CENTENARY OF PORTUGUESE PSYCHOANALYST FRANCISCO MANUEL BARRETO ALVIM (1917-2017)
This year, 2017, the Portuguese Psychoanalytical Society is proud to celebrate the centenary of Francisco Alvim, who was one of its founders, its first President and the first director of the Portuguese Psychoanalytical Review.
Francisco Alvim was born on 8th November 1917 in Alter-Chão, Portalegre, Portugal. He earned a degree in medicine, specialized in neuropsychiatry and worked at the Santa Marta hospital in Lisbon. At thirty five and already with a family, he sets off for Geneva in search for answers to questions that his clinical practice was raising at the time. During those years in the 50’s he accomplishes all his psychoanalyst training in Switzerland and joins the Raymond de Saussure and Michel Gressot group. He becomes a standing member, with didactic duties, of the Swiss Psychoanalytic Society. Francisco Alvim in 1959 – in collaboration with Portuguese and Spanish psychoanalysts – sets up the Portuguese-Spanish “Study Group”. This study group becomes, in 1961, the Portuguese-Spanish Psychoanalytical Society. In 1966 there is a break from this society and the Portuguese Psychoanalytical Study Group is created, which becomes the Interim Psychoanalytical Society in 1977. At the Helsinki congress in 1981, it becomes a component of the International Association of Psychoanalysts.
Francisco Alvim and his colleagues had to fight, in Portugal, the ignorance on what Psychoanalysis was. Such a state of mind was magnified by a series of laws from a dictatorial political regime which prohibited or ordained that the right of association was restricted and needed opinions from the ruling authorities at the time. The April 1974 revolution in Portugal opens up the way and it is the start for the dissemination of psychoanalytical theory and practice at universities, health- and education-related institutions. Once the Portuguese Psychoanalytical Society was accepted in Portugal, its first president was Francisco Alvim, who had fought so much against the discrimination of psychoanalysis in Portugal. He was also the founder of the Portuguese Psychoanalytical Review and its first director.
Unfortunately, Francisco Alvim passed away very early. Nevertheless, he left his memory in the many analysts who trained with him or were his trainees. He left a work built on affections and deep relationships that last to this day. He also left written and published works mainly in Portuguese and French language Reviews.
Psychoanalyst Francisco Alvim would be 100 today, 8th November 2017. Congratulations to the Portuguese Psychoanalytical Society.