THE TIME OF ILLUSIONS AND HOPES
THE APPROACHES OF NATIONAL PSYCHOANALYTIC FEDERATION
TO THE PROBLEM OF PSYCHOANALITIC EDUCATION AND TRAINING
NPF President Prof. Mikhail Reshetnikov's Speech
at the 2nd International Conference
"First Ten Years of Psychoanalysis in Russia" (2001)
Dear colleagues and friends, dear guests and Presidium members,
I am facing a quite complex and important task - to highlight the main achievements of the previous period, analyse the current situation and formulate the major trends in the future activities of National Psychoanalytic Federation in Russia.
I will do my best to be as objective as possible, but following Freud I will repeat the first sentence from "Essay on history of psychoanalysis" (1910): "You should not be surprised by the subjectivity of the following…" , as I have initiated and participated in many of the further described events.
Once again, referring to Freud, I would like to remind you his words in "Interest to psychoanalysis" (1913) that "not any analysis of the psychological phenomena has the right to be called psychoanalysis" .
I am convinced that such serious socio-psychological phenomenology as revival and development of psychoanalysis in Russia requires, without any doubt, analytical research. But this might be a task for the next generation of specialists.
My speech does not assume that deep approach. This is more of a management summary of the work that has been completed. I do not see any negative connotation in the words "management" or "manager". On the opposite, I think that at this stage we do need a substantial number of psychoanalytically oriented professionals that will fulfil the managerial roles.
Ten years ago the enthusiasm and the understanding of the difficulties we would face formed a different ratio. Now we do not have less enthusiasm but we do have much more understanding of reality.
We consciously highlight (here and in the information about this congress) the fact that we have had not just an experience but a certain experiment. Especially, referring to speeding up the development of psychoanalysis in the country where is had been forcefully liquidated in 1920's and then was prohibited nearly 70 years.
As a result of that the link between the generations was ruined, as well as the knowledge transfer and the relations with the world psychoanalytic community.
Now these links start to reappear. But this is a very difficult and even painful process, for us as well as for our foreign colleagues. And we notice quite ambivalent feelings of both.
Nevertheless, the relations between Russia and world psychoanalytic community are being developed. Political and socio-economic factors add to the complexity of this process: Russia remains not very attractive for the foreign professionals either for long-term co-operation or for the theoretical and practical knowledge transfer.
It is impossible to create a concentrated flow of psychoanalysis into Russia as it happened with England and United States before. In addition to that Russia has very cool relations with the close neighbouring countries.
The previous decades of fear have not created a positive ground for future love and co-operation. I would like to give just one example: more than 100 professionals from US have visited us in the past years, a few of them have been working with us a couple of years already, while in the same time we had only one psychoanalyst from Finland who visited us just for one day, though Finland is just 2 hours away. These external factors have also influenced our strategy and tactics.
One of the most important internal factors is that all governmental bodies in Russia, including the highest ones, historically disapprove of psychoanalysis.
Especially, it is disapproved by education, medical care and psychology. This can be explained by the fact that psyche and mind belong to the area of ideology. Ideology is very conservative, it disappears only together with its creators and followers.
The disapproval as well as discreditation attempts are still alive, as the leaders of the highest governmental bodies have been brought up with contempt towards psychoanalysis.
But these are the organisations that have the right to do the state licensing and accreditation, without which any activities related to psychoanalysis are illegal. The concept of professional accreditation has just started to be developed. National Psychoanalytic Federation is one of the pioneers in creation of a new public institution in Russia.
These external and internal factors are understood by us much better now, we are much more oriented now towards our own internal capacities and possibilities in developing our own therapeutic experience as well as teaching and professional training experience.
Ten years ago, starting the revival of psychoanalysis in Russia, we originally saw it as one of the areas in clinical psychotherapy. I have to admit that in the beginning clinical psychoanalytical approach was not widely acknowledged. Even my closest friends and colleagues thought that psychoanalysis would remain theoretical.
