European Association of Psychoanalysis
Letter to the European Parliament
To the President
To the Deputies
Subject: Intervention to defend the freedom of psychoanalysis in Europe
Psychoanalysis was born a little bit more than a hundred years ago as a method of
questioning the unconscious psyche of neurotics and free it from its conflicts.
Right after, it emancipated from its initial specific area, psychiatry, to assume every
time more the characteristics of an "unconscious science" capable of offering
new conceptional instruments to deep in the knowledge of human nature and its expression
in the individual, social and cultural aspects. The main promoter of this
emancipation was Sigmund Freud himself, father of psychoanalysis.
According to his explicit will, psychoanalysis must remain faithful to its statute of
science and to its main vocation of improving the understanding of the unconscious
dynamics, which determine the human thoughts and behaviours cannot be rationally
This investigation job can be compared to the investigator's job that follows suspect
traces and discovers the possible motivations of the different behaviors. It is then
logical that such operation can bring up strong resistance on the part of the analyzed
persons when feelings and conflicts that they would like to continue ignoring show up,
even having to pay the consequences through a neurosis.
These resistances can take many shapes and displace the attention from the meaning of the
symptoms to the cure. These explanations might seem a bit technical, but they are
necessary to understand the fundamental distinction existing between psychotherapy and
psychoanalysis. While the first one, in
all its forms, has as objective the cure of the symptoms, the second focuses on the
consciousness of its meanings. It is, then, the analyzed person's decision to either
accept or not, the moral implications of the disease.
The analyst has the sole professional task of offering "analysis" to his/her
patients, representing for them a true mirror and an interlocutor capable of listening due
to his/her specific formation. This is done
through personal analysis which permits to find the existence of the unconscious and test
its effects in him/her self. This is a type of non academical formation, but
experienced, which objective is to make analysts capable of knowing and conducting their
own emotional reactions in the best
possible way, in face of the unconscious dynamics raised by the analyzed persons.
As a conclusion, the members of the AEP, taking into consideration an eventual European
plan for regulation of the professions of psychoanalysis, psychotherapists and
psychoanalysts, here request to the European Parliament to consider this requirement and
take the necessary steps so that psychoanalysis continues to be different from other
disciplines and has the freedom of being practiced by anyone, independently of titles and
cultural restrictions, being in practice nothing more than a special way of
(Traduzione di Denise Maia)
Monsieur le Président,
J'ai bien reçu votre courriel du 3 avril 2002, ayant pour objet une
intervention en défense de la psychanalyse européenne libre.
Si, depuis plus de quarante ans, le Conseil a adopté un nombre considérable de
directives destinées à faciliter l'exercice effectif de la liberté de prestations de
services, ceci s'est accompagné d'une exigence en matière de qualifications et de
diplômes pour pouvoir accéder à certains emplois.
Le Parlement européen, étant appelé à se prononcer dans le cadre du processus
législatif, je transmets votre requête à la commission juridique et des droits des
Je vous prie d'agréer, Monsieur le Président, l'assurance de mes sentiments distingués.
Jean-Louis A. COUGNON
Chef de division
Courrier du Citoyen
Head of division
Correspondence with the citizen