EUROPEAN REPRESENTATIVES (2017–2019):
I find being on the Board important, challenging and wish to continue in this role for another term.
After one year on the Board I have a much better idea of the serious issues confronting the IPA, the dynamics stemming from its structure of three regions, and the threats and opportunities that lie ahead.
The challenge the IPA faces today is to defend psychoanalysis as a treatment method and itself as a worthy organization for its members. In our competitive world psychoanalysis is attacked as an irrelevant and obsolete method. Psychoanalysts do not readily see the added value of belonging to the IPA. Questions like: “What is the IPA? Where does my money go? What do I gain from my IPA membership?” are frequently heard.
I am deeply convinced of the following:
- The absolute importance of the IPA for its membership. It fulfils a leadership role of setting standards, holding out against trendy "anything goes", and upholding psychoanalytic principles and values.
- The importance of maintaining open lines of communication between the IPA and its members. Members need to feel represented by the IPA, and the IPA should cater to their needs and be responsive to the needs of its Component Societies. More members should actively engage in committee work and I am working towards this on the Board.
- The importance of keeping a global perspective while maintaining the special European one. More often than not the two perspectives converge, but there were several occasions when European Representatives had to ensure that a solution for another region does not create difficulties for us in Europe. Awareness of European psychoanalysis, its specific needs and challenges, is of great importance and must be vigorously represented.
- In today's world a global organization must maintain maximal transparency and hands-on connection with its membership and component organizations. This must be further developed and maintained.
My professional life has been shaped by intensive involvement in daily psychoanalytic praxis and institutional development. I had and still hold major leadership roles in the Israel Psychoanalytic Society, the EPF and IPA. I also apply Group Relations methodology to social traumatization through my work with Israeli and German psychoanalysts and those suffering from the aftermath of WWII and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.
For 20 years I have been intensively involved with psychoanalytic training in my society, the EPF and IPA: I chaired the EPF Working Party on Education for 5 years; I headed several research projects in this area; I am presently involved in various workshops and events in EPF and IPA congresses.
If re-elected, I will bring to the Board my deep commitment and longstanding involvement, my expertise in psychoanalysis, in group dynamics and institutional work and my deep care for this organization.
List of positions: Mira Erlich-Ginor: IPA: 2010 Site visit committee; 2010-2015, Sponsoring Committee for Psike Study Group, Chair; 2015-1017, IPA Board member. EPF: 2005-2010, Working Party on Education, Chair; 2007-2011, End of training evaluation project, chair; 2010 -present, PIEE-EPF member of international research team: “PA training, "Regular" and "non-regular" setting in Europe”. IPS: 1997-1999, Admission Committee, Chair; 2003-2006, Education Committee, Chair; 1990-1996, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Course, co-Director; 2007- present, Co-founder and chair, "Advancement of Contemporary-Classical Psychoanalysis"; 2012- 2015: "The Triangles Project", intervention to cope with splits and tensions within the IPS, initiated and co-led. 2015 -“In Memoriam” IPS, IPA Web- a project commemorating deceased members in the IPS, and transferring it to the IPA Website.
The IPA’s fundamental mission has become more difficult in recent decades, as our fast changing world has presented psychoanalysis with numerous challenges: the competition from other disciplines and methods of treatment; the economic crisis and the widespread impoverishment of many nations; the cultural changes in post-modern societies and their focus on quick resolution and short-term interventions; the consequences of new technologies with their peculiar mix of opportunities and dangers; the relentless “greying” of our membership base and the consequently precarious finances of many component societies.
Having long worked in IPSO as a candidate and in the IPA Board in 2015 and 2016 a European Representative, I have learned that these problems can be faced effectively and that institutional solutions can eventually be found, provided the central and local levels of the organizational network are capable of cooperating (principle of subsidiarity).
In order to fulfil its difficult new tasks, the IPA needs to go on providing an intense and increasingly effective level of communication between the different levels of its complex structure. Without coordination, mutual support and the sharing of best practices, the current lack of institutional integration could render all endeavour ineffective.
If re-elected, the key words of my work will be the following.
