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Golcman, A.A. (2012). The Experiment of the Therapeutic Communities in Argentina: The Case of the Hospital Estévez. Psychoanal. Hist., 14(2):269-283.

(2012). Psychoanalysis and History, 14(2):269-283

The Experiment of the Therapeutic Communities in Argentina: The Case of the Hospital Estévez

Aída Alejandra Golcman, Ph.D.

This article analyses the process of how psychoanalysis was incorporated into the field of Mental Health and psychiatric treatments in Argentina. For this purpose, it examines the case of an experimental pilot centre involving therapeutic communities that was established in the late 1960s at the Hospital Estévez, in the municipality of Lomas de Zamora. The paper sets out to show how these therapeutic communities -which were based on the theories of psychoanalysis and community psychology -served as another way of disseminating psychoanalysis within Argentina. Psychoanalysis got incorporated into the therapeutic practices used in the treatment of psychiatric patients at public hospitals, institutional spaces that functioned under the direction of psychoanalysts. The present paper shows that, while the therapeutic communities formed part of a period of theoretical and therapeutic changes throughout the whole institution, the experiment at the Hospital Estévez exercised an influence well beyond the confines of the pilot centre. In particular, the article discusses how the abrupt closure of the pilot project contributed to the wide diffusion of psychoanalysis in the press and helped to designate the protagonists of the therapeutic communities as the ‘standard-bearers’ of change in mental health.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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