Evolution of the Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
The Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (SPP) was established in 2002 by psychologists and psychiatrists practicing psychoanalytic psychotherapy. We were united under common goals aimed at sustaining international educational and professional standards in the sphere of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. SPP is the only representative body of the European Federation for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (EFPP) in Russia.
The Articles of Association of SPP was approved at the General Meeting of Founders on October 22, 2002, and its official registration took place on December 09, 2002. It had been the result of more than 10 years of professional development of our society members. Our history can be divided into three following periods.
1. The Russian Psychoanalytic Association (1989-1999). Work group at the Institute of Practical Psychology and Psychoanalysis.
2. The program at the American Psychoanalytic Association (1994-2002).
3. The Society of Psychoanalytic Psychology; acceptance to the European Federation for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.
1. The Russian Psychoanalytic Association (1989-1999)
The Russian Psychoanalytic Association (RPA) was a professional public organisation which existed in Moscow for 10 years (1989-1999). In 1993 several RPA members began teaching psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the Institute of Practical Psychology and Psychoanalysis (called the Academic School of Professional Psychology up to 1998).
In 1999 RPA split into two groups – the Society of Psychoanalysts (Moscow) under the presidency of P.Kachalov, and the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Department at the Institute of Practical Psychology and Psychoanalysis (IPPP), where the head of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Department at IPPP was M.Romashkevich, RPA executive director as of 1992-1995 and RPA Executive Board co-chairman as of 1995-1999.
Later, several RPA members joined the Founders of SPP, among them were V.Dorodeyko (RPA member since 1997), V.Zimin (RPA member since 1996), E.Zimina (RPA member since 1996), K.Korbut (RPA member since 1997), M.Romashkevich (RPA member since 1990, RPA executive director from 1992 to 1995), Ye.Spirkina (RPA member since 1991, RPA Executive Board member since 1995). Several RPA members later joined SPP; among them were T.Grachyova (RPA member since 1991), A.Shibayev (RPA member since 1993), I.Shibayeva (RPA member since 1991).
2. The Work Group at the Institute of Practical Psychology and Psychoanalysis (1994-2002)
In 1994 the students and, later on, the graduates of the Institute of Practical Psychology and Psychoanalysis (IPPP) (headed by Ye.Spirkina) established a work group under psychological councelling of IPPP. The group gathered once a week to perform group intervisions of clinical cases and discuss psychoanalytic literature. The members of the work group regularly participated in seminars, supervisions, and workshops on psychoanalysis conducted by full members of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA) from Western Europe and organised in Moscow by the Moscow Psychoanalytic Society and the Russian Psychoanalytic Association. In 1997 the Committee of Eastern Europe at the Moscow Psychoanalytic Association, later, in 2002, joined by the Han Groen-Prakken Psychoanalytic Institute for Eastern Europe (PIEE; IPA Institute) established on its basis, lauched annual summer schools with the participation of the members of the work group.
In 1998 this group joined Modern Psychodynamic Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis Program at the Russian-American Committee on Education of the American Psychoanalytic Association, which lasted 4 years (1998-2002). Famous American psychoanalysts – full members of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA), training-analysts, and supervisors – from various American psychoanalytic institutes came 4-5 times a year and spent here 4 days, 3 of which were tightly scheduled with clinical seminars, individual and group supervisions. Apart from participating in those events, the group members read and discussed the recommended articles on psychoanalysis and attended group intervisions. The participants of the program have kept in touch with several American psychoanalysts for a number of years so far for the prolonged weekly supervision (via phone and e-mail).
3. The establishing of the Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (2002) and its further development
In 2002 M.Romashkevich, the head of the Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Department at IPPP, gave a speech before the members of the work group of psychological councelling of IPPP to promote the initiative to establish the Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. A need in that had existed for a long time, since, actually, the functioning of the group and its cooperation with Russian and international psychoanalytic societies went far beyond the framework of a work group. The draft of the Articles of Association of SPP began to be compiled. On October 15, 2002, a joint meeting of the work group of psychological councelling of IPPP and of IPPP graduates specialising in psychoanalysis took place, which resulted in establishing of the second work group. On October 22, 2002 at the Meeting of Founders the Articles of Association was approved, and on December 9, 2002 the official registration of SPP took place. One of the most important events in the life of the society at this stage was the acceptance of the Adult Individual Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Section of SPP to the European Federation for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (EFPP) (in March 2003 as associate members, in March 2005 as full members of EFPP). On March 26, 2003 Serge Frisch (Luxembourg), the president (as well as a founder) of EFPP, and Margaret Mörner (Sweden), the head of the Adult Individual Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Section of EFPP, came to Moscow to get to know the members of the Society of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and the Moscow Psychoanalytic Society. The members of SPP became regular participants at EFPP conferences.
