Statement

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It is a great honour and a great responsibility for us to have been nominated for the positions of President and Vice-President of the IPA. In the following, we wish to introduce our key ideas on the issues we consider necessary to work on during our term in office.

Psychoanalysis, and in particular its practice, is witnessing times of profound cultural change which call for analysts to adopt a position of listening, reflection and decision-making that takes into account the specificity of every context in which our practice takes place.

We face the challenge of continuing to hold firmly to the conviction that the method we apply and the theory for which we are somehow responsible constitute a deep-seated conception of the essence of our “humanness” that is based on the notion of the unconscious.

To begin, we believe that a fluid exchange, an open, sustained and horizontal dialogue is necessary to ensure the democratic functioning of our institution.

Furthermore, we consider it vital to engage in an ongoing conversation with other disciplines such as neurobiology, sociology, anthropology and philosophy.

On this basis, we intend to:

1- Attempt, as far as possible, to continue the work of previous administrations: it is important to give sufficient time for the initiatives of an administration to be developed, tested and sustained so that they may yield results and the latter may be evaluated. Initiatives such as Widlöcher’s DPPT, Eizirik’s CAPSA, Hanly’s Clinical Observation, and Bolognini’s E-Journal are but a few examples.
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2- Deepen our relations and dialogue with regional organizations in order to combine efforts in the diverse spheres of common interest and to increase clinical/theoretical/institutional/research exchange programmes. In this way, colleagues from different parts of the world can hear one another and come to understand the difficulties encountered and the resources used by their peers in order to learn from these and join forces.
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3- Address the growing ‘ageing’ process within the IPA population in its various dimensions, in one sense by targeting analytic training as an attractive option to young professionals, and in another by investigating and working in depth on the issue of the negative imbalance between members who join the IPA and those who let their membership lapse for various reasons.
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4- As we stated earlier, we are convinced that psychoanalysis is a treatment that posits a profound search for the essence of every human being, in addition to being a highly effective method in treating mental suffering. Moreover, since its inception with Freud, it has produced effects of unparalleled magnitude in culture, education, childrearing, philosophy, linguistics and the social sciences, amongst others.
What strategies may be used to convey the passion for our work in a way that is appealing to young professionals?
We believe that we must revisit and renew the spirit of the great masters, who astonished the world with revolutionary ideas for their time, such as the notion that there is an area of the mind that remains inaccessible to us and determines behaviours that prevail upon us and that sexuality – in the broad sense that was also advanced by our discipline – is at the core of our developments, conflicts, abilities and inhibitions and is present in children from the earliest age.
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5- We often hear that our institution is faced with the choice to develop inward or to grow outward by expanding its area of influence. We believe that this reflection and questioning process should go in both directions simultaneously.
First, we must think inwardly within the IPA on such critical issues as our own resistance to change and the new. Second, and crucially, at the very heart of psychoanalysis, we must challenge the established paradigms. This subject requires acknowledgement, discussion, exchange, research and writing.
This is something that often remains hidden and is displaced towards internal disputes between different schools or quarrels for power that are not made explicit, towards conflicts between local and regional institutions, and also towards the personal relationship of each member with the IPA.
In this respect, we would continue and expand an initiative of the current President, Stefano Bolognini, namely, working with analysts and colleagues in training on their relationship with the institution since the time of training.
We also believe that in many countries, after a flourishing period for psychoanalysis, we have neglected certain spaces, such as the university and the public health system. To reclaim these spaces, we are in favour, wherever possible, of leaving our consulting rooms, Societies and Institutes to frequent the places where young professionals undertake their daily work –hospital departments, community mental health centres and other spaces, which differ according to the country and the culture, in order to work with these professionals and demonstrate how analysts think. A well-trained psychoanalyst will be able to do “as much psychoanalysis as possible” both in his or her consulting room and in very different settings.
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6- Still on the topic of analytic training, we shall continue working on the criteria for analytic training, deepening and revitalizing the existing models with an emphasis on clinical practice, always taking into account the different ways in which psychoanalysis is practiced in each country and each region. This does not mean dispensing with the requirements of excellence in training. In this aspect, the joint and active work with the IPSO and with analysts in training is essential. They contribute new ideas and experience the daily reality of practice, and hence can invigorate the growth and vitality of psychoanalysis if taken into account.
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7- Another task of the utmost importance is contributing to the development and expansion of psychoanalysis both in those places in the world where the IPA has a presence and in those it has not reached so far. Today there are a large number of colleagues working for the New Groups area of the IPA and two regional institutes in operation, all learning from each other’s experiences, sharing them, and facing obstacles.

In our present-day globalized world it is not merely a question of “bringing” knowledge. Rather, we are dealing with something much more complex, namely, promoting contact among different cultures and ways of thinking to trigger a cross-fertilization process.
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8- The IPA, whilst still an association of members, needs to have a closer relationship with the Societies and to operate as an advisory body in relation to each problematic situation arising in each place. Moreover, consultations and requests for action must move forward rapidly and efficiently. We reiterate, as analysts accustomed to thinking and working with singularities, we cannot fail to take into account the context of each place where conflictive situations develop, and we should be prepared to offer the necessary help.
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9- It is essential to further improve communication with the outside and, above all, amongst members. Members from various parts of the world experience a common feeling that they lack information regarding what is taking place at the international level. The question “What does the IPA offer to me?” does not have a clear answer. We must explore this issue and implement the means of providing that answer by way of technological resources, which offer effective and wide-ranging connectivity.
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10- We are both child and adolescent analysts, and we have a particular interest in certain fields (education, paediatrics, child development, justice, art, philosophy, and so on) upon which the influence of psychoanalysis has been enormous. The IPA can work as a focal point where successful local experiences may be shared. We are planning to promote dialogue and potential joint initiatives with humanitarian associations.
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11- Work very closely with the Treasurer to find ways of continually improving the management of our finances. This includes supporting research into fundraising options and allowing for the local circumstances of each Component Organization.
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12– Be attentive to the work carried out by each IPA Committee, encouraging their integration and efficiency and communicating their results to the entire membership. Wherever possible, merging certain committees would streamline their operations and reduce costs.
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13- Support the initiatives of clinical groups such as ‘Working Parties’ and ‘Working Groups’, as well as the new proposals that may come about in this area.
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14- Continue to foster inter-regional theoretical and clinical events, which already enjoy the support of the IPA.
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15- Support scientific publications that promote psychoanalysis, such as, for example, the new virtual library initiatives, the e-Journal, and so on.
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16- Continue to support and fund systematic research projects so as to facilitate dialogue with the academic world and thus build bridges with young professionals who may take a particular interest in psychoanalysis. It is important to request that project managers report their results so that they are accessible to our membership.
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17- Our intention is to work very closely with the Board of Representatives to maintain the democratic and deliberative style by which the IPA has been governed in recent years.