Why Join the SAPC

What is the history of the SAPC?

The South African Psychoanalytic Confederation (SAPC) was formed in 2009. It is founded on the belief that a common analytic attitude unites practitioners across diverse backgrounds and that there are benefits from pooling our resources. Membership includes colleagues from different training backgrounds including psychologists, social workers, nurses, priests, occupational therapists, lay counsellors, as well as analysts, qualified locally and internationally.


What is “Psychoanalytic”?

Broadly speaking, all psychoanalytic approaches concern themselves with the relationship between conscious and unconscious processes and the relationship between the clinician and the patient or group. Rather than temporary symptom alleviation, Psychoanalytic approaches are concerned with sustainable changes in deep-seated personality structures.


What is the Structure of the SAPC?

As a confederation SAPC is an organisation made up of component member groups. There are currently 47 groups and over 400 members who are involved in a wide range of activities including teaching, training and treatment with individuals, couples, groups, communities and corporates.
Individuals wanting to join the confederation need to apply for membership through an SAPC group, extant or newly-formed. A minimum of 3 people is considered as constituting a group. As an SAPC member, each group maintains its autonomy and elects a member/members to represent the group at SAPC meetings. A group may elect one group rep for every 10 members. In this way the group-size is directly related to its influence and voting power.
The role of the group rep is twofold: (1) to facilitate the line of communication between the group and the confederation and (2) to participate in the SAPC committees and projects. In terms of the first task, group reps are required to attend 1-2 group rep meetings a year and an Annual General Meeting. On behalf of their groups, Group reps participate in the confederation decision making and liaise between the confederation and their home group. Through the second task group reps are invited to participate actively in the workings of the confederation in the various committees or projects that interest them: Advocacy, Diversity, Media, Ethics, Register as well as the normal functionaries (treasurer, secretary, chair, and national group rep). Each committee would have its own schedule of meetings. Group reps are supported in these roles by the National Group Representative, a member of the SAPC executive.


Which Groups may join?

SAPC groups cover a range of theories and applications. All groups that are involved and interested in psychoanalytic theory and practice are welcome to join, for example psychoanalytic reading groups, study groups, clinical seminar, supervision groups, journal clubs, study institutes, educational institutions such as university courses and non-governmental and non-profit organizations applying psychoanalysis in their thinking and practice. All these SAPC groups are to be found on the SAPC website if you are looking for a suitable group to join or for a referral source. Individuals, who for any reason are unable to join an existing group, or form a new group, are invited to join the Friends of SAPC group; this is a catch-all group. The SAPC is committed to diversity in all of its manifestations and the encouragement of this across paradigms, professions and society is facilitated by the executive member holding the Diversity portfolio.
What about Fees?
Fees cover the running costs of the organisation and are put towards achieving the outlined tasks. The SAPC annual budget is open to the scrutiny of all members. This is handled by the treasurer and administrator.



What is the membership Fee?

For 2018 it is R550


How do I pay my fee?

Individual SAPC members need to select ONE group as their fee paying group and to pay the SAPC fee to that group (either its Group Rep or Treasurer). The Group Rep/Treasurer will then make a total group payment to SAPC.


Why can’t I just pay directly into the SAPC bank account?

Fees are collected from groups for structural and logistic reasons. SAPC is a confederation of groups who are then, by definition, the members from whom we collect fees. It is easier for the Treasurer, who serves on a voluntary basis, to chase 40 group fees than 400 individual fees.


If the group is a member of the Confederation why then do we pay individual rather than group fees?

SAPC’s operational costs would necessitate a prohibitively high group rate that would discriminate against small groups. The decision was voted by members at the 2012 AGM, to invoice individuals (options attached FYI). This compromise solution is not only egalitarian and pragmatic, it also firms up buy-in from individuals who, after all, participate in and benefit from SAPC’s efforts both as group members and as individual practitioners. A group with more individual members has more votes and more influence.

What if I belong to a group but do not pay their full group fees – e.g. I am on LOA, semi-retirement or I am a community worker, student etc.?

SAPC will not expect fees from people who are not being charged full fees by their group. Such members may, however, elect to pay the SAPC fee in order to access the benefits of membership: the bi-annual PPSA journal, reduced conference registration fees and reduced PEP Web subscription rate. Please indicate your fee paying status clearly on the group info sheet.


What if I am not a member of an SAPC group?

Only paid up SAPC members will receive the bi-annual journal PPSA and qualify for reduced conference registration fees. If you are not a paid up member of an existing SAPC group, you are welcome to form a new group or you can choose to join the Friends of SAPC (FOS) group.


Tell me more about FOS

Friends of SAPC is a group for interested professional and lay-individuals who for geographical, logistical, professional or other reasons do not (or cannot) belong to any confederate group but who wish to join the confederation. Membership includes full fringe benefits (free journal, reduced PEP Web and registration fee options) as well as participation. For more information and/or to register for this group, contact the National Group Representative. (In 2018: please email Irene Chait at sapcgroups@gmail.com. )


What if SAPC membership is not appropriate for all of our members?

