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Candidates for European Representative (In alphabetical order)
If I am elected, the ensuing term of office will be my second in this cycle and my last: having held a number of positions in the Paris Psychoanalytical Society and the IPA, I was elected European Representative on the IPA Board and IPA’s Executive Committee for the period 2003 to 2007. I was subsequently appointed as Chair of the International New Groups Committee until August 2009. In 2011 I was re-elected as European Representative on the Board.
The experience of nearly ten years’ work on the Board has strengthened my conviction of the importance of this task. The essential, fundamental function of the IPA is to guarantee the ethics and transmission of psychoanalysis for its members throughout the world and for the Societies in all three regions.
The IPA’s vocation is in my view principally inter-regional. I remain convinced that placing its administration on a more strictly regional basis presents a risk and would in the long term entail a reduction in our scientific exchanges.
I believe in the value of comparing different models and theoretical approaches resulting from individual readings and interpretations of the same Freudian theoretical corpus.
It is to my mind of crucial importance to succeed in conceiving and implementing this plurality while forgoing nothing of the rigour essential to our discipline.
This entails not only familiarity with current practices, but also ongoing attention to training and to transmission of the values of psychoanalysis.
The IPA should facilitate exchanges by supporting the creativity and research of the Societies themselves, while respecting their individuality and traditions.
The Board in my opinion has a threefold task. First, it is the guarantor of the democratic transparency essential to our profession. Second, it must convey the views of the membership and the Societies to the Executive, and must inform members through their Societies of every project originating from the Executive. Lastly, it must support and assist the President in managing the business of the IPA while strictly observing the rules and bylaws in the interests of the membership and in defence of our discipline.
The new Board must continue the in-depth consideration already undertaken of the expectations of the membership and Societies, at grips as many of them are with the economic crisis.
Different possible options for the future of the IPA will need to be contemplated:
1. The first, ambitious option sees the IPA as a promoting body that issues, publishes and initiates scientific programmes, and funds numerous, wide-ranging research projects and international regulating committees. While this option has its attractions, it would require augmented administrative structures with a concomitant cost overhead.
2. My own preference, however, would be for an IPA that guarantees the transmission and ethics of psychoanalysis, but whose objectives are confined to facilitating and supporting theoretical and clinical exchanges among the three regions, promoting developing groups and defending an undiluted psychoanalysis.
List of Positions
IPA: European Chair Programme Committee 1995-1997, Chair Committee Psychoanalysis and Society 1997-2000. Representative IPA Board, 2003-2007 and IPA Executive Committee. Chair International New Groups Committee 2007 to 2009. Chair Site Visit Committee to Portugal, 2009 to 2010. Representative for Europe IPA Board and Executive Committee since 2011. Paris Psychoanalytical Society: Treasurer, Secretary, President, (two mandates), 1991 to 1999. Chair of the Scientific Council 1999 to 2003, Editor and co-founder of the Revue Française de Psychosomatique .Presently President of the Board of the Paris Society’s Clinic ( Centre de Consultations et de Traitements de la SPP.) since 2007.
In the IPA Mission Statement we read that the purpose of its existence is “to advance psychoanalysis… to ensure the continued vigour and development of the science of psychoanalysis”. I repeat this quotation because during recent years I have noticed with increasing dismay a tendency towards confusion and generalizations of various kinds that have been hailed as remarkable achievements in the name of: ‘democratization’; innovation; adaptation to the economic crisis; renewal of the ‘old’.
Crisis and Change
But what is new and what is old? Which are the changes that we psychoanalysts have to face? Are they intra-psychic? Are they relational? Simplistic references to a rigid, scleroticized, psychoanalytic community inside an impregnable ‘ivory tower’, is today fortunately a groundless prejudice. I believe that the current social, political and economic changes do not prevent us from considering psychoanalysis as a discipline in which theory, clinical work, technique and ethics form a whole; nor do I think that its basic paradigms have in some way been refuted. Perhaps it could be useful to discuss together about whether psychoanalysis could not itself be a valuable instrument to help us understand and interpret such socio-cultural transformations and/or hardship.
