Psychoanalytic work in South Africa today Conference 2016

SAPC Dialogues

Welcome Address

On behalf of the SAPC we are pleased to welcome you to our first Conference.

The South African Psychoanalytic Confederation was formed in 2009 joining together over 50 groups representing a diverse range of Psychoanalytic paradigms, practices and settings with a common commitment to a Psychoanalytic approach to the broader mental health of all people of South Africa.

Besides the interlocking economic, structural, social and psychological conditions consequent on our traumatic and troubled history, the prevalence of mental illness, especially depression, has increased in SA. This troubling fact, coupled with the poor state of mental health services in SA, has had a further adverse effect on not only the mentally ill adults, but also those most vulnerable – children, the elderly and postnatal others. 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, hence the title of the conference “Couch and Country”.  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 organizations.
  • Promote the maintenance of high standards of training, practice and ethical conduct hold Congresses.

We are happy to say that this, our first conference, fulfils all of these aims as well as offering us an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the rich and diverse work of SAPC members and the impact and reach that psychoanalytic thinking is having across all levels of mental health care.

We look forward to sharing our psychoanalytic work and having the opportunity to dialogue with you. We are pleased to share with you our work, our friendship, our hope for fruitful dialogue and ideas to take our psychoanalytic profession and work, forward into the future.

Thank you all for coming and a big thank you to everyone who worked so hard to arrange this historic occasion.


Flyer SAPC Dialogues 12 Aug