SAPC commits itself to being as accommodating of as diverse a membership as possible. Our diversity is central to achieving our objectives, differentiating us from other professional bodies. Currently SAPC includes groups e.g. – GAIMH, Lefika, JPCCC, Khanye Family Centre, Ububele, RUPPMSG – made up of students, community workers, members who do not (necessarily or currently) identify themselves as psychoanalytic practitioners or who cannot afford the fees. SAPC will not expect fees from such individuals. However, in order not to jeopardise our resources or alienate full-paying members SAPC’s minimum expectation in such situations is that the group’s executive and professionally registered members be fee-paying SAPC members. Of course, any “excluded” members may still elect to become fee-paying members of SAPC in order to access benefits or to participate in SAPC’s work. Please contact the Treasurer at sapctreasury@gmail.com to set up and agree on such arrangements regarding fees. At the same time please assist us and your GR by (1) clarifying your personal details and (2) making your fee payment promptly – it will speed up the administrative process, and facilitate our operations.


Why join the SAPC anyway?

SAPC showcases the relevance and diversity of the theory and application of the Psychoanalytic paradigm. Through its diversity and numbers the confederation is able to make a difference structurally, socially and professionally. This can enhance the professional standing and legitimacy of both groups and individuals. In addition, the SAPC facilitates the opportunity for groups and individuals to network, share resources, cross-refer, co-operate and support each other.


Structural Relevance

Within a climate where short-term approaches are being prioritized by industry and government and the general populace, SAPC is committed to securing the place of psychoanalytic thinking and practice in its capacity to respond to collective and individual health issues. Through its enlarging membership, SAPC is more and more able to play an influential role in the advocacy of our work in Industry, government, and in the public domain. These efforts are entirely reliant on the collective strength and diversity of our membership. On behalf of our members the SAPC Advocacy portfolio has lobbied:

a. Industry for medical aid allocation which acknowledges the necessity for longer term work. The benefits of this work are experienced in the positive response from medical aids when applying for extra sessions or PMB’s. We are currently broadening our approach to include more medical aid schemes.

b. Government for inclusion of psychoanalytically orientated programmes and a broader more sustainable and systemic approach to mental health in the formulation of the NHI. The benefits of this are that our approaches can be included in and bolster the vision of the NHI, highlighting the paradigm’s capacity to engender lasting change and preventative impact. We are engaging with key figures and attending meetings around the designing of NHI.

c. Professional bodies around the definition of the scopes of practice for psychologists and social workers, cancellation of sessions etc. We are carefully forming alliances with relevant professional bodies.


Social relevance:

SAPC is committed to highlighting the roles that psychoanalytic thinking and practice plays in responding to social issues. It collates and facilitates opportunities for further involvement in and discussion of social affairs by psychoanalytic practitioners in lectures, workshops, colloquia and conferences as well as in the public domain through the Media portfolio’s facilitation of media exposure and participation. We have an active Facebook site, linked in profile and a blog site. Our members are regularly requested to comment on various clinical and social issues in the media. It is important that such debates include an informed psychoanalytic perspective.


Professional Relevance

Joining the SAPC demonstrates a commitment to developing a first class South African psychoanalytic identity and offers an opportunity to take part in guiding the future growth of our psychoanalytic community.
a) Legitimacy: Individual members (and groups) may be registered with national and international professional bodies or accredited by their respective groups. SAPC member groups enjoy added legitimacy by being associated with the formal structure of the Confederation and being accountable to its formalised constitution and a code of ethics that values psychoanalytic principles, both of which are in accordance with international standards. SAPC membership has free confidential access to a dedicated SAPC Ethics Advisory Committee to provide support and help practitioners work through psychoanalytical ethical dilemmas, thereby assisting in the maintenance of a certain standard of work and analytic attitude.
b) Profile: Membership of SAPC can enhance the profile of groups/practitioners
i. Individual Profile: One of the foundational objectives of the SAPC was to create a register of psychoanalytic practitioners to enhance legitimacy and raise the profile of members. For admission to this Register certain agreed minimum criteria need to be demonstrated. In setting up the register SAPC has endeavoured to ensure it is as inclusive and diverse as possible while still expressing an individual’s commitment to a psychoanalytic approach. This is handled by the Register committee.
ii. Group profile: SAPC member groups are profiled on the SAPC website. In addition, a directory, published as a complement to the 2012 Open Day, showcases the work and partnerships undertaken by SAPC groups, profiling our membership’s active commitment to national mental health. This is handled by Media and Diversity committees. Both these registers form a helpful referral source for individual work as well as outreach partnerships.


