The concept behind the Psychoanalysis and Culture Committee is based on two assumptions.
First, that psychoanalysis is part of a wide scientific and cultural movement, and is related to the development of other fields of knowledge, which both influence psychoanalysis and, at the same time, are influenced by it. In developing his ideas, Freud drew on other fields such as literature, anthropology and the culture of his time. In turn, psychoanalysis today influences other fields, including the epidemiological, aesthetic and political.
Second, psychoanalysis itself, since 'Project for a Psychology' (1895), is concerned about the construction mechanisms of the individual's culture. This concept is related to the second topic statement, which proposes a connection between clinical work and the idea that where we had id we may have ego, which means, where we there was nature, there may be culture. Its corollary lies in Freud's final works 'Civilization and its Discontents' and 'The future of an Illusion'. There is no reason for psychoanalysis not to be considered a subject that questions and investigates culture.
During times when psychoanalysis is under attack from biological sciences, this concept is most relevant. The work of the psychoanalyst, in engaging with our culture, promotes the prestige and the development of our science in several ways. It also enables the enlargement of our organization's clinical opportunity.
The key goals for the Committee from 2005 are:
To gather information as to events which are related to psychoanalysis and culture and provide this information to Members.
Where economically possible, to participate in significant events related to the Committee's Mandate and provide reports on such events to Members.
To encourage Societies to work in this area and to stimulate the establishment of discussion groups related to the Committee's Mandate. Such groups may be based on existing groups or established as new ones, which can meet during Congresses, and engage electronically between such events.
To propose and participate in specific activities during IPA Congresses.
To create a section of the IPA website devoted to the Committee's work, so as to spread information and stimulate debate.
The Chair of the Committee will provide a report to the Board not less than once a year outlining the actions and achievements of the Committee in pursuit of its Mandate.
The Chair and members of this Committee will be assumed to have submitted their resignations on the change of IPA administration in accordance with the Committees section within the IPA's Procedural Code.
Approved by the Board by e.mail November 2005