The Systemic Pioneer Paul Watzlawick: A 100 Year Celebration

Join us at the international online conference focusing on systemic communication in different contexts.

29-30 November 2021

A two-day online conference for everyone interested in communication

Conference Zoom Link

The author who coined the expression, "One cannot not communicate", Paul Watzlawick, could have turned 100 years old this year. In this connection, UCL University College in Denmark, in collaboration with the St. Pölten University of Applied Sciences in Austria and Western Norway University of Applied Sciences in Bergen in Norway and VID Specialized University have arranged a two-day conference with exciting presenters, each with their own approach to communication.

The two-day conference will alternate between presentations in plenary and reflections in small groups – all accessible online!

The conference is for everyone who works with, and/or is interested in, communication.

You could be a student, a teacher, a social educator, a social worker, a nurse, an occupational therapist, a therapist, a family therapist, a leader, or any other professional. Everyone is welcome.

Best of all – The conference is free!

Sign up for the Watzlawick systemic conference here.

Programme

29 November 2021

9.00-9.15 - Welcome

  • Welcome by Anne-Sofie Hedengran Vedel

    Welcome by Rector of UCL Jens Mejer Pedersen

    Presentation of the committee of this conference
    Lennart Lorås, PhD, Professor (Norway)
    Alois Huber, FH-Prof, Mag (Austria)
    Jacob Cilius Vinsten Christiansen (Denmark)
    Anton Bonde Dalgaard (Denmark).

    Facilitated by Anton Bonde Dalgaard.

9.15-10.00

  • Keynote Dr. Andrea Köhler-Ludescher (Austria)

    Paul Watzlawick – Key Notions of the Palo Alto Pioneer of the Systemic-Constructivist Approach

    The lecture (with discussion) will give an overview and insight into Paul Watzlawick's systemic-consctructivist approach that arose from his adventurous path of life full of experience in different cultures from Europe to India, to San Salvador und the US. The Austro-American philosopher, psychotherapist, writer and world-wide lecturer was a systemic pioneer amidst the Palo Alto Groups who – as interdisciplinary groups – were the first to develop the (at that time called) inter-actional approach within a (pathological) family system-context. The lecture by Dr. Andrea Köhler-Ludescher will draw a bow from the historical background of the N.Y. Macy Conferences that elaborated on cybernetic concepts towards some core notions of Prof. Watzlawick such as the pragmatic (behavioral) approach, the circularity of communication patterns, the (constructivist) relativity of normal and abnormal as well as the “in-between”-phenomenon of emerging “relationship” in order to conclude with future potential of Watzlawick´s work.

    Dr. Andrea Köhler-Ludescher is the founder and owner of the Paul Watzlawick Institut in Vienna and author of the first and only biography on Paul Watzlawick who was her great-uncle. She works as certified hypno-systemic Business Coach and systemic Change Consultant (www.koehler-ludescher.at) as well as internationally gives lectures and keynotes on these topics; she likes to impro-play, pause in nature and visit new places around the world ;)

    Facilitated by Alois Huber, FH-Prof, Mag.

10.15-11.00

  • Paolo Bertrando, MD, PhD (Italy)
    Facilitated by Lennart Lorås, PhD, Professor (Norway).

    Abstract:
    Watzlawick, Inventing Realities

    Although the most remarkable part of Paul Watzlawick’s inheritance probably concerns the systematisation of concepts deriving from the original Bateson group and the later MRI experience, I feel that his later reflections on the provisional nature of accepted “reality” are more important for the therapist of today. Watzlawick greatly contributed to spreading constructivist ideas, thus facilitating the shift from a rather authoritarian position in family therapy -and systemic therapy at large - to a more dialogic and respectful stance on the part of the therapist. His clear and simple style was very important in adapting complex ideas to everyday practice. My contribution will reflect on those aspects of Watzlawick’s work, and it’s impact on therapy.

11.15-11.35 

  • Peer to peer in breakout rooms.

11.45-12.30

  • Hans Christian Michaelsen, Assistant professor (Norway)
    Facilitated by Lennart Lorås, PhD, Professor (Norway)

    Abstract:
    Change Re-visited

    This presentation will explore the rationale behind keeping the influence of Paul Watzlawick alive and kicking in the teaching and training of family therapists and systemic practitioners.

