A History of the IAGP: Facts and Findings

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10 ottobre, 2012 - 19:10

Acknowledgements

This book has its origin in an interview which Licenciada Nora Speier Fernández and Doctor Graciela Ventrici from the Revista Argentina de Psicología y Psicoterapia de Grupo have with me on the occasion of the XII International Congress of Group Psychotherapy in Buenos Aires in August, 1995. In the first place, my gratitude for the enormous effort they made in favor of this enterprise and thanks also to the people responsible for the transcription of the tapes.

My most thankful appreciation and gratitude goes to the members of Grup d'Anàlisi Barcelona, my group of reference for many a year, who with admirable determination insisted in bringing this group adventure to conclusion. Not only was the original text read and worked through by this group but, also, in a way it has been written by it. The painful loss we suffered last February with the death of Susana Jover Fulgueira does not permit us to celebrate together. In regard to the editing and final publication of this text, Isabel Admetlla Admetlla, Hanne Campos, Mercè Martínez i Torres and Pedro Mir i Rodés deserve all the merit. Not only have they helped me to clarify my ideas but they also contributed so many more that I am unable to say who is the author of them.

To Jesús M. de Miguel, compañero de penas y fatigas on the arid path of the Sociology of Health, goes a very special thank you for his untiring and unconditional support and his more than generous preface; a thank you also to Melissa Greer Moyer, his wife and the mother of his children, who out of the goodness of her heart and patience revised the English version of the text.

Really and truly, this is a history of a group written by a group, groups have no signature, the co-authors that's all of us, the ones making the history, the ones writing it and the ones reading it. Thanks to all.

 

 

Preface by Jesús M. de Miguel, Professor of Sociology University of Barcelona, and Vice-president of Social Sciences of the European Cooperation in the Field of Scientific and Technical Research Commission of the European Union

Presents to be kept

Juan Campos is a marvelous person. He is also an Honorary Archivist of the IAGP of unique intelligence. He offers us the present by telling us about the past, the present of remembering the past. Without this history the association would be orphaned, incapable of recalling the past and thus, unable to understand itself.

Aristotle in his outstanding essay on memory and remembering, points out that "those who have a good memory are not the same as those who remember quickly. To remember is different from having memory, and not only regarding time. Many other animals share the faculty of memory, but no other animal except the human being has the gift of remembering". Writing about the past does not mean to store up dates and facts but rather it calls for interpretation. The analysis undertaken by Dr. Juan Campos is an act of remembering not an act of memory. What he recalls in this book has fascinated me. I read it in Brussels while sitting in a café outside the Galleries du Prince listening to a Russian string quartet that was traveling through central Europe living off the generosity of the affluent. The combination of reading history and listening to Mozart with a Slavic accent is something beyond words.

Organizations are the bridge between the micro and the macro. However, there are few analyses of institutions and associations. One of the main reasons is that organizations defend themselves like a scalded cat against being studied, analyzed and judged. Only a qualified insider with a sense of honesty about what has happened "to us" can carry out such a task. This work is not only an analysis of an association, in this case the IAGP, but it also is an autobiography. Like in Homer's Odyssey the future (of an organization) is always the past; in fact, many organizations only move towards their past.

Doctor Juan Campos is the first person I met when I came to Barcelona. Over the past twenty five years we have shared a personal friendship, with interludes of joint intellectual projects, and academic adventures. I have always admired Juan's international and cosmopolitan attitude as well as his underlying anarchism which allows him to maintain an independent personal perspective. As a psychoanalyst he is a mago de la palabra, of service in a modern world where words give us life; while giving pleasure and meaning, they also complicate and justify our existence. People are no longer conquered by guns but by words and images. Campos is an extremely intelligent, rational and vital human being. Knowing him has changed my life and the life of my children (Carolina and Robert) will bear the mark of some of his ideas and generosities.

While reading this fascinating history -which can be read like a novel- I'm reminded of one of my favorite movies titled Smultronstället -Wild Strawberries, by Ingmar Bergman, the autobiography of the cranky old man who is going to receive an honorary degree for a life dedicated to Medicine. It starts with the following thoughts: "I feel too old to lie to myself. But, of course, I'm not so sure. My complacent attitude towards my own sincerity could be dishonesty in disguise, although I don't quite know what I want to hide. However, if for some reason, I had to judge myself, I'm sure I would do it without shame and without worrying about my reputation. But if I were asked to express my opinion about someone else I would be considerably more careful. There is a great danger in expressing those kinds of judgments. In all probabilty, one is guilty of mistakes, exaggerations and even sizable lies. Rather than commit such a mistake I'd rather keep my mouth shut". Right after uttering these words he opens his mouth to tell the history of those cramped 24 hours where he looks back to remember a life of hopes and embarrassments. It's an incomparable history, just like the IAGP.

The IAGP is an interesting association. What has attracted my attention most is its nomadic character, almost gypsy I would say. It has no territory but it does have an identity. There is also a special fascination with reading about the analysis of a group carried out by a specialist in group analysis. Campos often takes his own medicine as the saying goes. Not only is the organization a nomadic group but it lives from being nomadic and the profits made at each congress. The members of the IAGP have learned to travel lightly, just about carrying their heads, papers, notes, a book, and possibly a framed picture of an old mentor, and little more. That's the way they live and that's the way they die so that the association can continue to live. It's important to try and understand how institutions remember, how they forget, and how they think, as expressed in the famous book by Mary Douglas How Institutions Think. Juan Campos makes a decisive effort to remember events for the benefit of the institution. In this small society accounted for in the history of the IAGP we can see the traits of the end of a century. Ideas such as difference/inequality , multiculturalism, globalization, improving democracy, social exclusion, sustained development and so on. On a reduced scale the processes belonging to society at large can be understood in the interactions that take place between congress and congress of an international organization such as the IAGP. It also embodies a clash between different cultures where Latin and Anglo-American values are often divergent. Even though everyone speaks the same lingua franca, people organize, think, feel and speak according to two different cultures.

The surrealist dictum ce n'est pas une pipe applies in the sense this is not the IAGP but a book on the IAGP. The gap between history and reality is always great. As they say in Spanish it's one thing to say something and another to actually do it. In order to truly understand the IAGP one has to live it, suffer it and carry it inside. But if it is not a pipe it looks a lot like one, except that you can't smoke it. This is an objective account to the extent that some people may be hurt by it. That is what usually remains after a shipwreck, enough to reconstruct the past and to move on like Robinson Crusoe. An organization is never the mere sum of individuals. This book demonstrates that the IAGP as well as each one of its members exists. The Honorary Archivist of the IAGP is the first to demonstrate this with his own life.

The book is a good example of another issue which is relevant at this end of the millennium which is democracy inside organizations. The book gives an account of the process of decision-making, mistaken policies, the hopes of a group, the internal conflicts including the ins and outs of power. Following a tradition of tolerance one has to accept the steps forward as well as the steps backward. In French they say reculer pour mieux sauter, in the double sense of stepping back to get a stronger impulse in order to better jump and wait for the right occasion to do something. This book, this landmark book meets both interpretations. It's important to leave our history in writing for the third millennium. Future generations are going to dive into this XX century trying to make sense out of it. They will find this book on the shelf and they will open it with expectation. Perhaps more than one will spend a pleasant afternoon reading it, maybe even with Mozart's music as an accompaniment.

Campos has always been several steps ahead througout his life (sometimes too far ahead, which explain why sometimes he has been "punished"). He has kept up his role as an innovator, an outsider, and as a creator of new ideas. He remains honest with himself. He struggles tirelessly to find solutions, to create a better world, and to find himself in order to return to Ithaca. He is optimistic and he always manages to pull himself up after each fall. There are no words to thank him for his work and efforts.

The title of this prologue is in remembrance of song IV from Homer's Odyssey where Telemachus is in Lacedaemon, on the plains of Sparta looking for Ulysses. King Menalaus (the one with the powerful voice) is very generous and he offers several presents. Telemachus asks that "his gifts be presents that can be kept. I can't take the steeds with me to Ithaca". This book by Juan Campos, in which he recognizes from the beginning that it is filled with autobiographical pasts is in reality a present to the future. It's a present which can be kept not like the steeds that couldn't be taken to Ithaca.

 

 

Introduction
Barcelona, July 15, 1998

"Memory is things forgotten,
and the ones we don't register
disappear in the air"
(Stendhal, Intimate Diary)

All history is an interpretation. In this regard, this one, the one of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy, could not be an exception. "Interpreters are always insincere", utters Nietzsche, according to Yalom, at his first medical interview with Breuer, adding "obviously, its not their intention, but they cannot escape from their historical context nor, on the other side, from their autobiography."(1) I can neither escape from myself, from my biography, nor from the life of the professional groups to which I belong and which are my groups of reference -my professional plexus, as I call it- neither from the social, political, cultural and professional context which is theirs.

The title makes reference to two facets of history which in time become interwoven: "facts and findings". These also mark the difference between the primary sources I use -original documents, accounts, correspondence, memories which come to the surface while the facts occurred, and interpretations or inferences made by other historians or by myself, the findings. This account follows the rhythm of history and of the development of professional corporations, perhaps at a moment of decline or of questioning in the life of these institutions which barely count a century. And, how could it be otherwise, it is written from the professional perspective incarnated in my own biography.

When the historian gathers, orders and classifies data, he is making an interpretation. When the Archivist or the Notary of the Kingdom collects and selects the documents intended for posterity, he is making an interpretation. More still, the very same protagonists of history the moment they act do no more than read the script present in them and their circumstance, registered long before in their individual and collective unconscious. The life of the IAGP which I am about to relate, is not independent of the international context and circumstances of the last half century in which group therapy has been forged.

At the end of August, 1998, when the IAGP will meet in London on the occasion of the XIII Congress, exactly fifty years will have passed since the First International Congress of Mental Health was celebrated in the same place. There germinated the idea of converting the group therapies in an "organized" international social movement and there the World Federation of Mental Health was born which, six years later, sponsored the first World Congress of Group Psychotherapy in Toronto.

Until then there were only three formally constituted organizations(2) in the field of group therapy, all of them in the United States of America: « The Lifwynn Foundation for Laboratory Research in Analytical and Social Psychiatry» known also as « The Lifwynn Foundation» or by its initials TLF, founded by Trigant Burrow in Maryland in 1927; the « Society of Psychodrama and Group Psychotherapy» or S.P.G.P.; and the « Group Therapy Association» or G.T.A., both founded in New York; the first by Moreno in 1942, and the second one by Slavson in 1943.(3) It is true that in places like London and Paris also already existed groups of therapists but still two years had to go by before they thought about organizing themselves more formally. The impulse came from Moreno who, during his first trip to Europe and on the occasion of the I World Congress of Psychiatry in Paris in 1950, proposed the establishment of an international committee with the following objectives: (1) Define professional standards of group therapy and work towards a consensus in this regard. (2) Prepare the I International Congress of Group Psychotherapy to be held in London or Paris in the autumn of 1952, which finally was held in Toronto in 1954. (3) Constitute the "First International Committee of Group Psychotherapy" which eventually came to life in 1951. From the organization of World Congresses in Group Psychotherapy eventually the IAGP was born.

To sponsor the project of international archives of psychotherapies also figured as one of the objectives of the I International Committee of Group Psychotherapy. Years later in Zagreb in 1986 at the first meeting of the Executive of the IAGP, which I attended as Vice-president, the question of the location of such archives was on the agenda. I don't remember exactly in which terms but, funnily enough, what was decided was to dispense with a central office and substitute it by computers and the use of the fax. The fact is that I proposed in my last report as Archivist -now that technology allows us and it becomes economically feasible- to gather the documents, which are generated, on compact disks, in other words create the "famous archives". In this report, which by an accident of destiny was not read nor discussed but filed for the future, I explain from where emerges this "History of the IAGP".

The history of "my history of the IAGP" starts on the occasion of the XII International Congress in Buenos Aires, in the summer of 1995 and adopts the form of an interview. There, for the first time the Sections of Groupanalysis, Psychodrama and Family Therapy had separate as well as joint meetings in a Congress. Seduced by the novelty, Lda. Nora Speier Fernández and Dra. Graciela Ventrici of the Argentinian Association of Psychology and Group Psychotherapy -affiliate organization of the IAGP and one of the organizing associations of the Congress- asked me, as the principal promoter of the movement of specialized sections in the Association, for an interview for the Journal of Psychology and Group Psychotherapy. The maelstrom of the Congress forced us to put off the interview until the day following the closing session, when we could freely extend it for over two hours. The interview was taped and the Journal took responsibility for the literal transcription, about 90 pages. My surprise was when, at the end of April of 1996, I received this text with the request to revise it and reduce it to about 15 pages, with the objective of publishing it in the next number of the Journal. Although I did not think that this was my responsibility, I made the effort, and eliminating all the autobiographical material and keeping strictly to the questions, I managed to reduce the text to about 30 pages. These I sent back at the beginning of August, but there still was not enough space in the Journal for it. In view of these circumstances, with my colleagues of «Grup d'Anàlisi Barcelona» we decided to convert this interview into a history. It is for this reason that we have kept the form of a dialogue, just as it originated, although, as a result of the historical research carried out by our group, in the final write-up exact references and various biographical notes were added to parts of the text.

This history has been written from my perspective as Honorary Archivist of the IAGP with three basic ideas in mind: (1) That it serve as a "working document" for the workshop to be held under the same title in the context of the XIII International Congress of Group Psychotherapy in August 1998; (2) That the reading and discussion of it help stimulate the silent witnesses and old glories who participated in the development of the Association to contribute their memories and documents to the "Archives of the IAGP". This way correspondence and reminiscences could be rescued which otherwise would definitely become inaccessible to memory. (3) That this initiative stimulate the directors of future administrations of the IAGP to facilitate the necessary ways and means for collecting, conserving, classifying and disseminating this documentation in image and writing. All the documents referred to in this book and my personal files are at the disposal of the IAGP Archives, if and when the Association makes itself responsible of the cost implied for scanning and storing it on CD-rom.

Coming back to the beginning, and not so much in an attempt to correct but to clarify my personal and group prejudices, I must confess that the perspective which distorts, sharpens and colors my perception of the events of which I was witness and the reading of the documents in relation to IAGP, is conditioned by powerful prisms, all of them are mainly of ideological nature. These prisms are not independent of the radical libertarian ideology inherited from my father, of having lost a double civil war when scarcely eleven years old, nor the fact that my democratic ideals had been forged under forty years of Franco's dictatorship. My history, naturally, cannot be alien to the one of the human communities I have lived and worked in. In regard to the IAGP, of particular importance is the effort I have made to reconstruct my own history of group psychotherapies in relation to the one of the professional groups in which I have received my training and have developed myself.

Twice in life I went to medical school, seven years each time. The first one as a student and the second one as teacher. The first time they taught me what I had not come to learn, the second time I learnt what I had not gone to teach. Between the one and the other I applied myself to become a doctor in medicine, a psychiatrist, a psychoanalyst and a groupanalyst. All in all ten years of "training exile" from my own country and discipline of origin, from which I certainly emerged changed. I returned to my country wanting to apply what I had learnt. To change from being a doctor of the body -a surgeon- to being a doctor of souls -psychiatrist or doctor in psychological medicine, as one says in English- did not imply a major change: it did not suppose any challenge to the "biological prejudice" according to which the mind is contained in a cranium and the individual in a skin. Neither was it a challenge to the doctor-patient or student-teacher relationships on which scientific medicine is based. I could remain in my position of expert, of the professional who knows, and continue to treat patients and transmit knowledge without any critical questioning. Maintaining this role became a little more complicated in therapeutic groups, families, therapeutic communities or the community as a whole. Although a bit of imagination was sufficient to reduce these groups to individuals and treat them as if they were such. This way, the power relationship did not change. Also, I could keep to the fantasy that the medical act and the management of health services can be socially and politically neutral.

Two events made me become conscious of the delusion implicit in these ideologies. The first one happened in 1968 when, in a pseudo-democratic way and with the objective of forestalling the revolutionary effects of the French May, Franco's ministry of education and science approves a progressive "New Law of Education", creates the Autonomous Universities and recruits for them as professors no numerarios, no opositores -this is to say, not a tenured professor, not competing for a chair- who had remained marginal to the system as people "not addicted" to the régime. This way, and with hopeful expectation, I was incorporated to the Autonomous University of Barcelona and the planning committee of the Faculty of Medicine, with the aim to train general physicians who would not only be mere craftsmen but scientific professionals, doctors of people persons? who, beyond the biological aspects of health, took into consideration also the psychological and social ones. There I founded an Office of Medical Education, teaching with group methods the subject of "The doctor-patient relationship and the process of becoming a doctor". As professor and chairman of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences I found myself involved in starting the studies of psychology in the Faculty of Philosophy and Arts. After seven years of dedication to obtaining these objectives I find that it is impossible to renovate the university education with "ideals and goodwill". The restrictive policies in all aspects and the very same teaching institution hamper any possible renovation or change. It was then that I realized that any health care system reform requires that previously an educational revolution take place.

The second event occurs when, after the death of Franco, the Academy of Medical Sciences of Catalunya and Balears celebrates in Perpinyà, France, the "X Congress of physicians and biologists of Catalan language" which should have been celebrated in 1936, and which chose as a theme "The Social Function of Medicine".This Congress arrives at a new definition of health: "La salut és aquella manera de viure que és autónoma, solidària i joiosa" -health is a way of living which is autonomous, solidary and joyful- which should be the pivot of the sanitary reform in the transition towards democracy. This definition is in turn adopted by the Congress of Catalan Culture in 1976, which enlarges the meaning as follows: (a) Medicine should be conceived from the perspective of health and not of the one of illness. (b) Any interpretation of health in its totality has its origin in an interpretation of the human being as a species and, therefore, is of concern to everybody and not exclusively to physicians. (c) Al concepts of health are basically ideological. (d) On the scientific and technical levels, health is necessarily an interdisciplinary and political question.

New ideas and new hopes, the social function of Medicine, the reform of public health. How to put in practice such a reform? Conscious of the utopic nature of this definition and conscious also of the difficulties implicit in the Copernican revolution the health care system would have to experiment while putting it into practice, for one year we planned a primary health center in the old part of the city inspired in this new ideology. At the end we realized that we had been used as mere political propaganda.

The fact that the progressive ideas -in the educational field at the end of the sixties and in the health sector at the end of the seventies- were difficult to implement, lead me to reflect on the institutional and collective resistances to change and on the participation of the ones who try to promote it. I asked myself, if this third psychiatric revolution towards which groupanalysis leads us and which Moreno spoke of, does not have to put into practice the old saying of "doctor, first cure yourself", just as Freud did during the second revolution with the psychoanalysts. In this sense, and during the last 20 years I have been calling together colleagues of different disciplines to reflect as a group and analyze these problems. Some of the resistances are anchored in the concept of power which comes with the social role and knowledge, and are related to underlying social models excessively structured and hierarchical. Others relate to the difficulty to leave aside the professional discourse of the discipline of origin, this way hampering a joint approach to the collective problems which concern us.

My wish to collaborate actively in the renovation of the health system at the different levels (training, care, management, national and international associations, workgroups, etc.) did not deter nor has deterred my participation and collaboration with colleagues the world round, which are based on group analysis. I have tried professionally to put into practice this theoretical position promoting the development of multidisciplinary ambits in which groups appear where it is possible to "analyze the resistances to become conscious of the characteristics which bind the human being in his groups and to act in consequence". Some of the ambits to which I have dedicated my efforts in different periods of my life are: GAIPAC, created by Foulkes in 1967, the "Group Analytic Movement" which emerged in 1980 in the midst of the Group Analytic Society (London), «Convergencia Analítica Internacional» and «Grupo Análisis Operativo» initiated together with Hernán Kesselman and other Spanish-speaking colleagues and, finally, the Group Analysis Section of the IAGP. The difficulty to transmit in the reality of practice the Utopian ideal of "group, first cure yourself" becomes even more difficult when it concerns professional groups. Even though, the efforts I have realized in the analysis of the groups I belong to -grupos de pertenencia y referencia, I call them- have shown me that if they don't serve to facilitate a change, at least they serve to create science. It is thanks to this and to the application of the genetic-evolutive methodology on which my investigations are based, that I have earned the nickname of Xenophon of groupanalysis and, perhaps, the title of Honorary Archivist of the IAGP with which my attempts to establish sections in the Association have been rewarded.