But the strength, attractiveness and therapeutic focus of Freud's ideas proved to be stronger than these prejudices. I will elaborate on that a little later, now I would just like to mention that reinstitution of psychoanalysis in Russia resembled ontogenetically its phylogenesis including theoretical concepts' transformation, deviations and organisational splitting.
Summarising the results of the past decade, I would like to remind you once again about the specific conditions of our work. I have noticed that not only foreign professionals but also young local professionals are not always aware of that.
Officially psychotherapy did not exist in Russia till 1975, while neuroses was a typical feature of a "decaying" Western society. In 1975 the Ministry of Medical Care has created (as an experiment) 200 vacancies for psychotherapists in USSR for 220.000.000 people: one psychotherapist for one million people.
The experiment lasted 10 years. In 1985 for the first time psychotherapy was registered (by another decree of the Ministry of Medical Care) as a medical profession. Any medical doctor could become a psychotherapist.
Later it was changed. Instead of being a medical profession, psychotherapy became solely a psychiatric profession. This decision has strongly influenced the further development of psychotherapy, and its methodological and human resource aspects.
Most of the psychiatrists are not willing to become psychotherapists. In December 2000 there were only 2.000 psychotherapists in Russia. One psychotherapist for 75.000 people. Our profession is still viewed as a "second-rate" inferior occupation. This attitude started to change only in the last 5 years. For example, psychologists can become psychotherapists since 1995, though the restriction is that a psychologist can be only a co-therapist controlled by a psychiatrist. The controlling psychiatrist does not require any additional training in psychotherapy, supposedly he has already all the knowledge he needs.
Psychotherapist requirements remain the same. In accordance with currant legislation, psychotherapist is a medical doctor, specialised in psychiatry, with at least 3 years experience in a psychiatric institution, who received an additional training in psychotherapy.
This additional training should be described more detailed. It consists of 700 hours, where 422 hours are assigned for a psychiatry refreshment course and 278 hours for the study of more than 40 methods of psychotherapy, which assumes about 7 hours for one method. The training lasts from 3 months to one year. A psychiatrist who has completed such training is certified in all methods of psychotherapy.
About 5 years ago supervision and personal analysis were unfamiliar concepts even for the professionals in Russia. Now they are knows as solely psychoanalytic terms.
That is why, when we opened the first institute of psychoanalysis where we decides to teach only psychoanalysis for 4 years, the reactions were not of surprise but sceptical: "Who would like to study there?" Surprise came later when it proved to be demanded, the confirmation to that is the annual increase of the number of students studying psychoanalysis. Last year the number of first year students doubled. The number of students who are qualified medical doctors and psychologists is also increasing.
But I am going too far now. Summarising the results of the past ten years I would like to attract your attention to the organisational and methodological work, educational experiences and professional psychoanalytic training as well as cultural and public relations activities and co-operation with international psychoanalytic organisations and centres.
I have to say that in spite of the official prohibition, psychoanalysis has always existed in USSR in an "undercover" form. Freud was read, few existing books were exchanged, discussions were held. There was even psychoanalytic practice, but under a different name. This was a clandestine period, and saying frankly, the period of fear to be identified as a psychoanalytically oriented professional ended in 1989.
I have to remind you that the first psychoanalytic society was founded by professor Aaron Belkin in Moscow (still USSR) in 1989. Later his concept of psychoanalytic endocrinology was extensively criticised. But his achievement as an organiser of the first psychoanalytic society cannot be questioned. His example was of major importance, it proved that nobody is imprisoned or arrested by KGB for doing that.
One year later the first Psychoanalytic Society was founded in St. Petersburg under the leadership of Valery Zelensky, while I have been a Vice-President for some time.
In 1991 we opened the first Russian Institute of Psychoanalysis in St. Petersburg. I will allow myself to be less modest while saying that it was a very important strategic decision. This decision was oriented toward creation of the national educational system, system of professional education and training, national standard certification and accreditation. This system has already been partially formed, is active and being further developed.
Approximately in the same time Sergey Agrachev has formed his group that later became Moscow Psychoanalytic Society, which at the moment is headed by Igor Kadirov. Russian Psychoanalytic Association published the first issue of "Russian Psychoanalytic Bulletin".
