Scientific Contributions

International Psychoanalytic Studies Organization (IPSO) Research:

"International Perspective on Psychoanalytic Training and Local Institutional Culture"

Mentor: Prof. Peter Fonagy
Advisers: Dr. Janine Puget and Dr. Adela Leibovich de Duarte
Principal investigator: Andrea R. Q. de Pereira, Buenos Aires Psychoanalytic Association
Co-principal investigator(s): Lee Jaffe (San Diego Psychoanalytic Society and Institute), Maria Rita Ragau (Buenos Aires Psychoanalytic Association), Silvia Jadur ( Argentine Psychoanalytic Society), Ariel Liberman ( Argentine Society of Psychoanalysis)
Legal and fiscal authority: Buenos Aires Psychoanalytic Association (ApdeBA)

Purpose and objective

Purpose: This is the presentation of an ongoing research project dealing with the ways in which local Institutional Culture reflects on candidates’ psychoanalytic training, belonging to a limited number of institutes of the International Psychoanalytic Association.

Objectives: Based on the candidate’s perspective.
  • Examine the similarities and the differences in the way candidate’s experience psychoanalytic training, in a limited number of IPA institutes from different regions.
  • Examine the influence local institutional culture has on psychoanalytic training, from the candidate’s perspective.

Research Questions:
  • What differences and similarities in the way candidates experience psychoanalytic training can be found, through this study, among the different regions?
  • Do candidates consider that local culture reflects on local psychoanalytic institutional culture and if so how?

Summary of prior work to date on this research
In December of 1999, during the IPSO Executive Committee meeting in New York City, Dr. Otto Kernberg (Former IPA President) suggested we consider doing a candidate Research Project. Following up on his idea, we prepared a short list of different subjects that could be of interest to candidates. The IPSO Executive Committee members voted for the theme "Social Reality and Psychoanalytic Training", which is the subject we are working on now (although the name was changed as you can see in the title above). The IPSO ExCom also voted to support the project with some funds.

Since the beginning we have been working with our advisors, Dr. Adela Leibovich de Duarte and Dr. Janine Puget. We have also received suggestions from Dr. Ricardo Bernardi, Dr. Sara Zac de Filc, Lic. Susana Quiroga, Dr. Eduardo Issaharoff, Dr. Guillermo Lancelle and Lic. Andrés Roussos. Subsequently At Dr. Robert Tyson’s suggestion, we asked for Dr. Fonagy's advice as well.

During 2000 we ran a preliminary survey with 40 candidates from three regions. A poster of the IPSO Project was presented at the Gramado’s Research Conference in Brazil on September 2000. During those meetings, Andrea Pereira had the proposal reviewed by Dr. Peter Fonagy (Chair of the IPA Research Committee) who suggested including candidate-to-candidate interviews to explore the candidates’ personal experiences of training.

Next, as part of a pilot research program, a total of nine interviews were held with candidates from North and Latin America regions including recollections of clinical notes from interviewees. Based on this material the IPSO Project was presented at the VII IPA Research Training Programme Meeting (August 2001), and discussed with Prof. Mary Target, Peter Fonagy, Horst Kächele, Sidney Blatt and John Clarkin. All of them encouraged us to present an application for support at the IPA Research Advisory Board and Prof. Peter Fonagy agreed to be our international mentor. On April 2002 the IPA’s Research Advisory Board supported and funded the second phase of the IPSO Project, which is currently in progress.

Work plan
We have organized our research plan using recommendations received from the IPA 7th Research Training Programme’s faculty. This project is being developed in three phases:

First phase: e-mail Survey (first results have been presented at XXIV FEPAL Congress, September 2002, Montevideo)
Second phase: Candidate to candidate interviews (currently on process).
Third phase: Clinical notes (to be required in the second phase but not processed until the third phase.)

First phase: Survey

Research material used during this period was produced by a survey.

Invitations to candidates to participate in the survey were made via electronic mail allowing direct input to the survey at the IPSO web page. The survey questionnaire has been available in English, French, Spanish, Portuguese, Italian and German. The sample was drawn from a database consisting of candidates e-mail addresses (1140 candidates e-mail addresses were obtained).

This sample was obtained with cooperation from IPSO representatives in different regions and help from the Affiliate Council of the American Psychoanalytic Association, as well as other institutes.

Second phase: Candidate to candidate interviews

Based on survey results, candidates from different institutes in each region are being selected for face-to-face interviews. The interviews are being conducted by a candidate from a different region than that of the interviewee.

Research data for this phase will be based on in-depth personal life experience interviews, with special emphasis on psychoanalytic training. The objective is to explore the impact of local culture; not only the community but also the local institute, in order to understand the ways candidates explain their experience related to training.

Third phase: candidate clinical notes

Clinical notes are being requested from candidates during the second phase, consisting of a presentation of the case and one session. Material is being accepted according to the way in which the candidate presents it, e.g. a session that has been recorded or reconstructed or based on the notes taken in session. We will attempt to identify ways in which cultural elements proceeding from the analyst and the patient operate in the analytical word.

Status of the Research thus far

The first phase of the Research has been completed and results are being processed. At the same time we are continuing to seek more candidate responses to make the database as representative as possible. The second phase is underway as interviews are currently being held with candidates from different regions.

The IPSO Research Team is most grateful to all candidates around the world that have contributed with their time and interest to participate in this project. We would like to extend some special thanks to the following candidates who helped us to carry out work: Thomas Barlett, Nancy Blieden, Laura Borenztein, Alberto Carrión, Sue Cockett, Patricia Csank, Sheri Hunt, Bernard Keuerleber, Adela Laserna, Pilar Gavilano Llosa, Gabriela Goldstein, Silvia Luz, Ruth Mc Call, Isabel Moreno, Camila Renlund, Ilse Redher, Nelson José Nazaré Rocha, Brian Rock, Karin Rodhe, Griselda Sánchez, Ángel Santos, Carla Scotti, Claudia Spadazzi, Daniel Tosso, Jane Currin Walvoord and Álvaro Zas. We are also very grateful to Dr. Piers Pendred, IPA’s General Director, who facilitated our contact with the Institutes.

IPSO Research: International Perspective on Psychoanalytic Training and Local Institutional Culture

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