The moment this book goes to press, I still ignore if the Organizing Committee of the Congress of London has granted me the space I asked for to develop the workshop in which to debate these writings. If there is no space, we can use the one of the scientific meeting of the Groupanalysis Section and, if not, we can debate it on-line in the Page of «Grup d'Anàlisis Barcelona» or the «Forum de Grupo-Análisis en Lengua Castellana».(4)

Thus, I invite you to read "The History of the IAGP: Facts and Findings" with your own prisms. All commentaries and contributions will be welcome. Now I pass the word to the group, so that this can be a live history, a first witness to free-floating dialogue and to assuring that it will not be buried under the dust of some old archives.

 

 

Illustrated Interview:
Groupanalysis in the IGPA and its relation with other group therapies

Q: Our first concern... we were aware that a space for groupanalysis in the IAGP had been proposed and the question is whether groupanalysis only refers to Foulkesian groupanalysis or to all types of group psychoanalysis.

A: Precisely, at present the IAGP has a Groupanalysis Section. It was conceived from the beginning as a network for communication between group workers and groups of these workers who feel identified with or are interested in Groupanalysis. Whether the word groupanalysis can be classified as being strictly Foulkesian or not is something that Foulkes himself questioned. At least this is what one deduces from his comments during the European Symposium on Groupanalysis held in Lisbon in September 1970.1 Foulkes thought it timely to point out that although he was the first to use the word Group Analysis in reference to his own work with groups, he did so thinking that Trigant Burrow -the first to describe this method and use the word- had already substituted it for Philoanalysis. Later, when this proved to be untrue, he thought it more adequate to refer to his own method as "groupanalytic psychotherapy" and save the synonym "groupanalysis" as a generic term referred to all those theories and methods whose bases are essentially compatible with psychoanalytic and groupanalytic premises. I don't know if Foulkes still maintained such broad criteria when the Institute of Group Analysis was founded the following year, with the specific aim of providing training and Group Analysis specialist degrees. My impression is that he did maintain them, at least initially. In fact, he even decided to oppose his disciples' and assistants' initiative of creating the Group-Analytic Practice in 1960. Neither did he give support in 1964 to the General Course of Group Work for social workers, the origin of what would later become the Institute. For more than twenty years I have maintained the idea that when he launched GAIPAC in 1967 -origin of the "European groupanalytic movement"- Foulkes' objective was to prevent this type of institutionalization more than favour it. Foulkes' seminal work with Mrs. E. Lewis, "Group Analysis", bears the subtitle "A study of the treatment of groups along psychoanalytic lines", an idea that is similar but not equivalent to that of "group psychoanalysis". The question of whether groupanalytic therapies should be carried out within the "organized psychoanalysis" environment, that is within the framework of the IPA (International Psychoanalytic Association), or in a broader context -such as that of psychotherapies in general or, more specifically, that of group psychotherapies- is an issue that has been under discussion for more than fifty years.2 It is very likely that the resistances we encountered upon establishing a groupanalysis section in the IAGP were due precisely to the institutional link between many of the therapists who work with the group analytically and the psychoanalytic or groupanalytic "international organization". Until the present day, psychoanalysts who have ventured to explore the field of group therapies have done so from three different approaches: some expecting to psychoanalyze individuals in a group; others expecting to analyze the group as if it were an individual and, finally, a few such as Burrow and Foulkes, understood groupanalysis as the analysis of a group by a group. For this reason Foulkes was not very happy with the title "Group Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy"3 with which Paidos published the Spanish version of his "Group Psychotherapy: the psychoanalytic approach" in 1967, written in English together with Anthony ten years earlier. In Foulkes' opinion, the reference to group therapies in these terms does not do justice to the significant characteristics that the group situation generates. In fact, as from the second revised English edition (1965) the following paragraph is included:

"The present writers consider that psychoanalytical concepts, clinical and theoretical, are firmly rooted to begin with in the one- and later in the two-personal situation. There is no intrinsic reason why psychoanalysis should not in the future extend its dimension and claim that group-analysis is psychoanalysis in the multi-personal situation. If and when this should be stated it would become clear, however, that the whole of psychoanalytical theory and practice would have to be changed, and far removed from the mind and intention of its originator... For the time being, we think as psychoanalysts that its discipline has an important function to fulfil on its own grounds. We do not wish to inaugurate yet another neo-analytic school of thought."4

It is my opinion that Foulkes' and Anthony's membership in the psychoanalytic organization and their fear of provoking still another internal division are the reasons that prevented these authors from making a "statement" in these terms. It is very likely that they were already aware of the fate of their predecessor and colleague Trigant Burrow, expelled from the IPA in 1933 for daring to defend such a posture

 

.

For the IAGP, however, the membership criteria must necessarily be very broad since, according to its by-laws, every member has the right to belong to each and every one of its possible sections without restrictions based on training, discipline, school and theoretical or practical orientation. This is part of the founding philosophy of the IAGP by which it is not permitted to use membership as a credit or as evidence of any professional competence whatsoever.

Q: What is the meaning of groupanalysis and what are its relations with other group therapies within the IAGP?

A: It depends on whether you answer merely from an organizational and political point of view or from a deeper and broader theoretical, methodological and ideological viewpoint. If we limit our answer to the former it would suffice to say that, generically, the term groupanalysis includes many and varied theoretical orientations and technical forms with which some of the individual or collective members of the Association feel identified. The range of groupanalytic organizations affiliated to the IAGP goes from The Lifwynn Foundation for Research in Social and Analytical Psychiatry5 and the Group Analytic Society (London)6 to many others which, at national or local levels -adhering or not to the theoretical and methodological principles put forth by Burrow and Foulkes- have adopted the same name. Strictly speaking, a proper answer to this question would imply previously clarifying what each groupanalyst or groupanalytic organization understands by groupanalysis, what they share and where they disagree; in other words, precisely the type of issues that we would like to deal with by establishing a dialogue within the Groupanalysis Section. The creation of this Section has eased the way so that members of the Association interested in other forms of group therapy have created their own sections.

Sections in the IAGP: Psychodrama, Family, Groupanalysis, etc.

Q: We have been informed that the IAGP organizes three Sections -I don't know whether this is new although we were told that it was-, the psychodrama section, the family section and the groupanalysis section under your charge.

A: That's absolutely true, although perhaps more than three sections have been created; as far as I know, there are at least two or three others which have been approved or almost approved: the therapeutic communities section, the theory and therapy of systems section and the organizational advisory section, or something along those lines. The fact that this issue on the sections is new, however, is just a phrase. I understand that at the first three IAGP congresses -Toronto 1954, Zurich 1957 and Milan 1963- there were, at least, specific sessions dedicated to psychodrama and groupanalysis. In a letter of October 10, 1967 to Raul Schindler -with whom he was preparing the program for the following Congress in Vienna-, Foulkes complains that for the first time separate sections were not established:

"At first sight, I have no particular criticism to make about the programme in principle, except that what was agreed between us at Bienne has not been implemented, namely that we should have separate sections, in particular one on group analysis..."

In November of the same year, Foulkes created GAIPAC (Group Analysis International Panel and Correspondence) and after the Congress in Viena he progressively lost interest in the IAGP. It is not surprising since it was the idea of "favouring dialogue and debate between representatives of different tendencies and methods" -one of the "basic assumptions" of the aims of the IAGP- what, from the beginning, made Foulkes become actively involved in promoting the creation of "the group international".7 I believe that Foulkes' account to the Group Analytic Society in London -upon his return from the prefoundational congress of the IAGP in 1954- supports my hypothesis:

"As our own approach, therefore, contains elements shared with non-analytic quarters, often opponents of psychoanalysis, like Moreno and Kurt Lewin, while retaining its psychoanalytic basis, does this make it a hybrid formation? I do not think so at all, and it is for this reason that we stress that our approach is group analytic, and not psycho-analytic. Both these aspects (the individual and the social one) are not only integrated in our approach, but rather their artificial isolation, are never found in actual reality, never arises. Exponents of any discipline can meet on the common ground of group analysis. This inter-dependent co-operation between psychiatrists, psychoanalysts, sociologists, anthropologists, philosophers, scientists, artists, historians, writers and so on, is one of the actual or potential features of this Society. To acquire such an outlook is, as we well know, an emotional therapeutic task as well as an intellectual one, and it is best achieved by participating in a groupanalytic group.

This is all very well, but what about controversy? I believe that this Society can influence the national and international situation of group psychotherapy favourably in this respect, actually as well as symbolically, by its example. I am happy to tell you that we now have representatives of all different analytic approaches in this country amongst our members and can thus act as a free and fair forum in frank interchange of opinion, approach and observation..."8

Foulkes' position was evidenced once again in 1963. As First Vice President, Foulkes advised that the General Assembly held in Milan, where the future composition of the IAGP was being debated, should be organized according to the different schools and tendencies represented in the group psychotherapy movement. Although Foulkes could not attend the foundational congress of the IAGP in Zurich in 1973, these ideas were contained in its Statutes. In Article II referred to its Aims, Foulkes' "confrontation" is depicted as a "basic assumption". In fact, one reads:

"The purpose of this association is to serve the development of group psychotherapy both as a field of practice, training and a scientific study, by means of international conferences, publications and other forms of communication. In order to promote that communication, it provides for the participation of all qualified workers in the field, on the basic assumption that mutual respect in communication between representatives of differing theories and practices -which I understand equally implies represented groups, that is, all the possible sectors in this field- will most effectively assure cooperation between all those organizations and persons concerned with the use and study of group resources in psychotherapy and in dealing with other human problems."

In Article X referred to Sections, the procedure to create them is specified.9

The first attempt to create a section was made by a group of psychodramatists during the VII World Congress of the IAGP (Mexico 1984). I don't know the extent to which their request complied with all the statutory requirements. The point is that the request was denied since Jay Fidler, President at the time, understood this as a "division" of the IAGP. We were the second to attempt the creation of a section and proceeded to do so complying with all the requirements. On May 29, 1987 I sent a petition to the Board of Directors signed by 25 members interested in creating a permanent groupanalysis section. From that moment on, my main responsibility was to ensure that the petition follow its due course and reach its final aim; I must confess that this task was often a heavy burden which, more than once, I was forced to carry practically alone at my own expense. In September 1989 the IAGP Board of Directors held in Amsterdam finally decided to create the section, although with great reticence and under the condition that its name would be «Study Group in Groupanalysis». I shared the responsibility of the newly created section with two other members and all decisions were debated and made in an assembly.

From my viewpoint, the difficulties evidenced when trying to update Article X are intimately related to the Association's historical past and its nature and aims. The concept of section varies according to those who propose it and their idea of the Association, and also to the complexity derived from the fact of having both affiliated organizations and individual members within it -a decision, by the way, that we owe to Moreno himself. In our particular case the original petition was made in terms of its basic assumption, that is, communication.10

A long time has passed since then. The vicissitudes we overcame were numerous, such that the "saga" of the Groupanalysis Section11 at times resembled a Greek tragedy. Obviously, these vicissitudes were not alien to the interplay of the political and economic interests of some member organizations. Understanding this development and the nature of these obstacles is not possible without considering the history of the development and the organizational structure of this professional association and its conflicting ideologies.12 In order to be brief, it may suffice to say that once the section was approved in Amsterdam in 1989, it began to function efficiently. Results of this were the incorporation to the Association in 1992 of The Lifwynn Foundation, the Symposium: «Beyond dichotomies: Trigant Burrow's Orientation» held in August 1992 during the Congress in Montreal, and the administrative assembly of the study group celebrated there during which the activities of the section for the following congress were planned. In September 1993, however, something unexpected occurred. The Board of Directors assembled in Heidelberg coinciding with the 9th European Symposium of Groupanalysis, decided by acclamation to rename the «Study Group on Groupanalysis» as «Groupanalysis Section». The request headed by David Kipper for creating an «International Section of Psychodrama» had just been accepted. Without previous reflection and in view of the opportunity, the members of the Study Group present at the assembly demanded that it should also be named Section. This was a serious error, since it had not been discussed previously with the rest of the Group members. This change entailed giving up a name in accordance with the study group's purposes, and a decision was being made that could bring about a change of identity which would no doubt affect its future development. We did not realize the extent to which a change of name implied a change of identity or that different meanings could coexist under the name Section. Thus, by applying a sort of "canceling out the differences" tactic -similar to what happened in Spain with the issue of the "autonomous regions" in order to solve the uncomfortable subject of its historical nationalities -the newly named Groupanalysis Section suffered a new administrative agony- During the course of that Symposium, an administrative assembly was improvised in which the Section's change of name was reported and the agenda for the Congress in Buenos Aires was specified. The Board of Directors, assembled in Santander in 1994, had to face the fact that there were three Sections instead of two -in the meantime, the Family Therapy Section had been approved- and there were several other groups requesting to become a Section. In view of this situation, and after interminable deliberations as to the legality and structure of the new sections, the Board decided that the sections be co-chaired by one of its members -usually the representative of the group assigned to promote it- and a past-president, assigned by the Executive in order to guarantee that the section adhere to the aims adduced for its creation and that it operate according to the guidelines established in the Constitution. Malcolm Pines and myself "are in charge" of the Groupanalysis Section. Our post was ratified unanimously during the administrative assembly of the Section held during the Congress in Buenos Aires and confirmed by the actual President of the Association. However, an unprecedented event took place during the General Assembly of Members in Buenos Aires. In his acceptance speech, the new President put forth his program of action. After announcing the "democratic changes" that he intended to establish in the Association -with which he expected to achieve that the Board of Directors' posts as well as the "Coordinators" of the present and future Sections be elected by the members, and not only ratified by them which had been the case until then- he surprised us with the following statement

 

:

"With respect to the tasks of developing the Sections and guidelines for elections to Coordinating Committees, I would like to thank Juan Campos for his help and hard work. Juan deserves special credit for encouraging the Organization to develop in this way. He has always brought a breath of fresh air and vitality to the Board. However, it must be acknowledged that it is natural and appropriate for other "Barons" from around the world to take their places in these continuing discussions and in the leadership of the sections. The principle of rotation is important..."

The strange thing is that later, after designating a special ad hoc co-ordinating committee to carry this out his proposals exclusively for the Groupanalysis Section, he asked the committee to "develop the structure of the section's co-ordinating committee and prepare its elections which will take place during the next congress in London on 1998". What is unthinkable -and even contrary to the spirit of the Constitution- is that the President make such a decision without consulting the rest of the Executive and informing the Board of Directors as is mandatory, or without even previously informing the actual Co-Presidents of the Section as obliged by a minimum courtesy. However, what is most alarming is the autocratic tone with which he ends his statement: "As President I am pleased to authorize this new team to complete their task, and to report to me."13 The following precedes the laudatory paragraph quoted above, in which President Hopper does me the rare honor of recognizing my work in favor of the creation of sections in the IAGP:

"The shift to elected Coordinating Committees reflects my view that the growth of our Organization, if not its very survival, depends on how we manage the twin processes of unity and diversity. The potential for creative dialogue is high

 

. It is noteworthy that in this respect the requests from the membership of the Organization as a whole are identical to the Board's initiatives: let us continue to work together and to share our ideas and basic values and orientations, but let us have our own spaces for the development of distinctive professional identities and special interests."14

Personally, I could not agree more with these democratizing desires for the association and the need to adequately combine the unity-diversity relationship. What I cannot agree with is the procedure followed in order to reach these objectives. In fact, my first proposal to the Board of Directors at the meeting in Zagreb, which I attended as Second Vice President, was the creation of an "aims and means committee", a proposal for which there was no time for discussion during that meeting, nor several others, which were to be held later. Nevertheless, the proposals were registered in the record of the meeting.15 Years later, my own points of view would lead me to promote the creation of sections and, later still, to the establishment of a dialogue between them. It is very possible that sections will now come into fashion and begin to spring up by the dozen within the association, but it is also possible that they may lose the purpose with which we initiated ours, or that they don't even continue to agree with the spirit contained in the Constitution. The new feature of the Congress in Buenos Aires is that the Groupanalysis Section (GAS) and the International Psychodrama Section (IPsDS) have each held their own scientific and administrative meetings, in addition to holding a joint meeting together with the Family Therapy Section (FTS). This joint session had been planned in order to reassure those who feared that the creation of sections could threaten the unity of the Association and thus be a source of disagreement that would reactivate the old grudges between Moreno and Slavson which had for so long hindered and prolonged the negotiations for their creation. My idea was that this joint session would serve as a bridge as well as an area for debate and confrontation within our own group and with the other tendencies present in the organization and participating in the congress. If this is not so, the confrontation and respect for dialogue that the association seeks does not take place since everyone speaks of "his subject" to "his people" and "does not attend meetings that he does not understand". The triple meeting -groupanalysis/psychodrama/family therapy- was a success insofar as attendance, but it ended up turning into a rather symbolic act, a celebration during which lavish speeches were given lavishly and where, between presentations and "masterly translations" carried out by amateurs, no time was left for panel members to debate amongst themselves or with those attending, and much less to achieve the objectives that we had in mind. But at least things had gotten started.

Objectives and philosophy of the IAGP

Q: This was the scarce information that we had, but we thought it was interesting to obtain a clearer idea of where the IAGP comes from, where it is headed and what its present situation is... I remember Serrano had a great interest in that many people join the IAGP but, with the present economic crisis in Argentina, this was almost impossible to achieve, since they could barely manage to collect the fees from the local associations. Somehow it is important that people understand what the IAGP is and its usefulness...

A: The question you have just asked is very complex, it's more like a questionnaire than a question. I will try to answer part by part. Let me begin with what is most anecdotal: Serrano's insistence that many people join the IAGP. I am convinced that if you don't know where the IAGP comes from or where it's headed, and being unaware of its aims, ideals, philosophy and real purposes, you cannot devote yourself to recruiting members or even enroll yourself. Naturally, the economic situation is a burden in relation to this, but when people are convinced that it is convenient for them to belong to a given organization they will make the necessary sacrifices in order to be admitted. In fact, in those cases in which the economic conditions have made it advisable, the IAGP has taken concrete measures in order to relieve the situation by reducing the members' fees or even not charging them when inflation or payment in foreign currency made it impossible. These measures were taken even when the IAGP "is permanently broke". I imagine that your question is posed not only at a personal level, but also as members of the AAPPG (Asociación Argentina de Psicología y Psicoterapia de Grupo), which has been a member organization of the IAGP for many years. After all, I seem to recall that your country is one of those in which these exceptional measures were applied at one time or another and may even continue to be operative. Your question reminds me of one that I asked myself the first time I attended an IAGP Board meeting. It took place in Paris on October 27, 1984. Like Serrano in your case, Jay Fidler, President at the time, urged us to recruit members. By then I had been a member for many years of two of its oldest member organizations: the AGTA (American Group Therapy Association), which later became the AGPA (American Group Psychotherapy Association) and the Group Analytic Society (London). I had also contributed to the organization of one of the IAGP congresses and taken part in another. However, it had never occurred to me to become a member individually. I thought that belonging to a member organization, indirectly I already was a member. My unawareness went beyond the differences between types of members. I also knew very little about the history and aims of the Association. Thus, I asked myself what arguments could be used in order to encourage someone to enroll as an individual member. Malcolm Pines, whose condition as past-president implied that he should know the answer, answered:

"Supporting IAGP contributes to the development of an invisible network which moves forward to enhance the practice of group-psychotherapy through the world. It is an act of faith, a contribution to a practice you believe is valuable to mankind."

