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Zoja, L. Proner, B. (1983). Reports on the Ninth International Congress of the I.A.A.P. (15-23 March 1983). J. Anal. Psychol., 28(4):381-383.

(1983). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 28(4):381-383

Reports on the Ninth International Congress of the I.A.A.P. (15-23 March 1983)

Luigi Zoja and Barry Proner

The Congress Theme was meant to focus on the two main trends of Jungian psychology, and to foster a confrontation, or perhaps even a polemic, between them. In the event this proved hardly to be the case. Even more so than in previous Congresses, the majority of speakers basically ignored the official theme and went their own way.

Unlike in other fields of research, the organisation of a psychological congress is not separate from the professional aspect; it is, in other words, already a psychological task.

We could ask ourselves whether it was psychologically sensible to foster controversy and polemics among people who, realistically, consider a congress also as a vacation. We could also ask whether to foster a collective debate on a rather specific theme is consistent with the values of those who have been taught individuation as a basic guideline.

Finally, the chosen location, Jerusalem, constellated so many archetypal motifs that it was in itself a theme.

The few speakers who really dealt with the theme did not provide a true contrast between the symbolic and the clinical approaches to analysis. The reason was put most clearly by Dr Zinkin: ‘If we really had this choice, which of us would not choose the symbolic?’

Indeed, the confrontation of clinical versus symbolic took place in two distinct areas. In the practical one most speakers seemed to foster a complementarity of the two poles: apparently it was not so much out of fear that by neglecting the clinical, Jungian work might lack results, but rather that their explanations might prove to be too esoteric.

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