These events activated the further development of the international relations with the leading psychoanalytic centres, especially, in England, Germany and USA.
This has been a romantic period. We did not have a clear idea about different trends and schools, we did not pay enough attention to the professional level of the foreign specialists, everybody who related to psychoanalysis was welcomed by us.
We had romantic hopes to receive methodological and financial support from our foreign colleagues. And though we have received less support than we expected we are not disappointed, but on the opposite.
Viewing our country as an example, we can see that financial aids lead more to corruption instead of offering help, while methodological support requires an addressee. Now this addressee is - Russian psychoanalytic community that is much more prepared to receive this methodological support. We do receive it. I will say more about that later.
At the same time the first different approaches towards Russian psychoanalytic education and training were formed. Some (very few) of the psychoanalytically oriented professionals were absolutely against the idea to organise psychoanalytic educational institutions in Russia. In their opinion this education can be received only abroad. This opinion sounded a little ironically when it was also shared during the International Conference in 1996 in St. Petersburg. One of the speakers, addressing himself to our institute said: " It seems strange, we do not have psychoanalysis, but we do have the institute of psychoanalysis and we do organise conferences".
I am glad to inform you that the same person who criticised us then has now become a dean of one of Moscow institutes of psychoanalysis. Three more institutes of psychoanalysis were opened since then in Moscow, while the members of NPF have opened three more institutes during the past two years in different regions of Russia - Moscow, Novosibirsk and Khabarovsk. These are other confirmations that the decision we took in 1991 was the right one.
The differences in approaches still remain. Our opponents, having quietly admitted the necessity of psychoanalytic institutes in Russia, have found a new motto now: "Nobody can practise psychoanalysis unless he/she has been trained abroad and is a member of a foreign analytic society". We know it was just a declarative statement as our opponents as well as we ourselves do practise psychoanalysis in Russia for a long time already. And only one or two professionals are accredited by foreign societies and institutions.
Nevertheless, we do understand what they mean. It has a rational explanation: we can borrow authority from abroad, not having an authoritative psychoanalytic society in Russia. This has happened in Germany already, this is one of the ways, but absolutely not the only one.
We do understand that some of the professionals will follow this way of thinking. But we have initially chosen a different way, we have been gaining authority here. Therefore we are oriented towards receiving professional accreditation also here in Russia.
I have to admit it was not easy. I have mentioned already a special attitude of the governmental bodies toward psychoanalysis. Besides that there has been one more issue. The activities of the fast growing psychoanalytic society (at the moment NPF has about 1.000 members) have been seen as dangerous by a relatively small psychotherapeutic community in Russia (2.000 members). We had to invest a lot of energy to prove that we are not dangerous. At the present moment we managed to build trust, understanding and co-operation between our National Psychoanalytic Federation and the leading Russian psychotherapeutic societies. The President of NPF is a board member of all leading psychotherapeutic societies in Russia as well as a member of the psychotherapeutic problem-solving committees of Russian Academy of Science and Ministry of Health Care; this all is another confirmation of the above mentioned friendly relations.
When we started our work ten years ago we have defined two very important separate concepts:
- psychoanalytic education (university course) that becomes widely spread in Russia,
- clinical psychoanalysis and professional training, which attract about 20% of the graduates and students. 20% is a very good result for the moment, 5 years ago it was just 5-7%.
Besides that we have separated the concepts of "psychoanalytically oriented treatment" and "psychoanalysis". We have not created any distance between them, they are viewed within the same spectrum of the professional training. We see psychoanalytic therapy and consulting as a possible first step towards psychoanalysis. Therefore every professional has a choice between accepting psychoanalytic therapy standards or meeting international standards of psychoanalysis.
As a rule, to show our respect to world psychoanalytic community, we call ourselves psychoanalytically oriented therapists and psychologists…
In 1993 we have received the first state license for psychoanalytic education. Following the laws has always been a matter of principle for us.