Professional Support

Membership of SAPC offers a range of ways to provide professional support.
a) Ethics The Ethics Advisory committee (EAC) facilitates discussion at various workshops on a range of new considerations like money, social media and, in confidential consultations, on ethical dilemmas. They have also interfaced, alongside other national bodies and representatives, with HPCSA regarding, for instance, the payment of missed therapy sessions. The committee continues to be accessed nationally to support individuals, groups and organisations in their ethical dilemmas.

b) Networking: The unique value of the confederation lies in its diversity. Unlike a professional body which collects individuals of a similar registration, approach or setting, by joining SAPC, members gain access to a national network of psychoanalytic practitioners who encompass a broad range of professional identities, approaches and applications of the psychoanalytic paradigm.

c) Honing: Membership of SAPC allows access to workshops, meetings and conferences and to get to know the wider psychoanalytic community. Being exposed to each other’s paradigms, affords us the opportunity to juxtapose and hone our approaches through discussion and debate. As the confederation matures, more and more platforms and opportunities are being created for such dialogue. SAPC attempts to dovetail with and support our group member’s on-going training initiatives and has hosted a number of events which enabled groups to meet one another and participate together. These have been handled by Diversity, Media and National Group rep portfolios.
i. SAPC hosted an Open Day Held on 14th September 2012 in Johannesburg at Ububele. This event was the start of a dialogue between the SAPC and the Department of Health in order to mutually co-operate in the future of South African mental health. This event was also an opportunity for the SAPC to cohere itself as a confederation. In spite of its diversity theoretically, as well as its distinct and separate group identities, members could unify under the common purpose of wanting to think and action a way into a healthy future for all South Africans.

ii. The 2014 Colloquium debated the interface between economics and health in reference to the medical aid model explained by a Discovery representative who outlined the rationale and logistics of medical aid, its applications and adjudication. We hosted poster displays in order to encourage the support of and collaboration with these existing partnerships and projects. In small groups, we discussed the many ethical dilemmas and personal activations which arise around money for therapists, social workers and health workers.

iii. In 2015 Jhb initiated a well-attended Psychoanalytic lecture series which is soon to be emulated in CTN where we are hoping to host “cross-disciplinary” case conferences between the various Psychoanalytic paradigms represented in our diverse group membership.

iv. In 2015 SAPC held 4 media workshops in Johannesburg and Cape Town were introduced to a variety of interesting initiatives using social media and exploring the ethical, psychological and philosophical challenges that they introduce.

v. In 2015, we held 2 Meeting of Groups functions in Jhb and Ctn where significant panel discussions explored the role of Psychoanalysis in South Africa. Facilitated small group processes encouraged us to meet each other and to learn of and discuss our local efforts and our respective paradigms. In this way we are trying to bridge between the silos that sometimes separate Psychoanalytic practitioners and paradigms.

vi. In 2016 SAPC plan to host a conference entitled “Couch and Country” highlighting the broad nature and efficacy of psychoanalytic work, showcasing traditional and contemporary applications of working with both individuals and collectives.

d) Co-operation: Membership of SAPC offers interesting new opportunities. As a result of this networking, cross-sector co-operation and partnerships in Psychoanalytic outreach work are inevitable, especially when the profession is under threat. There have been the inevitable teething problems but increasingly we find that joint interventions reduce duplication, enhance creativity and use resources more effectively by adding specific focussed value. By slipstreaming in the relevance and partnerships of existing work we have the potential to collectively fast-track the local adaption and profiling of psychoanalytic work.

e) Sharing Resources: Joining SAPC allows access to a range of resources that can support our professional development.
i. Amongst other resources, joining SAPC allows the members of the group subscription to a biannual journal as well as PEPWEB: an online archive of journal articles and classic books for a considerably reduced subscription rate. In addition, various groups have collections of literature and well-stocked libraries which can also be accessed. Many groups disseminate their own newsletters and journals which are also increasingly available to SAPC membership. We have collated the outreach work and partnerships of our groups (and their individual members) profiling the broad range of practitioners innovative work in an attractive handbook and reference source.
ii. From our media workshops we offer our membership a nifty handbook outlining the basics of social media
iii. Last year we published an electronic bulletin including articles on the Way Forward for Psychoanalysis from the panel discussions, mentioned above, which we hosted.
iv. Two highly-acclaimed peer-reviewed SAPC journals are delivered bi-annually to members.
v. We continue persevering to secure the substantial reduction of subscription to PEPWEB for our members. PEPWEB offers an enormous online archive of journal articles and classic books for a considerably reduced subscription rate).
vi. We plan collating SAPC publications on our website, facilitating access to group libraries and supporting the establishment of new libraries and archives.
The annual fee for 2016 is R480 per person. This means that all of these benefits are available to you for the price of half a session of psychotherapy: two journals, reduced PEPWEB subscription, reduced event registration and a diverse range of professional support and advocacy in the public, professional, industrial and governmental domains on your behalf, the benefits of which you are already enjoying. In addition, the SAPC facilitates the opportunity for groups and individuals to network, share resources, cross-refer, co-operate, debate with and support each other. The confederation is young, seven years old. It is not a firm of salaried employees. All of this work is done on a voluntary basis by practitioners who, like you, have got busy day-jobs. The confederation’s collective leverage and impact is only achieved through numbers and a collective effort. We welcome your active participation.