Addiction Sub-Cttee of the Mental Health Field Cttee



  1. To analyze the phenomenon of addiction in general (addiction to drugs, gambling, sex, pornography, work, physical exercise, food, and the like), exploring possible psychological similarities and distinctions among the various kinds of addiction (e.g., is there a pattern common to all addictions? Is addiction a primary problem or a desperate search for a solution?) The sub-committee will evaluate the current situation with regard to addiction, taking into consideration the influence of psychological and environmental aspects (e.g., lack of adequate parenting, innate psychological deficiencies, cultural aspects of isolation related to modern society, and the like);
  2. To hold online meetings (using Skype or GoToMeeting) with the members of the sub-committee in the first period, with a first face-to-face meeting at the 50th IPA Congress in Buenos Aires in July 2017;
  3. To devise a strategy for the IPA to give psychoanalysis a voice and position in the work of our colleagues in the Mental Health Field, especially with regard to the issue of addiction, using psychoanalytical knowledge to enhance the understanding of and assistance to the vast and fast-growing population of addicts;
  4. To present to the Board (prior to the mid-2017 Board meeting) an interim, detailed report of the sub-committee's initial work. (The final report should be delivered to the staff by 15 May 2017.)
  5. No budget will be required for this sub-committee.

The Sub-committee on Addiction will work closely with the Psychoanalysis and the Mental Health Field Committee, as well as establishing partnerships with other IPA committees. The IPA community will be kept informed of the sub-committee's work through the IPA website and a programme of continuous paper presentations on this theme will be planned for each IPA Congress, starting with the 51st IPA Congress.

Approved June 2016

Full NamePositionTerm StartTerm End
Dr. José Alberto ZusmanChair13/06/201615/08/2017109504
Mr. Petros KefalasMember18/06/201615/08/2017154098
Dr. Edward J. KhantzianConsultant18/06/201615/08/2017104194