Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Ageing of Patients & Analysts


Due to demographical changes people's general life time has increased drastically: A person of 50 years can count on another 30 years. People over 50 make up for 1/3rd of the Western European population. This change has several implications for psychoanalysis:

  • Potential patients grow older
  • Analysts and Training Analysts grow older
  • The Societies work in a multigenerational setting
  • The pioneers are fading away


The mandate of this committee is to investigate these implications, to put them forward for discussion in psychoanalytic Societies, to involve people in form of working groups and panels at conferences, stimulating reflection and finally make the results available by publications.

Tasks for investigation:

Demographics of Psychoanalysts and their Societies:

We begin with working on an exact picture of the age structure of our profession within the IPA. This is the basis for knowing more about the implications of a high average age of members in Psychoanalytic Societies. For example the average age of an APA member is presently 65, that of an APA Training Analyst 73 years. While 65 is the usual age of retirement in other professions, our profession seems to have unclear views about ending.

Study of analyzing aging patients and differential diagnosis for indications for analysis

Aging contains many risks of emotional stress and mental derailment. This opens up a big group of potential patients rarely talked about, even less published about. A collection of clinical papers and reports with elderly patients would illuminate the possibilities and limitations of psychoanalytical work and encourage colleagues to work in this field. In addition we need to know more about differential indication for psychoanalysis proper in comparison with psychotherapy that is mostly preferred to treat elderly patients. We will have to include such findings into the training curriculum.

The analysts' life cycle, (including consequences to accept older applicants for and training analysis), the impact of accepting older candidates (and the lack of younger generation) and the impact of the high age of our analysts on the life of our Institutes and Societies

Candidates and applicants for training are growing older: What implications does this have of the future of psychoanalytic training? How analysts grow older (Report based on the investigation of 35 biographies written by older analysts, published in Germany). The life cycle of the Training Analyst varies in some respect from the analyst's life cycle in general. An interview project of the WPE within Europe tries to illuminate the way colleagues try to bring together private life and their deep devotion to psychoanalysis.

Aging and possible ethical misconduct.

How do changes due to physical aging affect the analytic mind and mental functioning that is essential for the analytic work? How does illness affect the analyst's capacity to analyse? Often derailments of Training Analysis' happen in advanced age of the analyst. It is necessary to know more about how this happens and how it can be understood and prevented.


The Group is composed of 3 colleagues of each region, 1 from each region is nominated as co-chair and chaired by Gabriele Junkers (Germany). These members are partly experienced in this field, partly do they have personal reasons for their interest.


The Chair and members of this Committee will be assumed to have submitted their resignations on the change of 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 2011

Full NamePosition
Dr. Guillermo Julio MonteroChair
Dra. Maria Cristina Reis AmendoeiraCo-Chair
Dr.ssa. Valeria Egidi MorpurgoCo-Chair
Dr. Audrey KavkaCo-Chair
Dr. Gianina MicuMember
Mag. Olga Montero RoseMember
Dr. Alex D. OksenbergMember
Dr. Daniel PlotkinMember
Dr. med. Renata A. Sgier BüsserMember
Dr. Mi YuMember