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Diercks, C. Ruhs, A. (2020). Letter From Vienna. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 101(3):589-594.

(2020). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 101(3):589-594

Letter From Vienna

Christine Diercks and August Ruhs

The EPF Conference was due to be held in Vienna in April 2020, but it was sadly cancelled due to coronavirus.

The Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (WPV, Wiener Psychoanalytische Vereinigung) and the Vienna Psychoanalytic Association (WAP, Wiener Arbeitskreis für Psychoanalyse) are delighted to be welcoming you to the 2020 EPF Congress in Vienna, the city that was the starting point for psychoanalysis with Sigmund Freud at that time.

The Vienna Psychoanalytic Society 1902–1938

From 1902, people met at the Wednesday Psychological Society that was finally formally established on 15 April 1908 under the name “Psychoanalytische Gesellschaft” (Psychoanalytic Society). Traditionally this date is regarded as the founding day of the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (WPV), although the official registration only took place in 1910, after the 2nd International Congress in Nuremberg. Despite the major crises with Adler and Jung shortly afterwards, psychoanalysis had established itself internationally. The First World War abruptly interrupted this process.

It was not until the Budapest Congress in 1918 that some members of the international group met again and, with the founding of a psychoanalytic press, the proposal for compulsory training analysis for future analysts and the founding of psychoanalytic treatment centres for people in need, the course was essentially set there for the future. On the model of the Berlin Polyclinic, in Vienna the psychoanalytic outpatient clinic or “Ambulatorium” was founded, in which not only was psychoanalytic treatment provided to the poor but psychoanalytic training was also established on what was later called the “Eitingon model.” A first newly trained generation of analysts was confronted with Freud's revisions of the theory of the drives and his structural theory and in the clinical seminar young analysts learned about Wilhelm Reich's technique of character analysis and his broader understanding of transference and resistance.

Because they wanted to continue with lay analysis, the training institute had to be formally separated from the outpatient clinic in 1925. In this year the International Training Committee was also formed, and it formulated the internationally compulsory training guidelines on the Berlin Eitingon model.

[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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