The past cohesion of the psychoanalytic theory and practice worked as a robust container for personal and professional identity. The present, numerous cultural differences within the psychoanalytic movement are a major problem that might paralyze us between nostalgic attitudes (petrification, as Wallerstein wrote) and deregulated innovations (Tower of Babel and Balkanization). Yet, if we are able to respect the differences and to systematically compare their characteristics, pluralism could also be a source of conceptual strength and clinical richness.
Over the last two decades, many prominent colleagues have worked to fill the gap between clinical practice and updated research strategies. Besides a refinement in historical and conceptual research, we can now profit from new methods of empirical, quantitative and semi-quantitative research. The IPA should sustain the new generation of research programs not only by funding them, but also by offering institutional support and visibility.
The IPA can do a lot to encourage, highlight, support and reward local groups that invest in effective outreach programs. We must learn to share the programs that have proved to be most successful and to diffuse them more widely.
4) Group dynamics
The relevance of group phenomena, and the primitive institutional dynamics which they cause, have been intensively studied. So far, though, these insights have had a very limited influence in our organizations. Many IPA members have developed methods and theories in this field and our institutions should take advantage of these skills ensuring their diffusion throughout the entire community.
List of positions: Giovanni Foresti: IPSO: Italian representative (1995-1997) and part of the ExCom as Treasurer (1997-1999). SPI: Scientific Secretary of the “Cesare Musatti” Milan Centre for Psychoanalysis (2007-2009); Scientific Secretary of the Società Psicoanalitica Italiana (2010-2012); faculty of SPI National Institute of Training (2008-2014). IPA: part of the IPA/IPSO working group chaired by R. Tyson (2002); co-chair for Europe in the IPA Committee “Psychoanalysis and the mental health field” chaired by C. Eizirik (2013-2016); European Representative in the IPA Board (2015-2016).
To maintain the unity of psychoanalysis, and safeguard excellence in training for the new generations of analysts: these were Freud’s motivations for creating the IPA more than a hundred years ago. Against the current backdrop of standardization and decomplexification of thought, these original motives hold particular relevance, now more than ever.
My years as President of the European Psychoanalytic Federation have enabled me to gain knowledge of the evolution of psychoanalysis in Europe, the strengths but also the difficulties of psychoanalytical societies. These difficulties may be linked to the specific historical or cultural context of each society. They may also be bound up with the inclusion of psychoanalysis in health policies and laws which regulate and, at times, confine the training and the practice of our profession in a binding straitjacket. And finally they may reflect the waning of analytic rigour within certain groups or a blurring of the boundaries between psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.
There are over 40 psychoanalytical societies in the European region, each with its own particular characteristics. When there is dialogue between them, these differences are enriching for psychoanalysis. If the EPF has a clearly scientific role, which it must absolutely preserve, then the IPA is more focused on institutional policy of the component societies and above all on training matters
Currently the IPA recognizes three models of psychoanalytic training: the Eitingon Model, the French Model and the Uruguayan Model; but the practice of remote analysis (Skype, telephone) is becoming more widespread. There are fears that this mode of analysis will insidiously become a fait accompli, even though we lack the necessary data to analyse it scientifically. Admittedly the current administration has addressed this issue, but does the IPA still have the means to provide a clear voice in this area? And what is more, a voice that can be authoritative?
Those who follow the developments in psychoanalysis around the world are obliged to acknowledge the growing disparities that are emerging across the three continents. We may therefore legitimately ask ourselves what it is that still connects us. Is the IPA in a position to unite, to speak to these differences, to understand their origins and to reflect upon their implications for metapsychology and analytic technique as well as to create appeal for potential candidates to our profession?
Or will the IPA merely become a body for the census of all the existing differences, the organizer of a “well-oiled” biannual congress thanks to artful doses of politics careful not to ruffle any feathers – an approach totally at odds with that of an iconoclastic Freud? Does the IPA still wish to be a force for unity at the risk of upset and triggering heated debate, or are we forced to acknowledge that the IPA is now an umbrella organization constituted by three independent branches?
If I am elected to the IPA Board, I will work towards moving these discussions outwards to the societies and their members, out of a desire for democratic transparency.
