Guest speaker at ACPP Conference 2022

In February this year, I was honoured to be the guest speaker at the Australasian Confederation of Psychoanalytical Psychotherapists, held online all over Australia and New Zealand.

It was overwhelming to be the only lay person in this virtual room full of psychologists, psychotherapists and psychoanalysts. What was I, a mere writer, doing in this illustrious company?

I was even more challenged by being introduced as the keynote speaker, and given almost an hour to discuss the impact of psychoanalysis on my life, as depicted in my novel, A Dangerous Daughter. Through a series of miraculous events, a psychotherapist at La Trobe University had discovered my book, and recognised that the character of “Dr B” was based on an analyst she had discovered in her research into the early days of this therapy. Those of you who’ve read my book will remember the descriptions of Ivy, my main character, lying on the analyst’s couch and “free associating” ( a term used in classic Freudian analysis).

During the four hour conference, I was asked many questions about my experiences in Western Australia as an “analysand” of Dr Ivy Bennet back in the 1950s. The audience appeared fascinated to hear the thoughts and memories from a former patient, and a survivor of the severe disease of anorexia nervosa. Psychoanalysis saved my life, when all other methods described in my book failed.

Here is a very brief video of a reading from A Dangerous Daughter which I read at the Conference:

Dina Davis reading from Chapter 15 of “A Dangerous Daughter’

The responses I received both during and after the Conference were heartwarming and affirming. Here are a few from the “Chat” room:

 “Thanks to Dina for the beautiful demonstration of the power of the individual narrative, the Voice that brings healing”.

“I really am so grateful to have listened you this morning, like a gift. Thank you for your work”.

“Most powerful [in our advocacy] are the personal experiences of psycho-analysis such as Dina’s and their lifelong impact.”

To receive such messages of appreciation was more than enough reward for the attendance at the Conference, and most of all for the labour of producing A Dangerous Daughter. I hope it will reach out to many more readers, and help those who may have had similar experiences to mine.

“Psychoanalysis is in essence a cure through love” – Sigmund Freud

Here is the link to purchase the book.

1 Comment »

  1. A wonderful honour for you, and a great gift and learning experience for the conference attendees. They were indeed fortunate to have an articulate and passionate speaker with personal experience and deep knowledge of the psychoanalytic process.

    Liked by 1 person

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