The same year we opened St. Petersburg Branch of the State Classical Academy. This is the first higher educational institution in Russia that has departments of "Theory and history of psychoanalysis", "Psychoanalytical Psychotherapy" and "Psychoanalytic diagnostics". In the past years more than 100 psychoanalytically oriented psychologists graduate from this institute and are working in many leading psychological and medical institutions and continue their studies in the Institute of Psychoanalysis. We are very pleased to hear that their professional reputation and their references are very positive.
The same year, 1993 we have founded the Publishing House of "Eastern European Psychoanalytic Institute", where we have started publishing books under the name of "Library of Psychoanalytic Literature". Within this book series we have translated and published for the first time some of the never published in Russia before books by Sigmund and Anna Freud, Karen Horney, Dinora Pines, Joyce McDougall, Charles Rycroft, Ralph Grinson and other authors.
For this conference our publishing house has published the following three books:
- the 3rd book of "Modern Psychoanalysis" Edition, by the conference participants Prof. Horst Keachele and Helmut Thoma, describing one of the most important issues of the modern psychoanalysis - analytic process research,
- a book by a well-known German writer Prof. Dr. Annelise Heigl-Evers with co-writers, that has become the basic study book on psychoanalytic psychotherapy,
- the first Russian language edition of "Filiations: The future of the Oedipal complex" by well-known French analyst Dr. Vladimir Granov.
The importance of the event that took place in 1994 is difficult to overestimate: our Institute of Psychoanalysis together with the leading psychoanalytic societies of Moscow and St. Petersburg have adopted the 1st (temporary) National Standard of Psychoanalytic Training. This is was an important measure to increase the professional level of our psychoanalytic community.
I would like to add that increasing our professionalism is a continuous process. We will need a few more years or maybe decades before it reaches the desired level.
We have to let it grow. Cavalry attacks belong to a different field. It was only 1,5 year after the 1st National Standard of Psychoanalytic Training had been adopted, that didactic analysis and supervisions (for the 1st time in 1995) were included in the structure of psychoanalytic education at East European Psychoanalytic Institute.
We have not discussed that during the Conference in 1996, there was nothing to discuss yet. The situation has changed dramatically now: the work of EEPI Training Centre will be described in the separate speech of the Centre Director Doctor Vladimir Shamov.
The first cultural projects have been realised since 1994: a number of TV and radio programs dedicated to psychoanalysis has been released, dozens of articles in periodicals have been published, a new concept of "psychoanalytic movies" has been created. The first film that we produced "Not about Stalin" has won the International Festival award (1995). British serial "Freud" has been shown on Russian TV.
These cultural projects remain one of the most important activities at the moment: we do understand the importance of creating a new psychotherapeutic culture in Russia. This remain the most important task for all NPF societies.
To save time I will just name now the most important events of the past 5 years:
- 1996 - the 1st International Conference in Russia "First Ten Years of Psychoanalysis: Russian Roots, Repressions and Russia's Return to the World Psychoanalytic Community" (St. Petersburg, 6-8 May, 1996). About 30 foreign professional from England, Germany, Israel, Poland and USA took part in the conference. Long term contracts and projects were discussed with American and European psychoanalytic associations.
- 1996 - the 1st graduation year of the 4-year program students who completed their education at our institute. At the moment our graduates work in nearly all Russian regions. We are proud that there are teachers, scientists with Master and PhD degrees, heads of the state institutes and universities departments, managers and professionals working in psychotherapeutic institutions and services in different regions of Russia.
- 1996 - Honorary certificates and awards "Russian Freud" have been issued and awarded to a number of Russian and foreign public figures as well as psychoanalytic institutions in Russia and abroad for their contribution to the development of Russian psychoanalysis. Some people found that pretentious: hardly known organisation has awarded the leading specialists and world leading psychoanalytic societies. But for us it seemed the only possible way to express our sincere gratitude for the moral support of our activities. We have then also decided to make such awards every five years. We will do that during this congress as well. The new honorary award is named "To Russia". Its image is shown in the programs.