List of positions: Dr. Serge Frisch, Psychiatrist, Training and supervisor analyst, Belgian Psychoanalytical Society (SBP) and German Psychoanalytical Society (DPG). Belgian Psychoanalytical Society: 2008-2011 President; 2006-2008 Secretary General; Member of the Teaching Committee since 2007. International Psychoanalytical Association: Sponsoring Committee for Lebanon since 2009; 2001-2005 Psychoanalysis and Allied Professions Committee; 2009-2012 European Vice-Chair of the Outreach Committee. European Psychoanalytical Federation: 2012-2016 President; 2009-2012 Working Party Chair: ‘Specificity of Psychoanalytic Work Today’; 2007-2012 Member of the Expert Group on Psychoanalytic Research.
Luis Jorge Martín Cabré
After my initial experience on the Board as European Representative, I would like to once again present my candidacy for these elections. My desire is to work in collaboration with my colleagues to maintain the continuity and institutional legitimacy of the IPA as a safeguard for psychoanalysis, which continues to have unquestionable value in our culture and which promotes a scientific ideal based on truth and transparency.
From my perspective, the essential tasks for the institutional development of the IPA are openness, interconnection between analysts from the different regions and the fostering of scientific production and development.
I believe that it is essential for psychoanalysis not to isolate itself, nor to declare itself impermeable to the changes arising in culture and in science. Psychoanalysis must open itself to dialogue with other disciplines without adopting a position of submissiveness, or one of superiority. Indeed, psychoanalysis has acquired its specificity through the features that set it apart, but also those which bring it into contact with other areas of knowledge.
From this perspective, the IPA should encourage our presence in hospitals, health and social care facilities and universities; it should foster spaces for discussion with colleagues from other institutions, students, doctors and mental health professionals, by implementing projects in collaboration with other related organizations, and should offer open seminars, courses and university Masters degrees for psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals.
But also, looking inwards, communication and dialogue between analysts is essential, as well as between the various referential frameworks which constitute one of the greatest riches of our heritage. For this reason, it is vital to encourage scientific production and research.
The survival of psychoanalysis lies in maintaining our theoretical identity, but also in its ability to broaden and transform itself. Fostering scientific dialogue between analysts from the three IPA regions, including the more dangerous zones, constitutes an ethical commitment and a horizon of hope for our candidates. This would appear to be supported by the recent example of the reunification of the Dutch Society, as indeed was the Swedish Society some time ago.
Teaching deserves particular attention. Candidates represent the hope and the survival of psychoanalysis and we must listen attentively to their concerns, providing them with the assistance they need in terms of their theoretical and clinical training requirements. We all know the difficulties they encounter in obtaining patients for analysis, and in adequately completing their training process. It is a challenge for our institution to discover new methods of meeting their needs, without sacrificing the obligatory standards for rigorous training. Particular attention needs to be paid to so-called “remote analysis” and the risks entailed in terms of confidentiality.
I find it very useful in my work as European Representative to maintain continuous contact with the societies, every one of which is a link, even when visits and contact with them is fluid.
Many aspects remain to be addressed, some of which are thorny and problematic, but I am convinced that dialogue without prejudice and a loyal attitude to that particular “Brüdergemeinschaft" advocated by Ferenczi in 1910, will help us in our endeavour.
List of positions: Asociación Psicoanalítica de Madrid (Madrid Psychoanalytic Association, APM): Member of the Management Board (1992-1995), Secretary of the Management Board (1996 - 1999), Member of the Training Committee (1996-1999), President (2010-2013). IPA: CAPSA Member (2006-2009), Member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. European Representative from 2015 to 2017.
I am delighted to have been nominated by the British Psychoanalytical Society to serve a second two-year tranche on the Board of the IPA.
I will continue to work to secure the democratic spirit of our IPA across the many different traditions and training systems in a period of rapid transformations. Questions of authority, democracy, and how to develop our capacity to continue to listen to the Other all impact on the future of psychoanalysis. With its great diversity of clinical approaches and languages, the IPA must continue to think creatively about how to train future psychoanalysts and produce the best environments for patients to apply for analytic treatment. Present times of austerity in the European region is leading to great challenges for psychoanalysts to maintain an analytic practice as well as applicants to train. This, in turn, is leading to the beginnings of debate about intensity of training in the Eitingon model, which challenges the difference between psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. Such complex debate in our Societies, the EPF and the IPA Board will be challenging for all of us.