Psychoanalysis and psychotherapy
As far as the age-old question of the ‘specificity’ of psychoanalysis is concerned, I think that rather than playing at the by now sterile ‘Crusader’s gold/bronze’ (obviously each of us, in our everyday clinical work, performs many different interventions), we should be clear in our minds about the differences, in order to avoid becoming iatrogenic therapists. Reflecting together on the unique specificity of the psychoanalytic treatment will also enable us to restore specificity to psychotherapy that is increasingly being distorted into a low-definition form of psychoanalysis.
We know, of course, that change itself does not necessarily bring about improvement; it can contain the seeds of impoverishment and lack of meaning. Throughout the history of ideas we are in the habit of thinking not in terms of change and development, but in terms of the quality and ‘use’ of development. Internet is certainly a formidable instrument, as is the possibility of ‘connecting’; but why ‘use’ it to the extent of upholding skype analysis that implies a conceptual ‘emptying’ of our discipline?
Expansion and psychoanalytic quality
I should like us to give further thought to the importance of linking psychoanalytic quality with the need to spread psychoanalysis in different countries (my eight years of experience in the Cowap helped me to understand this fully), and to the risk of using our attention towards expansion ‘outside’ at the expense of our care for what is happening ‘inside’. I think that the implications of adapting timing, method and place of our training programmes to geographical distance requires deeper consideration.
After all, for us, psychoanalysis represents the ‘common good’ to be safeguarded and promoted, and I think that it would be important for our community to reflect all together on what is lost and what is gained as we advance towards presumed new horizons of conquest.
List of Positions
IPA 2001 - 2005 European Co-Chair of Cowap (Committee Women and Psychoanalysis). 2005 - 2009 Overall Chair of Cowap. 2009 - 2011 Cowap consultant. 2000 - 2011 Occasional reviewer of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis 2012 - Editorial Board member of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis. Italian Psychoanalytical Association (A.I.Psi) 1994 -1996 Editor of the Bulletin. Since 1996 Chief Editor of Psicoanalisi (Aipsi journal). 2003 - 2007 Secretary of the A.I.Psi. Since 2011 Co-Editor of the web site. Since 2011 Director of the A.I.Psi Training Institute.
Nicolas de Coulon
I am standing for election as European Representative for several reasons:
- First, I am concerned to support the work of the new committee to be headed by Stefano Bolognini and Alexandra Billinghurst. I came into contact with them during the years of my Presidency of the Swiss Psychoanalytical Society, was impressed by their style and commitment and wanted to help develop their ideas at international level. At the same time I was able to make the acquaintance of other European Representatives and felt they comprised a team I would like to work with.
- Like all of us, I come from a national society with its own characteristics, there is in my view a clear need to strengthen the links between societies and the IPA. The work involved in forging these links is of vital importance and they must become a kind of transmission belt connecting the societies and their needs with the IPA.
- At IPA level, recent institutional crisis demonstrates the importance of continuing the work of coordination among the various committees, as well as of appropriate development of working parties as a platform for cultural and scientific exchanges.
- I should also like to promote outreach activities, involving dissemination and dialogue with other disciplines to help ensure that psychoanalysis remains as it were online and in step with developments in our present-day world. For instance, the fruitful contribution of psychoanalysis to psychiatric treatment in the last few decades should not be forgotten, and it would be well worth while to take up arms again in a battle deemed – prematurely in my view – to have been lost. As the former head of a psychiatric institution, I have no doubt that psychoanalysis still has a future in psychiatry, as well as in the world of psychology. That will also help to bring on the next generation. The same surely applies to the IPA’s website: as our interface with civil society, it represents us. However, it should also undergo further development so as to facilitate genuine dialogue among the members of our association.
- The IPA is in my view a market place for exchanges that confers a founding international identity on our national societies, and can at the same time guarantee a democratic approach that respects the traditions and cultures of each region. So I think it is time for me to put my institutional skills and experience at the disposal of the inclusive whole represented by the IPA, in which one is agreeably surprised, again and again and wherever one is in the world, to feel that one is in the bosom of one’s family!
