History of Psike Istanbul

The Istanbul Psychoanalytic Association for Training, Research and Development (Psike Istanbul) was initially founded in 2003.

The seed was formed when the two informal psychoanalytic groups conducting their activities in Istanbul in those years and some non-aligned members came together. One of these groups was the Vamık Volkan Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Therapy Work Group (VPCG) and the other the Anatolian Group of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies (APPG). 

Vamık Volkan and Some Volkan Group MembersThe first group was formed by 21 psychiatrists who came together under the leadership of Vamik Volkan, the outstanding training and supervising psychoanalyst originally from Cyprus. This group had been meeting regularly in Istanbul since 1997, receiving training from Volkan with theoretical orientation of mainstream psychoanalysis. Encouraged by him, Isil Vahip from Izmir and Gulgun Alptekin both from Izmir and VPCG, started their training in 2000 under the supervision of the Middle Eastern Committee of the International Psychoanalytic Association.

Organising theoretical seminars and case studies, VPCG benefited from training sessions taught by distinguished IPA psychoanalysts visiting Istanbul upon Volkan's invitation. The group also initiated the annual symposia, Psychoanalytic View, and organized for two consecutive years. Psike now annually organizes Psychoanalytic Views Symposia, making an important contribution to the scientific environment of Turkish Psychoanalysis.

Allen Siegel and Anatolian Group MembersThe second group was founded in Istanbul in 1998 by Allen Siegel, a psychoanalyst from Chicago, and Yavuz Erten, a clinical psychologist from Istanbul. The group had around thirty members. Visiting Istanbul regularly, Allen Siegel continued the group's training. While the group's theoretical orientation was eclectic, Self-Psychology was emphasized. Organizing seminars, case studies and reading groups, the group also received training from reputed analysts who visited Turkey upon Siegel's invitation and organization. Also taking advantage of technological innovations in its training activities, APPG conducted some of its seminars through video calls over the internet. 

Shortly before the predecessor of Psike, namely Association of Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies (PPDD), was founded in 2003 a group of "non-aligned" members also joined in. Being the only IPA member, Bella Habip who was a member of Société Psychoanalytique de Paris (SPP) took on diligently the duties with regard to the Association's relations with IPA and served as president until 2010. In the following years, these duties and the role of president was assumed by Ayla Yazıcı, Pınar Limnili and currently by Gülgün Alptekin. 

Starting from 2004, PPDD became one of the two local bodies conducting psychoanalytic training with the support of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA) in Istanbul. In 2008, PPDD assumed the name Istanbul Psychoanalytic Association for Training, Research and Development (Psike Istanbul). In 2010, Psike became a Study Group. In 2015, it became a Provisional Society. 



Stefano Bolognini (Ipa President) and Psike Istanbul Members During His Visit


Concurrent to psychoanalytic training, Psike Istanbul performs other activities. Introduction to Psychoanalysis, a two-year long seminar program, is offered to mental health professionals. Our outreach activities address all strata of the community. Publications, one followed shortly after another, enrich the printed source of knowledge of psychoanalysis. 

A very important feature of Psike is that all analysts and candidates take substantial responsibilities in its ongoing development. Psike Istanbul, now composed of 42 candidates, 28 analysts and 4 training analysts continues its progress with firm steps.

Psike Istanbul
A Flourishing New Center of Psychoanalysis in Istanbul, Turkey
Psychoanalysis, Art, Aesthetic, Culture and Inspiring Ideas in Representational World of Turkey


Psike Istanbul apart from its main aim to raise new psychoanalysts and create a psychoanalytic community with global standards, has placed importance on coming together as a group to meet theoreticians, discuss concepts and themes, to bring together psychoanalysis with other disciplines such as art, cinema and literature and with outreach organizations to introduce psychoanalytic thinking to a wider community.

To reach its educational, scientific, cultural and intellectual aims, Psike Istanbul works with an organizational schema in which the various committees have central operational roles. 

These committees are: Admission Committee; Progression Committee; Educational Committee; Scientific Committee; Outreach Committee; Publication Committee; Organizational Committee; Ethic Committee.