- 1996 - Russian President decree of 19.06.96 N1044 "On revival and development of philosophical, clinical and applied psychoanalysis" has been issued. It has greatly changed the attitude of the governmental bodies to psychoanalysis that was quite clandestine before. Unpredictable situation that was initiated by the president decree had created a number of dangerous developments that we managed to overcome. We have discussed this many times already, so I will not elaborate on it now.
- 1997 - Multi-disciplinary scientific program "Revival and development of psychoanalysis in Russia" was developed and accepted by Russian Ministry of Medical Care, Russian Ministry of General and Professional Education, Russian Ministry of Science and Technology and Russian Science Academy. Since then psychoanalysis has been included in the educational programs for medical doctors and psychologists in all Russian higher educational institutions. Psychoanalysis is viewed as one of the most important schools in Russian psychotherapy together with behavioural, humanistic and integrative. The course on psychoanalysis is rather superficial, it consists of 12-16 academic hours of introductory lectures. But at least it gives a general idea to the future professionals and help them to form an objective opinion on psychoanalysis.
- 1997 - EEPI Educational-methodological Training Centre is opened, where about 10.000 sessions of didactic analysis and supervisions annually have been held for approximately four years. This might be one of out major achievements. At the same time we have also introduced a temporary status of studying analysts and supervisors.
- 1997 - we have received the 1st Russian Ministry of Education license allowing activities in the field of higher professional education. Now it is hardly possible to imagine what kind of efforts it requested. But it is impossible to function in Russia without such license considering the fact that Russia is a country with the highest level of governmental regulations.
- 1997 - National Psychoanalytic Federation (NPF) was founded. It united 11 psychoanalytically oriented organisations and societies in Moscow, St. Petersburg, Khabarovsk and some other cities. During the period of 1998-2001 a few new psychoanalytic societies have been and are being formed in the largest industrial and cultural centres of Russia, such as Vladikavkaz, Volgograd, Voronezh, Kaliningrad, Kemerovo, Krasnodar, Velikiy Novgorod, Novorossiysk, Novosibirsk, Norilsk, Perm, Ribinsk, Sverdlovsk, Smolensk, Cheboksari, Yaroslavl and some others. As I have mentioned before, new psychoanalytic institutes were opened in three different cities.
- 1998 - National concept of psychoanalytic revival and development was formulated. The main strategy of this concept: focus on Russian national priorities, psychoanalytic education and professional training in Russia, initiation of competent psychoanalytic movement in Russia, creation of a sound system of professional education and professional information and knowledge exchange, creation of the public and state accreditation system of psychoanalysis in Russia, gradual integration of psychoanalysis into Russian culture, science and psychotherapy.
- 1998 - International Conference 'Psychoanalysis - Literature - Art' (St. Petersburg, 3-5 July, 1998). More than 100 psychoanalysts from 17 countries: Australia, White Russia, Hungary, Germany, Israel, Canada, Mexico, Russia, USA, Switzerland, Sweden, Finland, France and South Africa took part in this conference. This stimulated greatly the further development of Russian psychoanalytic culture.
- 1998 - National Psychoanalytic Federation starts to publish historical, methodological and informative articles, latest editions by leading modern foreign writers and the first summaries of the clinical experience of Russian professionals in its own magazine. During the past years there were more than 150 scientific articles published in this magazine, among them classical pieces written by Freud, Fenichel, Abraham, as well as some publications by our foreign colleagues and outstanding modern professionals such as Vladimir Granov, Helmut Thoma, Horst Keachele, Harold Stern, David Sachs, Homer Curtis, John Kafka, Garry Goldsmith, Alexander Nepomiaschti and others. More than 50 publications articles by Russian authors were published in the magazine. All NPF members receive a copy of the magazine which helps us to form united methodological ideas and perspectives. Since 2000 we have been publishing an appendix to the magazine ( the 2nd magazine, if to be precise) "Transfer-Express". It has become a intra-university student magazine.
- 1998 - Opening of our psychoanalytic website with an e-version of our magazine and Freud Museum website. We are trying to increase the information flows and knowledge transfer. This should be not only the objective of the NPF headquarters but of the regional branches as well.
