Society of the Month
Every month we focus on the history, highlights and activities of an IPA Society.
If you would like your society featured, please write to Maria Grazia Vassallo and Cristina Vascocellos.
In March we focus on the: Argentine Psychoanalytic Association
The Argentine Psychoanalytic Association, APA, celebrates 75 years of its creation in 2017 and its recognition by the IPA in 1942. It was the first Psychoanalytic Association of Latin America founded according to the guidelines of the International Psychoanalytic Association through Ernest Jones’s mediation. Our Society was officially incorporated into the IPA, at the 16th International Congress held in Zurich in 1949, the first one to be held after World War II.
The work of the founders, our pioneers, was so intense that APA became a centre of dissemination for many neighbouring Latin American countries.
Men and women from all Latin America came to Buenos Aires and lived here for many years to complete their training at the Institute of Psychoanalysis. Then they returned to their homeland to spread the seed that had evolved here. Many of them became pioneers in their
own countries and always maintained scientific and friendly ties with the APA.
The Argentine Psychoanalytic Association has had outstanding analysts who have made original and lasting contributions to theory and technique. This has been the groundwork of the Argentine psychoanalytic movement, whose cutting-edge ideas, as well as the biographies of the contributing authors have recently been compiled in the Dictionary of Argentine Psychoanalysis, a biographical, conceptual and terminological work still under construction. An eBook version will be coming soon. If you want to see a sample of it or want to buy it, please, go to https://tienda.apa.org.ar/producto/diccionario-de-psicoanalisis-argentino/.
Dictionary of Argentine Psychoanalysis
In July 2017, the 50th IPA Congress will be held in Buenos Aires. We wish to invite you to visit the APA at our website www.apa.org.ar, and see the video that appears at the end of this brief presentation. We would be delighted if during your stay in Buenos Aires you would also wish to visit personally our beautiful house, located in the heart of Recoleta.
In December 1942, an Executive Committee was set up with Ángel Garma as president, Celes Cárcamo as secretary, along with Arnaldo Rascovsky, Enrique Pichón Rivière and Marie Langer. These analysts are known as our Pioneers (more photos in our website).
Founded by Arnaldo Rascovsky, the first issue of the APA appeared in July 1943. It has become the most time-honoured continuous publication in Spanish. Alongside current trends in Argentinean psychoanalysis, its volumes have addressed significant controversial topics in psychoanalysis, without neglecting the social environment and its diversity.
1943 - 2016
Its editorial guiding principles have always been to make known the scientific work of the Association’s members; that is, the writings that constitute the Argentine School of Psychoanalysis. Our Revista has included the early and original translation into Spanish and ensuing publication of manuscripts representing authors from all over the world, such as M. Klein, S. Ferenczi, F. Alexander, O. Fenichel, as well as the works of many Latin and North American authors.
The collection comprises 350 more fully digitized volumes that can be consulted in our database by entering here.
In 1943 the APA Library also became active. Currently, it is the largest psychoanalytical library in Spanish, with a database that contains over 130,000 entries.
The pioneers of the Argentine School soon undertook their own research projects, mainly contributing to the field of psychosomatics. They started publishing their papers in 1948. In this sense, we wish to underscore the book on Psychosomatic Pathology, compiled by Arnaldo Rascovsky, with his own writings on infantile epilepsy, thyroid function and adipose-genital syndrome, and Ángel Garma’s papers on gastro-duodenal ulcer, and ulcerative colitis, his works on sadism and masochism, as well as his theory on traumatic dreams.
The seed of psychoanalytic ideas was sown in crowded lectures delivered at the School of Medicine of the Buenos Aires National University (UBA). It was at these lectures that Arnaldo Rascosvky introduced his ideas on the foetal psyche and filicide. E. Pichon Rivière who worked at the local Asylum dealt with the subjects of psychoses and social psychology. There he designed his Referential and Operative Conceptual Scheme and set forth the concept of depression as sole mental disease.
It’s worthwhile mentioning not only Marie Langer’s works on menstruation, pregnancy, breastfeeding and female psychology, but also Luisa Álvarez de Toledo’s conceptualization of the analyst’s and patient’s discourse as speech acts.
These first studies gave a distinctive profile to the Argentinean psychoanalytic movement to which, shortly after, in 1949, the pioneering ideas of H. Racker on countertransference and his studies on technique were added; soon followed by Leon Grinberg’s descriptions of some of its aspects with the concept of counter projective identification.
José Bleger developed his studies on the psychoanalytic setting and the notion of the undifferentiated position previous to the paranoid–schizoid position described by Melanie Klein.