You might like to know that I am married with three children and two grandchildren; I am a psychoanalyst in private practice in Lausanne; involved as a training analyst working with many candidates both within my Society and outside on an outreach basis; my mother tongue is French but I also speak German, Italian and English. For more information, please visit my website: www.nicolasdecoulon.ch
I am relying on your support to help me carry out this work.
List of positions
IPA: European nominating committee 2010-2011;EPF: Member of the Council 2009-2012;SSPsa (Swiss Society of Psychoanalysis): President 2009-2012; Secretary (as member of the committee) 2000-2003; Chair of the Lausanne Psychoanalytic Center 2006-2009; member of the committee of the Lausanne Psychoanalytic Center 2001-2006.
My previous service on the IPA Board (2003-2007 and 2011-2012) has provided me with much needed understanding and knowledge about the issues and dilemmas facing the IPA. Our present and growing diversity of psychoanalytic practice, training models, cultural backgrounds and theoretical positions creates an extraordinary tapestry of wisdom and experience, but at the same time it also produces differences and potential splits that are not easily bridged and integrated. We are in need of the courage and wisdom that will enable us to deal with the current polarizations and tensions and find ways to ensure that psychoanalysis remains integrated. This is no mean task, requiring sensitivity, expertise, leadership and integrative capacities.
A central issue which we face is maintaining the high level of training the IPA stands for. We have taken important steps forward in this area in recent years. I am glad and privileged to have played a significant role in the process of defining and approving the Three Models of training, which have become part of the Procedural Code. This major development has helped to shift the focus from debates about frequencies and numbers to the more substantive issues of psychoanalytic training. Nevertheless, we still face great variability in our training and lack knowledge about how to produce the best psychoanalytic practitioners. As former Chair of the IPA Education and Oversight Committee, together with my colleagues, I worked to promote reflection and dialogue among Directors of Training and Training Analysts about these issues in Europe and elsewhere, and I wish to continue to promote this cause. It is an example of the leadership and expertise that we need to have in the Board.
My personal, professional and psychoanalytic record indicates that I bring these qualities to the Board. My personal background and experience spans several continents, countries and languages, together with close familiarity with these cultures and traditions. My professional experience includes private practice and public positions, such as Chief Psychologist and Director of an Adolescent Service in a mental hospital and serving on several government and parliamentary committees. In addition to my longstanding psychotherapeutic and psychoanalytic practice, I have trained and worked as an Organizational Consultant and Group Relations expert. My academic record includes 35 years of teaching and research at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, where for 15 years I was the Sigmund Freud Professor of Psychoanalysis and Director of the Freud Center for Psychoanalytic Study and Research. My psychoanalytic record includes an active psychoanalytic practice; working as Training and Supervising Analyst in my Society; teaching and supervising at the Institute; and serving in various leadership roles in the Israel Psychoanalytic Society as well as in the EPF and IPA.
I believe my record amply supports my wish to stand for the Board of Representatives. If elected, I will do all I can to further the cause of psychoanalytic integration and to enhance the high level and quality of psychoanalytic training and education.
List of Positions
IPA: Board Representative (2003-2007, 2011-2012); Chair, Education, and Education & Oversight Committee (2005-2011); Committee on Psychoanalysis & University, European Co-Chair, Member and Consultant (2003-present); Appointments Committee; Committee on Administrative Practices and Review; Integrated Training Committee (2011-present). EPF: Chair, Working Party on Interface Issues (2000-2005). Israel Psychoanalytic Society: Chair, Training Committee (1993-1997); President (1998-2002). Editorial Boards: Israel Annals of Psychiatry and Related Disciplines (1975-1978); Freie Assoziation (1998-2002); Organizational and Social Analysis (1999-present); Psiche - Rivista di Cultura Psicoanalitica (2001-present).