Immediately after, in a more pragmatic way and sticking to my question, he added:

"The contribution to construct a solid organization, will facilitate concrete personal benefits in the future like a journal, better quality of educational experiences and the reduction of membership dues."16

Ten years have gone by since then and I am unaware whether the Association is at present more solid or more rigid than when I became a member, but it continues to have economic problems, the number of members is never enough and, consequently, the journal is still to come, the quality of the educational experiences is still to be evaluated and, instead of decreasing, the fees are increasing at least according to the cost of living.

Malcolm's "invisible network" metaphor brings me memories of the "invisible college" which Dicks speaks of in his "50 years of the Tavistock Clinic".17 I don't know whether Malcolm's answer, due to its religious tone and its revolutionary mood, will encourage you to preach the "good news" and "convert heretics" to recruit new members.

Scarcely one month before the meeting in Paris he had presented a communication on training during the European Symposium on Group Analysis held at Zagreb,18 with a historical introduction which had already aroused my curiosity in relation to the "myth of the origins" of group therapies. Malcolm's reference to an "invisible network" of the IAGP clarifies certain aspects about the origins of the groupanalytic organization and partly explains Foulkes' interest in the "group international" and his influence on the fact that it was not created according to the international psychoanalytic model which Slavson advocated. Prior to the Paris meeting, my interest for the IAGP had been rather limited to its significance as an institutional context for the Group Analytic Society (London), and insofar as it affected the "European psychoanalytic movement" within which I had acquired a certain prominence since 1980. Until then my viewpoint in relation to group psychotherapies in their pioneer phases was rather utopic.19 Eleven years have gone by since that day in Paris. I served four terms on the Executive Committee of the IAGP, one year as Second Vice President and another as First Vice President. I initiated the creation of sections and attended numerous Board meetings. In fact, during the Congress in Amsterdam where the groupanalysis section was approved as a study group, I organized the round table entitled: "Pioneers' Re-encounter: The Fathers of our Constitution in a Fishbowl"20, which is registered on tape and together with the correspondence generated during the preparation of the round table constitutes the main source of data on the origins of the Association. I believe that now I am better informed and it is relatively simple for me to discuss and explain the origins of the IAGP. If I were to define it operatively in a few words I would say that it is a complex organization without a fixed headquarters, it has a nomadic nature, it meets in congresses every three years, and every two years starting at the 1998 Congress in London. It has two types of members -individuals and affiliated organizations- a peculiar feature that we have already said is one of its peculiar traits. The Association's only official means of expression is a bulletin -the old Newsletter, now called Forum. This in itself is a rather strange output for an "umbrella association" whose aim is to promote communication between its members and whose basic assumption rests on the respect for communication. Being a member of the IAGP does not imply any professional accreditation whatsoever, or any specialization or competence certificate for its individual members or its affiliated organizations. The Association's official languages are Spanish, French, German and English, although the latter is used almost exclusively for mailings and corporate events. At present its main activity is limited to organizing world and regional congresses on group psychotherapy. The registration fees to congresses and the fees of its members finance the Association. Except for justified exceptions, the fees of the individual members are equivalent, whilst those of the affiliated organizations vary according to their number of associates. The Board of Directors is renewed periodically and its 30 members are elected by mail. The Executive Committee is renewed in like manner. It used to consist of ten members, but in Buenos Aires it has been reduced to five: President, Treasurer, Secretary, Past-President and President-Elect. The present arrangement increases the Committee's effectiveness, which was the aim pursued, but it also increases the presidential nature of the Association. The Executive has several committees established according to its constitutional by-laws and others that have been freely constituted, such as the previously mentioned recently created sections. A consultative assembly of organizational affiliates, the CAOA, has substituted the three elected counselors that it had before. The most outstanding trait of this double membership scheme is that the vote of the representatives of its affiliated organizations has the same weight in an assembly as the vote of an individual member, regardless of its number of associates or the fee they pay. It is important to emphasize that being an associate of an organization affiliated to the IAGP is not enough to become an individual member and that, although there is a selection procedure for the admittance of affiliated organizations, in order to become an individual member it is enough to be introduced by two other individual members.

It is not so easy to answer your question on where the IAGP comes from and where it is headed and, as you put it, what its present situation is. The present situation of the IAGP is depicted by what we have said about the sections. But, how was this situation reached? Where from comes the dust that turned out into the actual mud? This means tackling the issue of the "myth of the origins" of which there are as many versions as people who contributed to its foundation. In this respect, I remember an observation made by E.J. Anthony:

"The ultimate lesson from history, therefore, is that for coherent, logical development in a discipline, one must constantly and consistently remember where he came from and where he is going. The past is conglomerate, complex, confabulatory, and conflictual, but it is incumbent on every worker to resolve these perplexities and complexities for himself and, by so doing, discover his own professional identity and ultimate purpose. Each group psychotherapist must become his own historian and thread his way with open-mindedness and relative impartiality through the shoals of psychobiologically improbable, mythological, mystical, and paralogical ideas of the past and present, asking his own questions and seeking his own answers within the totality of what is known or imagined. He has to undertake this job for himself, since no one can do it for him. The scientific mind that is brought up and nurtured on history obtains an equanimity and objectivity that becomes characteristic of the scientist in all his dealings... Patience, that essential scientific virtue, can come not only from listening to patients but also from listening to history."21

From my point of view, Anthony is the Herodotus of group psychotherapies, the true Father of History in whose steps whom I, modest Xenophon of Groupanalysis, try to follow. Two paragraphs earlier in the same report, he gives us the key to become our own historian:

"The essence of the dynamic historical method -says Anthony- is to select the significant facts of history and arrange them within a temporal sequence. Inevitably, some manipulation is involved in this selection and arrangement, but there must be no distortion of the facts. The clinical historian must be ready to admit that, although he may have a bias in his arrangement of facts, he is still able to recognize other perspectives, even when they contradict his own thesis. Like the good therapist, he should be able to see in this multiplicity of incompatible perspectives not failure or foolishness but the very richness of life."

My own prejudice -let me warn you- is to believe that if the development of group psychotherapies has not reached even by far its plenitude it is because we group therapists as an organization have not been able to apply to ourselves the same group work method that we use on others. The old saying "doctor, cure yourself first" is much more difficult when the doctor is the group. The difficulty of "selecting significant historical data and situating them in a time sequence" lies in that those who selected the data and put them in order did not follow the golden rule of the dynamic historical method, neither did they confess the prejudices that guided them. We find one exception to this in the author of what we can consider the official history of the Association. I am referring to Zerka Moreno who concludes the long chapter dedicated to history in the International Manual of Group Psychotherapy as follows:

"History puts the true credits in proper order of justified esteem and corrects false priorities. People who do not get any credit during their lifetime for their achievements may still get it after they are gone. And people who have had their names in the limelight during their lifetime may be erased from memory and forgotten in the annals of science... But it is different with a scientist. He does not know where he stands in the hall of fame even if he gets the Nobel Prize, until the history of science places him. The history of science is in our world the nearest thing to a last judgment. If there are any records in the libraries, in the legends of people, the truth will eventually come out."22

The "subject of priorities" can be important in the case of the history of a science. However, when we refer to the history of an organization, they must appear in the introduction at most. If we stick to them too rigidly we risk not seeing the forest for the trees.

As far as I know, the other official history of the IAGP is Samuel B. Hadden's, founding member and first President of the IAGP and also the first who tried to assemble the Association Files. Unfortunately, these have been lost. What remains of that effort is the "Historical Outline of the IAGP" written for the first Membership Directory. This outline covers the period from 1954-1980 and is guided by the congresses that led to the foundation of the IAGP and those convened by it once it had been founded. Hadden's outline, following the congresses, has the disadvantage that it eludes a very confused and debated period that preceded the first congress, what I call the Prehistory of the IAGP, where the prefoundational and post foundational stages of its development are not adequately separated. Hidden himself refers to this Prehistory when he begins his account by saying:

"The International Association of Group Psychotherapy was organized in Zurich in August of 1973 as an extension of an International Council which had already successfully conducted four congresses... After considerable difficulty the first congress was held in August of 1954. After the Annual Conference of the American Group Psychotherapy Association in 1952, Sam Slavson suggested that we were ready for an international congress in conjunction with the World Congress of Mental Health to be held in Toronto in August 1954. It was soon learned that Jacob Moreno of the Moreno Institute of Psychodrama planned a meeting at the same time. Frank Fremont-Smith, head of the World Mental Health Association, insisted that they join in a single congress on Group Psychotherapy."23

The place and time of the foundation are clear, and also that the Zurich congress in 1973 ends the prefoundational period. What is not so clear is how this congress, fifth in a series, could have been organized by an International Council that arose during the second congress in Zurich in 1957 after a proposal from the International Committee that had organized the congresses since then. It is also unclear if it was Slavson or Moreno who first came up with the idea of organizing congresses on group psychotherapy or creating international committees for this purpose. According to Hadden it was Slavson who, in 1952, considered that the AGPA was prepared to organize them. What he doesn't say is that already back in 1948 he and Hulse had agreed to organize them, nor that in Paris in 1951 Moreno organized a first international committee with the same objective.

Q: ...We believe it is also timely that you make your own presentation and that you explain where the IAGP can lead us and what are its aims and philosophy...

To introduce a certain order in the sequence of events, I have chosen to divide my statement into the following chapters, as shown in the Table that follows:

1. - Prehistory (1948-1954) beginning with the Third World Congress on Mental Health held in London and the Congress on Psychiatry in Paris, and ends with the Fifth Congress on Mental Health held in Toronto, to which the First International Congress on Group Psychotherapy was added.

2. Pre-foundational period (1954-1973) which begins with the Administrative Session of the First International Congress on Group Psychotherapy held on Thursday, August 12t, 1954 in Toronto and ends at the Constitutional Assembly of the Fifth International Congress on Group Psychotherapy held in Zurich. The Pre-foundational period itself is divided into two sub-periods that could be named:
2a. - Promotional Stage (1954-1957) which includes the congress in Toronto and the first congress in Zurich -promoted by the International Committee created during the Administrative Session in Toronto, and the
2 b. - Pre-constitutional Stage (1963-1973) which includes the congresses in Milan and Vienna, governed by the International Council established in Zurich on August 31, 1957 in order to constitute an International Society on Group Psychotherapy.

3. Constitutional Period (1973-1977) which begins with the approval of a final draft of by-laws in the II International Congress in Zurich and ends with the formal legalization under the Swiss Civil Code, the incorporation of individual members and organizations and the celebration, according to the by-laws, of the first General Assembly of Members during the Congress in Philadelphia in 1977, where Raymond Battegay was elected President and London was chosen as the site of the following congress.

4. Organizational Development Period (1977-to the present) which is described according to the presidents under whom each of the following congresses have been organized:
a) VII Copenhagen August 1980, Raymond Battegay (1977-1980)
b) VIII Mexico April 1984, Malcolm Pines (1980-1984)
c) IX Zagreb August 1986, Jay Fidler (1984-1986)
d) Amsterdam 1989, Grete Leutz (1986-1989)
e) Montreal 1992, Fern Cramer Azima (1989-1992)
f) Buenos Aires 1995, Al Serrano (1992-1995) 
g) London 1998, Earl Hopper (1995-1998)

h) Jerusalem 2000, Roberto de Inocencio (1998-2000)

You must bear in mind that the history of the IAGP is the history of an ongoing developmental process and the attempt to limit it according to periods or dates is like trying to fence in the countryside. Even so, this is the best way I have found to put my report in order.

 

 

1. Prehistory (London 1948-Toronto 1954)

Although group therapies began in the United States in the decade of the thirties -with predecessors in the same country-, it was not until the forties when Moreno and Slavson founded their respective group associations in New York. It is at the end of this decade during the III International Congress on Mental Health in London in 1948 when the idea arose of a permanent international organization devoted to group psychotherapies.

During the celebration of the first 25 years of the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, its founder S.R. Slavson reports that

"In the summer of 1948, the newly launched World Mental Health Organization held its first week-long international congress in London. Dr. Wilfred C. Hulse, with whom I had worked rather closely in the then American Group Therapy Association, was going to Europe... that summer... and was planning to attend the conference. He urged me to attend as well, having had some inkling of the fact that there was a degree of interest in group psychotherapy in some European countries. I couldn't see my way clear to doing so and asked him to represent our Association. However, at the urging of some of my colleagues at the Jewish Board of Guardians, where the original work in group psychotherapy was done, I reversed my decision at a rather late date and sent in my formal application. In return I received an invitation to address the conference. The therapy plenary sessions had all been filled, but there was still one opening in the sociological session, and it was suggested that I present a paper at the meeting, which I did."24

Referring to the same journey, Mortimer Schiffer, one of Slavson's closest friends and collaborators comments:

"In 1948 Slavson and W. C. Hulse participated in the First International Conference on Mental Health, in London, England.25 There they raised the idea of an international conference to be devoted solely to the subject of group psychotherapy, under the aegis of the AGPA, then in its early years. That offer stimulated the interest of foreign psychiatrists, and Slavson and Hulse were asked to plan such a conference. Aided by Dr. George S. Stevenson of the National Institute of Mental Health, whose assistance they solicited, this plan was brought to fruition. A meeting on group psychotherapy was held in conjunction with the Third International Conference of the World Mental Health Organization in Toronto, Canada, in 1954. An outgrowth of that meeting was the formation of the International Council for Group Psychotherapy, in 1957, in Zurich, Switzerland, that time under the sponsorship of the newly formed International Council for Group Psychotherapy."26

This account, in spite of its inaccuracies, 27 seems to confirm Hadden's version, even if it does point out that Slavson had been considering the idea for the past four years. What we could ask ourselves why the organization of the congress was delayed for so long. The version put forth by those close to Moreno is totally different. Moreno was very well known in Europe long before Slavson. A group at Tavistock led by J.R. Rees had studied Moreno and Kurt Lewin's social psychology. This group would take total war to war neuroses, giving birth in England to group psychotherapies and therapeutic communities. During the war, Foulkes used psychodrama for training group psychotherapists and Bion used some of Moreno's sociometric ideas in the selection of officers for the War Office Selection Board. Zerka Moreno tells us that after the war, Jacob Moreno had been invited by the Tavistock Clinic to teach in London for several months, something that he apparently did not do. On the other hand, she confirms that Mayor Fitzpatrick visited the Sociometric Institute of New York and, as a result, the Beacon House published the famous Symposium in Group Psychotherapy titled "Some Group Problems in the British Navy" which informed North Americans of the British development. In 1947 Moreno accepted to co-edit "Human Relations" with Kurt Lewin, the magazine of the Tavistock Institute of Human Relations. However, he could not take part in the London congress in 1948. In order to make extensive to the world the "good news" that he had so successfully been disseminating among his colleagues in the United States, Jacob Levy Moreno chose another memorable occasion, the I World Congress on Psychiatry held in Paris in 1950. He simply telegraphed the organizers: "Two Reports: Psychodrama. Sociometry. Signed: Moreno".28 This first return to Europe could not have been more gratifying and productive for Moreno. There he felt respected and accepted not only by psychiatrists but also by psychoanalysts, an unprecedented event both in Viena and the United States. Naturally, his task was well known in France and England, and some of these analysts had visited him in his Institutes in Beacon and New York. The following year, however, when Moreno traveled to London as Joshua Bierer's guest to visit the organization of his sociotherapeutic club, the Marlborough Hospital. On this visit he presents Bierer with the proposal for calling a meeting between the leaders of group psychotherapies. Apart from J. Bierer, T.P. Rees, H. Ezriel, P. Senft and S.H. Foulkes attended this meeting. Foulkes already knew him from his visits to New York. There were two issues on the agenda: Moreno proposed a plan for a British Society of Group Psychotherapy and another for a British journal, which he would finally publish together with Bierer under the title The International Journal of Social Psychiatry. In April 1951 Moreno traveled again to Paris and, under the auspices of the Moreno Institute and being its president, he managed to organize International Committee of Group Psychotherapy with the following explicit objectives:

1) To define the professional standards for group psychotherapy and work towards reaching a consensus in this respect;
2) To prepare the I International Congress of Group Psychotherapy to be held in autumn 1952 -which should have taken place in London or Paris but was not held until 1954 in Toronto;
3) To sponsor the International Archives on Group Psychotherapy.29

Of these three tasks, only the organization of a first congress was completed. The impossibility of reaching a consensus over professional standards is what most delayed the foundation of the Association.

A curious coincidence is that in the same month of April 1951 when Moreno was organizing the First International Committee for Group Psychotherapy in Paris, the first issue of the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy appeared in New York, an idea that Slavson began to work on upon his return from London in 1948. Slavson reports that he was surprised during that congress

"by the rather large number of delegates from various countries who were interested in the subject and had read our articles on group therapy in theAmerican Journal of Orthopsychiatry."

And explains that

"[r]eturning to the United States and supported by Dr. Hulse, I suggested to the Board of our Association that we publish a journal... Finally, at the Board meeting held during the annual conference of the Association in January of 1950, the proyect was approved, and a committee consisting of Dr. Hulse, Dr. Harris Peck, and myself was appointed to implement the plan."30««

Reading this I thought that Slavson's idea of international was based more on publications than on face to face encounters, as suggested by the adjective <<International>> used for the name of his publication International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, and this may explain Slavson's delay in organizing the international congress he had promised. My hypothesis seems to be reinforced by the following paragraph taken from a report from the AGPA History Committee.

"As a result of the many contacts Dr. Hulse and Mr. Slavson had made in Europe and South America and the almost 12.000 copies of the Association's publictions mailed free of charge to almost 49 countries in the past years, Hulse and Slavson, with the cooperation of Dr. Stevenson, made plans for an International Conference on Group Psychotherapy in 1954 in association with the Third International Conference of the World Mental Health Association in Toronto, Canada. The program for it was published in the Internationa Journal of Group Psychotherapy and included a printed announcement, but conflicts arose with the American Society for Psychotherapy and Psychodrama, which subverted the plans, and to spare the WMHA embarrassment, a unified conference was arranged."31

No matter how subjective, there is always a part of truth in history. In this case, the reports by Slavson's people evidence the great interest and effort made by the AGPA in its international projection through publications, achieving such a solid and extense distribution that the reputable International University Press did not hesitate to publish the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy. Until then, the AGPA could only count on the pages that the American Journal of Orthopsychiatry generously awarded it and a modest mimeographed Bulletin, put in envelopes and mailed to the members by Slavson himself since 1945. The bulletin, which contained information from Slavson's correspondence as well as news from the United States and the rest of the world, was written in an unabashed style with which he seeked to maintain people's interest until the appearance of a serious professional journal. It is obvious that Slavson chose to establish a network by mail rather than travel around giving conferences, seminars and demonstrations like Moreno. Although four international congresses had already been held by the time the History Committee emitted its report, the following comment gives an idea of the little hope there was that the project of a permanent international association would finally take shape:

"The events in 1954 presaged continuing difficulties in developing an international body representing group psychotherapy. There have continued to be conflicting theoretical ideologies as well as professional, organizational, and personal divergences. There are now group psychotherapy associations in many European and South American countries, they remain relatively out of touch with each other. The natural problems of communication have been increased by the rapid growth of group methods and techniques in the United States which have developed with different emphases from some other countries." 32

 

 

2. Pre-foundational period (Toronto 1954-Milan 1963)

a) Promotional stage (International Committee, 1954-1957)

In any case, the I International Congress of Group Psychotherapy was held and it marks the beginning of the Association's prefoundational period. Three hundred participants attended from 24 countries and there were 37 speakers. It was held in Toronto, the city in which in 1931 Moreno had taken the first step in organizing group psychotherapies during a meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. Six years had gone by since Hulse and Slavson had put forth in London the idea of a conference under the sponsorship of the AGPA, and four years since Moreno created an International Committee with like purposes in Paris. Now, thanks to the good work of the president of the World Mental Health Association, the congress was held jointly. As can be read on the registration form, the congress was convened with the objective of providing

"an opportunity for a multi-discipline cross-cultural examination of developments in the field of Group Psychotherapy and to promote planning for future cooperation between relevant disciplines and organizations across national lines"

and was aimed at professionals in psychotherapy, mental health and related fields and conceived to serve the interests of

"psychiatrists, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists, social workers, public health authorities and other government agencies, administrators of hospitals and other institutions, and other related professions."33

The Congress was convened by a new International Committee in Group Psychotherapy with its headquarters in New York, presided by Wilfred C. Hulse and Wellman J. Warner. J.L. Moreno and S.R. Slavson were its consulting presidents and there were representatives of 24 countries. Hadden reports that:

"With some reluctance planning for a joint congress was started. Moreno and Slavson began meeting to plan the congress, but conflicting views generated much friction and eventually it was suggested that Slavson and Moreno each select someone in whom they had confidence who was also acceptable to the others and they should proceed with the planning. Slavson selected Wilfred Hulse, an analytic psychiatrist, and Moreno chose Wellman Warner, Chairman, Department of Sociology, New York University. These mild-mannered gentlemen cooperatively arranged an excellent program with the cooperation of E. F. Rosen and a local committee."

