IPA President promotes collaboration at interdisciplinary roundtable

President of the International Psychoanalytical Association, Virginia Ungar, accepted an invitation from the Association of Argentine Psychiatrists to promote the importance of collaboration between mental health fields during a roundtable meeting at their 33rd Congress.

Joining Helen Herrman, President of the World Psychiatric Association, and Angelina Harari, member of the Brazilian School of Psychoanalysis and President of the World Association of Psychoanalysis, Virginia aimed to establish a common ground for debate and learning amongst professionals of the Mental Health field.

“I hope that my presence at this high-profile roundtable meeting emphasised my proposal to develop a fluid, open dialogue and discussion, as part of the IPA’s IPA In the Community strategy” commented Virginia.
The IPA in the Community strategy was introduced by Virginia in August 2017 in an effort to expand the field of psychoanalysis so that its potential could be unlocked.

“We need to bring psychoanalysis out from the confines of our consulting rooms and societies, and take it to the places where young professionals in related fields are facing the difficult realities of today’s world. The time has come for psychoanalysts to work closely with other mental health professionals and to show how we think about different problems within the mental health field,” Virginia explained.

The roundtable discussion provided an opportunity to explore the positive role that psychoanalysis can play in the training of professionals working in the mental health field. Despite being trained for private practise, psychanalysts have developed a precious and well-tested tool – the analytic method – that can be used in different contexts and with professionals in different fields. Through the psychoanalyst’s capacity to observe and to listen, the field has already had a significant impact in areas such as culture, law, education and paediatrics; a similar impact could also be made in the training of psychiatrists.

“For a professional who is starting to work in the mental health field, having analysis or psychotherapy during their training is helpful in many ways. It can help them to understand their ‘blind spots’, as well as to contain and work through the anxieties that arise through clinical work, for example.

“Conversely, there is no doubt that we can all learn from Psychiatry. I think that what we can learn comes with the capacity to change, to be updated, to preserve the capacity to present and discuss clinical work, and above all, the permanence in public mental health programmes,” concluded Ungar.

The 33rd Argentine Congress of Psychiatry was supported by the International Psychoanalytical Association and took place over the 18th – 21st April, for more information, please visit:

Editors Notes
The International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) is a global community of more than 18,000 professionals working within the field of Psychoanalysis. The IPA is the world’s primary accrediting and regulatory body for the profession and exists to ensure the continued vigour and development of the science of Psychoanalysis.

As a membership organisation, the IPA is led by its members and provides a wide range of activities and services for their benefit.