The Society gradually expanded. In autumn 2003 the third work group of SPP began its work. From the very beginning of their professional development, SPP members have chosen the path of alignment with those societies that are in compliance with the international standards of psychoanalytic education, such as the Moscow Psychoanalytic Society (MPS) and the Society of Psychoanalysts (Moscow) (SP/M). Full members of MPS and SP/M have greatly contributed to educating a lot of members of SPP as moderators in groups specialising in psychoanalysis, lecturers of own specialised courses, individual supervisors, analytical therapists. Several SPP members are full or associate members of MPS. SPP was one of three (MPS, SP/M, SPP) groups that organised Moscow Psychoanalytic Seminars. Thus, SPP was an organiser of the Fourth Moscow Psychoanalytic Seminar in June 2003.
On September 9, 2003, an extended meeting of SPP took place, which was held together with psychoanalysts who had been trained as group psychoanalytic psychotherapists. At that meeting an issues of establishing and developing of the section of group psychoanalytic psychotherapy and the section of psychoanalytic psychotherapy of married couples within SPP, as well as of arranging joint conferences at SPP (that have been launched on a regular basis since 2003) were raised.
The Group Analysis Section has become a rightful and actively developing part of SPP. For two years the members of the section have been implementing the project of applying the method of group analysis in clinical psychiatry, which is practiced on the basis of Family and Mental Health Center of Social and Psychological Support (where the president is V.Yastrebov, and the director is T.Solokhina, D. M. Sc.). In February 2004 three members of the Group Analysis Section of SPP undertook an internship in Great Britain at the invitation of David Kennard, who is the supervisor of the project to create the Therapeutic Community (TC). Several members of the Group Analysis Section of SPP were certified in accordance with E.G.A.T.I.N criteria. This period witnessed formation of the current structure of the society. Initially, all the decisions were made by the Meeting of Founders. With the evolvement of SPP, an opportunity of greater differentiation appeared.
On May 25, 2004 the Meeting of Founders made a decision to establish the structure of the society so that it would comprise: 1) the Executive Board including a President, a Vice- President, an Academic Secretary and representatives of each work group and section; 2) work groups; 3) sections; 4) committees.
Finally, on September 22, 2004 the Meeting of Founders made a decision to restructure SPP, which meant dissolving of work groups as structural divisions of SPP. Since that moment the Society has functioned in accordance with the decisions of the Executive Board, sections, and committees. The work of the sections includes regular clinical and theoretical seminars, as well as organisational meetings. Intervisor (work) groups are formed and work at a personal initiative of the members of the Society. Until 2012 there were 3 categories of membership in the Society – full, associate, and observer memberships. According to the decision of the General Meeting of SPP (in May 2012), the status of observer membership was discontinued in autumn 2012. At the same time, the status of candidate to SPP undergoing professional training in accordance with the standards of SPP (EFPP) was introduced.
In December 2010, the General Meeting of SPP Members ratified the decision of the Executive Board to grant the group of studies in and psychoanalytic therapy of couples and families the status of the Section of Couple and Family Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy of SPP, and in February 2011 this section received the status of associate member of the Section of Couple and Family Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at EFPP. In 2020 this Section terminated its membership in the SPP and established the separate legal entity.
Later, according to the decisions of the General Meetings as of December 6, 2009 and December 5, 2010, the structure of the Executive Board of SPP was amended – thus, the Executive Board from that time on included the chairmen of training committees of each section and a representative at EFPP from each section, as well as an additional position of the Chairman of the Executive Board elected by the General Meeting and in charge of the organisation of work of the Executive Board.
The elections of the President, the members of the Executive Board, the commissions, and the committees of SPP are held every two years. We consider the elaboration of the Ethics Code regulating professional activities of SPP members to be our great achievement.
Presently, SPP includes more that 100 members. There are two sections within SPP – the Adult Individual Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Section and the Group Analysis Section.
The SPP Presidents:
- 2002-2006 Mikhail Romashkevich (the Adult Individual Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Section)
- 2006-2010 Kseniya Korbut (the Adult Individual Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Section)
- 2010-2014 Vitaly Zimin (the Adult Individual Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Section)
- 2014-2017 Aleksandra Beniaminova (the Group Analysis Section)
- 2017–2021 Anna Kovalets (the Adult Individual Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Section)
- since 2021 Gennady Kuzmenok (the Adult Individual Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Section)