The fact that Slavson and Moreno were forced to come to an agreement by the World Federation of Mental Health, of which both their respective institutions were members, did not rule out their discrepancies. Emblematically, the Congress of Group Psychotherapy in Toronto was born divided: the first part took place before the start of the Mental Health Congress on August 12, and the second the day after the Congress on August 20. Both the international associations, the one proposed by Slavson and that proposed by Moreno, were conceived as "umbrella associations" that would shelter the future national organizations as they arose. But in truth it is difficult to conceive an umbrella with two handles, more so when during the same congress each went his own way. There was a remarkable contrast between one concept of international association and the other. Slavson conceived it as a professional corporation of high standards linked to a national association, naturally the AGPA. Moreno, on the other hand, saw it as a world federation of societies interested in group psychotherapy and related fields. During the same congress, Slavson held a series of meetings with Latin American representatives in which Dr. Seguín from Perú was his interpreter. Bubi Usandivaras who was there reports:

"There we met the two most important group psychotherapists of the moment, Moreno and Slavson. Moreno, brilliant, arrogant, a veteran actor, as was fit for the creator of psychodrama within the surroundings of the Congress. Slavson, clear and convincing, but with the discrete appearance of a scientist more accustomed to a small group than to give great dissertations. We approached both of them, but since they presented themselves as irreconcilable opponents we had to opt for one, we chose Slavson, and it was him who urged us to establish our own association with the American one of which he was president as a model. Open to all professions which work with groups and not exclusively for psychoanalysts."34

Upon his return to Buenos Aires, together with twenty other colleagues, Bubi Usandivaras founded the AAPPG (Argentinean Association of Psychology and Group Psychotherapy) which joined the AGPA as a foreign affiliated association. It appears that the idea of including foreign associations in the AGPA arose in Toronto. What is little known by Anglo-Saxon group therapists is that the AGPA's initiative gave way first to the foundation of a national association in Argentina and other Spanish-speaking countries of the American continent, and later to the FLAPAG in 1957 (Latin American Federation of Analytic Group Psychotherapy). Back in New York, a Committee for the International Aspects of Group Psychotherapy was created presided by Slavson, and it was so successful that years later it included the IAGP itself, an organization of which the AGPA was a member. A situation so paradoxical that it reminds us of the little-known version of the Sphinx enigma that asks: who is the sister who engenders her sister and is in turn engendered by her? From my point of view, however, apart from its valuable scientific contributions, the main purpose of this first congress was of a political nature. In the evening of the first day an administrative session was held attended by most of the participants at the Congress. At the request of the assembly it was decided: 1) to set up a permanent international committee created from the committee that had organized the Congress, 2) that this Committee enlarge its number of members attracting representatives from other countries and 3) that the aim of this committee would be to promote the development of group psychotherapy in these countries in order to establish a permanent organization at an international level, allowing the participation of organizations and individuals on an equal basis.

The Congress in Toronto ends the prehistory of the IAGP and clearly gives way to what we can call the prefoundational period. An important turn of events took place during this congress: the idea of an association born from the competition between two charismatic leaders gave way to the idea of creating a corporation of professionals and/or a confederation of organizations interested in group work and led by a group. First under the name of Committee and later under the name of International Council, this group brings together the characteristics of what we could call a promoting commission and a professional community. The original Executive Committee with Hulse, Slavson, Warner and Moreno met in New York with 16 foreign members scarcely two months after the Congress to proceed with the expansion agreed on during the administrative session in Toronto. During the meeting it was decided that:

1) The Committee will contain no more than 40 members;
2) that its headquarters be in New York with the establishment there of an Executive or Administrative Committee made up by Bierer, Hulse, Moreno, Slavson and Warner;
3) that additional incorporations to the Committee would be made by mail or in person when it was in session
4) that the New York Executive carry out the policies and administration of the Committee, consulting with Dr. Bierer; and, 
5) that the Committee's field of action embrace the interests and participation of all those professionally qualified for carrying out group psychotherapy and investigation in group psychotherapy.

Already at the first meeting of the Executive, several difficulties that were to be overcome in the future arose. In the first place, information was received that the AGPA had decided not to take part in the joint publication -by the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy and Group Psychotherapy- in a singular issue of the records of the Congress in Toronto that the Executive of the International Committee had proposed. As an alternative, Moreno suggested that the International Committee itself publish it, including the papers and reports on the development of group psychotherapy in different countries present in the Congress. He offered to cover the cost of the publication and award the International Committee any benefit that it might generate. Such a generous offer was refused because it was considered a mistake for the International Committee to be indebted to anyone for monetary reasons. As an alternative, Hulse proposed that the Committee publish an official report summarizing the scientific papers, and that this report be published in both journals at the same time. The discussion of the Executive ended with a proposal to the International Committee so it could choose between frou alternatives. As far as I know, the proceedings of the Congress in Toronto remain unpublished. It is curious to note that a movement that sought to disseminate written material -this is true for both Slavson and Moreno- never reached the format of a joint publication of the results of its first face-to-face meeting.

In any case, the Committee was enlarged to 40 members and the organization of the second congress was undertaken; this time, the proceedings were published. In Hadden's words:

"Representatives of many countries were contacted and endorsed the planned congress. The friction between the adherents of Moreno and Slavson did not subside, but some European figures joined an international committe and provided neutral direction that eventually planned a second congress in Zurich. Bierer and Foulkes of England, Lebovici of France, and Friedemann of Switzerland joined in their efforts and the congress was held in Zurich in August 1957. The diplomatic flair of Warner contributed greatly. The European contacts of Warner and Moreno assured an excellent meeting."35

Raymond Battegay's impression of that meeting is important, since he was an exceptional testimony called in to play a decisive role during the foundational period and would become the future President of the Association:

"At the Zurich Congress I was rather impressed, on one hand, by this will to international collaboration and comprehension but, on the other hand, also by the personal tensions between the protagonists of the American group psychotherapeutic scene. Slavson with his outstanding knowledge, his almost obsessional work in and observation of rules and techniques, his mastership in applying analytical principles on groups but also his sometimes authoritarian attitude and Moreno with his unlimited capacity for intuition, for dramatic acting out and his enormous empathy but also his personal ambitions represented two different worlds which had necessarily to come to clashes. Whereas Moreno with his manifold initiatives was more active in the formation of an international body, Slavson was more a systematic worker in building it up, in combination with the International Journal of Group Psychotherapy, and an international network of people interested in this field. But there were other researchers with a more quiet nature, always ready to collaborate in this field and who worked very hard in the International Council of Group Psychotherapy for the formation of an International Society. I am thinking especially of Wellman J. Warner from the United States and of Adolf Friedemann from Biel/Bienne, Switzerland."36

Sure enough, this Congress was held in Zurich together with the International Congress of Psychotherapy. Five hundred members took part in it and there were 80 speakers. In Moreno's own words:

"The universal dimension of the movement was put into most clear evidence with the II International Congress of Group Psychotherapy in which all schools and ideologies were represented. Let us remember the individual schools of psychotherapy, the Freudians, the Adlerians, the Jungians. Every one of these tendencies used to have their own international congresses, incapable or resistant to maintain joint sessions. In this respect, the group therapists showed a greater capacity of adaptation. As important as divisions and oppositions may be, they accepted one another and celebrated congresses together. The movement had consequences, which go well beyond the meaning of group psychotherapy as a scientific method. The growing recognition of the meaning of group psychotherapy for "normal" groups, the development of therapeutic communities and a therapeutic science of society, "societry", constitute one more advance in the direction of a "worldwide therapeutic order" which I announced twenty-five years ago in Philadelphia as the immediate step in a series of world revolutions."37

By the way, we don't know if these words by Moreno are "mnemic leftovers" or "daughters of desire". Independently of who is the mother, the father is the ideology that led him to proclaim back in 1933 the first sentence in his provocative book "Who will survive?"

"A truly therapeutic procedure cannot have a lesser objective than the whole of mankind."38

Ideal thoughts that do not seem to coincide with the description of the event by Hadden and even less with the comment by Wellman Warner, Moreno's deputy, thanks to whom the gestation of the IAGP had a happy end:

"An unexpected appearance of Carl Jung at a plenary session was a special treat to many in attendance and might have prompted the comment of Wellman Warner in a letter to Sam Hadden dated March 22, 1975. He wrote, "I am struck by the parallel between the early history of the development of psychoanalytic organization with all of the bitterness, mutual suspicions, recrimination and obstruction and our emerging international organization in group psychotherapy. The immensely revealing Freud/Jung letters, published just last year, throw a flood of light not only on persons and national groups, but also on ideas and theory... The executive sessions in Zurich took place during stormy times and the friction between Moreno and Slavson continued."

In spite of the tense atmosphere and the stormy sessions of the executive, the administrative session was very productive. The acting International Committee proposed the establishment of a broader and more representative International Council, so that the latter elect its executive posts and create the mechanisms necessary for carrying out the following functions:

"1) prepare the constitution of the projected international society, 2) define the qualifications for membership or organization in the various countries and the qualifications of the individual members, and 3) promote the development of organizations interested in group psychotherapy at a national level throughout the world... -The Committee added- that the Council itself would decide when its preparatory work would allow an International Society of Group Psychotherapy to operate as an organization. Then it would be in charge of carrying out the provisions of the constitution established by the council."39

These proposals were approved without a single opposing vote from the International Committee and its governing body accepted to undertake the management of the new International Council.40 The election of the Council members and managing body was done by mail, and these did not take a stand officially until the III Congress in Milan took place in July 1963). The Council was made up of representatives from 46 countries with a total of 138 members. Those elected to the Council were J.L. Moreno as President, S.H Foulkes as First Vicepresident, Serge Lebovici as Second Vice President, B. Stokvis as Secretary, A. Friedemann as Treasurer and Joshua Bierer, J.H. Schultz, Zerka T. Moreno and Wellman J. Warner as managers. After this congress Slavson practically withdrew from any further participation in the international committee, although in name only he was still a member of the council. Moreno, however, due to his multiple European contacts and his dynamic personality, assured the maintenance of an international organization, whilst Friedemann made significant contributions as Secretary General. It was after this congress that Wellmann Warner, who played the role of Secretary from his home in Mamaroneck, resigned and the task of the Secretariat was transferred to Beacon in New York.

There is one detail I have not seen reflected in the documents of the IAGP which are in my possession, and which I am sure played a very important facilitating role for carrying out the tasks assigned to the managing board of the new Council in Zurich. I am referring to the IV International Congress of Psychotherapy (Barcelona, September 1958) where not only I but many other leaders of the second European generation of group therapists came in touch with the International and its founding members. This congress included a Psychodrama Section presided by Moreno and a Group Psychotherapy Section presided by S.H. Foulkes in which Slavson presented a report with the title: "What group psychotherapy is and is not".41

b) Pre-constitutional stage (International Council, 1957-1963)

The writing of the first draft of the by-laws was entrusted to Moreno, Friedemann and Stokvis. The main sources of friction between Slavson and Moreno in this respect stemmed from the latter's objection to the adoption of a constitution that Slavson insisted should include specific training criteria. Moreno's desire, already mentioned in the letter from Warner to Hadden, was to provide channels of communication for a wide range of workers in this field given that, in his opinion, in Europe psychoanalytic orthodoxy had already been replaced by a pluralism of theories. It became clear that the search for a constitution that would serve to assure a certain degree of permanence would be the objective of the following congress. This explanation which we owe to Hadden refers to the concept of organization with which one operates and is not merely anecdotal, rather it goes directly to the root of the difficulties encountered when founding the IAGP, which still remain latent today, and that refer to the concept of organization with which one operates. For Slavson, the concept is that of a professional corporation with high standards of accredited and recognized training, whilst for Moreno it is an association of professionals whose basic goal is to promote communication between the representatives of different tendencies and methods.

The Congress in Milan was called for July 18-21, 1963, guided by Moreno's criterium of association. Its aim was to unite

"the representatives of all countries and regions where group psychotherapy was practiced and group methods were used, in view of facilitating the interchange of productive experiences and evaluate cultural differences in the country where this is indicated... fostering the widest possible participation and the confrontation of a maximum variety of methods used in this interdisciplinary field in view of stimulating the organization of new societies of group psychotherapy."42

Professor Spaltro, President of the Italian Society of Group Psychotherapy, undertook the local organization of the Congress. By then, group psychotherapy societies had been created throughout the world in Argentina, Chile, France, Austria, England, Japan, Cuba and Israel. The Congress was a great success both from the scientific and the social point of view. A total of 1.215 members signed up, with 261 speakers from 51 countries. For the first time, the entire proceedings were published with a few comments on group psychotherapy by J.L Moreno and with the cooperation of Zerka Moreno, A. Friedemann and R. Battegay in theHandbook of Group Psychotherapy (Moreno et al, 1966).

The Council meeting took place on July 20, 1963 with the attendance of 100 members. The main subject discussed was the future Constitution of the International Society of Group Psychotherapy. Moreno explained that it should be submitted to the approval of the entire council by mail. A valuable discussion arose in relation to the composition of the future Society. Hadden, who had followed the suggestion of the members of the AGPA and presented a constitution and set of regulations in which no training standard appeared, suggested that the admission of members be limited to collective members of recognized societies. Foulkes, on the other hand, advised that the society be organized according to schools or dominant tendencies in the movement. Moreno pointed out that for its future development the movement required a greater participation from both individual and collective members. Friedemann, who together with Moreno and Stokvis had been designated to write out the Constitution, suggested hiring an international attorney familiar with international law, given that legal considerations varied from one country to another. As was foreseeable, the search for a constitution and by-laws that would assure a certain degree of permanence would take place during the following congress. The premature death of the Secretary Stokvis in September of that year was a hard blow for the Council. A. Friedemann, who was already the Treasurer, undertook also the task of Secretary, and he asked R. Battegay to aid him in the secretarial functions.

Moreno's undoubtable interest in an international society of a general nature did not prevent him, however, from organizing specific international congresses on psychodrama, the first in Paris in 1944 and the second in Barcelona in 1966. In January 1967, maybe a little discouraged by the meager perspectives of counting on a specific section on groupanalysis within the future IAGP, Foulkes launched his Group Analysis International Panel and Correspondence, basis of the future "European groupanalytic movement", as we have already said. It is not strange then that during the Seventh Congress of Psychotherapy in Wiesbaden, Germany, held in August 1967, Sam Hadden and Alice Peters organized a meeting "to plan an international forum for discussion of the practice, research, training and problems in group psychotherapy in the respective countries of the participants", with the aim to promote an international organization from the viewpoint of the AGPA. Battegay reports that "[t] here was an intensive discussion and there were many tensions since some of the persons present seeked more for an international association without a link to national societies."

Against this background the IV International Congress of Group Psychotherapy was held in Viena from the 16-21 September 1968, organized by R. Schindler and his collaborators. The most noteworthy fact was that for the meeting, the papers submitted were at the disposition of the people attending. The Congress was a great success, more so from the social point of view and especially from the emotional point of view for Moreno. During the meeting of the managing board of the International Council the versions of the Constitution that Friedemann and Warner had prepared were read. Warner read his draft in English and Friedemann read his in German. Foulkes, who was very interested in establishing the constitution, translated him to English. An attempt was made to synthesize both versions since both contained aspects that were not covered in the other. Friedemann, Warner and Hadden joined their efforts in order to write a Constitution that would be operative and, by democratic procedures, establish an ordered succession of authority for electing the members of the Council and its Board of Directors. Once again, however, voting was postponed since it was not considered fair to make decisions without giving the rest of the Council members -now 130- a chance to give their opinion.

 

 

3. Constitutional period (1963-1973)

The preparation of the Constitution lasted almost until the V International Congress of Group Psychotherapy that took place in Zurich in 1973, The return to Zurich was due to the efforts of A. Uchtenhagen, A. Friedemann and R. Battegay. Close to 1,300 people attended. By then, group psychotherapies had reached their maximum splendor and the program's level of excellence was similar to that of the four previous congresses. Although it was very probable that the Association would finally be approved on this occasion, many of its original promoters had lost all enthusiasm. For example, Malcolm Pines tells us that although he had already covered his share of congresses for the year, he had decided to attend given that

"it seemed to us important that a representative of the Group-Analytic Society should go to Zurich as there were indications that at long last the prolonged gestation period of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy was at an end, and that this Congress would see its birth. For many years Dr. Foulkes has been Vice President of the International Council for Group Psychotherapy, and as he was not able to attend the Congress I went partly to represent him, but I was also welcomed in my role as Chairman of the Group-Analytic Society of London. There were several informal and formal committee meetings... During that week, the members of the old council, together with some new members representing the AGPA together revised and approved the final draft of the proposed constitution of the new Association and formed its first committee."43

Sure enough, during the meeting in Zurich the International Association of Group Psychotherapy was finally established. Although Moreno was very ill, he was still in time to attend. He appeared only for the plenary session and responded briefly to the spontaneous emotional response he received. During the executive sessions, the constitution was extensively studied and finally adopted with only a few minor changes. Moreno seemed satisfied that the discipline for whose progress he had worked so hard was assured its continuity under a democratic constitution. Sam Hadden presided the assembly during the Congress in Zurich in which the Constitution was finally adopted and the members of the Executive were elected. Samuel B. Hadden was named first President of the IAGP and Anne Ancelin-Schützenberger accepted to undertake the organization of the next Congress to be held in Nice.

The Congress in Zurich was the end of a long process that lasted over twenty-five years. This does not mean that the constitutional process ended then or that it has already ended at present. An account by Jay Fidler clearly puts this forth:

"At the V Congress in Zurich (1973), the decision was made to become a more formal organization, with a constitution and by-laws. Moreno convened a group of us, and began the IAGP with the aim of establishing a formal constitution and incorporation in Switzerland."44

In reference to this task, five years later Fidler accounts:

"After attending the initial organizing meeting convened by J. L. Moreno in Zurich during the V Congress in 1973 I have watched closely to see if in fact this would become a functioning organization with a steering mechanism involving a number of people from different geographical locations and theoretical persuasions. The alternative seemed to be some one person taking a central organizing role as had been the case with J. L. and Zerka Moreno. At that first meeting Sam Hadden was named as its first president and we were told that by declaring ourselves incorporated in Switzerland that we required no further specific action to make it valid, but that we did need to follow the laws and regulations of membership pertaining to incorporation. This casual declaration of incorporation seems to remain subliminal in our thinking and it is not taken seriously."45

This remark seems very timely to me since the flexibility awarded to the constitution of associations by Art. VI of the Swiss Civil Law allows the Constitution of the IAGP to be changed easily by means of a majority of votes from its members sent by mail, given the members' lack of information, it has the inconvenience that the changes remain "in the hands of the experts" appointed by its executive committee. Recalling the time of the foundation, Battegay remarks:

"After years of probatory work it was a wonderful feeling to have also a formal organization unifying the group psychotherapists and the theoretical workers in this field all over the world... It was for Moreno certainly a good feeling to see that group psychotherapy had developed to such a point that the International Association of Group Psychotherapy became a democratic reality. Not only that he could see that this international body was to organize the International Congresses for Group Psychotherapy which in the past partly he and his wife had organized themselves, with a small group of co-workers, but it also guaranteed continuity for the future."

