Presidents letter: November 2013
Dear Board Members.
We have had a very eventful few months since I last wrote to you in
The Tenth International Congress of the European Confederation of
Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies under the auspices of the ECPP, the Ukrainian
Confederation of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapies (UCPP), European
Association of Psychotherapy (EAP) and the Ukrainian Umbrella Association of
Psychotherapy(UUAP) took place in Lviv National University on the 28-
29.09.2013 2013 in Lviv, Ukraine. The title of the conference was: “Education
in Psychoanalysis: and challenge and controversies»”
It was the 10th Anniversary of the ECPP as an organisation. The conference was
a great success. It was both very well organised and well attended and we
were fortunate that it took place in Lviv National University, which goes as far
back to the 15th century. The conference was opened by the Dean of the
Faculty of Philosophy of the university, Vladimir Melnik. Congratulations and
greetings were received from our former past Presidents Marcus Fah and
Mikhail Reshetnikov and Chair of the Accreditation and Certification meeting,
Charles Sasse. The opening address was given by Alexander Filts and Barbara
FitzGerald, co-chairs of the conference along with our esteemed colleagues
from Ukraine. The topic of the conference was education and training. Clinical
and psychoanalytic contexts of training, which are embedded and linked into
the socio/political and social psychological context, were central to the
discussions. This gave rise to fruitful dialogue and helped to ground all our
discussions as the theme was illustrated by clinical material. We had a range of
presentations from different perspectives .The conference gave a lively
examination of the tenets of education/training.
We looked specifically at the training of psychoanalysts. What techniques in
education teach us to reflect, to learn introspection? Is personal analysis
needed? What is its value? What are the questions that concern us with regard
to the selection, training, supervision, continuing education, and professional
development of psychoanalysts? We explored the processes and outcomes of
psychoanalytic training and development for the benefit of scientific, clinical,
Presidents letter: November 2013
and mental health policy. One of the speakers at the conference posed the
question: what are the values that permeate out trainings. Are we identified
within hierarchical and patriarchal structures?
Certainly the Conference showed that ECPP in this exchange of views is a
growing, vibrant though young organisation which is flexing its muscle and
capacities as it supports a lively culture of discussion and dialogue.
In lviv, we held a Board meeting where we discussed and garnered our insights
from the last ten years with regard to the objectives of ECPP.
ECPP started with a broad expanse of vision which is encapsulated in its
objectives. How far have we met our objectives? What further developments
need to happen? How do we encourage a lively and intellectual culture within
ECPP? Where are we now and what challenges does the organisation face? We
hope to give more time to continuing that discussion at our next Board
meeting as we vision where we would like ECPP to go over the next few years.
ECPP is a young organisation and yet it is important not to become
complacent. One suggestion among many was the need for more contact and
connection between the academic and professional streams of the association,
and between the ECPP and the countries which it represents. Another was
developing relationships with other organisations in particular our relationship
to formal structures such as the EAP and the WCP.There is need for renewed
energy towards alliances which share our political goals.
There are many positive initiatives taking place in our respective trainings and
countries. It will be useful to spend some time at the final period of the next
Board meeting to hear about news and initiatives from the different countries.
If you would like to send any updates on news from your country or branch
please send an e-mail before the first week in January. To encourage our lively
culture, dialogue is important. It is work that we must endeavour to continue
so that we can build on the many positive initiatives already under way in our
respective countries, and in the individual and collective efforts throughout our
Eurasian conference, Moscow July 5th.
On the 5th July, ECPP hosted the conference ‘Psychoanalysis Inner and Outer
Realities: Giving voice to the Real’ in Moscow as part of the Eurasian
conference. There were contributions from psychoanalysts and
psychotherapists from European countries including Russia, Ireland, and Israel.
France, UK, Switzerland and Vienna.
Summer School, St. Petersburg, July 1st.
Prior to the Moscow conference both Marcus Fah, former president and
Barbara FitzGerald, president, presented papers at the ECPP summer school in
That was a particularly wonderful event where we were warmly welcomed by
our esteemed colleague, Professor Mikhail Reshetnikov and his organisation.
One of our aims as an organisation is to have an understanding that if
psychoanalysis is practised within a particular culture it requires an
understanding and appreciation of that culture. White nights, meeting
colleagues on the seashores of the Baltic, collegial dinners and the intense
searching questions of the colleagues during the time of the joint supervision
given by Marcus Fah and I showed the growing strength of our organisation
and augurs well for the future.
In particular it was great to hear many strong women voicing their clinical
opinions and joining their male colleagues in a search for clinical excellence. I
will not only always remember the sense of creativity and positivity with which
we shared our experience, but also how we delved into the substantive
content of our professional discourse in such an energetic and direct manner. I
was heartened by the very high educational level and seriousness of purpose
of the colleagues with whom I interacted with during this time.
These conferences enabled us to discuss issues, disseminate information and
develop further our thinking on professional practice through focusing on
significant themes and through meaningful discourse. They brought together a
stimulating range of international perspectives, theoretical positions, clinical
Presidents letter: November 2013
experiences and psychotherapy practices which have all been helpful as we
forge our identity together.