Our European Region is the fastest developing, led by the Psychoanalytic Institute for Eastern Europe (PIEE), with which I have been associated for many years. The European region, with the Middle East, Australia and the first African analytic society, is dealing with psychoanalysis in a multicultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual set of complexities that reach beyond the bounds of the Austro-Hungarian historical model from Freud’s day. Beyond Europe there is a new interest in psychoanalysis in the vast region of China. My continuing quest would be to find analytic environments, similar and different, that are able to communicate with each other.
Many of our own societies have emerged from historical traumas that still resonate personally for many analysts today. Totalitarian regimes with deep controls embedded in social, political and family life have played their part in the unconscious dynamics of 20th and 21st-century cultural life, and many analytic societies still bear the scars. The present cold war between Russia and the Ukraine has its negative impact in the region. Similarly there is also a toughening of the some present European regimes that impact on freedom that psychoanlysis encourages. To be able to tolerate the Other without allowing domination, at the same time as recognizing complexity, is the challenge we inherit from history into our present times, requiring research. I see this as the potential contribution of Europe to the other regions of the IPA which have also had their own social and prejudicial traumata often unconsciously mirrored in analytic societies.
My knowledge and commitment to our European Psychoanalytic Region, especially when I was Vice President of the EPF, involved engaging with the often-complex interactions with the IPA. This experience together with my teaching and lecturing widely in West and East Europe, as well as regularly teaching in North America, will enable me to work competently and knowledgeably on your behalf with our other Regions on the Board.
List of positions: DR. JONATHAN SKLAR FRCPsych: British Psychoanalytic Society: First Chair Regional Development Cmmt 1994-1998; Chair Regional Training Cmmt 1998-2002; Education Cmmt 1998-2002; Admissions Cmmt 2006- 09. EPF: Vice President European Psychoanalytic Federation, 2007-2011; Organiser Associate Members Seminar; Organizer Forum on Education; Liaison officer with East Europe and PIEE; PIEE Teacher Summer School 2010-14. IPA: European Editor, IPA Psychoanalytic Newsletter 2010-12; Chair CAPSA 2013-present; European Board member 2015 to present. Hon. member Psychoanalytic Society of Serbia and the South African Psychoanalytic Association 2016.
I am a qualified psychiatrist and psychotherapist specializing in psychotherapeutic medicine, finishing my psychoanalytic training in the German Psychoanalytical Association in 1990. Ever since, I’ve worked continually in psychoanalysis and have also been working as a training analyst since 2006.
Part of my work is devoted to the application of psychoanalytic knowledge in research as well as in social psychiatry and education.
Already as a candidate I regularly attended international psychoanalytic events and took part in scientific discussions. The history of my country and its implications for succeeding generations has been a constant presence in these activities.
I’ve been involved in scientific work since 1983: first at the University of Kassel, then at the University of Tübingen and finally, in 1994, as professor at the Frankfurt University of Applied Sciences. In 2012, I became President of the International Psychoanalytic University Berlin (IPU). There, my aim is to integrate psychoanalysis with the academic world, to recruit young scientists, and to cooperate with the psychoanalytic institutes.
My research interests focus on the psychodynamics of ageing and suicide, and related ethical and gender-specific issues. I explored psychoanalytic concepts of health and sickness as well as the function of the “contact barrier”. My essays on these topics have also been published in the International Journal of Psychoanalysis.
Over the past nine years I supported the development of the German Psychoanalytical Association’s Summer University for Psychoanalysis in a managerial capacity. Every year, there are over 300 interested students enrolled, some of whom signed up for psychoanalytical training. This institution gained international interest and has led to similar programs being set up by other psychoanalytical societies and the EPF.
Under my leadership, the German Psychoanalytical Association has initiated and published statements on current issues. On a regular basis I publish psychoanalytic articles in public media, too.
