International ESH Hypnotherapy Congress 2014

romantisches Sorrento


While sitting in an Italian taxi on my way to the Naples airport I am reliving some of my most memorable experiences of the 2014 Sorrento ESH Congress.  I recall Sorrento, as a place of history, stunning views of the sea, pasta, antipasto, friendly and passionate residents and the spirit of beautiful Sophia Loren. Enthusiasm, aliveness and comradery appeared to be everywhere. The conference, itself, emphasized many forms of “resilience“, focusing on both the resourcefulness of the patients and the therapists:  During the opening Keynote address  ESH’s past president, Nicole Russycharet, showed her audience how therapists can efficiently use hypnosis to resiliently reenergize themselves while preventing burnout, as she addressed the question,  “How Can Psychotherapists Develop Resilience And Keep Their Positive Engagement?”. Later Peter Bloom’s presentation, encouraged young psychotherapists to find the courage to coordinate their work with researchers. Last but not least, Camilo Loriedo’s presentation emphasized the importance of developing personal resources in order to cope with difficult situations that take place in the therapy setting while teaching us, “How To Survive As Therapists“.


During the final panel discussion, the new ESH president, Consuelo Consula, sensitively used emotionally touching film examples to depict resilient therapeutic alternatives. The conference also provided new insights, research findings and practical examples relating to the subjects of dissociation, pain, trauma confrontation and stabilization.

Perhaps “the frosting on the conference cake”, or should we say, “The parmigiano on the pasta” came in the form of the elegant Gala dinner provided within the ambient surroundings of the one hundred and forty-six year old “O ’Parrucchiano” Restaurant.  This event allowed us to be engulfed in Southern Italian hospitality while interacting with and enjoying the company of wonderful colleagues as we all became a part of ESH history, being present as Nicole Russycharet introduced the new board members and passed the gavel on to the new ESH president, Consuelo Consula.



Keynote of Cloude Virot 


Bringing my attention back and forth between what the conference had been teaching about resilience and the taxi trip that I was now taking to Naples, I recognized myself feeling rushed to reach the airport in time for my flight back to Vienna.  A smile came to my face and I was reminded that I was still in the resilient land known as Italy and that this had been a wonderful place for our conference, when the aging taxi driver said, “Please, no stress!...I let my stress be at home“.  At that moment it occurred to me that compared to many other cultures, it is possible that Italian people may have resiliency in their blood.

Dr. Erika Chovanec

With editing contributions by Betty Blue, PhD