August 14, 2017
The Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis (STP), founded in 1983, defines its activity as “a conceptual development of psychoanalytic theory”. It uses the name ”Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis” on this grounds.
The name ‘’Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis (STP)’’ is misleading and does not signify the actual activity of the society, which is why it breaks the 10th article of the Association law. Furthermore, STP defines its activity unsuitably.
Their activity is not defined in accordance with the facts, because the STP is a philosophical society and not a psychoanalytic association/society. Organizations that are not part of a certain field cannot develop the same field’s theory.
Among its members, the STP does not have any psychoanalysts. The membership is primarily composed of sociologists and philosophers. This means that its activity is the sociological and philosophical interpretation of different fields, and among all the rest, also the sociological and philosophical interpretation of psychoanalytic theory, application of the latter to other fields and setting up sociological and philosophical connections with psychoanalytic theory. This means that its activity is the sociological and philosophical usage of already made psychoanalytic theory and not the latter’s development.
Sociological and philosophical usage of psychoanalytic theory, application of theory to other fields, and setting up connections with psychoanalysis are not the matter at issue. The matter at issue is the name of the STP, and its definition of its own activity, which are diametrically opposite to one another.
The right to public information (about what psychoanalysis is) and the Association law of the Republic of Slovenia (especially those with the status of association in the public interest, among which the STP is) precede the STP members’ self-understanding of their own activity. That is especially the case here, because not only are the definitions of activity and naming contentious at best, they are also in opposition with psychoanalytic theory of Lacanian orientation and their international organisations.
Concerning the STP’s actual activity, more suitably naming would be:
– Philosophical Society for Psychoanalytic Theory;
– Society for Freudian Philosophy;
– Society for Lacanian Philosophy;
– Society for Philosophy of Psychoanalysis;
– Society for Application of Psychoanalytic Theory to Other Fields;
Because of the unsuitable naming of the STP, and unsuitable definition of its activity, intentional misunderstandings appear. The latter directly prejudice actual psychoanalysis, actual psychoanalysts, actual psychoanalytic projects, and actual psychoanalytic organizations in Slovenia (and broader):
● In the last 35 years, the STP has acquired state financial funds for publication of monographs of their articles, unauthorised translations of psychoanalytic monographs, and the journal Problemi (receiving 1.458.757 EUR of taxpayers money in recent years).
● Members of STP hold lectures in various departments of the University of Ljubljana, which means that they create the wrong impression of being “theoretical psychoanalysts” and propagate the wrong knowledge that psychoanalysis could be “theoretical”. Philosophers who misleadingly present themselves as “theoretical psychoanalysts” can be excellent philosophers and writers, but have nothing to do with the psychoanalysis, and have no knowledge about the clinic. This is why their employment of the expression “psychoanalyst” for definition of their activity is in any case contentious;
● Anyone who has not been analysed themselves or is not engaged in psychoanalytic practice, cannot name themselves psychoanalyst. Philosophising about that is misleading;
● Consequently, future analysands appeal to ‘’theoretical psychoanalysts’’ about the possibility of undergoing psychoanalytic treatment.
● Philosophical interpretation of psychoanalysis in Slovenia is misleadingly presented as Lacanian psychoanalysis itself. This has a negative influence on the work of psychoanalysts and the implementation of Lacanian psychoanalytic projects.
In order to avoid further misunderstandings, two necessities are the change of naming of the Society for Theoretical Psychoanalysis, and a clear definition of its activity that will be in coherence with activities of the organisation in question.
Janja Kaiser-Zupančič, Lacanian psychoanalyst and M.A in Law
Nina Krajnik, Lacanian psychoanalyst and PhD in Philosophy