Although the continuity of Moreno's task was assured by the foundation of the IAGP, his own life was silenced the following year and the group elected to undertake its leadership was put to test with the task of organizing the next two congresses. This transitional period was not easy. President Hadden himself, a man from the AGPA in Philadelphia, explains:

"Unfortunately, complications arose in getting financial support [for the congress in Nice]and the board agreed to hold the congress in Madrid in August 1976. The proposed meeting in Nice was well publicized at considerable expense when cancellation became necessary. Arrangements for the Madrid meeting were progressing nicely and many registrations were received. The program, under Jay Fidler, Malcolm Pines and Zerka Moreno was progressing smoothly when Spain, in the United Nations, voted to declare Israel a "racist nation". This act caused so many to cancel their reservations and withdraw from the program that the board cancelled the meeting again after considerable funds were spent in advertising and other expenses. Finally the meeting was planned for Philadelphia in August, 1977."

In truth, the cancellation of the congress in Nice was not only due to economic reasons, nor was the cancellation of the one in Madrid due solely to the political reasons adduced. Thanks to Anne Schützenberger I know that the impossibility of obtaining economic aid was more a question of protocol and the American lack of understanding in relation to the French university tradition in the organization of congresses. In the case of Madrid, the organization of which I took part in together with Marina Prado de Molina, what really produced the mass exodus of those who had enrolled was more a question of the political insecurity in Spain at the time due to Franco's impending death and the fear of what could happen later. Referring to this period, Fidler himself accounts that

"Hadden...[w] ith no actual constitution, no membership, and no money, he recruited Malcolm Pines, Zerka Moreno, and Jay W. Fidler, to establish a location for the next Congress in Europe. This did not work out. Finally, after a one-year delay, the Congress was held in Philadelphia in 1977. In the meantime, a Constitution Committee devised ways to proceed, which were to be established at that meeting. In keeping with the new Constitution, the Officers, Executive Committee, and Board of Directors, were all identified at the end of the Philadelphia Congress, in one large meeting, Raymond Battegay was named President, and the next Congress was planned for London."46

In reference to what he calls the "first cycle of the organizational development" -that concludes with the Congress in Philadelphia, turning point in the IAGP and beginning of a more formal structure of the organization- Fidler himself points out that the responsibility of the following congress weighed on four people -Sam Hadden, Zerka Moreno, Malcolm Pines and himself-, that coordination had been difficult, that the members had been charged a small fee in order to face secretarial costs and that the expenses of the local organization had been practically null. The four people on the Program Committee worked using maps and the timetable was established without even visiting the site. Although it was only a modest success insofar as the number of people registered (600 attendants) the bad spot of the European cancellations that threatened the survival of the Association was overcome and there were even $500 left over.

Hadden explains that

"[b]ecause of the two cancellations, the printing, mailing and other costs had depleted the treasury and a vigorous effort to enroll additional individual and organizational members was necessary. Screening of individual and organizational membership was suspended. Simultaneous translation was too expensive to be considered, and, because there were only 15 months left to complete the preparations, the congress was held. There was deserved criticism of some of the presentations. At the business meeting, as required in the constitution adopted in Zurich in order to assure that the next congress could be an excellent one, organizational members were requested to submit a plan for the next congress. Jacob Katwan presented documentary support from the West German government and the city of West Berlin where fantastic facilities would be at our disposal, and this appealing proposal was the one adopted. At the business meeting Raymond Battegay of Basel, Switzerland, was elected president with Malcolm Pines chairman of the Program Committee."47

 

 

4. Organizational development period

a) VII International Congress (Copenhagen 1980). President Raymond Battegay

If the Congress in Philadelphia served to crystallize the IAGP as a formal legally established and recognized association, the election of Raymond Battegay as President and the choice of the next congress site by the general assembly served to initiate its organizational development. Referring to this period, after the above-mentioned words, Hadden added:

"Local professional tensions in England made the proposed location impossible. Raymond Battegay traveled to Berlin, but found that Jakob Katwan could no longer make the prior offer. Both Pines and Battegay finally met with Lise Rafaelsen and her co-workers in Copenhagen and established the VII International Congress at that location. This meeting was a scientific, social and financial success.

Battegay worked not only to establish the Copenhagen Congress, but also to set the groundwork for future congresses in Mexico, Yugoslavia, Portugal, Israel and Japan. The machinery of the organization is beginning to work as planned."48

As I am making this presentation of the IAGP, you asked me to also present myself. So far, my "ordering of significant data in a time sequence" has been based on what others have told me or have left written in their work; obviously, all duly filtered, bathed and spiced-up by my own prejudices. I think it is appropriate to digress at this point and explain what these prejudices are and where they come from. I am a live witness who has taken part in the events reported and, whether I like it or not, I am a part of the organization mechanism that began to operate during Battegay's mandate.

The Congress in Copenhagen was the first IAGP congress that I attended. I found myself there in the midst of a series of circumstances that compelled me to play different roles depending on the perspective where I spoke. After dedicating many years to public services, the university and health politics -during which my training in psychoanalysis and groupanalytic therapies mainly served to direct my medical and teaching activity- I entered fully into private practice as a free professional and full time scientist. The same year Psicología Dinámica Grupal 49 written by several authors was published, which compiled the experience of a group debate between different tendencies and methods; this work made a strong impression on me. I had also just finished the prologue to the Spanish version of Foulkes' last book. 50 Before his death I had made this commitment to him. As he used to say, in order to make this book accessible to South America where, in spite of certain differences, he believed that the approach to the group was headed in the same direction as his own. I am not aware to what this book has helped take Foulkes to South America, but for me the translation and writing the prologue definitely helped to bring me closer to Groupanalysis, in the same way that Psicología Dinámica Grupal served to bring me closer to the South American groupologists who had chosen Spain as their place of exile. Both experiences evoke my early professional training that has marked my fate. I had worked with Foulkes in the Maudsley Hospital, teaching hospital of the London Institute of Psychiatry, a very eclectic place for university training. In the psychotherapy unit for outpatients that he directed, training, teaching and health care were carried out in a group. I received further formal training at the Postgraduate Center for Psychotherapy -later "for Mental Health"- in New York, a low-cost clinic where treatments could be covered because therapies were carried out by therapists whose training was largely paid for by the work they did thanks to a grant. Like the Maudsley, this institution was radically eclectic: teachers and supervisors belonged to different professions and represented the different analytic tendencies in New York at the time; those of us who had grants -psychiatrists, clinical psychologists and social workers- could choose the analyst and supervisors of whatever tendency we wished and, as with Foulkes, training was centered in the class group. A third important factor is that when I met Hernán Kesselman -a disciple of Pichón-Rivière- and thanks to the dialogue we initiated upon becoming coauthors of Psicología Dinámica Grupal, we realized the enormous hiatus in our education in relation to the work of each others teacher. The dialogue established between us due to personal affinity was now extended to our respective reference groups. By the time we decided to attend the Congress in Copenhagen together, we had already had a couple of theoretical/practical meeting workshops on my groupanalysis and on his group conductors' feared scenes which allowed me to overcome a few of my prejudices against psychodrama, a product of my analytical training. This spirit of solidarity and dialogue within diversity prevailed in Spain during the period of transition from dictatorship to democracy, culminating with the establishment of the Constitution in 1979; it explains the generous welcome that Spaniards awarded to those Argentineans who came here fleeing from dictatorship during those years. Thus, it is not surprising that my journey to Copenhagen was presided by an idea of union, cooperation and dialogue between opposites. When Malcolm Pines invited me to participate in a sub plenary meeting of the Congress on family therapy, I did so from the groupanalytic point of view and the main conclusion I came to was that

"Psychoanalysts or group analysts have more families than ordinary people. On top of their family of origin and the one they constitute, by training and association they become part of the analytic family of the Institute. As Martin Grotjahn used to recommend, some family therapy with their own real families would do them a lot of good, and some group psychotherapy for the incestuous analytic family of analytic societies would do them no harm. Maybe that way we could find better ways to solve our "theoretical problems" by separating from the old family. That way the analytic family, as in the real family, pathology will not be transmitted to their offsprings."51

By mid 1979 I had sent my colleagues of the GAIPAC a note reminding them that in Foulkes original intention this panel by mail was just the means to reach an aim, and that its ultimate objective was the establishment of an "international association of groupanalysts". In the note I asked myself about

"the prospects of such an association of groupanalysts or, without being so ambitious, what was left of our intended international workshop or study group by correspondence? It is my feeling that without face-to-face contact, without free and thorough discussion among all of us concerned with this common adventure, Group Analysis runs the risk of becoming institutionalized and the dynamics of power will take over the wit and the soul of what it could have been. Hierarchical organization will kill the possibilities of growth that our affiliative association had in its beginning... More active participation among us is needed in order to carry out the necessary task of reflection to know where our large group will go."52

I asked myself whether the International Congress in Copenhagen was a good chance for the Group Analytic Society (London) and the GAIPAC to organize a big joint meeting between its British and foreign -overseas- members and their correspondents and subscribers. As just one more member of the silent majority I proposed Pat de Maré, publisher of the GAIPAC, to call this meeting.53 This long distraction is justified given the importance that these experiences and ideas would have on the future development of the groupanalytic movement and on my attitudes as a member and officer of the IAGP. The Congress in Copenhagen also gave way to other encounters. Elizabeth Foulkes, Ana Quiroga, Hernán and I met during this Congress, and on the first day we improvised a dialogue between disciples of Pichón-Rivière and Foulkes, which is a dialogue we repeated in the Congress held in Zagreb and again, in Buenos Aires.54

On the other hand, the meeting I had proposed with GAIPAC was held at lunchtime after being called on the spot, not by the editor Pat de Maré, but by the president of the Group Analytic Society at the time, Jane Abercrombie. At the beginning of the meeting she asked me to put forth my idea on how to establish the "international association of groupanalysts" that S.H. Foulkes proposed together with GAIPAC. My words, which I do not exactly remember, gave way to a passionate and intense debate that revealed the ripeness of the idea of a "European groupanalytic movement". Upon my return from Copenhague, GAIPAC asked me to write another note summarizing the conclusions that I had come to after that encounter in which I stated:

"What I would like, what I actually propose, is that among this broad network of people who have been influenced by Group Analysis and who are group analysts at heart, even if they never heard of it, a small number of them could get together and set themselves as a task to think and to work towards such an association. For that I am asking for volunteers and, I think our panel correspondents could serve well as its launching point. I was neither qualified as a psychoanalyst -of the International Psychoanalytic Association, I mean to say- nor as a group analyst -of the Group Analytic Institute. Regardless of how many formal training certificates I obtained from other qualifying institutions, I feel I am basically a group analyst. What does it mean to be a group analyst? To me it means to face the problems of the individual and society at the nodal point where they meet and where they belong -the small face to face group- led along analytical lines. It also is means to promote communication at all levels by frank and open discussion. It is to function in its daily professional and associational life guided by group analytic principles, as they were worded by S. H. Foulkes in Method and Principles. That is why he and his way of thinking were so dear and appealing to me; and that is the sort of association I aspire to and I envision."55

This statement can be considered the International Groupanalytic Movement Manifesto which we first unsuccessfully tried to develop within the London Group Analytic Society and, years later, we tried again in the context of the IAGP as a network of study groups or a section of special interest in groupanalysis.56

On the last day of the Congress in Copenhague, whilst the general assembly of members of the IAGP held a meeting, I met with Fabrizio y Diego Napolitani from Italy who were in charge of organizing the following European Symposium of Groupanalysi in Rome, and who were calling for a forum that would lead to a European confederation of groupanalytic organizations, a proposal which years later gave way to the Confederation of Italian Organizations of Group Analytic Research (COIRAG).

As Battegay puts it, the Congress in Copenhague was superbly organized and turned out to be a scientific, social and financial success. Even the subject chosen was a success: "The individual and the group: Boundaries and interrelations". The papers presented were published in the form of a book in record time using advanced reproduction technology.57 In Copenhague there were 1.200 people registered and the benefits were a total of 23,000 dollars. In time, this Congress became the standard of what is considered a success in the organization of the IAGP congresses. It has been said that the history of the IAGP is the history of its congresses. This history can be told from a scientific point of view considering the subjects dealt with, or from the more political/organizational viewpoint by which its directors are elected.

Until the Congress in Copenhague, the president of the IAGP and the site of the following congress were elected directly by the assembly. On this occasion, as Hadden says:

"With Malcolm Pines as president, the plans for the VIII International Congress are set for Mexico in 1984. Luis Feder will make local arrangements. Raimundo Macías will establish the program. A modest step toward a permanent central office is getting under way through the efforts of Jay Fidler."

However, before Malcolm Pines' mandate and the celebration of the VIII Congress, there is something at an institutional level that I would like to mention. I had just been elected member of the Board of Directors of the Spanish Society of Psychotherapy and Group Techniques (SEPTG) who had asked me to explore the advantages and disadvantages that the Society's affiliation as an organization to the IAGP or as a foreign organization to the AGPA would have on its international projection. It so happened that in Copenhague, Jay Fidler, who was the Secretary and Treasurer of the IAGP, was also an outstanding member of the Committee of International Affairs of the AGPA. So it turned out that in order to learn about two different organizations I ended up speaking with one single person. One of the things that did not convince the SEPTG was that the IAGP -apparently for economic reasons- had accepted as members, at the Philadelphia meeting certain Spanish organizations that they did not give much credit to. During the years that followed, the lack of criteria for the admission of organizations was overcome and I promoted and endorsed the admission of the SEPTG and other Spanish and foreign group organizations myself. We were not convinced about becoming affiliated to the AGPA, since it did not make sense to become a foreign association affiliated to another national association, specially bearing in mind that Spain does not belong to the English-speaking area of influence. This first contact was followed by extensive correspondence with both institutions, which I followed as the spokesperson for the SEPTG. Although the affiliation to IAGP, the one the SEPTG finally opted for, did not take place until seven years later, my intervention during this period made me familiar enough with the Association so as to try to gain collectively admission for still another Spanish association, Analytic Convergence, a request initially accepted by the Board of Directors but which did not come into effect because this group did not meet the requirement of being legally established in its country. This idea is a precursor to the establishment of specialized sections. The philosophy that led us to make this proposal was that if the IAGP is an international association, its individual members can form permanent groups under its shelter without having to go through the same legal pains as the IAGP when it was formed.

 

 

b) VIII International Congress (Mexico 1984). President Malcolm Pines

Like Sam Hadden, Malcolm Pines is one of the presidents whose mandate lasted almost four years. However, he is the only one who did not get to preside the congress he organized and for which he was been elected. His poor health prevented him from attending the VIII Congress. During his mandate, the Constitution was developed and the Nominations Committee was formed. This Committee would select the names for voting by mail to elect the directors and executive posts, which, from then on, would include the figure of President-Elect. The congress preparation procedures improved considerably. Pines requested the presentation of a proposal for the IX Congress before celebrating the VIII and annual meetings of the Board between Congresses were planned to coincide with the Annual Conference of one of its member organizations, the AGPA.

During one of these meetings held in February 1983 in New York, I was invited to join the Board of Directors. When William E. Powels, President of the Nominations Committee, issued this invitation to me, he informed me that although the Board met once a year in the winter coinciding with the AGPA winter meeting, it was not a requirement to attend these Board meetings due to the difficulty that this obligation could entail. He explained that the two requirements for being a member of the Board were: first, to become an individual member of the Association and be up to date on the payments -it is not enough to be a member of an affiliated organization- and, second, allow them to include me on a list of eligible persons that was going to be mailed.

All these changes were possible thanks to the close cooperation between Malcolm Pines and Jay Fidler who, as Secretary-Treasurer, proved his extraordinary administrative and organizational capacity. During this period, membership fees started to be collected systematically; the functions of the managing board and those of the program and congress organization committees were specifically separated, and control of the program became centralized; the services of a congress agency were engaged and the president stayed in touch with the program and executive committees; the money for promoting the congress came from external sources and the advertising was well organized once the place and date were decided. Secretary-Treasurer Fidler, to whom we owe this information, established a mailing list for advertising and for the follow-up of its members. As membership grew, the index card system became unmanageable and a computer system was adopted which operates efficiently to date. This system enabled the publication of the first Directory, although the bulk of work was such that it became necessary to hire a certain amount of secretarial aid.

With a 1-year delay, the VIII Congress was held in Mexico at the end of April 1984. It was with the title: "What is effective in group psychotherapy?" I was very excited about participating in this Congress, amongst other things, because it was the first time an IAGP congress was going to take place in a Spanish-speaking country. I hoped that our English-speaking colleagues, the predominant language in most international associations, would have the chance to overcome the language barrier and communicate with another culture. Unfortunately, I could not attend since my implication with the European groupanalytic movement at the time prevented me from doing so. But if I had attended, it is very possible that I would have been disappointed, at least in this respect. The Executive was not very satisfied with the Mexican experience from the point of view of the organization of the program. Moreover, the local organization was incapable of earning money and giving a due account of its finances. Paradoxically, the Congress in Mexico did not prove to be as efficient as its title promised. The clash between the local and central organizations was not only due to language and cultural difficulties, but also to the different organizing disposition of the Spanish and English-speaking members. Fidler explains that during the preparation of this VIII Congress the idea of a Central Office for improving the organization began to take shape, partly because the Secretary-Treasurer had to carry out more and more tasks, leading to the engagement of a part time administrator. Both the membership fees and the congress registrations started to be collected from a central office. Guillermo Ferschtut was named editor of the news bulletin, although its publication and distribution were in the hands of the Administration. The Congress arrangements were practically in the hands of a single person, Luís Federn, who used the 5,000 US dollars that the central office advanced, and which were later refunded, for this purpose. The publicity was delayed because the dates had not been set with enough time in advance and finally they had to be changed. The presidency of the Program Committee was originally assigned to a person living outside of Mexico, and after a few difficulties, it went to someone in Mexico who was not even a member of the IAGP. Again, a congress agency was used to carry out some of the tasks. About 700 members attended.

Malcolm Pines' absence was the reason why Fidler presided all the administrative sessions. At the first of these meetings, Pines' declaration was read in which he summarized his mandate as President. At the same time, Fidler gave the results of the elections held by correspondence and pointed out the advantages and disadvantages of a congress being managed from a central office; the main advantage was that it eliminated or decreased the costs of engaging the services of a congress agency. In accordance with this, he proposed the creation of a committee for selecting the site presided by the President Elect, a new post for which Grete Leutz had been elected. Edward Klain's proposal that Zagreb be the site of the next congress was briefly discussed, an idea he had already put forth to the Board of Directors with the support of Malcolm Pines after the latter had traveled twice to Zagreb so as to evaluate it. This proposal was very economical thanks to the support of the Yugoslav General Office of Tourism and the Yugoslav Airlines. After a lively discussion on the advantages and disadvantages of holding a congress in a communist country, the proposal was accepted unanimously. Claude Piggott, who had already been elected by the previous Board and visited Zagreb with Pines in October of the same year, would take charge of the Program Committee.