Arminda Aberastury’s writings on child psychoanalysis publicized the implementation of the diagnostic hour of play in consultation, along with the practice of group psychoanalysis for mothers and their kids, as well as pre-surgical and dental preparation for children.
Consequently dentists' and paediatricians’ offices came to be and go on being full of toys. Elizabeth Goode de Garma was another noteworthy child analyst of the time.
The importance acquired by the teaching of child psychoanalysis led in 1974 to the creation of the “Arminda Aberastury” APA Department of Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis, named in honour of its forerunner.
Last but not least, we must mention Jorge Mom's comprehensive studies on phobias, and Madeleine and Willy Baranger’s inclusion of the role of the analyst in the development of the field theory, later taken up by André Green, Antonino Ferro and Thomas Ogden, among others.
All these scientific contributions made Buenos Aires to become the most psychoanalytic city in the world.
Authors of the Argentine School of Psychoanalisis
The APA Institute and its candidates
Currently APA has 850 members and 300 candidates. Since the so-called 1974 Reform, which introduced in the Institute of Psychoanalysis curricular freedom and the possibility of choosing the Faculty members for their Seminars, candidates have attained an active presence in APA. The origin of this Reform was a powerful movement initiated by candidates, which triggered a radical change in the organization of the Institute of Psychoanalysis. Candidates have their own staff of authorities and they both organize their scientific activities and publish their own Journal. Candidates also participate in the central scientific activity that take place on Tuesdays.
The APA is a very active society. Most of its members participate either in any of its management committees or in study groups.
The Directive Board comprises 12 members, who in turn are in charge of groups of colleagues, called Ad-hoc Committees.
These Ad hoc Committees carry out different tasks, such as International Relations, Relations with psychoanalytic affiliated groups in the Argentinean provinces, which the present-day administration has entitled APA Country. Whenever we are consulted, the Press and Diffusion Committee is concerned with the dissemination of our opinions in newspapers, on the radio and on TV. Allied tools for diffusion are our website and connections with social networks, along with an online journal La Época, and our Virtual Courses.
Other Ad Hoc Committees are a Culture Committee, a University Liaison Committee, and a special Committee in charge of updating the Dictionary of Argentinean Psychoanalysis.
Besides the Institute of Psychoanalysis, there are 7 Departments and 5 Committees, which are all eligible through voting every 2 years. Therefore, there are approximately 140 people
involved in scientific and organizational functions. The Departments are:
Arminda Aberastury” Child and Adolescent Department
“Enrique Pichón Rivière” Psychosis Department
“Jorge García Badaracco” Family and Couple Department
“Celes Cárcamo” History Department
“Arnaldo Rascovky” Psychosomatics Department
“Edgardo Rolla” Senior Adults Department
Psychoanalysis and Society Department
The “Enrique Racker” Research and Orientation Centre is focused on social and community orientation, as well as being in close relation to Hospitals and Health Centres.
Other special and eligible Committees are:
The Revista de Psicoanálisis Editorial Committee
The Publications Committee
Books edited by APA
The “Willy Baranger” Library and Database Committee
Moreover, there are approximately 65 spontaneously organized small groups, which under the system of workshops join about 500 members, who devote themselves to the study of various authors and psychoanalytic subjects.
On Tuesday mornings, the main APA scientific activities take place –some of them being simultaneous. The central panel presentation or lecture is held at the "Jorge Mom" Auditorium with capacity for 120 to 150 people. Given the amount of members attending the variety of scientific activities, it could be said that every Tuesday resembles a Symposium.
Sometimes these activities are broadcast to the other Psychoanalytic Societies and Centres in the country. We hope that we’ll soon be able to increase our links with them by means of a new web system.
The APA receives innumerable foreign visitors and the most renowned analysts have passed through it. Some of them have been: Hanna Segal, Wilfred Bion, Donald Meltzer, Joyce Mc Dougall, Joseph Sandler, Robert Wallerstein, Piera Aulagnier, D. H. Widlöcher, Andre Green, Otto Kernberg, and lately Mark Solms.
Psychoanalytic Schools and Societies founded by APA members
LA APA is a mother association with regard to other psychoanalytic societies. In its 75 years of existence, not only did it give birth to other IPA societies, like APdeBA and SAP, but also its members have created other 30 societies.
The APA holds ceaseless activity. Its beautiful building houses about 20 people among secretaries, librarians, technicians and maintenance employees, with a high spirit of collaboration and love for the psychoanalytic cause that arises from our lively and vital environment.
When you come to Buenos Aires, the recently elected team –which will be leading the APA for the next two years– will welcome you and we hope to make you feel at home with us.
We now invite you to watch our video.
Dra Claudia Lucia Borensztejn
President of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association