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Flores, J. (2014). The IFPS: Fifty years and the work and future of the Federation. Int. Forum Psychoanal., 23(2):65-68.

(2014). International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 23(2):65-68


The IFPS: Fifty years and the work and future of the Federation

Juan Flores

This anniversary finds our Federation, the International Federation of Psychoanalytic Societies (IFPS), at a developmental stage where highly complex institutional issues are converging. I believe that we need to think back to the origins of the IFPS, that is, to the reasons and meaning behind the creation of our institution. There is a certain perspective which maintains that the foundations of a psychoanalytic institution worthy of that name must be specifically psychoanalytic so as to preserve it from external influences. Such an assertion denies the pre-eminence of other, social determinations by assuming that the dominant legality in psychoanalytic institutions (which are also social formations, after all) is that of psychoanalysis. What we observe is that in these institutions, as in any social formation, there is a tendency to reproduce certain sacred myths that have been ritually established as identity-defining elements. This type of behavior only leads to repetition, and erases the institution's foundational meaning.

As a sort of imago, the history of the psychoanalytic movement shapes psychoanalytic discourse and even the conditions for its transformation, especially since the history of every psychoanalytic institution is also a history of conflicts, competition, and discredit, marked by the effigy of its creator, Sigmund Freud. The history of institutional victors is built on a speaking silence – on the absence of the excluded and the vanquished, and of those who were unable to forge the hegemony and agreements needed to prevail over the rest.

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