It was Fidler, already elected President, who introduced the idea of organizing a training institute before the following congress. For this purpose he invited Milton Berger, initiator of the AGPA Training Institutes, to explain what they were. This idea was approved and, as with the proposal of the site, the final decision was left to the incoming Board. During the General Assembly of Members on the last day a relevant event occurred in relation to the sections. In representation of a group of psychodramatists, Diana Villaseñor proposed the establishment of a section of special interest in psychodrama within the IAGP. As the new president, Fidler explained that in order to take this step the request should be submitted in written form. In any case, the proposal was accepted unanimously by the Assembly with the recommendation that, once the formalities were complied with, it would be approved during the next meeting of the Board of Directors.58 Years later, by way of a personal letter and in response to my Lisbon report on the Groupanalysis Section, Fidler wrote to me that

"[back] at the Mexico Congress it appeared that Psychodrama (which actually initiated the International Congresses) suggested a subgroup such as you are proposing. Both Zerka Moreno and I discouraged it as divisive."59

I don't know whether the psychodramatists complied with the requirement of submitting the request in written form with 25 signatures as required in the by-laws, or whether they simply tired of trying. The truth is that on the agenda of the Board meeting held on October 27th 1984 in Paris, to which I was called in by President Fidler a few days before the closure of the Congress in Mexico, this affair did not appear and nobody seems to have remembered it during the meeting.

 

 

c) IX International Congress (Zagreb 1986). President Jay W. Fidler

President Fidler's mandate is the shortest in the IAGP so far -scarcely two and a half years. In spite of this the Congress in Zagreb was celebrated on time and its organization became a success. This was partly due to Malcolm Pines' decision that the preparation of the following congress start before celebrating the one in Mexico and to the fact that the local organizing committee already had the experience of organizing the VI European Symposium of Groupanalysis two years earlier in the same city. During the Board meeting held on April 26, 1984 in Mexico important decisions were made. As Fidler himself puts it:

"We recognized the difficulties of carrying on the business of the Association in two or three hours at the time of the Congress. Although we have had meetings in 1982 and 1983 at the AGPA meetings in February in the USA, there was a general feeling that this left the European members of the Board at a disadvantage and they seemed to ally us with one of the member Organizations too closely. It was therefore decided that we would have, for the coming year, a "split agenda" between two meetings. One is to be in Paris on October 27, 1985. The second is to be at the AGPA meeting in New York City in mid-February of the same year..."60

The decision to divide the agenda of the meetings between congresses, to dedicate enough time to cover it and assure the cooperation of the entire Board of Directors with the task of the Program and Local Organization Committees- was possible partly due to the imagination and dedication of Edward Klain and the aid lent by the Yugoslav Ministry of Tourism. The latter not only formally agreed to finance the journey to the Paris meeting of the Board and Program Committee members, but also invited its members to participate in the Medical Psychology Congress held in Opatija enabling another meeting to take place in Zagreb under the same conditions one year later. The European encounters of the Board provided greater cohesion and union with the Program Committee and the Local Organization Committee, allowing the IAGP Congress in Zagreb to be thought by a group or, rather, by a group of groups. The Congress, which left Mexico under the theme "Group psychotherapy and early developments", was held in Zagreb from the 24t-29 of August 1986 under the title "Developments and transitions in a rapidly changing context: A challenge for group psychotherapists" and was preceded by an Institute. They say that a camel is a horse designed by a group. The idea of the camel occurred to me during the opening session of the Congress in presence of all the authorities, when a technical failure produced a crossover in the translators' outgoing wires: the loudspeakers emitted a mixture of languages whilst the translators remained unperturbed in their cabins feeding that modern Tower of Babel. Fortunately, the problem was rapidly solved and the organizers' initial panic turned into the general revelry of the audience.

For the first time, during this Congress I was determined to work on the subject of the Congress as a group and make group presentations. Under the title "From Psychoanalysis to Social Psychology: Operative Groupanalysis", Hernán Kesselman and I presented the work we had done during one year in eleven sessions carried out in Madrid with a group of colleagues of different theoretical and practical tendencies and different parts of Spain. Here again we come up againsttradutore traditore, but in this case due to their absence. We had been assigned a sub plenary in which simultaneous translation was not possible, as we discovered at the last minute. Since we were expecting a multilingual attendance we decided to resort to group translation. We improvised large posters in English and Spanish that read: "War to Babel. Come as you are. Bring your own culture. Speak your own language. Don't worry about translations. Trust the group. Let the group do it". And it worked. People came together in small groups according to languages where, in a whisper, one would translate for the group what was being said in the hall. It was a very satisfying experience: instead of "talking to them" about operative groupanalysis, we applied it to solving the problem that had arisen then and there within the group.

Not so successful was the Second Conference that Hernán and I organized once again during this Congress between the London Group Analytic Society and the Buenos Aires Private School of Social Psychology (presided by Elizabeth Foulkes and Ana Pampliega de Quiroga). In spite of the previous experience and the fact that the bilingual fluency of some of the attendants allowed us to have a sequential translation, the latter, as is usually the case, did not quite work because it split the discourses and reinforced the narcissistic aspects of the last to speak. Curiously, Elizabeth and Ana who were seated side by side realized that they both spoke fluid French once the meeting was over.

Another translinguistic meeting was the "Encounter for dialogue on Mediterranean groupanalysis" that we organized with Fabrizio Napolitani and Guilherme Ferreira. In this meeting each spoke his own language and assumed to understand the language of others, although the differences between Spanish, Portuguese and Italian turned out to be far greater than anticipated. It was during the preparation of this Congress that my interest in the history of the IAGP arose. I remember when, in Opatija, Grete Leutz introduced me to the life and work of Moreno. Over breakfast with Max Rosenbaum and Raymond Battegay on the last day of the Congress we began to talk about the origins of the Association and our enthusiasm rose to such a point that we decided to hold a round table on this subject during the following congress.

Returning to the organizational development, I would say that Jay Fidler's mandate was characterized by an ever increasing decentralization of tasks to be carried out by specific committees, and a progressive attempt to administratively and economically coordinate and control the expenses and tasks of these committees from the Central Office that he had initiated as Secretary-Treasurer, in the hands of an Administrator hired for this purpose. Apart from the dangers of becoming excessively bureaucratic, a fact which was quite successfully avoided, and the greater cost of the new organizational structure, the organization as a whole was consolidated and an impulse was given to the attainment of the Association's aims. The following paragraph quoted from Fidler gives an idea of the complexity of the task and the efforts of coordination carried out by the organization under his mandate:

"During this cycle a new Secretary-Treasurer collected dues. This introduction of a new address led to occasional confusion. The Administrator representing the Central Office remained at the previous address. The editorship and publication of the Newsletter were both transferred to Sweden, leading to another confusion of addresses. Arrangements Committee for the Congress was again centralized but with an active committee. The Program Committee functioned with an international set of members and a local French group of professionals. A new Institute Committee was established also having international and local Dutch members. With a membership committee chaired in Mexico and Nominating Committee chaired in Denmark we are beginning to function as an International Association. All committees have been keeping communication open with the Central Office to minimize fragmentation. The Central Office has been called upon to help finance Committee postage and secretarial work. In addition the Arrangements, Program and Institute have sought help with finance in the early stages of planning..."

This was the context, the rhythm of change that the Association was forced to face during its development. This was the challenge that we overcame with a group spirit during Fidler's mandate. Even so, Fidler was not satisfied:

"As with most groups we are showing signs of developing sub groupings. This should be viewed cautiously. Some psychodramatists suggested a Division of Psychodrama but later dropped the request. The American Group Psychotherapy Foundation promised to support a Slavson Memorial Lecture at the Congress. Dr. Napolitani promised to support a Foulkes Memorial Lecture at the Congress. All of this activity can enrich our Congresses but the Board must set guidelines to keep it integrative rather than competitive."

During the last Board meeting he presided in February 1986 in Washington, Jay Fidler suggested that the Board continue to hold two yearly meetings, one in Europe and one in the United States. He thought this would benefit the IAGP helping it to become a more structured and unified organization. He was also reasserted in his conviction that a Central Office be maintained, although the IAGP should not become endebted beyond what it could truthfully afford. The issue of the management of the IAGP affairs was the first point on the agenda for the joint meeting of the old and new Boards of Directors in Zagreb on August 24, 1986. I don't recall the terms of the discussion since this was the first Board meeting I attended, but I know that we decided to do without a Central Office for the time being and substitute it for computers and a fax. It is curious that on the agenda of this meeting the second point on the list is was to find the IAGP archives, a task which remained unsettled since Moreno's proposal in Paris at the beginning of the fifties.

The financial results of the last two congresses meant that, upon assuming the Presidency, one of Grete Leutz's main concerns upon assuming the Presidency was to define the policy in relation to financing the next congress and making a contract with its local organizers, in this case in Amsterdam. As I was unaware of this background, it surprised me that the organizers were requested to explain their proposal in such great detail. It seemed like the Board could not believe the advantageous proposal put forth by the Freie University of Amsterdam. Between the Treasury report and the proposal made by Cramer Azima, President Elect at the time, suggesting Montreal as the site of the next congress, we ran out of time and could not discuss the various points left on the agenda, not even satisfy the request of the Amsterdam Organizing Committee, presided by Peter Jongerius, to discuss the theme of the congress. The latter was decided by the Executive as "Encounter or alienation: The significance of the group in modern society" and Stuart Whiteley was named president of the Program Committee.

 

 

d) X International Congress (Amsterdam 1989). President Grete Leutz

The Association's precarious economic situation at the time when Grete Leutz became President was overcome thanks to the decision made in Zagreb of collecting the fees of the members present, of facilitating advanced inscription with a 20% discount for the next congress and the special efforts made in this sense by the new Secretary-Treasurer Giovanni Boria. Grete Leutz's entire mandate was marked by the financial straits produced by having entrusted the Association's financing to hypothetical benefits from the organization of its congresses, instead of using its members' fees as the main financial source. The world economic crisis and the important step towards opening up to the East that had taken place with the Congress in Zagreb, which continued to be impulsed in view of the Congress in Amsterdam, implied having to reduce the fees and facilitate the forms of payment for members from these and other countries with similar difficulties. A proposal in this sense had already been formulated and accepted during the New Orleans board meeting in February 1987 and it was entrusted to the Secretary-Treasurer and the President for its elaboration. The system designed was based on the cooperation of the member organizations. The basic idea was that the reduction only be offered to individual members who belonged to IAGP member organizations who promised to: 1) locally collect the requests and fees of the members who registered in the IAGP, 2) guarantee their professional adequacy, 3) distribute the IAGP correspondence once it had been translated to their language, 4) distribute other written material such as the Directory, and so on. The member organizations who accepted this were exempted from paying a fee and the savings in mailing and administrative expenses that this entailed allowed for a 30 to 60% discount, depending on the country's economic situation. What's more, those countries where it was not possible to exchange currency were authorized to invest in the translation of the Newsletter and its publication in their own country. This solution was not feasible which did not succeed because instead of attracting new individual members it caused the number of these to decrease- gave way, however, to a valuable debate on the individual and collective nature of becoming associated with the IAGP and to the establishment of a Finances Committee to study this problem.

On the other hand, this was the end of the spending that had enabled paying the journeys of the Program Committee during the previous period. However, the close cooperation between Secretary-Treasurer and President allowed an efficient management even without a central office, substituting the tasks of a hired administrator by a fax, computers and voluntary work. With this system and thanks to the effort of Giovanni Boria and his family, it was possible to publish the most complete Member Directory of the IAGP to date, in a self-edition in four successive parts, which included a self-presentation of most members.

My progressive implication with the IAGP, which led me to accept being elected a board member during Jay Fidler's mandate and Second Vice President during Grete Leutz's, is intimately linked to the European groupanalytic movement that began after I presented my statement in Copenhaguen. This was further specified with my theoretical contribution on "institutional resistances" in the European Symposium on Groupanalysis held in Rome in 1981, and my proposal of May 1982 in London for the establishment of a working committee to study and promote the development of this movement. It was decided, for the time being, to promote it in the context of the London Group Analytic Society and establish a few days a year during which the political decisions that must be made would be previously discussed from a scientific point of view. Since any proposal for organizational change at a theoretical level within an association always has political implications, the best way to neutralize them is incorporating its leaders to the establishment. This is how I became the first foreign member of the managing committee of the London Society, in the capacity of spokesperson of the Spanish-speaking area within the European groupanalytic movement. This is the history of a movement born from one of the IAGP member organizations the story of which, due to its general interest, I intend to write elsewhere someday. I mention it here because at the beginning of April 1987, professor Leonardo Ancona invited me to conduct a historical-methodological seminar on "Groupanalysis between training and practice: The problems of the cultural dependence of psychoanalysis and the training colonization of the London School" in the College of Medicine of the Catholic University of Sacro Cuore in Rome, and to participate in the seminar on "Joint training experience between experts on Groupanalysis and experts on analysis of organizations".

During those conference days we came to the conclusion that the most adequate means of facilitating dialogue and confrontation of points of view between the different schools, tendencies and groupanalytic cultures at world level, not only European, would be the establishment of a groupanalysis section within the IAGP; I was asked to present a proposal in this sense during the following meeting of the Board of Directors. Upon my return I consulted President Grete Leutz, with whom I coincided in Madrid for a few days, and she suggested that the draft of the proposal be accompanied by a memorandum61 addressed to the members of the Executive, a wise measure that I made extensive to previous Presidents of the Association. At first the idea was accepted with some reticence. The main source of objection was the ancestral fear that establishing sections would reactivate the conflict of interests and the competition between organizations that had delayed the foundation of the Association for so long. What I didn't realize was that this proposal implied questions of principles and ideology, politics and strategy relative to organizational development with a long history behind them: probably the entire history of the Association. Conscious, also, that the creation of a specific section on groupanalysis within the IAGP could harm the interests of the London Group Analytic Society, before presenting the proposal to the IAGP Board of Directors in Amsterdam I openly discussed it during the European Symposium on Group Analysis meeting in Oxford a few days earlier. There we met with the flagrant opposition of the Managing Council of the Group Analytic Society and some of its most prominent Anglo-Saxon members. In view of this and for many other reasons, in Amsterdam we decided to postpone the discussion on the proposal, which did not materialize until the following year during the Board meeting in Cumberland Lodge in Windsor. After much discussion the proposal was accepted with the condition that it should be named Study Group in Groupanalysis instead of Section; a very fortunate name, by the way, since it depicts more accurately the aims pursued by its establishment.

The huge amount of work and emotional effort, which I put into carrying out this initiative, did not distract me, however, from fulfilling the responsibility I had taken up as a member of the Executive of the IAGP. For example, in accordance with the conclusion we had reached in Zagreb that the Association's income should come from the individual and collective membership fees and not from the hypothetical surplus of congress registration fees, I began a campaign to recruit and maintain members; during the course of this mandate, this campaign caused two Spanish group associations and the Italian COIRAG to join the IAGP, and also caused the affiliated organizations of which I was a member to promote the inscription of individual members. I am unaware the extent to which increasing the number of individual members by promoting the inscription of affiliated group organizations is truly efficient, since in reality some of the group organizations with a greater number of members are also those with fewer individual members in the IAGP, although they frequently hold important power positions within its structure. This is the old dilemma already discussed in Milan by Hadden, Foulkes and Moreno in relation to a confederation of associations, an association of professionals or both.

Another initiative I promoted was that, in their yearly meetings, the organizations affiliated with the IAGP adopt the same subject proposed for the following Congress. In the case of the SEPTG, we debated the subject of encounter and alienation in two of its yearly Symposiums. The SEGPA (Spanish Society for the Development of the Group, Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis), of which I was founding President, took to the Congress in Amsterdam the elaboration of its first international conference on "The meaning of group at present: a place of encounter and divergence: A reformulation by Spanish group workers".

As my memories come back to me while writing this account I realize that my vocation, like Penelope's, was always that of a weaver of the network, and the reigning atmosphere in the IAGP under Grete Leutz's mandate could not have been more favourable. At the first meeting of the Board of Directors, which she presided in New Orleans in February 1987, two projects were accepted in relation to this. The first, headed by Grete Leutz herself, was the organization of an International Exchange of postgraduates' in-group psychotherapy that would allow them to spend time in other countries and hospitals learning about other approaches. The second, proposed by Yvonne Agazarian and Mónica Zuretti, was the creation of a Liaison Committee -a committee making contacts, networking, weaving networks- consisting of a database of people interested in taking part in conferences at a regional level or in the interchange of IAGP instructors. In my particular case, apart from assuming the responsibility of starting the Study Group in Groupanalysis, my obligations involved two encounters. The first, related to the origins of the IAGP which was initiated at the end of the Zagreb congress, and was later followed up by mail and interviews with some of the pioneers, materializing in the nine-person panel "Pioneers' reencounter: the Fathers of our Constitution in a Fishbowl" during the Congress in Amsterdam with a great number of attendants and debates with other pioneers present in the audience. During the course of these investigations I discovered that the Lifwynn Foundationstill existed, the organization founded by Trigant Burrow, discoverer of the group method of analysis and father of the term Group Analysis. Its president Alfreda Galt had just published a book that had been reviewed in the journal Group Analysis in very pejorative terms. This gave way to a debate involving my colleague Max Rosenbaum, an expert on Trigant Burrow, and the author herself. Max facilitated my contact with Alfreda Galt who received me very generously and gave me direct access to Burrow's work. The second encounter I organized in Amsterdam was between publishers of group journals which gave way to the birth of Plexus Editor(e)s, a network of information and exchange between journals. Naturally, in Amsterdam we repeated the meeting Groupanalysis Mare Nostrum which had already met in Opatija and Zagreb and which was becoming a tradition.

The year before the Congress in Amsterdam one of Grete Leutz's main concerns was how to ease the arrival and registration of colleagues from socialist countries without economic resources. Since it was impossible for the local organizers to reduce registration fees, an Encounter Fund was established to collect donations for this purpose and some Dutch citizens offered free lodging in their own homes. It would not be surprising that this concern for uniting the two blocks had to do with the political situation at the time. After all, the closure of the Amsterdam congress coincided with the fiftieth anniversary of the beginning of World War II and very soon the Berlin wall would fall although we did not know at that time.

At the last Board meeting presided by Grete Leutz on August 27, 1989 in Amsterdam she expressed her desire that in view of the 300 new members affiliated during her mandate, the number of Directors should increase from 30 to 35. The growing number of members and the affiliation of organizations in an ever-greater number of countries forced to reconsider the government structure of the Association, the representativeness of its managers and the governability of a profit-free international organization of this size. Max Rosenbaum proposed the formation of an ad hoc Committee to study the administrative structure of the IAGP and its Board of Directors, a request supported by Jay Fidler with the condition that the number should not increase until this Committee presented its report. One of the great achievements of Grete Leutz's administration was the degree of cohesion attained between the Executive and the Board of Directors thanks to the facilities of communication derived from the face to face encounters and the use of a fax introduced by Boria. In her leave-taking, after thanking the directors for their cooperation, Leutz once again expressed her frustration in relation to the inadequate amount of time dedicated to meetings during congresses. She thought the two-day encounter that took place in Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, had been much more productive, a point with which everyone agreed. During the meeting of the new Board on August 30, presided by Fern Cramer Azima who shared the idea of the ad hoc Committee approved in the previous meeting, Azima expressed her concern that the Executive Committee with its present structure would not be operative in relation to the large number of members and its great geographical dispersion. What was required, in her opinion, was more of a cabinet type of structure well consolidated around the President; she hoped to solve this issue during the following meeting in Boston. The Board approved the creation of the subcommittee and Fern Cramer Azima asked her new directors to let her know if they were interested in joining it. I was one of them. The following period was marked by the issue of the governability of the Association and the concept and style of leadership derived from the recommendations of this committee.

 

 

e) XI International Congress (Montreal 1992). President Fern Cramer Azima

The first memorandum from the Presidency that the members of the Executive received in mid November 1989 calling us to the next meeting in Boston began in the following terms:

"Due to the pressure of time of selecting committee chairs, ordering stationery, and to detail certain issues of the organization I am circulating this memo: Ratification of Committee Chairs. I have conferred with and received approval of the following committee chairs from the past president, president-elect, secretary and treasurer. All new chairpersons have been contacted and have agreed to accept these chairmanships. I would like each of you to telephone, telegraph, or fax me, as soon as possible your approval or disapproval of these candidates. Unless there is a serious objection to a candidate, a majority decision will be sufficient for executive ratification of this slate."