- 1998 - The 1st Russian public psychoanalytic library was opened, as one of the steps towards the above mentioned objective. There are more than 4.000 books and magazines and more than 50.000 audio and video tapes, this includes all the most important books on psychoanalysis written between 1924 and 1994. Approximately 30 people visit the library daily. I would like to thank our British, American, French, German and Austrian friends for their priceless gifts for the library. More than 50% of the foreign books in the library have a special stamp on the front page: "Received as a gift from…".
- 1999 - Learning from foreign experience, NFP has organised the 1st Summer school in Repino. The topic was "Clinical and applied psychoanalysis - Russian specific issues". 62 regional psychoanalytic societies and NPF organisations participated in the seminars. Now it has become an annual event. The 2nd NPF Summer school was held in 2000 in Yaroslavl and its topic was: "Dynamic and structural models of supervising process". The participants of the 2nd Summer school noticed substantial increase in the methodological and professional standards. It is easy to explain this. I will demonstrate just 2 colourful numbers: (1) in 1999 the clinical experience of the participants was 1.700 hours on average, while one year later it was 3.600 hours; (2) in 1999 each participant had 91 hour of personal analysis on average, while one year later - more than 202 hours.
- 1999 - In order to maintain continuous supervision process (as the main form of practical training), the regional NPF organisations have introduced a temporary "in locus" status.
- 1999 - NPF was affiliated by Russian Psychotherapeutic Association, headed by the Chief psychotherapist of Russia Prof. B.D. Karvasarsky. NPF has identified itself as an inseparable part of Russian psychotherapeutic community.
- 1999 - An important event in 1999 was the opening of Sigmund Freud Museum of Dreams. This museum became one of the most popular cultural centres of St. Petersburg. During the first one and a half year it had more than 3.000 visitors and it held more than 50 seminars, lectures and discussions, in which both Russian and foreign outstanding scientists and artists took part. The latest seminar was held last week and was dedicated to J. Lacan.
- 1999 - The 1st draft of the Ethical Psychoanalysts' Regulations was developed and accepted as temporary by NPF board. The draft was adopted by a few other Russian psychotherapeutic societies. The ideas about NPF Ethics Committee are being discussed at the moment. In September this issue will be further discussed with the regional societies.
- 1999 - As well as Russian Psychotherapeutic Association, we have been working on the Russian Law "On Psychotherapy". The law is based on the German model of psychotherapy.
- 1999 - NPF has started to develop the field of "Child psychoanalysis". This process is actively supported by the German psychoanalysts.
- 2000 - NPF Training Committee was formed. NFP took a decision to grant a status of NPF Methodological Centre to EEPI. This gives us a greater responsibility which suggests organisational and human resource improvements. The teaching staff of EEPI includes 17 teacher with a Master degree and 7 with a PhD. I would like to remind you that the objective to obtain higher degrees in medicine and psychology has to remain of high priority for the regional organisations, especially for the staff of the institutes of psychoanalysis.
- 2000 - Memorandum by H. Thoma and H. Keachele "On the psychoanalytic education reform" played an important role in NPF strategy formulation. This memorandum was published in our magazine and everyone here is familiar with it. Considering the memorandum we are re-evaluating the NPF Statement "On professional psychoanalytic training" and "On national standards for the psychoanalytic NPF training". We have promised to send it to the regional organisations for discussion in March, but we will not be able to do that soon than in autumn. I hope that the managers and the members of the regional organisations will understand us: it is not an easy task. I will just highlight the main reform trends: decreasing the institutes' pressure towards professionals… This does not have anything to do with the national level of the professional education and training standards. These standards might only increase as well as the requirements to the professionals.
- 2000 - Russian-Austrian Conference "Sigmund Freud in Austrian and Russian cultural context" was held by NPF, Russian Academy of Science and Moscow's State Linguistic University. This conference has initiated new relations and new international projects, such as publication of Sigmund Freud complete edition in Russian (translated from German with comments on the differences with the English language edition, remarks and referrals to English and German editions); organisation of Freud Festival in 2003 in St. Petersburg; foundation of Russian-Austrian psychoanalytic centre and many others.