I consider the IPA as the institute of reference for the whole psychoanalytical movement. It provides the belonging and sharing inside a strong but agile and flexible organisation. The IPA needs continuation and, has to remain flexible and able to evolve in response to the clinical-scientific stimuli. The crisis that characterises psychoanalysis today causes a reduced presence of psychoanalysts along the university training and impoverishes the training of young people by taking away their wealth which emerges from our discipline. We are also able to observe a reduced presence of psychoanalysts in public health institutions. This situation limits the stimuli of growth that may arise from analysts from the comparison with patients who are different from those who attend private practices and sterilize the supply of therapy in public institutions. These two factors, besides other aspects, produce a reduction in the number of requests for training and increase difficulty for our candidates to acquire patients. So, it is necessary to open up psychoanalysis to different contexts. Thus permitting a more correct knowledge of our way of working that is frequently hijacked and imitated by other models of psychotherapy. Psychoanalytic work in settings that are different from the classical one with adults, for example, work with children and adolescents and their parents, or in institutional contexts in addition to applied psychoanalytic work, reveal themselves to be particularly useful in this regard. They are a challenge on which many colleagues have already been concentrating, but which has the need of an impulse that is highly accurate and balanced. I am convinced that different research perspectives that have been increasingly enriching the psychoanalytical world require even further increases. A psychoanalyst per se is already a researcher, but we need to multiply our efforts in this sense. Current psychoanalytic societies are different both in their theoretical-clinical models and in their make up. A reciprocal exchange may turn out to be huge growth. The task which I am proposing myself for is difficult, but also one of great responsibility. The person who carries out such a duty must be sensitive to the suggestions that arrive from colleagues and must maintain an open point of view. I believe that my work could mainly be focused on at least three areas:
1) The crisis facing psychoanalysis as caused by its progressive disappearance from psychology and psychiatry studies at university and its absence as a therapy tool in the public health system. 2) The opening up and expansion of psychoanalysis in setting with children and adolescents and in setting with applied psychoanalysis and work stimulus in different contexts of classical psychoanalysis as a timely and focused therapy in the public health system.
3) The exchange between different theoretical-clinical models and reciprocal knowledge towards the strengthening of common and shared elements in psychoanalysis throughout the world. The work I have done in the past two years in the IPA Board has made me even more aware of the importance of achieving the objectives I had set. I felt more and more motivated to engage in this direction and to contribute to keep IPA alive making it a reference point for analysts worldwide.
List of Positions
IPA: European Regional Representative to the Board of Representatives; Italian consultant for the Programme Committee of the 44th IPA Congress 2005. FEP: Chair of the Forum for the Adolescence 2005-2011; Committee of the Forum for the Adolescence 2005 to date. SPI: Scientific Secretary of the Roman Psychoanalytic Centre (Italian Psychoanalytic Society) 2002-2006; National Committee for Child and Adolescent Psychoanalysis 2001-2002; Local Commission of the Training Institute (Section one, Rome) 2008-2012; in charge of the “Adolescence” section of the SPI web site 2009-date.
I have been a member of the IPA since 1992. Prior to this I was president of the Danish IPSO for 9 years including two years as amember of the international IPSO executive board.
Devotion to one’s own theoretical paradigm coupled with a respect for different orientations is, I believe, a difficult but vital foundation for any psychoanalyst carrying major national or international responsibilities. This is something I have maintained as guideline for my whole professional life. During the period when I was director of the Department of Psychotherapy in the Psychiatric University hospital of Aarhus, from 1989-1999 I established a reputation for encouraging broad psychoanalytic intercultural exchange inviting psychoanalysts of different theoretical orientations (Freudian, Kleinian, Winnicottian, Lacanian), to conduct theoretical and supervision seminars, thus ensuring that psychotherapists and psychiatrists of the National Health system had a broad understanding of the contemporary psychoanalytic terrain.
In 2003 I was elected to the Presidency of the Danish Psychoanalytical Society thus becoming a member of EPF-council. The 7 years period of my Presidency provided me with an opportunity for a deeper understanding of the development and contexts of the European Societies and Associations and to establish working relationships with many of them. In 2010 I became the European Chair of the International New Group Committee of IPA, thus developing links with many European Sponsoring Committee members as well as to ING colleagues of NAPSaC and FEPAL.
I hope that the description above signifies that I have considerable organisational experience at a senior level both locally, nationally and internationally. This experience includes a capacity to manage and contain group tensions, which are of course inevitable, maintaining focus on the task at hand so that decisions can be made and, hopefully, acted upon. I have strong interest in the understanding of group functioning and organisational dynamics and this has been of considerable importance in this respect.
