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Ihanus, J. (2002). Controversies and Conflicts in the Institution of “Open” Psychoanalysis: Cases from the History of the Therapeia Foundation. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 11(4):256-263.

(2002). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 11(4):256-263

Controversies and Conflicts in the Institution of “Open” Psychoanalysis: Cases from the History of the Therapeia Foundation

Juhani Ihanus, Ph.D.

The institution of psychoanalysis has included controversies, dissensions and expulsions at both the theoretical-methodological and personal-organizational levels. There have also been several intra- and intergroup conflicts in the history of psychoanalysis, and in constructing and patterning the future of psychoanalytic knowledge. In the context of Finnish psychoanalysis, the Therapeia Foundation (founded in 1958) met from the start with resistance from official psychiatry and also from the IPA. For example, in the mid-1960s, D. W. Winnicott, as the President of the IPA, supported the orthodox Finnish psychoanalytic study group (later to become the Finnish Psychoanalytical Society), and pronounced that the Therapeia group was too loose and was not strictly able to use the IPA-recognized designation “psychoanalytic.” The Therapeia Foundation and its Training Seminar combined classical psychoanalysis and its new versions with existential-phenomenological views, anthropological medicine, research on “social pathology” and even modern theological research. On the basis of their Swiss analytic training, three Finnish psychiatrists, Martti Siirala, Kauko Kaila and Allan Johansson, organized Therapeian training to incorporate sciences and arts, and skills involving the therapeutic “carrying” of burdens. The multifacted nature of open psychoanalysis was seen to find its proper organizational expression when the Training Seminar of the Therapeia Foundation became, in 1974, a Member of the IFPS.

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