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Limentani, A. (1982). Welcoming Address to the 32nd International Psychoanalytical Association Congress, Helsinki, 1981. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 63:1-2.

(1982). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 63:1-2

Welcoming Address to the 32nd International Psychoanalytical Association Congress, Helsinki, 1981

Adam Limentani

It is an honour and a great pleasure to welcome you to our 32nd Congress. My task is briefly to introduce the Scientific programme, whilst describing some of the thinking which has gone into its preparation. Nowadays, it is generally assumed that a Congress should have an overall theme, which will keep a particular issue in focus. Some notable precedents in recent times have been set by, for instance, the London event in 1979, when the main theme was 'Changes in psychoanalytic practice and experience'. That was followed by the Jerusalem Congress with 'Affects in the psychoanalytic situation', and New York, when we addressed ourselves to some very basic clinical issues in psychoanalysis. It will be readily appreciated that successive Programme Committees have attempted to deal with issues which are of much concern within psychoanalysis, and that the depth of difference and controversy, both theoretical and clinical, is such that we need to address ourselves to these issues. It seemed to us on the Programme Committee that the scientific exchanges at the last three Congresses pointed to a mounting interest and concern with very early experiences. This had also been clearly reflected in the suggestions put forward at the important, even if sparsely attended, evaluation sessions in Jerusalem and New York. However, careful examination of the majority of recent contributions confirms the impression that alongside a great deal of theorizing about early experiences, there is an unprecedented and persistent demand and need for supporting clinical evidence.

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