After communicating the agenda for the meeting and telling us that the Newsletter and the reports of the Executive, Board and Assembly meetings in Amsterdam would arrive in due time through her office and requested with urgency that we ratify or reject the decision made in Amsterdam to allow payment of fees with a credit card, she ended by kindly saying:

"May I ask each of you to write me your thoughts and suggestions about these matters or any others. It is clear that if we are to become a more efficient executive committee we will need closer communication... If we are an informed cohesive group I am sure it will reflect in getting things accomplished and at the same time enjoy ourselves."

Apparently, Cramer Azima was already acting out the policy announced in Amsterdam, that is, that making decisions would depend on a "small operative group" close to the Presidency, letting the rest of the Executive Committee only ratify or reject the decisions made in Montreal that are obligatory according to the by-laws and, at most, make a suggestion now and then. Encouraged by the words in her last paragraph, I answered by fax immediately, with regrets for not being able to attend the next meeting in Boston and I ratified all the decisions made that she requested. I also reported on the groundwork she had asked me to do in relation to exploring the possibilities of Barcelona as the site of the following European meeting; this would be decided in Boston. In her report to the Board of Directors in this meeting, after announcing the Committee presidents who had been named, she tackled the issue of the ad hoc Committee, which remained unsolved since Amsterdam. She declared that after discussing it with the members of the Executive Committee present she had decided to assume the presidency of the Governance Review Committee herself. This Committee, made up of ten members of the Board who had expressed their interest in it, would review the following points: a) how and when to increase the number of Board members from 30 to 35, b) the duties and functions of the Executive and the Board of Directors, c) the responsibilities of the presidents of the subcommittees and who they were responsible to and d) the frequency of Executive and Board meetings. This announcement was followed by a lively discussion on the decision-making processes and the role of the Board of Directors -initially geographic representatives of the members. The directors underlined the need to be informed with enough time in advance of the meetings in which important decisions were to be made. In relation to this, the president explained that prior to the next European meeting where these deliberations would continue, the Committee would meet in New York and the Board would be presented with a report in advance. Some of the sites considered for the following meeting in September were Dubrovnik, Budapest, Lisbon and Barcelona. A short time later I received two separate communications, one from the Secretary addressed to the members of the Board and the other from the President's office addressed to the Governance Committee. The first announced the two-day meeting that would take place in mid September in Budapest before the Hungarian Congress of Group Psychotherapy and we were asked to confirm our attendance immediately. The reports of the previous meeting and the agenda of subcommittee meetings for Budapest would be sent on a date nearing the time of the encounter, once the final number of attendants was known and once the subcommittee directors had submitted their reports. The second communication included two memos from Cramer Azima as President of the Governance Committee. The first, addressed to all the Board members notified the date when half of the Committee would meet in New York and invited them to contribute ideas in relation to the agenda that was included in the notice of the second memo. At the beginning of August we received the reports that Cramer Azima and other members had elaborated on the Governance Committee after the meeting in New York, which would serve as a launching platform for the discussion in Budapest. Amongst the documents elaborated after the meeting in New York on May 13, 1990 the first to arrive were those of Jay Fidler and Isaiah Zimmerman, including a little diagram, both on May 15. Cramer Azima's is dated August 5, 1990 -the day on which it was mailed- and Otto F. Kernberg's is from August 21. One of the participants, Nuno Ribeiro, did not sent a report and, it appears, none of the members not present in New York felt inclined to contribute ideas. An in-depth reading of these documents is of capital importance both to understand the idea of the IAGP and the philosophy of organizational change favored during Fern Cramer Azima's mandate, as well as the theory and ideology on which this change rests. The reports are written in an "experts in organization" tone, especially Kernberg's that is seven pages long. Their account of the meeting also varies according to the time elapsed since it took place and, naturally, according to the opinions they held when they took part in it. I sense that if ey have anything in common it is their previous experience in the AGPA and, in some cases, in its International Affairs Committee. In any case, the session's ideologist or theorist is Kernberg whom I would like to quote:

"IAGP seems to me to be still a young organization, relatively small given its international scope, and with the need for strong, centralized leadership. Older, larger, stable organizations may rely on a more static, bureaucratized, decentralized governance, but IAGP, for maximum dynamism and development, should be handled efficiently by a small group of enthusiastic people willing and able to work with each other."

"I would recommend to maintain the Board of Directors as an internationally representative body, and, as such, constituted by a representative for each country that has acquired a significant number of members. Several representatives may represent larger countries. I would suggest to make it maximally representative, but to reduce its authority significantly, so that sudden mass regressions or group processes don't cause impulsive decisions that interfere with reasonable leadership of the organization at large. I think that it is reasonable to designate the number of directors in relation to the number of actual members of any particular country, with a cut off point below which a country does not have a right to be represented."

"I want to comment now on the questionable practice of having individual and organizational membership of IAGP. I do understand that there are good historical reasons for this, but it is messy in terms of responsibility to the organization, criteria for membership, and collection of dues. I would recommend accepting individual membership from each country to a certain point of growth, beyond which it is the responsibility of the country to organize as a local society and send a representative as the Director representing that country. Again, reducing the authority of the Board of Directors will avoid that this federalization becomes a danger to the optimal functioning of IAGP."62

Briefly, what Kernberg proposes is an international association of national associations, its chamber of representatives being the Board of Directors. At the Executive Committee level and in order to simultaneously reinforce the authority of its President and its regional representativity, he proposes to differentiate the Executive Committee from the Executive Council, which should be very small and with enough authority to manage the Association's affairs in a continuous manner between Executive Council and Board meetings. His recommendation is that the Executive Committee be reduced to the President, two Vice Presidents, the Secretary and the Treasurer and, as a complementary but very important measure, the two latter should be elected directly by the President and not by the members of the Assembly. According to him, the reason for this is that

"[t]he President needs to have a team that is responsible and loyal to him or her, that he or she can trust fully. I think that, without an effective Secretary and Treasurer, the President cannot run the organization."

Adding:

"I do understand that the first and second Vice-President also reflect a mandate from the membership, but, if there are contradictory political currents, it should be avoided that the Executive Committee be split or paralized for political reasons; there, the President should control at least 3 out of the 5 members of the reduced -and powerful- Executive Committee."

The Executive Council proposed by Kernberg would be made up by the Committee he has just described plus three counselors for each of the major regions in the world -North America, Latin America, Europe and a combined region including Asia, Africa and Australia. In short, the political structure proposed by Kernberg is radically presidential with an administration with pseudo democratic controls closer to situations of post dictatorship such as Eltsin's Russia than to those of traditionally democratic countries such as the United Kingdom or the United States itself.

Obviously, not all the counselors totally agreed with this proposal nor were this report the only one discussed during the following Board meetings. In any case, the fact is that this ideology marked the governing style of this mandate during which, in practice, the Executive Committee operated with five members with the proviso that the Vice Presidents were to be replaced by the Past and Elected Presidents. The rest of the Committee began to operate as if they were the Executive Council proposed by Kernberg. These measures were given support by the Board in Budapest which approved the report of the Governance Committee in the sense that the member organizations should be more deeply implicated and the decentralization proposed should be linked to a central office, creating a permanent secretary's office for this purpose. However, the discussion revealed that the members of the Board without a specific task felt excluded. It was impossible for me to attend the meeting in Budapest since I had previously promised to attend a one-week workshop in New York in Social Self Inquiry on addiction -in the broadest sense of individual and social disorder. This was a groupanalysis event organized by the Lifwynn Foundation, which had not taken place for over forty years. My absence at the Budapest meeting implied my not attending the Governance Committee meeting until the following European meeting a year later. In an organization such as this in which its governors only meet twice a year between congresses, missing three Board meetings means being displaced for two years no matter what efforts one makes to stay in touch by mail. So when I could finally attend the Governance Committee in Lisbon, its president told me in situ that I was no longer a member due to my absences. On the other hand, it was clear that the operating pattern of a small central cabinet with the rest of the committee evolving around it already adopted by the Executive, was being reproduced in the Governance Committee. Cramer Azima addressed the Board of Directors in Budapest in the following terms:

"The initial phase of my Presidency has been focussed on the establishment of a central office with an active corresponding network with the President-Elect, Alberto Serrano; the Secretary, Stuart Whitely; the Treasurer, Giovanni Boria and Committee Chairpersons. Since Montreal will be the venue of the 1992 Eleventh Congress I have been involved with the establishment of guidelines with Allen Surkis, Chairman of the Canadian Committee and with Alberto Serrano, Scientific Programme Chair... Another active advisory link has been established with John Salvendy, Editor of the Newsletter and the production staff in Montreal. Doctor Grete Leutz has reliably kept me in contact with unresolved issues emanating from the last Congress and of the Association."

Obviously, the two Vice Presidents and the three Executive Counselors were excluded from this active mailing network and contact with the Committee Presidents who were outside the immediate scope of Montreal was rare.

During the Lisbon meeting in September 1991, the Board discussed the Governance Committee proposals in depth, especially the relation to reducing the number of directors and the introduction of an Assembly of presidents of Affiliated Organizations, the CAOA, a structure which would serve to decentralize the IAGP as well as broaden and stimulate its local sectors. This Assembly would meet once every three years during the congresses and it would form a network with a president elected by them. A proposal of the Governance Committee was also approved for creating the role of "Parliamentarian or Senior Consultant" to assist the Presidency during Board meetings. The president of the By-laws Committee, Raymond Battegay, was unanimously elected for this post. Upon communicating this information to all the members in the Forum63, Cramer Azima warned that she wanted:

"...to stress that the executive and board are in a process of careful review of the structure and administration of our association. No constitutional changes will be made without careful adherence to our by-laws and a consideration of these proposals at the next general assembly in Montreal, August 22-28, 1992."64

What best reflects the purposes of the Governance Committee are the report submitted to the last meeting of the Board on August 24th 1992 in Montreal. It says:

"The Governance Committee was mandated to review, evaluate and propose solutions for the overall functioning and administration of the organization. Position papers were written by members of the committee in 1990, namely, Jay Fidler, Otto Kernberg, Isaiah Zimmerman and myself. Summarizing the three year process, the following motions were made and approved by the Board: 1) the introduction of an Assembly of Organizational Presidents which will serve as a consultative, non-voting body. This decentralization innovation will hopefully invigorate the local affiliate, stimulate the growth of membership and provide a vehicle to involve organizational and individual members and give them a responsible voice in the organization. The first assembly will take place on Tuesday, August 25th at the Montreal Congress. 2) A two-person slate for President-elect was approved by the Board meeting in February 1992. An addendum to this motion was approved, namely that the person who gained the fewer votes would become First Vice-President and all paid-up members and organizational members were mailed election ballots and a ratification slate of Executive Officers and Board members... 3) A motion proposing a decrease in the size of the Executive body was Board approved but the institution of this change will be carried out by the next administration. The present Executive Council, namely President, President-elect, secretary, treasurer, two Vice-Presidents and Executive Councilors will operate during the 1992-1995 term. 4) Board approval of a Constitution review has already begun. I want to take this opportunity to sincerely thank the members of my committee who worked so diligently. I think that the creation of the Governance Committee has provided the organization with a method of democratic review and change which will continue in the next administration. Committee members: Jay Fidler, Earl Hopper, Otto Kernberg, Alberto Serrano, Stuart Whiteley, Isaiah Zimmerman. Signed: Fern Cramer Azima, President."

The Assembly of members held the following day. The outgoing President announced that the Board had decided it would be limited to 30 members and it had also agreed that the Executive Committee be reduced to an operative group made up by the President, the President-elect, the immediate past President, the Treasurer and the Secretary. These proposals had to be approved by the entire Assembly of members and would not take effect until 1995-98. I am unaware whether the proposal of a double candidacy to President-elect, approved at the New York in February 1992, came from the Governance Committee or whether it was a consequence of the fact that one of its members, Earl Hopper, resigned as president of the Nominations Committee and presented his candidature to President-elect for the 1992-95 period, while another member of this Committee, Mónica Zuretti, also resigned and decided to apply for the same post. This situation, unprecedented in any other professional organization, forced the invalidation of both candidacies and a Solomonic election between the two. I am convinced that the future organizational development of the IAGP depends on the success of the solution adopted. As a historian and given the importance of the case, I will attempt to reconstruct the facts with the documents I have at my disposal and as far as my memory will take me.

Apparently, Hopper's idea of resigning from the Nominations Committee and presenting himself as a candidate arose during the II Argentinean Congress of Psychology and Group Psychotherapy held from 5-8 of June 1991. On July 18th we received a letter from Earl Hopper asking for nominations of candidates for directors and other posts for the period 1992-95 to include in the draft report, which he was preparing. On August 20, from London, Earl Hopper sent the members of his Committee the following letter, with a copy to Fern Cramer Azima and Alberto Serrano:

"I have received a number of letters and telephone calls suggesting possible nominations for the Board of the IAGP and for officers. Many people both here and abroad have encouraged me to let my own name go forward as President-Elect. I have given the matter a great deal of thought, and I have decided to do so. I must therefore resign as Chairman of the Nominating Committee, and I am writing to Fern Cramer Azima accordingly. Thank you very much for your help as a Member of the Committee. I will pass your suggestions on to the new Chairman." 65

On the same date, he addressed a longer letter to the past Presidents of the IAGP, also with a copy to the President and President-elect. This letter, in which gives an account of his decision, is slightly longer. He explains that he has reached this position after talking to several senior colleagues in London, New York and other cities and that it is justified for several reasons, apart from personal ambition:

"It is the turn of someone who would represent Europe as a whole both geographically and professionally. As an American who has lived in England for thirty years, I feel an affinity for European aspirations and identifications. England has a special role to play in the rebirth of Europe. Although it may be on the periphery in some respects, England is a safe place, and it offers an atmosphere of neutrality as well as commitment. Unless new developments such as EGATIN and EATGA are held within the IAGP, we will become depleted."

His list of merits continues in this tone and after announcing his resignation he ends with the following words:

"I know that these matters require reflection and working through. I am aware that there are other suitable candidates for the office, and I would be prepared to work with them and for them. I would welcome a discussion with you personally during the next few months. I hope that I will have your support." 66

E. Hopper wrote a letter dated August 23,1991, informing the President of the IAGP of his candidacy, his resignation as Chairman of the Nominating Committee, and the letters mailed to the members of the Nominations Committee and the past Presidents. In this letter he includes a paragraph that does not appear in previous communiqués and which I believe is the key to the mystery:

"I have received a fax from Monica Zuretti that she hopes to become the Vice President, and therefore she has resigned from the Nominating Committee. I will give you the correspondence from the Nominating Committee when I see you in Lisbon."

This subject was not touched on during the Executive meeting in Lisbon that I attended. I don't know if Hopper brought it up in the Governance Committee of which he was a member and from which I had been excluded. However, if he did bring the matter up it does not appear in the minutes of the meeting. Hopper and Zuretti's resignations were not mentioned in my private conversations with him about the nominations nor were they discussed in my social contacts with Mónica Zuretti and Janine Puget. I assume that they did discussed this subject amongst themselves and, no doubt, seized the chance to also discuss it privately with the members of the Executive and the past Presidents whom they had previously informed.

The first news I had of the affair was on November 8, 1991 by way of a copy of the letter that Janine Puget sent to all the members of the Directory in order to renew before Raquel Berman, the new President of the Nominations Committee, her proposal to consider Mónica Zuretti as candidate for President-elect of the IAGP, proposal she had already presented to the President of this Committee on July 2, 1991.

To my surprise, I spoke about this with Al Serrano who on December 10th 1991 commented that

"[t]he Nominations Committee was precipitated by the Chairman (Earl Hopper) and a member (Monica Zuretti) being proposed for President-Elect. In all organizations I know members of the Nominations Committee cannot run for office. With their resignation from that committee and its reorganization under Raquel Berman as chair we hope to correct this anomaly."

Rachel Berman, who had taken over this responsibility starting October 1, 1991, neither made any mention of these circumstances, in spite of the fact that we maintained frequent correspondence in her capacity of President of the Organizing Committee and relating to the matter of the Lifwynn Foundation's petition to become an organizational member, a request to which I gave support. I must confess that I was probably one of the few who were not aware of what was already a secret out in the open at the Lisbon meeting. The lack of communication derives from the policy of having a central nucleus and a periphery in the Executive. The Governance Committee proposed that the nuclear part be named Executive Committee and the totality of posts elected be named the Executive Council. This organizational change should not be an excuse for me not being informed. The fact is that I was not up to the post for which those who placed their trust in me had elected me. It is true to say that I denounced this policy, but not at the right time nor with enough strength following the steps marked by the by-laws. In mid February 1991, when I found out that the American meeting was going to take place coinciding with the Annual AGPA Conference, I wrote to Al Serrano, the member of the Executive with whom I had chosen to remain in touch, to complain in the following terms:

"It amazes me at this late date not to have received from the Office of the President or from the Secretary the "agenda" or any other news regarding the San Antonio meeting. Perhaps it has been cancelled or maybe in a few days I will receive by surface mail asking me to urgently report by fax as Chairperson of the Study Group in Group Analysis Committee. The only thing there is to report in this regard is that I have circulated among prospective members of the IAGP network of Study Groups in Group Analysis a circular letter introducing the Lifwynn Correspondence and informing about the Bailey Farms Conference on addiction... I am seriously concerned with the lack of communication among members of the Executive. I am still waiting for the minutes of the Budapest meeting, Taking into account the world situation we are going through [the Golf War], and the nature of our association, it would seem appropriate that the Executive consider the convenience of making a statement in this respect. This is a motion I request you make in my name and I would be grateful if you could inform me of the answer."

Adding:

"I would appreciate if the office of the President would circulate among us the fax numbers of all its members including those of the Directors if available. It would be nice if expenses for the use of such media were covered by the Treasury."67

Since I never received an answer nor the material requested, I wrote directly to the President in even harsher terms on March 6,1991.68 Finally, they sent me the material, including the reports of the Governance Committee, which had started to be discussed at the Budapest meeting. But I did not manage to improve our communication. The only answer I received was:

"I have checked carefully with my office and Stuart Whitely, who both confirm that all information as to the Executive, Board and Governance were sent to you as well as to all other members worldwide. You seem to be the only person who has a complaint. Stuart Whiteley and I received no agenda items for the Board, or comments to any committee reports. It is understandable that each member has his/her priorities as to which meetings they choose to attend. As you yourself have noted, you have not attended the last three meetings." 69

It is very possible that he is right and that if I had attended these meetings -especially those of the Governance Committee- and I had expressed my opinion there things would probably have been different. What I don't know is whether I would have been able to support it.

The "anomaly" of the Nominations Committee mentioned by Al Serrano was finally corrected in New York in February 1992. Whether the solution reached was the best or whether the price that has been paid to promote the changes proposed by the Governance Committee is justified is a question that only history will settle in a very distant future. In any case the solution was not easy. Berman and Leutz respectively substituted Hopper and Zuretti in the new Nominations Committee. On the first day of the meeting in New York they personally studied the reports, correspondence and other material that had been debated by letter, fax and telephone. During the presentation of his report to the Board, Berman began by pointing out that the first thing that should be done was decide whether there were to be one or two people on the list of candidates for the post of President-elect and, later, how this should be presented and to whom in order to submit it to voting. He underlined the importance of being cautious when introducing radical changes. Throughout the discussion that followed, the extent to which the members in general were familiar with the candidates was questioned and, therefore, doubt was placed on whether they were qualified for casting an informed vote, in clear contrast with the manifest desire of moving towards a more democratic participation in the government of the IAGP. A consensus seemed to be reached by which a list with two candidates was preferable for the time being. The question, however, was whether this vote was restricted to the Board of Directors and presented to the Assembly for its ratification or whether the votes of all the members was done directly by mail, implying a considerable effort. It was considered that more time was needed for thinking and settling this issue and it was decided that the discussion would continue the following day once the Nominations Committee had submitted its proposal in written form. At the session on the second day, a considerable discussion took place in relation to the procedure that should be adopted for nominating the President-elect. The initial alternative of a list of one or two people was enlarged by the third option of a Co-presidency suggested by Battegay and rejected because it required the decision of the general Assembly of members. The direct vote of all the members proposed during the meeting of the Executive in order to achieve their greater democratic implication raised the question of whether the right to vote was limited to those who paid a "complete fee" or could be made extensive to those who paid a "reduced fee". The second option was chosen. Finally, Alberto Serrano stated his opinion that the moment had come for a greater participation of the members in the management of the IAGP and that it was his desire, as he had previously suggested, that the candidate who did not win the election be named Vice-president. The proposal was put forth in the following terms: "This Board approves a list of two people for the post of President-elect". It was approved with 11 favorable votes, 0 unfavorable votes and 5 abstentions. Naturally, the candidates were excluded from this vote.

