PSYCHOANALYTIC PERSPECTIVES ON AGEING COMMITTEE
IPA’s Committee on Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Ageing of Patients and Analysts (est. 2009) has achieved its original target. Eight years of work allow the acknowledgement for a renewal of pursuits and members in order to keep alive a sharp focus on ageing and its different manifestations beyond midlife. This is the reason why I think it must be renamed as: Committee: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Ageing.
A relevant change can be found in contemporary societies due to the decision of people beyond midlife to keep on living (love and work) at their best. This attitude allows an understanding of the human life cycle as something that shows the opportunity to connect with the fullness of each period, now including later stages of life. From this vertex, human life cycle can’t be seen as the usual curve from zero (birth) to its peak (adulthood) and then to zero (death) again, but as the continuity of an entirely horizontal line showing the never-ending attempts to achieve the inherent possible height and peak for each period —for the scope of this Committee mostly from and beyond midlife till later life and death.
This Background ask for a proper psychoanalytic understanding because the implications of these changes must be put forward into discussion within psychoanalytic societies in order to allow an updating of theories that remain referencing past psychoanalytical positions that nowadays don’t remain as valid and current ones.
Tasks for Investigation
The Background and Mandate depicted open several research activities that are proposed as the focus and target of the Committee:
- Paths towards a psychoanalytical definition of ageing
- Tension between somatic ageing and psychical ageing
- Metapsychology of ageing (different features, paths and working-through processes)
- Developmental ageing
- Is it possible to think of a psychopathology of ageing?
- What remains the same and what changes psychically beyond midlife?
- Paths towards a psychoanalytical definition of death
- Growing old versus growing up
The achievement of these Tasks of Investigation will be based on different research activities dealing with:
- Deliveries, presence and promotion of psychoanalytic perspectives on ageing at APsaA, EPF and FEPAL regional congresses and editions
- Interviews with psychoanalysts open to the resonance of ageing in themselves and their patients and current bibliographical research
- The manifestations and the considerations of ageing in contemporary art (literature, music, fine arts, video, IT phenomena, etc.) and cultural trends (philosophy, anthropology, social representations of ageing, etc.)
- Surveying training curricula and scientific status of ageing in the different societies
Patients and psychoanalysts' ageing process
The scope of the Committee will also try to determine if there exist any particular issue subject to consideration in the ageing of psychoanalysts working as such and in patients under psychoanalysis.
The Committee is currently composed of a Chair, three co-Chairs (one from each region), and six members (two from each region). It is envisioned that the Committee will eventually be composed of a Chair, three co-Chairs (one from each region), and three members (one from each region), and decisions regarding any future appointments will be made accordingly. The Committee will also seek to include members of from IPA groups in the Asia-Pacific region, in order to encompass the entire IPA world.
The Chair and Members of this Committee will have assumed to have submitted their resignations on the change of the IPA administration in accordance with the Committees section within the IPA’s Procedural Code. In any event, the work of the Committee shall be reviewed at the end of a four-year term.
Approved by the Board January 2018