- 2000 - Regional organisations have initiated one-year post-graduate training for the already practising psychoanalytically oriented specialists. There are four types of training: Clinical Psychoanalysis, Child Psychoanalysis, Group Psychoanalysis. According to out experience these methods can peacefully co-exist within one organisation and complement each other.
- 2000 - New NPF professional certificates have been issued and granted to professionals who have met the standards of psychoanalytic education and professional training (didactic analysis, supervisions and practice). The 1st group of NPF personal (training) analysts and supervisors was publicly accredited and certified.
These were the main achievements.
I do not mention the work of Cultural Movie-centre of Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic club "Berggasse-19", which you will visit during the conference. We hope that this cultural and educational example will be followed in the other regions.
I do not speak about psychoanalytic educational programs that are annually modified according to the new knowledge and practical experience received from our foreign colleagues.
Their support is priceless, and I must mention it.
- since 1997 - long-term psychoanalytic psychotherapy program by doctor Harold Stern (USA),
- since 1998 - similar program by doctors H. Curtis and G. Goldsmith (with more than 20 leading specialists from American Psychoanalytic Association),
- since 1999 - similar program by Mid-Manhattan Institute of Psychoanalysis (lead by doctor Charles Bershadsky, NAAP),
- since 2000 - English program by doctors Catherine Crouser and Jan Winner (IAAP),
- just yesterday the 10th seminar of French program in Russia was completed. It has been held since 1998 by doctor Alexandre Nepomiaschti, lately together with doctor Nathalie Zaltzman.
These programs have been held in St. Petersburg as well as in regional NPF associations, such as in Moscow, Novosibirsk, Khabarovsk, Novgorod. These programs add up together to more than 200 hours of extra curriculum classes a year. They provide us with actual practical experience which we are too short of at the moment. Therefore I would like to express our gratefulness to all attending program leaders.
I have to say that our willingness to co-operate with different schools of psychoanalysis worried me for a long time. I was afraid that it might negatively influence the methodology.
Nevertheless, a number of leading Western specialists, with Dr. Vladimir Granov, who prematurely passed away, among them, supported us in this approach.
Russian school of psychoanalysis is currently being formed. Therefore the open attitude of our Institute and our Federation reflect this stage. And I think that this attitude will remain the same in the future as well. Besides, we suspect that this also reflects the world trends. The conference planned in June 2001 in Prague by both IPA and IAAP proves the above mentioned. We will be represented by our delegation at this conference.
I would like to make it clear to everyone, I have spoken and written about that many times, that Russian school of psychoanalysis does not exist yet. We need to become more modest and try to learn from all the best theoretically and practically important experiences of our predecessors and teachers…
I have already said that in its ontogenesis, Russian psychoanalysis follows the phylogenesis in theory and practice. It can be concluded now that, for example, structural approaches prevailing in the past years is substituted by dynamic approaches according to the development theory.
Basically, what we do in therapy is "distance creation between the patient and his/her past". Speaking about the future of psychoanalysis we should not forget its past. Our stereotypes (linked to our "closed door" profession) are often influenced by our interpersonal relations and interactions of the societies. I think that in a certain sense it s a "negative transfer" that we have to work through.
We should interact not only with different psychoanalytic schools but also with different scientific disciplines, and first of all with medical sciences and psychology. This is possible only due to gradual development of scientific research, including therapy effectiveness research and therapeutic process research.
We know that our knowledge is not obvious. And often it is not clear for the representatives of other trends in psychology and medical sciences. We do not have many arguments to prove that their negative attitudes are wrong. A long-term narcissistic strategy of psychoanalysts has not won. We have to overcome our isolation from academic sciences.
A special source of worries is the self-sufficient position of some young specialists who have just started to practise psychoanalysis. We know the reasons. Having an enormous shortage of professionals in Russia, anyone who can learn to talk with a patient or just patiently listen to him/her, can already become successful. And first of all - financially successful. This financial success may lead to false professional self-confidence. This false self-confidence leads to resentment towards education, supervisions and even completion of personal analysis. We have to fight this when faced with such situations.
