Our team recently sent a letter to the IPA membership inviting them to be part of this initiative by filling in a short questionnaire. 
We had a great response and are now contacting the societies with members that have shown interest to formally invite them to take part in this initiative. The purpose of this initiative is mainly to provide an avenue of deepened communication between IPA societies and members in the different parts of our IPA world. 
It has been the goal of this administration to use the fact that we are a global organisation to further the communication and exchange between the different regions of IPA. For Study Groups and Provisional Societies, we have the system of Sponsoring Committees and Liaison Committees to help the development of the societies. For existing societies, we have the Site Visit system.
We all know that it can be a great inspiration and eye opener to meet, for example, with other presidents or directors from other psychoanalytic societies. Some presidents are able to bring their experience home to their society to develop their society further, but it is all up to the individual president’s interest and ability.
The IPA can help further the development towards an Asian region. There are many obstacles but also a great number of possibilities. The idea with a Sister Society programme is to connect 3 or 4 societies from the different regions.
The aim is mainly to provide the possibility to get to know members better in other parts of the world, to exchange ideas on a more personal level regarding society activities, training, organisational issues, outreach, the relationship between candidates and members.  
Societies are encouraged to arrange meetings between the different bodies of the society and institute, including candidates, as well as individual members. They will be provided with a “check list” of areas to discuss but also encouraged to develop their own ideas regarding exchanges.  The institutional connections and the checklist outlined below are here as a reference:
Institutional connections: 
Scientific committee
Ethics committee
Outreach committee
Candidate body
The standing of psychoanalysis in each country
The history of each society
Connection between the society and other institutions i.e. the university, psychiatry/mental health, schools and so on
What kind of outreach activities?
Media interest
How is the relationship between members and candidates?
How are new members “welcomed”?
What kind of scientific connections are there?
Relationship between psychoanalysis and psychotherapy
It is also of great importance to create a platform to get to know members from other regions and to stimulate the curiosity and exposure to other ways of thinking theoretically, clinically and culturally.

The IPA has established Sponsoring and Liason Committees as well as Site Visits that contribute greatly in the development of societies.

Commitment  between Societies and Study Groups

  • The Societies and Study Groups are invited to be part of the project and may accept or decline, as they prefer
  • If a Society accepts a Sister society, they would be encouraged to arrange meetings between the different bodies of the society, as well as between individual members
  • The members/candidates at the receiving Society/Study group will host the Sister Society colleague during his/her stay
  • Visiting Society must be willing to provide a written follow up report detailing their experience of the visit


  • To be arranged by Sister Societies
  • The cost of the exchange program will be borne by the visiting society
  • Sister societies programme could provide lodging (in a member’s house, through its members)

This program is intended to create bridges between IPA regions. It also offers an opportunity to get to know members from other regions and stimulate the curiosity and exposure to other ways of thinking theoretically, clinically and culturally.

We promote an active ongoing dialogue and believe that the Sister Society involves both intellectual and personal exchange and have designed our programme to support each society within our diverse psychoanalytic community. 

Alexandra Billinghurst
IPA Vice President