ipaNews from the International Psychoanalytical Association's (IPA) Congress in Buenos Aires, July 2017 -Reported by David Moore, PhD, PCC AOC Chair 

I report here on a bit of what happened and to encourage you to consider the next IPA Congress (July 2019 in London). The program is fascinating, and meeting analysts from other countries can be quite educational as to differences and similarities. For examples.

I attended a two-day, pre-Congress working party (groups that meet all day Tuesday and half a day Wednesday). These are groups that began at the European Psychoanalytic Federation and then became a part of the IPA Congresses. In the past, I participated in the Comparative Clinical Method group that some of you have heard me urge for us to have here. CCM is officially described as "workshops studying clinical cases applying a methodology conceived to stimulate group inferences on the production of theories in the working analyst mind. The attained analytic situation conjectural reconstruction explores: "How do we actually work with patients? Why do we do what we do? Why do we think it works?" Note that this CCM two day training (and possibly the Specificity work group I will describe next) will be available on Tuesday and Wednesday in the 2/19 APsaA meeting.

I participated this time in a working group that is very similar, focused on process, but less structured and dependent more on the free associations of the group.  It is called the Specificity group (also called the Paris Group or the Free Association in Group Inter-Analysis). Analysts sat in a group Tuesday and Wednesday while an analyst presented four back to back clinical sessions with no background or clarification given, just what was said by analyst and patient. You do not know if the patient is male or female, 18 or 40, if the analyst is Kleinian or Ego Psychology, etc. In my English speaking group, there were analysts from Germany, Paris, Amsterdam, the Hague, Lithuania, Brazil, with two coordinators, male and female, from the US and Brazil. After the Australian presenter read the transcript, the group free associated to the session until it was time for the presenter to introduce a new session. We might get fixated on something like lunch or whatever to which a coordinator might wonder how this might relate to the clinical material etc. At the end of the two days, the presenter finally opens up and tells the story of the patient much to our surprise. All were recorded by tape while a silent analyst wrote her thoughts on the process. Such recordings go to the Paris Group of analysts that discuss and do researching on the recordings. What an amazing learning experience, just like my CCM experience. Tell our scientific chairs and curriculum committee we need to bring this two-day European unique way of learning experience to North Carolina, but first experience it in New York or London.

The theme of the Congress was Intimacy. A first-year Atlanta candidate, Stephanie Kozie, won the prize for the best candidate paper. It was on tenderness and how Freud and even Julia Kristeva had not fully understood it in their writings. I got to hear this young candidate read her work and noted that several published senior analysts were  impressed. Adrienne Harris delivered a key note paper on "The Tank in the Bedroom" emphasizing the aggression in intimacy. Ted Jacobs also from New York shared a clinical case in detail that opened up new thinking about enactments, etc. Then, self deprecatingly commented that 25 years ago he had delivered a paper at the IPA with Andre Green as the responder. Green's response was that many had added to psychoanalysis but with this paper, Jacobson had subtracted. There is less of that severity, more humour and less stiffness at the IPA and APsaA.  Thank goodness and think about coming to the next meeting.

The IPA Board of Directors at the IPA Congress changed training standards from 4-5 sessions per week to 3-5. This new standard does NOT  mean our Institute has to shift to 3-5 but merely represents the new Minimum standard all Institutes and APsaA has to meet. I am on the IRRC committee of APsaA where we work on these issues, so email me with questions and recommendations on this or anything else about the IPA Congress.

It was winter in Argentina but thanks to global warming it was in the 60's much of the week until the last two days when it rained and dipped into the low 50's, as we all bid farewell with tears to an amazing country and with a beautiful spirit.

David Moore