We cannot accept the attempts to make psychoanalysis commercial. As NPF President I would like to make a statement that we will never let this happen, in any form. In any case, not within the National Psychoanalytic Federation. In the draft of the Regulations of professional education and training, we have developed strict requirement of continuous supervision and professional training of the NPF accredited specialists, as well as certain rules and limitations for clinical practice. We had already professional burn-out cases, it is a very important issue for us.
Referring to the supervisory and Training Committee experiences, I have to admit that we should pay very close attention to the theoretical and practical aspects of such issues as: working with resistance and defences of the patient, transferral neuroses, central and final stages of therapy. To be honest, (and we are not trying to hide anything from our foreign colleagues): the majority of our professionals have successfully learned the methods and methodology of the initial stage of therapy, they can keep their patients in therapy, work with transferral reactions, support the patients. This all they are doing according to the psychoanalytical methodology. This is a big achievement for a 10-year period. But I will repeat myself, it is just the beginning.
There are a few dozens of specialists that fluently apply all the psychoanalytic approaches and techniques, while the majority can be described as above mentioned. So we need to keep growing. Nevertheless, I am proud to say that five years ago we could not even dream about the clinical cases of such level (as presented at this Conference), but I am sure that in five years time it will be even higher.
Another (though not widely spread) negative phenomena are attempts to revise psychoanalytic methodology, to develop "certain Russian psychoanalysis", to declare ideas of "manipulative psychoanalysis", "psychoanalytic pyramids" as well as "psychoanalytic lexism". We have been fighting and we will continue fighting these phenomena with all the strength of out psychoanalytical community, using all our moral and power resources.
The time of illusions and hopes has ended. We are entering the stage of serious and hard work.
As a conclusion I would like to say that we are fully oriented towards co-operation with all psychoanalytic organisations in Russia, regardless of their affiliation (non-affiliation) to NPF.
In accordance to the suggestions of a few NPF regional organisation leaders, we will produce a new edition of NPF Regulations, including the transfer suggestion from collective to individual multi-step membership. There are many reasons for that, which will be described in detail in NPF Board announcement.
The main NPF principals will remain the same: joining the efforts of psychoanalytic societies and other psychoanalytically oriented institutions in order to develop:
- unified strategic approach to psychoanalytic education and clinical training issues, certification, public and state accreditation of psychoanalytically oriented specialists;
- effective professional training system;
- effective professional information flow system;
- active implementation of scientific research approaches into psychoanalytic practice;
- counteractions against discreditation of psychoanalysis and attempts towards illegal and "wild" psychoanalytic practices.
We would like to confirm once again that we are open minded and ready for the "Round tables" with the representatives of all Russian psychoanalytic societies without any fixed conditions or privileges for any of these societies.
I hope that self-confidence with which we describe our position, has not formed an impression (especially, our foreign colleagues) of a certain self-sufficiency of Russian psychoanalytically oriented specialists. Therefore I would like once again to highlight the fact that we are in great need of any methodological support of the world psychoanalytical community in everything related to clinical practice.
Nevertheless, psychoanalysis does exist in Russia, even if it dies not sound modest. This is objective reality. We do have shortage of theoretical knowledge and practical experience. But we have only one way to get this experience - teaching, research, supervisory and clinical practice.
I would like to thank all NPF leaders and members for the completed work. I will forward you this speech for further discussion and critique.
Addressing all the leading professionals representing the world psychoanalytic community, I would like to confirm that we will be sincerely grateful for the new short-term and especially long-term methodological support programs.
We would like to thank you once again for your support you have provided us with, including your participation in this Congress.
We are ready to carry responsibilities based on agreed upon joined decisions.
We are ready to develop co-operation and are sure that it will be positive and effective.
I have already said that Russia has never been a rich country but it has never hag a poor sole.
Everything is in the future.
Thank you for your attention!