The Implementation of its Objectives
Meanwhile, the EPF has grown to become a large organization of around 3,900 members, from 20 European Societies, two Provisional Societies and four Study Groups. To promote scientific exchange in Europe, the EPF organizes many scientific conferences on varied subjects, that are either open to a wide circle of colleagues (conferences) or to which the Societies each send two delegates (colloquia). Unfortunately, due to the growth in the number of members, some conferences have been forced to forego their private and confidential character.
This can be seen in particular at the EPF Main Conference which takes place every two years. The last conference was held in March 1999 in Berlin on the subject: "Love, Hate and Violence: A Challenge to Contemporary Psychoanalysis" at which, for the first time, the unusually large number of 720 psychoanalysts from 26 countries met. For those interested, the themes of all the Main Conferences since 1983, and their main speakers, are listed below. A study of the various themes gives an insight into the changes that have taken place, as the subject areas have always been chosen for their topicality. All of the Main Conference presentations have been published in the EPF Bulletin.
The Scientific Symposium, also a biennial conference, alternates with the Main Conference. Its objective is to provide the basis for high-level scientific discussion on important and controversial psychoanalytical concepts. The following subjects have been dealt with: "The Death Instinct", "Drives and Affects", "Construction and Reconstruction“, "What is an Object?", "The Role of the Dream in Present-Day Psychoanalytic Practice“, "The Different Levels of Interpretation", "Psychoanalysts Speaking to Psychoanalysts" and in the forthcoming year 2000: "Language Communication: Meeting-Place of Drive and Object". Each Society is invited to send two members who have specialized in the chosen theme of the symposium.