My view of psychoanalysis is that it is a psychotherapeutic method with varied modalities, a cultural theory, and an applied social science. As European representative on the IPA Board I advocate since 2015 that this genuine Freudian understanding of psychoanalysis continues to be cherished in the IPA. I want to safeguard and promote our excellent clinical training worldwide and to consolidate and strengthen the implementation of psychoanalysis in the scientific world. Part of this involves the promotion of individual clinical case studies as well as transdisciplinary research in diverse areas of application and the networking of research centres and projects. There is an urgent need for young, qualified scientists including those with a background in medicine, to ensure our participation in the academic discourse. I will work hard to improve the accessibility of the applications of psychoanalysis for the socially disadvantaged worldwide. The conditions of remote psychoanalyses will have to be examined with utmost care, especially under security aspects. With global developments in mind, I advocate for the development of a fourth independent IPA region. For this, I’d like to ask for your support for a second term on the IPA board.
List of positions: German Psychoanalytic Association (DPV): 2002-2008 Chairman of the Alexander-Mitscherlich-Institut Kassel; 2008-2014 Member of the DPV Board (incoming president 2008-2010; president 2010-2012; outgoing president 2014). EPF: 2010-2012 Member of the EPF Council. IPA: European Co-Chair of the IPA Committee Psychoanalytic Perspectives on Ageing of Patients and Analysts, Member since 2011, Co-Chair since 2013. Member of the IPA Committee Psychoanalysis and Mental Health since 2013. 2015- European Representative on the IPA Board.
Applying to be a European Representative in the IPA represents for me a meaningful and logical step in my long journey through life with psychoanalysis, comprising almost 30 years of clinical psychoanalytical practice. I hope it is obvious from my attached list of positions where my interests have brought me, but I want to highlight three main areas that have been of particular importance for me, and around which I would like to contribute to the IPA if elected.
Firstly, the relations between psychanalysis and society – in the widest sense – have been the focus for my work within my society, and for my engagement within the EPF and IPA during the last two decades. I am referring to the task of finding ways to further the influence of psychoanalytical theoretical thinking. Likewise and not less important is the communication of basic psychoanalytical understanding of human conditions. To this, I want to add ”inreach” – to promote among analysts awareness of the importance of reciprocity in observing and reflecting on the world around us – which sooner or later influences the development of psychoanalysis. This has been possible for me to explore during my Vice Presidency of the EPF, working with the programme for the yearly scientific conferences of the EPF. An important part of this work was to create space for exploring relations between psychoanalysis and other sciences, examining the similarities and differences, opening doors and building bridges.
Secondly, my interest in matters of psychoanalytic training, and particularly in teaching clinical subjects, is longstanding and profound. For the last decade I have been active in the committee for clinical supervision in my Institute. Emphasis has been on promoting the development of clinical competence in candidates, and to accomplish this task in conjunction with the considerate and ambiguous issue of evaluating supervised clinical work. In close connection to this task, I have been engaged in implementing and further developing the model for training supervisors of psychoanalysis that has been operating at the Swedish Association for more than twenty years, a matter that would be of great interest for me to get involved with at an IPA level.
Thirdly, there is my longstanding interest in institutional matters. I was part of the small group that investigated the preconditions and prepared the ground for the fusion of the two Swedish societies in 2010. During my years in the EPF Executive I have become closely acquainted with the challenges met in creating new societies, and with the development of relations between the larger organisations, such as the IPA and regional federations. I have also met and felt the impact of conflicts seriously threatening to lead to splitting of societies. I have reflected at length on the dynamics of our common psychoanalytic heritage, and to what extent it is – on a pragmatic level – helpful or complicating.
I would like to bring all these experiences into my work in a clearly expressed but openminded way if elected to the IPA Board of Representatives.
List of positions: IPA: European IPA Outreach Committee 2010-2011. EPF: Chair Outreach Platform EPF/IPA (Committee on Psychoanalysis and Society) 2001-2007; Vice President EPF Executive 2011-2016. Swedish Society: Secretary, Board of Institute 1989-1991; Chair Committee of Outreach, Board of Society 1997-2002; Vice President Swedish Society 2000-2002; Fusion Committee Swedish Society & Swedish Association 2007-2009. Swedish Association: Committee on Clinical Supervision 2006-date; Chair Committee on Clinical Supervision, Board of Institute 2010-2012.