    Students ask: ”What did Paul Watzlawick mean?” In the process of finding an answer, their concepts of themselves as relational beings are changed. When students ask for explanations, Watzlawick answers: ”When an interpretation of the world, an ideology, for example, claims to explain everything, one thing remains inexplicable, namely, the interpretive system itself. And with that, every claim to completeness and finality fails”.

    To understand communication is to understand misunderstanding, which is a paradox, as understanding is impossible. Even his name causes confusion, when introducing himself, ”I am Watzlawick”, and it is interpreted as, ”I am not Slavic.”

12.30-13.15 - Lunchbreak

13.15-14.00

  • Interview with Janet Bavelas
    Facilitated by Jacob Cilius Vinsten Christiansen.

14.00-14.30

  • Peer to peer in breakout rooms.

14.30-14.45

  • Thank you and goodbye. 

30 November 2021

9.00-9.15 - Welcome

  • Welcome by Anne-Sofie Hedengran Vedel

    Presentation of the committee of this conference:
    Lennart Lorås, PhD, Professor (Norway)
    Alois Huber, FH-Prof, Mag (Austria)
    Jacob Cilius Vinsten Christiansen (Denmark)
    Anton Bonde Dalgaard.

    Facilitated by Anton Bonde Dalgaard.

9.15-10.00

  • FH-Prof. Mag.(FH) Manfred TAUCHNER, DSA 
    Departmentleiter Soziales & Studiengangsleiter BA Soziale Arbeit
    Head of Department Social Work/Social Sciences & BA SW Course Director (Austria).

    Systemically Undermining Reality
    - Systemic Pioneer Paul Watzlawick Meets the Sapper of Language Philosophy Ludwig Wittgenstein.

    A personal encounter of two Austrian humanistic celebrities that never took place “in reality”. An encounter between two personalities who, in their development, in their “going beyond themselves” through their work, have fundamentally changed our thinking and our practice with regard to communication and systemic understanding in postmodernism. Within a guided "walk the talk" we climb deeper into the underground interconnections of these two pioneers. And we climb on the highest rung of our the virtual private network tunnel in our online-celebration and…
    …throw away the ladder, so to speak, after he has climbed it"
    (L. Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus).

    Facilitated by Alois Huber, FH-Prof, Mag (Austria).

10.15-11.00

  • Jacob Cilius Vinsten Christiansen (Denmark)
    Facilitated by Anne-Sofie Hedengran Vedel.

11.15-11.35 

  • Peer to peer in breakout rooms.

11.45-12.30

  • FH-Prof, Mag(FH) Alois Huber, DSA
  • FH St Poelten, University of applied sciences

    Social worker
    - Social cybernetihics & Sound reserarcher (Austria)

    Paul Watzlawick's 100 Birthday - days of celebrations. But not only this - what could we learn from this communication expert.
    His knowledge is from psychotherapie to social work to marketing - he founded the basics. His 5 Axiome of Communication gave us his point of view.

    His short stories about the world and the possibilities of understanding - the point of fiew, the in between, its not important what A says,
    more important is what B understands,....we will make a short road show of the great Paul Watzlawick`s understanding of the world.
    And we wont forget to mention Heinz von Förster, his genius austrian friend...

    Facilitated by Jacob Cilius Vinsten Christiansen.

12.30-13.15 - Lunchbreak

13.15-14.00

  • Interview with Wendel Ray, PhD, Professor
    (USA)

    Facilitated by Lennart Lorås, PhD, Professor

    Wendel Ray earned his doctorate in couples and family therapy in 1989 from Nova University in Ft Lauderdale, Florida. Dr Ray has worked as an individual, couple and family therapist for more than 30 years and is a specialist in short-term therapy. He is also Professor of Family Systems Theory at the College of Arts, Education, and Sciences at the University of Louisiana at Monroe.

    Wendel Ray was a longtime friend of Paul Watzlawick. In this interview he shares with us how Watzlawicks ideas has inspired his practice throughout the years. Dr Ray is interviewed by professor Lennart Lorås from Western Norway University of Applied Sciences.

14.00-14.30 

  • Peer to peer in breakout rooms.

14.30-14.45

  • Thank you and goodbye.

Sign up at the formular below.

For more information contact Anton Bonde Dalgaard at abda@ucl.dk.

Sign up for the Watzlawick Systemic Conference here