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Orgel, S. (1978). Report from the 7th Pre-Congress Conference on Training. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 59:511-515.

(1978). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 59:511-515

Report from the 7th Pre-Congress Conference on Training

Shelley Orgel

Jerusalem is a difficult place to participate in and report on a Pre-Congress. It may be arrogant for a visitor to claim to know anything much about Israel, but one cannot avoid knowing that in this city, there is witness to the highest and most abysmal acts human beings are capable of. In this place, it somehow seems necessary to affirm for oneself, if one possibly can, that there are meanings in what we analysts are doing here which resonate with the awesomeness of what surrounds us. And before giving you my formal report from a Pre-Congress marked by much sharing of personal feelings, I want to suggest that, for me, there is a real consonance between one meaning of Israel and what is essential in our work and our view of man. Both aim to cure sickness. But both recognize that the cure is slow and uncertain, and that dark places in the human mind, buried in long-forgotten and repressed pasts, need to be brought into the light of confrontation and self-acknowledgement, and that wounds which seem to heal too quickly on the surface may fester interminably underneath, that one must suffer, and create structures for this humane purpose, to keep memories alive in order to approach the peace of true reconciliation with the human history we all have in common.

In this sense, the meanings of psychoanalysis and a Pre-Congress on Psychoanalytic Training are intertwined with the meanings of this city and State.

The 7th Pre-Congress on Training, held 18–20 August 1977, was organized for the first time as a Symposium, the deliberations to be published as an official monograph of the International Psychoanalytical Association.

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