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Ungar, V. (2017). Letter from Argentina. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 98(3):587-594.

(2017). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 98(3):587-594

Letter From

Letter from Argentina Language Translation

Virginia Ungar

Psychoanalysis has a long and rich history in Argentina, both in the fields of psychiatry and psychotherapy and in the cultural realm. Psychoanalytic ideas and vocabulary have pervaded our everyday lives. You can hear them in ordinary conversations; people will say that so-and-so is a hysteric, will accuse you of projecting, or will tell you that their co-worker is una reprimida (repressed) or un acomplejado (full of complexes). Psychoanalysts write op-ed pieces for newspapers and are consulted for TV and radio reports. Among them, there are playwrights, novelists, poets, and painters. Some of them were even persecuted during the last Argentine dictatorship, and forced to leave the country.

This connection with the social sphere has been part of psychoanalytic practice in Argentina since its inceptions. Two of the founders of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association (APA), Marie Langer and Angel Garma, came to Argentina escaping persecution in Spain because of their political activism. Enrique Pichon-Rivière, another of the precursors of Argentine psychoanalysis, strongly believed in the deep interrelation between subjectivity and society, to the point that he eventually created the Argentine School of Social Psychology. Furthermore, Argentine analysts have always been interested in using their knowledge and experience to engage in community work, as I discuss later.

While the history of psychoanalysis in Argentina is varied and interesting, I will not dwell on it here.

[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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