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Van Der Leeuw, P.J. (1970). Four Years' Presidency: A Personal View. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 51:49-54.

(1970). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 51:49-54

Four Years' Presidency: A Personal View

P. J. Van Der Leeuw

This is the last time that I shall address you as President of the International Psycho-Analytical Association. The time has come for me to stand down. The fact that I am about to do so gives me the opportunity of addressing you as a person rather than formally as your President. We all know that we often obtain a better perspective when we look at a particular situation from a distance than when standing in the middle. The end of the presidency is to me the end of a well-loved job, one into which I have put body and soul, because I am convinced that, for the development of organized psychoanalysis, the I.P.A. has a very real function.

In order to explain my point of view I want to compare the duties of a president with those of the pilot of a ship. You will not be surprised to find a Dutchman using a nautical analogy to clarify his thoughts. The pilot of a ship has only a temporary function. He comes on board and takes control at the request of the captain and the navigator, and is responsible for the navigation while he is on board. He determines the ship's course and speed. His navigation depends on the tide, the water-way and, to a high degree, the quality of the ship.

The way his orders are carried out depends upon the crew, but the captain and the navigators carry the actual responsibility. If we apply this analogy to the I.P.A., the members and leaders of our component organizations are like the captain and the navigators. Well, after four years' experience as a pilot, I want to comment upon four different aspects.

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