If elected, I will work for the promotion of
1. High educational and ethical standards in the formation of the psychoanalysts
2. A respect for, the cultural differences in the IPA and EPF. I believe these differences can be the source of strength. The role of IPA should be that of providing educational, organisational and political frameworks, while the structure and content should be in the hands of the regional bodies and the individual societies, who have a deep understanding and knowledge of the local situations.
3. An integration of the diversity of basic theories that can be regarded as foundational to psychoanalytic thinking whilst promoting development of each particular theoretical frameworks.
4. Finally I shall work for the promotion of psychoanalysis as a respected theoretical, clinical and scientific discipline or field. I believe that interdisciplinary work and different kinds of research is vital in maintaining the respect and understanding of the unique status of psychoanalysis.
In my way of working I will give preference for transparency, honesty, clarity and rationality in arguments and decision-making as far as possible.
List of Positions
2000-date Referee for the Scandinavian Psychoanalytic Rev and International J Psychoanalysis. 2000-date Chair of the research committee in the Danish Psychoanalytic Society. 2002-2009 Member of the EPF working group on "trauma". 2004-2011 President of, the Danish Psychoanalytic Society. 2009-date Chair of the IPA New Group Committee for Europe. 2011-date Chair of programme committee in the Danish Psychoanalytic Society
1) For over a century psychoanalysis has been a living, developing science and form of clinical practice. We psychoanalysts are concerned to provide our patients with a space for authentic, sincere communication. It is IPA’s and its members task to promote the theoretical developments and heterogeneous practice of psychoanalysis in a spirit of openness and sincerity. I should like to contribute to the creation of a deeper understanding of the essentials of psychoanalysis.
2) Psychoanalytic training is of crucial importance to the future of our discipline. By its recognition of the three training models, the IPA has taken an important step. These models call for further reflection and the potential and limits of each must be examined on the basis of different psychoanalytic cultures. As a member of the Board I am open to other countries’ experience with training and to the development of new and innovative training methods.
3) I am interested in reflecting on the drastically changing socioeconomic and cultural context in which psychoanalysis is practised today and in the associated challenges to both theory and practice. The Board offers particular opportunities for examining transcultural conditions of psychoanalytic practice with colleagues belonging to other cultures. An important sphere of work is expansion into new regions such as China, Korea or North Africa. In my opinion, the transmission of psychoanalysis must be reviewed on the basis of its essentials in the light of these considerations.
4) I should like to encourage and support innovative psychoanalytic research, but without favouring any particular area of research.
It is in my view important for the Board to promote a culture of open reflection and cooperation both internally and externally. The welfare of the IPA and of its Societies is at stake. A fruitful atmosphere has arisen on the Board since its reconstitution in Mexico in 2011. Among other things, exchanges and communication among the three regions have intensified. I should like to facilitate this process by promoting cooperation within the Board and by helping to ensure that the Board is competent and able to perform its tasks effectively. What matters to me is that there is a place for different ideas on the Board and its committees. To this end open debate, transparency and flow of information both internally and externally are necessary.
As a member of the group of EuroReps, the CAPR and the B&FC, I should like to continue the work already begun by these committees. The safeguarding of a balanced budget; the search for responses to the challenge of ageing; further consideration of training; and reviews of the work of the IPA’s many committees. Another particular aspiration of mine is to work together with my colleagues to promote cooperation with EPF and European Societies.
The Strategic Objectives adopted in August 2011 are especially significant for the entire work of the Board and its committees. It is vital for these objectives to serve as a guide to govern the IPA’s many activities. The issue here is transparency of IPA’s objectives, structure and work.
List of Positions
DPG [German Psychoanalytical Society]: 1985 Training Analyst / Supervisor; Member / Lecturer at the Hamburg Institute; 1991 – 1995 Chair of Hamburg Working Party; 1991 – 2001 Member of DPG Executive; 1995 – 2001 Chair of DPG Training Committee; 2001 – 2011 DPG President.
EPF: 2001 – 2011 Member of EPF Council; 2001 – 2005 Member of EPF Working Party on Interface.
IPA: Since August 2011 Member of IPA Board, Chair of EuroReps, Member of CAPR; since August 2012 Member of Budget & Finance Committee.