The SAPC unites under one organisation groups of clinicians from diverse professions whose therapeutic work is informed by psychoanalytic theory and its application. This approach concerns itself with the relationship between conscious and unconscious mental processes as well as with the relationship between the clinician and the patient or group. It is a therapeutic process which helps patients understand and resolve their problems by increasing their awareness of their inner world, its relation to their historical context, and its influence over their lives and past and present relationships. Psychoanalytic approaches are concerned not merely with symptom alleviation but with self-discovery and maturation. It aims for deep-seated change in personality and emotional development.
Besides the interlocking economic, structural, social and psychological conditions consequent on our traumatic and troubled history, the prevalence of mental illness, has increased in SA. There is an urgent need for mental health interventions that respond meaningfully and sustainably to these present conditions as well as preventing further deterioration of our nation’s mental health and resource provision.
We believe that the Psychoanalytic paradigm is such a sustainable alternative. Traditionally Psychoanalytic work is associated with individual work in the consulting room but for many years internationally psychoanalytic clientele have diversified beyond the individual to couples, groups and communities and its settings have increasingly moved out beyond the therapy room. Rather than merely the obvious symptoms and behaviour our work focuses on the deeper structural issues that underlie individual and social difficulties. What is applied in common to all of these approaches is a depth of understanding of human emotions, behaviour and relatedness.
The SAPC constitution mandates us to
- Promote and broaden access to psychoanalytically oriented therapy
- Foster the growth of psychoanalytic thinking, studies, training and research in an African context
- Foster dialogue with the public health sector and the general public sector, including the relevant professional statutory bodies.
- Promote cooperation between component organisations.
- Promote the maintenance of high standards of training, practice and ethical conduct.