealing with adolescent disorders. However, psychiatry is currently going across great changes (as the challenge of neurosciences, for instance) which force us to question our theories and our practices. ISAPP has the great chance of gathering within the Society most of the main opinion leaders in the field of adolescence and therefore must play a pivotal role in the direction that adolescent psychiatry will take in the next future.
The launching of a new version of our web-site is a great occasion to encourage a world-wide debate among all professionals interested in the mental health of adolescence. Several reasons led to the development of the web-site, but above all to keep informed ISAPP members of all the activities of our Society, especially about national and international congresses and common research programs.
We wish the web-site to become a living space of debate and exchange among all professionals concerned by adolescence and we invite warmly all ISAPP members interested in the activities of the web-site to join us.
Mario Speranza MD PhD