Temporary replacement mandate


A Confidentiality Committee was established as a permanent committee of the IPA in July 2019; it has done good work since that time. However, in early 2020 the circumstances in which psychoanalysts operate have dramatically changed with the Covid-19 pandemic. Many governments worldwide have introduced social distancing or self-isolation measures, or have introduced lockdowns. Many analysts are therefore unable to continue with their normal analytical methods, and have instead to offer alternative methods of healthcare delivery. In this state of emergency, the Confidentiality Committee is asked to focus on a different aspect of its work, to ensure that analysts can do as much good for their analysands as is possible during these exceptional times which are overwhelmingly stressful and unpleasant -- exactly the time when access to good-quality mental healthcare is most needed.


Taking into account the overwhelming need for analysts to have contact with their analysands through remote working methods, the Confidentiality Committee is asked to use its expertise and that of the technical experts to whom it has access to:

  • advise analysts on the least-unsafe methods of using technology and remote systems to deliver mental healthcare;
  • in that context, recommend which systems or methods could realistically be adopted by analysts (many of whom will be unable to leave their homes, or who will have only the softest technology skills);
  • and suggest which systems are best avoided, or used only in certain ways;
  • advise on how to enhance privacy during remote sessions (for example, considering the use of headphones, and white noise machines, as aids to enhance privacy).

This is clearly an urgent necessity, so the committee is asked to work as fast as is possible, and to make proposals or suggestions to the chair of the Web Editorial Board (who will, in turn, coordinate publication as he sees fit, alongside all the other messaging from the IPA).

This temporary Mandate replaces the permanent mandate for the time being, and until such time as the Executive Committee considers the current emergency is at an end and it is timely to revert to the original Mandate.

Approved by the Executive Committee, on behalf of the IPA Board, April 2020.

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