Venezuelan Psychoanalytic Association


The foundation and history of the Venezuelan Psychoanalytic Association

Venezuela is part of South America. Our country's location makes us privileged because we enjoy a great diversity in our landscape. We own a large and beautiful Caribbean Coast with many wonderful beaches. In the south west we have the Andes and in the south the Amazonian forest along the great Orinoco river and the highest water fall The Salto Angel.

Asovep is located in Caracas, the capital. The majority of remaining territory of the country doesn’t have analyst in their neighborhood.

The history of our association begins in the decade of the 50's-60's. The first two psychoanalysts who formed themselves abroad and returned to the country were Drs. G. Teruel and H. Quijada. The first made his training in London and the second in France, finishing his seminars between the end of the 40's to 50's and the beginning of the 50's to 60's. But it was only at the end of 1961, when the first Psychoanalytic Group is constituted  in Venezuela, on the occasion of the return to the country of Drs. M. Kizer formed in Buenos Aires; W. Hobaica formed in France; A. García, F. Acuña, and J. Araujo, trained in Chile, who had finished their seminars between 1959 and 1961. These colleagues along Dr. H. Quijada, constituted the Group of Psychoanalytic Studies of Venezuela, while Dr. Teruel returned to London in 1969 for a second stage of his training and Dr. Araujo died just recently after arriving the country. In 1961 Dr. César Ottalagano was integrated into this Study Group, later Drs. Aray, Briceño, Cupello, Domínguez, Olivares, Teruel and Voss joined, some continued in seminars abroad and others, although they had finished them, they had not returned to the country. With the entry of these analysts into the group, the requirements were completed so that the Group of Psychoanalytic Studies of Venezuela could be officially accepted by the International Psychoanalytic Association, which occured in 1965, at the Copenhagen Psychoanalytic Congress.

The Board of Directors of the Psychoanalytical Studies Group is appointed for the period 1965-1967, which was integrated as follows: President. Dr. H. Quijada, Secretary: Dr. M. Kizer and Treasurer Dr. A. García. In that year, Dr. G. Teruel and JA Olivares returned to the country, trained in Buenos Aires and then finished their seminars in 1961. Dr. Antonio Briceño, trained in Mexico with his seminars being completed in 1963. In 1966 Dr. J. Aray, trained in Buenos Aires with his seminars being completed in 1962; In 1967, Dr. H. Domínguez returns, trained in Buenos Aires, who finished his seminars in 1959. 

Between 1966 and 1969 an intense scientific training activity is carried out by the group, the committee appointed by the IPA, made a program with a review of the work of Freud and other authors, Hartmann, Rappaport, etc. This committee was composed of Drs Leon Grinberg, M. Langer of Buenos Aires, A. Namnum of Mexico, Dahlheim and Koch of Brazil. As part of the training and to establish collective controls among all the members, the representatives of the IPA visited us, among them were Drs. Grinberg, Langer and Namnum. These visits were very helpful and important.

During this period the Board of Directors was elected for the years 1967-1969, which was thus formed; President: Dr. M. Kizer; Secretary: Dr. A. García, Treasurer: Dr. J. A. Olivares. As Director of the Institute, Dr. G. Teruel was appointed. Between 1967-1969 we were also visited by the President of the International Psychoanalytic Association, Dr. Peter Van Der Leeuw, when coincidentally came by educational exchange of COPAL, Dr. Melsohn of Sao Paulo, in addition to the visits of members of the committee in particular, those of Dr. Philps of Sao Paulo and Dr. Ruth Riesenberg of origin Chilean and based in London, Dr. Gabarino from Uruguay, Dr. Brice Boyer from the USA and Dr. D. Liberman. In 1969, the first group of psychoanalysts who will continue their studies in Venezuela began their training at the Institute. Elections are held for a new Board of Directors, which was formed as follows: President: Dr. G. Teruel; Secretary: Dr. J. A. Olivares; Treasurer: Dr. A. Briceño, and as Director of the Institute, Dr. M. Kizer. 

In June 1978, the second group of candidates graduated from the Institute, among which were the first two psychoanalyst women from Venezuela, A. Attias and N. Zambrano.

In February 1980 the fourth training course began, being accepted the first psychologists as candidates. Until then the candidates were only medical doctors or psychiatrist.

After this first training course of psychoanalysts in Venezuela, in 1969, and after an arduous work of building a psychoanalytic space in the country, the activities of the Association have continued, forming psychoanalysts. As of today, we already have XVI promotions until 2013.

We can see that in our early years all of our members travelled abroad to very different countries and brought back great knowledge regarding diverse Psychoanalytic views and Technic.

We also benefited from the migration of important psychoanalyst’s from Argentina and Chile during the military dictatorship they suffered in 70's and 80's

So we are a plural Association with a great interest and passion for the comprehension of the mind and soul of our patients.

The Department of children and adolescents of ASOVEP function’s since (2004) and  is responsible for teaching, studying, researching and instructing the Psychoanalysis linked to the area of children and adolescents, as well as the offer of systematized training courses in this area. The courses aimed at the accreditation of Psychoanalysts of children and adolescents are organized together with the psychoanalytic institute which is the body responsible for teaching and whose objective is to offer training activities of psychoanalytic orientation and psychotherapeutic technique to work with this age group.

Current Board of Directors,  constituted as follows: President Margareta Hargitay, Secretary: Carmen Brandt, Scientific Secretary: Osea Lombardi, Treasurer: Mery Soto, Vocal: Maria Matilde Salcedo, and as Director of the Institute, Sandra Bear, Secretary: Maria Gabriela Morales

Our association has faced in these last year’s the emigration of many members. Almost 40% has been traveling abroad because of the social, economic and political crisis that is affecting our country. Also a great number of our candidates are leaving searching for better opportunities in other countries.

The members that still remain in the country are working hard to continue to teach courses of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in our place and at almost three Private University’s in Caracas and  at the Central University of Venezuela (most important public University of the country) to students of psychiatry and clinical psychology. 

We still have candidates in training and have activities oriented to  the community, like our annual Sigmund Freud Workshop. These year the main subject we discussed was over Power Relationships. Having working parties about “ The Psychoanalyst and his narcissism”  We also participate in Psychoanalytic analysis of books and movies every month. In these days these is a very effective way to spread Psychoanalytic thinking.