The Psychoanalytical Society of Serbia (PSS) will soon be marking the 80th anniversary of the founding of the first psychoanalytical society in Serbia.  In 1938, Nikola Mikloš Šugar (1897-1945), an analyst of the Hungarian Psychoanalytic Society and the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society, brought together his colleagues and  students who have since then been meeting regularly as the newly established psychoanalytical society on the premises of the Faculty of Philosophy of Belgrade University, holding public lectures, translating the works of Sigmund Freud and writing and publishing their own papers.  

After World War II, Vojin Matić (1911-2000), a student of Nikola Šugar, founded in 1953 a psychoanalysis-based child psychotherapy center in Belgrade, where many future psychoanalysts worked and/or were educated. The psychodynamic approach was largely embraced by the two psychiatric institutions in Belgrade and the first psychoanalytical psychotherapy ward was established on the territory of the former Yugoslavia.      
Owing to the enthusiasm of Tamara Štajner-Popović, in the mid 1980’s, Belgrade‘s psychoanalysts started to establish links with the international psychoanalytic community. In 1990, acting within the then Belgrade Society for Development of Psychoanalysis, PSS psychoanalysts organized the East European Psychoanalytic Seminar in cooperation with the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), and in 1996 were admitted to IPA membership.

By 2010 numerous psychoanalytical conferences, workshops and international events were organized. Our guests included John Kafka, Claudio Eizerik, Han Groen-Prakken, Daniel Widlocher, Stefano Bolognini, Jonathan Sklar, Marilia Aisenstein, Gábor Szőnyi, Paolo Fonda, Kitty Schmidt, Abigail Golomb, Michel Vincent and many others. PSS psychoanalysts participated within Belgrade Psychoanalytic Society (BPS) at the Budva PIEE Summer Seminar in 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014, as teachers and organizers. They organized outreach events for Montenegro, in cooperation with the Society for Development of Psychoanalysis of Montenegro, founded by the member of the current PSS.  In cooperation with the European Psychoanalytical Federation (EPF) the following events were organized: EPF Council Meeting, 2005, EPF Associate Member Seminar 2006, EPF Training Forum 2007, EPF Trauma Group Meeting in 2001, 2006 and 2008.

Tamara Štajner-Popović
(1948-2012) holds a special place in the history of the Psychoanalytical Society of Serbia. She was the originator and first president of the Belgrade Study Group, which primarily thanks to her became a full member of the International Psychoanalytical Association. Her efforts for psychoanalysis to be recognized as a theory and as a therapeutic method made it possible for Serbia and the countries of former Eastern Europe to be recognized as places for the further development of psychoanalysis. As a Co-Chair of ING for Europe, as Associate Director for the PIEE Teaching Outreach Section, she organized over 25 schools, always upholding competence, ethics and the practice of psychoanalysis in the east of Europe as well.     
Homage to Tamara Štajner-Popović was held at the IPA Congress in Prague in 2013.

In May 2014, most of the members of the Belgrade Psychoanalytical Society, almost all the training analysts, and all the members of the BPS Executive Board, Training Committee and the Ethics Committee withdrew from the BPS (which had a Component Society status at the time) to become the founders of the Psychoanalytical Society of Serbia, with the status of an IPA Provisional Society from 2015 and an IPA Component Society from 2017. 


For four years now, the PSS has been organizing the Summer Schools of Psychoanalysis, in cooperation with the EPF. The attendees come from Serbia as well as from all ex-Yugoslav countries – from Montenegro, Bosnia, Croatia, Slovenia and Macedonia. The topics:   
2014  Understanding the Inner World
2015  Paths and Impediments to Personality Development 
2016  A Short Guide to Psychopathology
2017  Sexuality and Aggression of Contemporary Times

The Summer School of Psychoanalysis has become a topical event which is anticipated the whole year round, the number of summer schools attendees has doubled, and they have contributed greatly to the growing interest in psychoanalytic training – several participants have pursued psychoanalytic education and are now PSS candidates. 


