IPA and Humanitarian Organisations Committee


Since we live in a rapidly evolving world, besides pondering clinical practice in light of social and cultural changes, we need to foster a psychoanalysis that can intervene in new scenarios – in the consulting room, yes, but also outside of it. The broad goal of the “IPA in the Community” committees is to expand the scope of psychoanalysis, so that we can make the most of psychoanalysis’ potential.

The IPA and Humanitarian Organisations Committee will foster connections with international humanitarian organisations, such as Médecin sans Frontiers, UNESCO, UNICEF, etc. Although there are psychoanalysts who currently work with these organisations, more can be done to enhance the IPA’s involvement. The committee’s first tasks will be to map the organisations with which the IPA is most likely to liaise beneficially, and to begin collaborative projects where IPA members can be involved in the dissemination of psychoanalytical knowledge.



The IPA and Humanitarian Organisations Committee is mandated to:

  1. Collect data from around the world regarding work already being done by IPA members in conjunction with humanitarian organisations, and regarding the humanitarian organisations with which the IPA might fruitfully liaise.
  2. Promote the organisation of interdisciplinary events focused on developing relationships between psychoanalysis and humanitarian organisations.
  3. Develop bridges between the IPA and humanitarian organisations, to enhance the interchange of experiences, the development of theories, the development of beneficial initiatives, etc.
  4. Explore the possibility of using prizes to encourage new/highlight existing high-quality work involving psychoanalysis and humanitarian organisations.



It is envisaged that the United Nations Committee will continue its work as a separate committee for a further two years, and that it will eventually be become a sub-committee under the umbrella of the IPA and Humanitarian Organisations Committee.

It is also envisaged that the IPA and Humanitarian Committee may eventually develop additional sub-committees to focus work on specific domains, including:

  • UNICEF, UNESCO, Medicins san frontiéres, WHO and others
  • IPA and Migration/Work with Refugees (and their families)

Ways of working and reporting

The IPA and Humanitarian Organisations Committee will be expected to do most of its work electronically, using GoToMeeting, or other free-to-use communication systems. The Committee, like all IPA committees, will be expected to be self-supporting for secretarial and other purposes. It will have access to the web and email support services offered by the IPA.

Any face-to-face meetings should take place, so far as possible, adjacent to IPA or regional congresses. The Committee will provide a written report to the Board at least annually.


Composition of the committee

The IPA and Humanitarian Organisations Committee will be composed of a Chair and six members (two from each region).

The Committee may request the appointment of Consultants to advise on specific issues as needed (Consultants will not be funded to attend in-person meetings).



The Committee will propose a budget during the annual IPA budget cycle.


Approved by the Board December 2017

Full NamePosition
Dr. Vivienne EltonChair
Dr. Gabriel Dukes CohenMember
Ms. Debra GillMember
Johanna MendozaMember
Mr. David H. MorganMember