Impressions: The experience of the IFDA Forums

04/01/2015 11:33

(Proposed by Ado Huygens, president of IFDA).    It is not so easy to gather several countries beyond a theory to favour atmosphere and togetherness.  What is the core of the aim of IfDA’s forums ? 

Kenneth Bradford (USA)

Dear Thanasis and friends,

It is so good to hear from you! 

And I love the topic you have chosen for this Forum and your highlighting the Socratic method: the practice of questioning to open oneself. This is the approach to which I am devoted. 

However, how can IFDA Forums do justice to this? The format of brief academic papers collapses the spaciousness required to open the way. I think the only hope you have for truly invoking an open region, and then for allowing openness to more deeply saturate the inter-personal field, will be in the pre-Forum gatherings in Athens. And you have my best wishes that this may happen. 

However, after attending 3 Forums, I have lost confidence that it is possible for these forums to evoke a shared, non-conceptual presencing, such as Heidegger spoke of as gelassenheit.

So, my warmest wishes to each of you for the holidays and new year!



Thanasis Georgas (Greece)

     Thank-you  Ken.

 You make important points related to the IFDA forums experience, and that, I feel, may open an interesting conversation. I appreciate this very much. It is always a pleasure to talk with you.

     The aim of the IFDA forums is to share our experience. To share what we feel and understand in our therapeutic practice, as a living actuality rather than merely as a concept. To do this, we need the proper-indoor and outdoor-atmosphere. This prerequisites our own dwelling in this atmosphere which means in the wonder and the mystery of existing. Conceptual knowing, for example, can neither feel nor understand the mystery of  da-sein, the mystery that in myself I find nothing and yet this is something and mine!!

    However, we can neither force nor evade the emergence of such an atmosphere. The only we can do is, beginning with what now "fits" to our context,  gradually we may evolve into another  Daseinsanalytic atmosphere. This may occurred  as a context-relevant development rather than an ego-driven imposition. Something like that, requires more time, more patience and more dialogue…! In the Forums coexist so many people from so many different  languages, with such diverse cultures!

 We can see in the dialogue "Theaetetus":

Socrates: I think you follow me Theaetetus; I fancy, at any rate, such puzzles are not altogether strange to you.

Theaetetus: No, indeed, it is extraordinary how they set me wondering whatever they can mean. Sometimes I get quite dizzy with thinking on them.

 Socrates: That shows that Theodorus was not wrong in his estimate of your nature. The sense of wonder is the mark of the philosopher. Philosophy indeed has no other origin.

These lines about the origin of philosophy are not themselves located at the beginning of the dialogue in which they are found. On the contrary, it is only after Socrates and Theaetetus have immersed themselves in a discussion that this exchange occurs. It is not as if Socrates happens upon Theaetetus in the market and discovers this young man in wonder. 

      I hope the IFDA Forum in Athens will be a contribution, so as to develop and deepen our relationships and share our interest to the mystery of existing and the therapy.

In this direction, as it was decided in the last General Assembly meeting of the IFDA, 1)The Forum will last three days and not two as usual. 

2)Each society can have two key note speakers, plus one more person for the round tables. By this way there will not be too many speakers. As you point out, Ken, "The format of [so many] brief academic papers collapses the spaciousness required to open the way".

3)There will be round tables with topics that, I hope, will emerge from the discussions that will take placebefore the Forum.

4) All the written texts of the speeches must be sent at least fifteen days before the Forum and they will be available, for everyone. 

4)The Greek committee has created a website ( in which there is  a discussion forum, in order to facilitate the discussion, prior to the Forum. Everyone may propose a topic -a new thread. A dialogue before the Forum could be a suitable preparation for it. 

5) I hope there will be some special events, that will help to create a proper atmosphere.

        It is of primary importance for IFDA to feel and understand its own nature in its ontological and ontic modes, and to  apply this understanding in therapeutic practices. So, the point of the IFDA forum in Athens, "What does it mean to be a daseinsanalyst?" calls for a return to experience: "How can we feel and understand the nature of Daseinsanalysis"? 

With much respect and appreciation

       Thanasis Georgas


Ado Huygens

(president of IFDA)

Dear All of you,

Thank you Thanasis and the greek association to dare this big challenge.

It is not so easy to gather several countries beyond a theory to favour atmosphere and togetherness.

    What is the core of the aim of IfDA’s forums ? 
I would like to think that it is to share thoughts or, through togetherness to let emerge a new awareness of what could be a daseinsanalytical therapy ?
      As Ken Bradfort told us, we have first of all to foster the dwelling where words can unfold understanding and questioning. 
      I hope that the decisions we take in our last G.A. in Belgium will help us to stress the essentials. 
     Let us be there all together and share beyond words our pathway so that the new generations can experience Openness and start to ponder the mystery of the human being which Heidegger opened the way of understanding.

I wish you all a great new year and see you in Athens.