It has already become tradition for PSS psychoanalysts to organize a series of panel discussions intended for the broader professional public every year. The first panel attracted such a large turnout that the meeting had to relocate from the Small Hall to the Large Hall of the City Library and the panels continued there. Themes to date have been: 

2015 Cycle “Psychoanalysis of Our Times” 
2016 Cycle “Sigmund Freud and Leonardo da Vinci: a Meeting of Psychoanalysis and Art” 
2017 Cycle “Psychopathology of Contemporary Man”

In addition to PSS analysts, public figures from Belgrade as well as fellow-psychoanalysts from abroad, Jonathan Sklar, Michael Parsons, (British Psychoanalytical Society), Marilia Aisenstain (Paris Psychoanalytic Society), Claudio Eizerik (Porto Alegre Psychoanalytical Society) occasionally participate in the cycles of panel discussions as guest speakers.


In December 2016, the Psychoanalytical Society of Serbia, in cooperation with the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society and with the support of the Austrian Cultural Forum, had the honor of presenting to the Belgrade public the exhibition of the Sigmund Freud Museum, Vienna, entitled: “So this is the strong Sex.” Women in Psychoanalysis.

A conference of the Psychoanalytical Society of Serbia (PSS), entitled “So, this is the strong Sex.” Women in Psychoanalysis, was held in parallel with the guest exhibition of the Sigmund Freud Museum, Vienna. Besides PSS members, speakers at the conference were Elisabeth Skale, psychoanalyst and former president of the Vienna Psychoanalytical Society and Stanislav Matačić, psychoanalyst and president of the Croatian Psychoanalytic Society.

, for the first time organized by twelve psychoanalytic societies from nine neighboring countries, was held in Belgrade, from June 1st to June 4th 2017.

The conference was organized by the Psychoanalytic Society of Serbia together with:  Bulgarian Psychoanalytic Society Study Group, Croatian Psychoanalytic Society, Hellenic Psychoanalytic Society, Hungarian Psychoanalytic Society, Istanbul Psychoanalytical Association, Istanbul Psychoanalytic Association of Training, Research and Development, Italian Psychoanalytical Association, Italian Psychoanalytic Society, Romanian Society of Psychoanalysis, Vienna Psychoanalytical Association, and Vienna Psychoanalytic Society.

The theme is both contemporary and ever-important, and the meeting was among countries whose borders have been changing throughout the history, and histories have many lines of intersection. The mutual field of psychoanalysis facilitated a place for thinking about its multiple references, starting from the land of me and the other, radical aloneness and infinite interrelatedness, through the articulations of body and mind, past, present and future, knowing and not-knowing, consciousness and unconscious-ness, inside and outside, the matter of drives that relate to and define the boundary, or the frontiers between the mental and the somatic; and to the history of our discipline at the border with many others.
Our exchanges encompassed a broad scope of implications including clinical disorders / borderline pathology, transitional space and phenomena, autistic-contiguous position and skin as a boundary; but also, the themes of migration and language migration, the importance of hatred at the borders, ethnic and totalitarian matters; altogether with the echo between inclusion-exclusion within the primal scene.
As analysts, we live simultaneously on many borders, both inside our therapy rooms and outside of them, often in no-man's-land, thinking both sides together.

The keynote plenary lectures at the Conference were presented by Jorge Canestri (EPF, Italian Association), Alexander Uskov (Moscow Society) and Jonathan Sklar (British Society). Discussion groups and panels were held by analysts from all participating countries.

This marked the beginning of future biannual gatherings. The next one, Thinking on the Border: Internal – External will be organized by the Italian Psychoanalytic Associations, in Rome 2019, June 6 - 9.

PSS is a Society which is active in its community and cooperates with other societies, among which the Association for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Allied Professions of Serbia, Serbian Psychological Society, and institutions such as Students Cultural Center, Institute of Mental Health, Clinical Center and many others. By its presence PSS has contributed to the work of two forums organized to support the Law Against Corporal Punishment of Children, one with the Incest Trauma Center, and the other with 20 government and non-governmental organizations.


PSS members regularly meet within several groups that are working continuously: a clinical group with case presentations, group with discussions on various theories and clinical concepts, papers by members and presentations of contemporary psychoanalytic literature; group studying Bion’s work, group studying less known Freud’s texts…; they also host occasional visits by colleagues from abroad.               

are involved in numerous PSS activities, helping to assist in organizing events and gatherings, as well as participating in the professional events. During the summer schools and forums, round tables of candidates elicit great interest and attendance, and within the conference Thinking on the Border, PSS candidates organized a pre-conference candidates’ day. Furthermore, PSS candidates are often invited to participate in public professional gatherings, at clinics, and in radio and TV shows. Within the Society, their Candidate Meetings and gatherings at Candidate Evenings are devoted to exchange as well as peer supervision.