Informal Groups

We are presently waiting for the presentation papers of all informal working groups in order to publish them here.

Psychoanalysts Refugee Working Group (PER)

CHAIR: Valeria Egidi Morpurgo (SPI)

COMPONENTS: Fabio Castriota, Maria Assunta Giannini, Vanna Berlincioni, Alfredo Lombardozzi, Virginia De Micco, Roberto Goisis, Anna Ferruta, Stefano Trinchero


PER is an informal working group set up by the Italian Psychoanalytical Society (SPI) in May 2016. Its aim is to create a net among EPF psychoanalysts involved in in-depth theoretical courses and clinical initiatives on psychic dynamics and dimensions relevant to the topic of migrants and refugees in Europe. The trauma of  the refugees and displaced persons, who have lost their bearings and cultural reference system, concerns the whole population involved. This experience has to be worked through psychoanalitically: a specific theoretical and clinical challenge for psychoanalysts in the Europe of today

The groupe PER is OPEN to any participant.


Group on Psychoanalysis and Literature

CHAIR AND MEMBERS: Judy Gammelgaard (Denmark), Sølvi Kristiansen (Norway), Rotraut De Clerck (Germany), Alexander Uskov (Russia), Marinella Linardos (Italy), Andrea Escobar (Colombia).

The group had its first meeting on the 26 - 27 August 2016 at the EPF-House in Brussels. Not all members had the possibility of joining the group. It was therefore decided that the group will take the time needed to find its platform and to work out the aims and plans for future work before taking any decision of applying for being accepted as an ad-hoc group. We did, however, have a long and stimulating discussion of the group´s aim and methodology, a discussion of Das Unheimliche and of Camus´ Novel L'étranger and we came out with the following themes for our future work.

  1. Psychoanalytic approach to art, or what do we mean by applied analysis?
  2. Different methodologies
  3. The experience of reading literature and other forms of art
  4. The dangers of using psychoanalysis to explain a literary work or other works of art.
  5. What may psychoanalysis add to literary and art historical understanding of art?
  6. A discussion of Hannah Segal´s important ideas about art.

Concerning our plans for the near future we will have a panel at the forthcoming EPF-conference (2017 in The Hague) on the subject of “The Uncanny and Strange”. Sølvi Kristiansen will read a paper on “The Uncanny and Aesthetic experience” and Rotraut De Clerck will read her paper “Reading Camus´ L'étranger with Freud´s The Uncanny”. Judy Gammelgaard will be chairing the panel and give some information about the group.

Research Seminar on Psychoanalysis and Work-Related Suffering

Over the last fifteen years, psychoanalysts increasingly see patients whose initial decision to seek treatment was triggered by work-related suffering. Suffering at work is not a classical question in psychoanalysis. Freud only briefly alludes to it. A century after the foundation of psychoanalysis, is it justified to open a new field of investigation specifically concerning the clinics of work? Practitioners from various regions of the world think that the answer to this question is yes.

The subjective relation to work is classically approached in psychoanalysis by reference to sublimation. But all professional activities do not involve sublimation. Far from it. Certain tasks may even be considered "anti-sublimatory". Just think of the repetitive work under time constraint of the Taylor system, the assembly lines invented by Ford a century ago, or Charlie Chaplin's film "Modern Times" to get an idea of it.

Today, not only industrial workers and call centers employees suffer in the workplace. Senior executives, hospital physicians, judges, high officials in the European Community organizations... also complain. The increasing frequency of mental disorders seems to be related to the new methods of work organization and management that have been introduced in industrial as well as in agricultural and animal breeding settings, as well as in public sector.

How, from psychoanalytic point of view can we account for these pathologies? How, while "listening psychoanalytically ", can we identify in the patients’s words what relates back to the subjective experience of work?  French psychoanalysts have published extensively on this matter. But clinics of work raise considerable interest in several psychoanalytic societies, especially in Europe and Latin America.

We propose to organize a European research seminar in which we will start by identifying colleagues interested in the topic. We will then review the existing analytical literature. The research work itself will first focus on the experience that analysts taking part in the seminar have of this clinics.

This seminar will be part of the European Psychoanalytical Federation research program which will provide logistical support for the organization of this work.

Christophe Dejours