The Activities Realized by The Committees of Psike Istanbul


Speakers, Organising Committee, Scientific Committee  at the Syposium 2014“Psychoanalytic Views” symposium, held annually in collaboration with Boğaziçi University Center for Psychological Research and Services (BÜPAM) has been bringing together guest speakers from various disciplines as well as internationally renowned psychoanalysts along with members of Psike to present their work around the theme of that year. The presentations of each symposium are then published as a book, edited by Psike members. The themes that have been discussed so far are; “Transference-Counter-transference” (2005), “Psychoanalytic Frame/Setting” (2006), “Lost Object” (2007), “Dreams, Fantasies, and Fairy Tales” (2010), “Paternal Function” (2011), “Gender, Sexual Identity and Sexuality” (2012), “Siblings and Psychoanalysis” (2013), “Ailing Body: Psychosomatic” (2014), “The Violence Within; The Violence We Live In” (2015). 

Audience at the Symposium“Psychoanalysis and Creativity,” an interdisciplinary symposium on psychoanalysis, literature, art and philosophy has been co-organized by Lyon 2 Lumière University “Clinics of Creativity” Network, Galatasaray University and Psike Istanbul. The 1st was on the subject of the “Creativity and the Strange” (2012) and the 2nd was on “Narcissism and Creativity (2014).

Symposia on “Education, Change & Psychoanalysis” organized by the collaboration of Psike Istanbul and IELEV Educational Institutions which started with the symposium named “What is Happening to School, What is Happening at School?” (2013) and continued with “School and Future” have been bringing together academicians, school teachers, psychologists, psychiatrists, psychological counselors, psychoanalysts/psychoanalyst candidates and parents to deliberate on school, education life and learning experiences. 

Maurice Apprey’s Book Translation 'Analysis Of A Poet's Writing Inhibition And Sublimation Of Destructive Agression'Every year, “One Theory, One Master” conferences have united one deceased and one contemporary master of psychoanalysis and given us an opportunity to learn about one master through another. The conferences so far organized are; “S. Freud –   F. Guinard” (2007), “S. Viderman – R. Peron” (2008), “A. Freud – M. Apprey” (2009), “H. Segal – J-M. Quinodoz” (2010), “D. W. Winnicott – C. Joannidis” (2011), “D. W. Winnicott – S. Akhtar” (2012), “H. Rosenfeld – D. Rosenfeld” (2013), “M. Klein – D. Bell” (2014), “W. Bion – A. Ferro” (2015), “J. Laplanche – E. Piccioli” (2016). 

The Outreach Committee has been holding annual panels, in collaboration with Sabancı Museum, called “Psychoanalysis and the Artist”. Each year, the discussions and presentations center on the work of one artist or movement, introducing psychoanalytic thinking and theory as well as a new language to appreciate art. The panels so far organized are; “For the Last and First Time – Sophie Calle” (2013), “Anish Kapoor in Istanbul” (2014), “Joan Miró – Women, Birds, Stars” (2015). 

Benjamin Kilborne’s Book Translation  'Shame And Envy'The Outreach Committee has been organizing “Cinema Evenings” in collaboration with Moda Stage for the past 5 years. Each year, a selection of movies around one theme are viewed and discussed together with the participants under the moderation of a psychoanalyst from Psike Istanbul. Each movie discussion is then brought together in a book published by Psike Istanbul and Istanbul Bilgi University Publishing. 

Turkish Psychoanalysis Annual 2015 Apart from the publications of the symposia, “Cinema Evenings,” “One Theory, One Master” conferences, Publication Committee has also published a variety of translations of the works of leading psychoanalysts such as David Rosenfeld, Benjamin Kilborne, Ilany Kogan, Chris Joannidis, Maurice Apprey, Andrea Sabbadini and Vamık Volkan and the original texts of our own psychoanalysts. 

Also, The Turkish Annual of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, the editorial board of which is comprised of Psike Istanbul members, consists of select articles from the yearly six issues of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis (IJP). Published in Spanish, French, German, Italian, Portuguese, Russian and Greek, as well as Turkish since 2009, the Annuals are being compiled in line with the selection of the editorial board of each country, and provide their readers with the opportunity to follow different trends and approaches in psychoanalysis in their native languages. The Annuals also aim to advance the language of psychoanalysis in the given country and contribute to the intercultural interaction in the field of psychoanalysis.


A warm greeting and an introduction video from the Psike Istanbul President Gülgün Alptekin:


You can download this presentation about Psike Istanbul in PDF Format by clicking here