At the same meeting the following proposals of the Governance Committee were also approved: a) that the Executive be reduced to five members: President, President-elect, Past President, Secretary and Treasurer, b) that the Counseling Assembly of Affiliated Organizations meet every three years with the Executive, not having the right to vote and evolving towards becoming a corporation that would suggest names to the Board, c) that in spite of the stipulation of although the Swiss Code which required the Secretary and Treasurer to be elected, it was understood that the President-elect would have priority in naming the candidates for these posts for his administration period.

Curiously, the first President-elect who benefited from this exceptional measure was Earl Hopper himself, who has also been the first to assume during his mandate the presidential structure that is still in force today.

It is said that democracy is the best of all government systems, although we know that the word democratic can be awarded many and varied meanings. It is not my role to judge but I would say that the introduction of a Governance Committee, which has been established permanently in the IAGP, has at least generated legislation for the Nominations Committee and has radically changed the government structure of the organization. Whether this will help to achieve the Association's objectives will depend on what these objectives are. At the time I believed -and I still do- that the objectives were those stated in Art. II of the original by-laws and that they were still sound as a basic premise formulated in terms of "mutual respect in the communication between representatives of different theories and practices", an objective that I tried to facilitate with the development of the Study Groups in Groupanalysis established under Grete Leutz's mandate.

Ever since Cramer Azima took over as President, I realized it was going to be difficult for me to share the concept of management of the IAGP that she had in mind and to participate in the type of administration this would lead to. The tone of the first memorandum dated December 12, 1989 calling the Executive to the meeting in Boston and requesting with great urgency the approval of certain decisions made by the Presidency, as well as the administrative silence that followed my immediate response, confirmed that communication would not be easy. So much so that I chose to use President-elect Alberto Serrano as my connection for communicating with the Executive; apart from presiding the Program Committee he was also a good friend and I could express my ideas and concerns to him in Spanish. Just before the meeting in Boston on February 6, 1990, I informed him of my working plan with a view to the Congress in Montreal. I told him that one of my purposes, which I hoped he would share, was to promote the development of the Spanish-speaking area within the IAGP emphasizing that "if we don't manage to do this with an Executive that is 60% Spanish-speaking then we will never do it". I don't know the extent to which this objective was achieved but at least we succeeded in getting the next Congress to be held in Buenos Aires. This was not especially a result of my efforts. I told him that my other two objectives were to consolidate the fronts created during the previous period, namely, Plexus Editor(e)s

 

, the network of publishers of group magazines, and the Study Groups in Groupanalysis, a network of people and groups interested in groupanalysis. The journal "Clínica y Análisis Grupal", official organ of expression of SEGPA, a Spanish group society which I presided, was the first journal to follow the pattern of Plexus Editor(e)s and include a section dedicated to it in its pages. The first group that became interested in Study Group in Groupanalysis was The Lifwynn Foundationwith whose secretary at the time, Alfreda Galt, I initiated an intense correspondence that would materialize on her part by launching The Lifwynn Correspondence and later, by incorporating The Lifwynn Foundation to the IAGP as a member organization. Becoming acquainted with the work of Trigant Burrow, founder of Groupanalysis, and verifying how it was translated into reality of practice carried out by the group he had founded in 1927 was a most encouraging experience. At the time, the only member of the founding group who still remained was its almost 90 year old President, Hans Syz, and Alfreda Galt who, in spite of being in her 70's, still worked with admirable energy and lucidity. For years they had been very conscious of the fact that the Foundation would end when those who had worked with Burrow were unable to continue it. In spite of the Foundation's financial difficulties, in mid 1989, it decided to inject new blood. For this purpose they hired a new research director with whom they expected to expand and renew the dialogue they had maintained with the extensive network of correspondents during the past forty years, and search for a format of conference for research of the social self addressed to issues of public health. The opportunity to share my experience in GAIPAC, the European groupanalytic movement together with the establishment of the Study Group in Groupanalysis in the IAGP, encouraged the colleagues of the Foundation to launch the aforementioned Lifwynn Correspondence. The first issue appeared in the Spring of 1990. On the other hand, in October of the same year the first residential laboratory in research on the social self took place, centered on the subject of addiction in the broader sense, and I was invited to participate. This was one of the most nasty but health provoking shocks in my professional life. Not only did it allow me to understand the thoughts of Trigant Burrow from within, but it also forced me to rethink my groupanalytic conception in general. In consonance with the general subject of the Montreal Congress, "Love and Hate. Resolving conflicts in groups, families, nations", this experience led me to propose the panel with Max Rosenbaum, member of the Consultative Council of the Lifwynn Foundation, and three of his Board managers titled "Beyond dichotomy: The Orientation of Trigant Burrow".70 On the other hand, it helped me realize that the opposition I had met in the IAGP to establishing the Study Group in Groupanalysis as a Section was not at all due to the situation at the time nor was it related to the attitudes of the people on the Executive and the Board, but rather to the ideological conflict that results from the social neurosis we live in. This awareness led me to dedicate all my efforts to the elaboration of an extensive eight-page report71 as the director of the Permanent Committee of the Study Groups in Groupanalysis for the Board meeting in Lisbon in September 1991. This report included a historical overview of the constitution of the Committee, the institutional significance of the concept of Study Groups as an alternative to the Sections, contemplated by Art. X of the by-laws and, finally, projects and proposals for the organization of such a Committee and the philosophy and program of activities to be carried out. I made the report circulate amongst executive and managing members of the Board before the meeting and I had the chance to discuss it personally with Al Serrano, who passed through Barcelona on his way to Lisbon. There I started my presentation verifying that all the members had received my report and asking those who had read it to give me their opinion and comments. I explained that my report had two objectives: to provide written evidence for future archives of the process followed for its approval and to show the difficulties that had to be overcome for establishing the "new concept" of Study Group. At the meeting in Lisbon there was the chance to hold the assembly meeting of the Committee that I had requested and specify the details in relation to the aforementioned Symposium with the Lifwynn Foundation in Montreal and the incorporation of this organization to the IAGP as a member. The only answer I received to my report was from Jay W. Fidler who, not being able to go to Lisbon, decided to mail it to me. Fidler has no doubt been the main opponent to my proposal of a Section in the IAGP, but also the most noble for he always did it openly and face-to-face, expressing the reasons for his opposition. The ideological reasons that separated us are well expressed in his letter of October 13, 1991, which I will translate in toto due to its importance:

"Dear Juan:

As you are fully aware, I did not get to Lisbon. It was certainly my loss. Will you get to New York in February?

My delay in responding to your correspondence about the Study Groups in Group Analysis is based on my puzzling over group formations in society in general. I look at Eastern Europe and recognize that each large nation seems to be breaking up into small ethnic nations. They, at worst, fight, as in Yugoslavia, or abuse each other as in Armenia. It raises the question as to whether the same thing is happening in our profession of group therapy.

I see two extremes. The people in Transactional Analysis of Eric Bern have developed their own International organization and have not, as a group, affiliated with IAGP. Some of their members did join us however.

On the other hand AGPA has joined as an organization but kept individual membership with no attempt to create an international Study Group on Dynamic Group Psychotherapy. In effect the Transactional Analysts have kept separate. The Americans simply joined.

Your struggle seems to be that you have joined and now you want to form your separate organization within the host organization. So I wonder whether you already have a separate organization, which could join IAGP or choose to go its own way as the Bern group did. If there is such an organization (and Lifwynn says there is one) then why not apply as an organization? The Group Analysts in England seem to have come to terms with IAGP without making a separate subgroup.

Back at the Mexican Congress it appeared that Psychodrama (which actually initiated the International Congresses) suggested a subgroup such as you are proposing. Both Zerka Moreno and I discouraged it as divisive.

My personal preference is to keep IAGP 'non denominational' and with minimal subdivisions. That still allows for separate Symposia at the Congresses. You could also have your display table as does AGPA without officially making a subdivision.

I hope we do a better job of grouping and subgrouping than Eastern Europe is demonstrating.

Hope to see you in New York or certainly in Montreal.

All my best wishes,

Signed: Jay W. Fidler, M.D." 72

I did, in fact, go to New York in February to assure the approval of the Lifwynn Foundation's request to become a member organization of the IAGP, a request which both Max Rosenbaum and I gave support to. Our reason was to achieve the affiliation with our Association of the oldest group organization -founded in 1927- in spite of it not being an association of group psychotherapists of individuals. My satisfaction for the acceptance of the Lifwynn Foundation as a member organization of the IAGP by Board acclamation is only comparable to the disappointment I would feel years later when it was forced to discontinue its affiliation because it could not face payments. Just as the Conference on Addiction of the Lifwynn Foundation prevented me from attending the only European meeting, I have missed in all my years of service to the IAGP Board, so the proceedings for this organization's application for admission as a member were the cause that, for the first time in over thirty years as a member of AGPA, I attended one of its yearly conferences which turned out to coincide with the fifty years since its foundation. On this occasion the AGPA decided to become an "accrediting society", in other words to recognize the qualification of its members and indirectly of the institutions that offer training in group psychotherapy. It decided to do without the affiliation of the foreign associations that it had sustained since the fifties. To my surprise I discovered for the first time that the IAGP was one of its affiliated associations. Moved by this inconsistency, I wrote a note for Forum on "professional associationism" which I personally handed to John Salvendy, its editor, during one of the Board's prolonged sessions. Curiously, this work was lost or simply censured, but I mention it here so as not to forget that even in the most democratic organizations, consciously or unconsciously censure exists. My more detailed article "On the way to the Forum" that I wrote afterwards was not published either.

At the XI Congress in Montreal and with a large attendance of public we held the Symposium on Trigant Burrow. In the library of the conference venue I organized an exhibition of his books73 with the collections of Trigant Burrow's articles and, on the following day, an administrative session of the Study Groups in Groupanalysis with the attendance of twenty members representing study groups in groupanalysis from eight countries. It was decided that the topic of study subject for the Congress in Buenos Aires would be present the relevance of Trigant Burrow's thoughts, and agreement was to collaborate in circulating the questionnaire of the research project of the Palermo Laboratory of Groupanalysis on groupanalyst identity.

I have already said and will reiterate here that the events, which took place during Cramer Azima's mandate, are not at all alien to the world situation at the time. In fact, this period, according to Fidler, begins with the disappointment that followed the fall of the wall of Berlin and the unification of the two blocks, as well as the War in the Gulf, and ends in the midst of the ethnical wars between the Yugoslav republics. It is not surprising, therefore, that the general subject of the Congress was how to solve conflicts at all levels, and that the opening conference of the plenary session on the last day was entrusted to his Excellency Mr. I. Ives Fortier, ex-Ambassador of Canada to the UN who talked on "Resolution of Conflict at the International Level". A shocking incident took place during the discussion of this presentation when Eduard Klain, a veteran of our congresses and of the Balkan Wars, approached the microphone to speak he was interrupted by the Presidency who said there was no more time for discussion. No one anticipates such circumstances, they just simply happen, as what happened in Amsterdam during the leave-taking euphoria when we forgot that precisely that day was the anniversary of the beginning of World War II. To end this chapter I would like to include another anecdote that proves that the "social unconscious" can be operatively as powerful or more than the personal unconscious. The fact is that my name had been included on a list of officers proposed for election approved in New York for the period 1992-95, but my name did not appear on the list that was sent to the members for its ratification. In view of the serious damage that my exclusion from the Board would imply for the Study Groups in Groupanalysis on whose committee I was the only representative, I immediately phoned President Cramer Azima and sent a fax pointing out this anomaly to the president of the Nominations Committee, Rachel Berman, who quickly faxed me back in the following terms:

"Dear Juan, I was not in Mexico City from the 27th till the 29th. Since I have no fax machine at home, I was not aware of your fax till Monday June 1. When Fern called me on Sunday 30 mentioning a typographical error on the ballot that left your name out, I simply did not know what she was taking about. There were two reasons for my ignorance about the whole matter: (1) the ballot has not arrived yet in Mexico and (2) I did not see your fax until today Monday June 1. Fern did inform me that the omission of your name is an error and that they will make the necessary amendments. Hopefully, you already got in touch with her. Sincerely, signed: Raquel Berman, Ph.D., Nominating Committee Chair."

It is curious to note that at the end of the General Assembly of members during the Congress in Montreal, when the new President announced the list of names of the new Board of Directors, my name was omitted once again. Evidently, certain "typographic errors" are difficult to correct. This mistake was not corrected until the publication of the first issue of Forum during President Serrano's mandate,74 the publication of which was assumed by Fern Cramer Azima following John Salvendy's resignation, at the Congress in Montreal.

Briefly, under the banner "Groups on the Threshold of the New Century" carried by Mónica Zuretti and led by another person of Argentinean origin, Al Serrano, we headed for Buenos Aires where Janine Puget's Organizing Committee took care of arranging our arrival.

 

 

f) XII International Congress (Buenos Aires 1995). President Alberto Serrano

In mid August Alberto Serrano sent me a brief note before arriving in Montreal expressing his desire to work with me from his new position and asking me to let him know as soon as possible the new areas of interest I would like to develop within the IAGP during his administration. He announced that Fern Cramer would be the new publisher of Forum and he invited me to send in news on a regular basis so as to maintain our international network well informed. During the Congress there was not much of a chance to discuss projects but on my leave-taking I handed him the report on the activities carried out there by the Study Groups in Groupanalysis. Soon after, on October 5, 1995, he sent me a handwritten note from Philadelphia congratulating me for my work, which he personally assured, would be published in Forum.75 Obviously, there was an understanding that during Serrano's "administration" things would be different and communication would be more humanized and free flowing. As was foreseeable the winter meeting took place in San Diego coinciding with the AGPA meeting, but at least this time it preceded that association's Institute and Conference. Reading the report of this meeting, which I could not attend as usual, I realize it was precisely there when David Kipper suggested the creation of a Psychodrama Section for the first time. If I had been aware of this development, I might not have asked to change the name of our group to Groupanalysis Section. The episode is of such interest that it deserves to be recounted here. This proposal appears among others put forth by the members:

"D. Kipper deferred discussion on the publishing policy of the Forum and referred to the growing dissatisfaction of psychodrama practitioners with what was felt as lack of representation in IAGP activities, such as major presentations and on the Board. He suggested a Psychodrama Section be formed. There was discussion on this matter in which it was expressed that at one time formation of special interest sections was thought to be divisive but J. Fidler now thought differently. G. Boria pointed out that the freedom to develop special interest sections was allowed in the present Constitution (Art.X). F. Cramer Azima disputed the statement that psychodrama was unrepresented on the Board which included some 30% psychodramatists holding positions and the largest number of submissions for Montreal were on psychodrama but most were for workshops rather than panels. The danger was that sections could overwhelm an organization that was not yet big enough to encompass them. It was pointed out that a Group-Analytic Study Group had functioned for some time now without divisiveness. D. Kipper affirmed that the problem was not so much the lack of representation but the need psychodramatists had for an international organization included within the IAGP. R. de Inocencio explained the experience of SEPTG where the lack of a special section had led to psychodramatists leaving. There was some discussion over the title of the organization. International Association of Group Therapies... for Group Therapists... for Group Therapists. E. Hopper pointed out that Group Analysts had not felt represented by IAGP and had concentrated on the European Federation of Group Analysts. It was resolved that the psychodramatists should bring a clear proposal of their wishes for a special section to the next meeting."

Whoever is not familiar with the policies carried out during the nineties in order that clinical psychotherapies achieve the status of a legally established profession, may not understand the ideological connotations underlying this debate. In the USA these changes in the field of group psychotherapy are headed by the Strategic Plan of the AGPA76 of February 1991 which led to the creation of a national Register of Group Psychotherapists and, in view of the free circulation of professionals with the advent of the European Community, to the creation of the EFPP (European Federation for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in Health and Related Public Services) on March 1, 1991, and the EAP (European Association for Psychotherapy) on June 30, 1991, constituted from federations of national associations which, in the case of Spain, began as the FEIFP (Federación de Instituciones de Formación de Psicoterapeutas) and soon renamed FEAP (Federación Española de Asociaciones de Psicoterapeutas). As far as I know the European federation of groupanalysts mentioned by Hopper did not exist as such. He was probably referring to the "European groupanalytic movement" born in the context of a local association, the Group Analytic Society (London). This London Society initiated EGATIN (European Group Analytic Training Institutions Network) in 1986 during the IAGP Congress in Zagreb. Earl Hopper foresaw the founding of an international federation at the General Assembly of members of the Group Analytic Society in Heidelberg in August 1993.

Whereas Fern Cramer Azima's mandate inspired the administrative changes suggested by the Governance Committee, Serrano's administration took up the task of altering the Constitution in order to make these changes effective. Unfortunately, the year began with a great loss for the IAGP. Bernardo Blay Neto, one of the pioneers of the Association since 1954 and Second Vice President during the previous administration was murdered by one of his patients. This tragic incident would impregnate the meetings in San Diego where a memorial ceremony was held. The Board decided to dedicate him the following issue of Forum and Fern Cramer Azima proposed he be named posthumously Fellow of the Association. The pain and mourning for this loss, however, did not prevent the Association from continuing its work. At the San Diego meeting the detailed accounts and final report provided by GEM were studied, the company whose services had been engaged for organizing the Congress in Montreal. This congress closed without losses thanks to President Cramer Azima's successful negotiations to obtain subsidies. At the time, the planning for the Buenos Aires Congress was just beginning and it was not yet possible to know the details of the role and functions of the Program and Local Organization Committees and of the pre-congress workshops. In contrast with the two previous congresses the organizers in Buenos Aires decided to take up the organization themselves and the ghost of the contract established with GEM and the Freie Universitat Amsterdam, the service companies specialized in congresses, would pursue the Argentines from then on. Mónica Zuretti invited a number of international representatives to join the Program Committee. This enlargement was carried out in order to disseminate the news of the Congress in their countries. She also established Spanish and English as official languages.

The research that we had initiated as Study Groups on the identity of the groupanalyst fell within the boundaries of the research I was doing on the development of Groupanalysis and its internationalization, which was significantly illuminated by the thought of Trigant Burrow. At the beginning of April 1993 the Laboratory of Groupanalysis of Palermo and the COIRAG organized an international seminar on the subject "Future and Creativity: Groupanalysis and Change"77 to which I contributed a paper titled "Change in groupanalytic organization". From a genetic-evolutive point of view I presented the organizational changes that the London Groupanalytic Society wanted to introduce politically during the IX European Symposium on Groupanalysis to be held in Heidelberg in the month of August. This paper was accompanied by a collection of articles published in the old GAIPAC, bound in the GAIPAC format with yellow covers. Most of the IAGP participants in Palermo were members of the Study Groups in Groupanalysis, including Earl Hopper and Malcolm Pines. In San Diego it was decided that the European meeting would be held before the Symposium in Heidelberg. The second half of the General Assembly of members of the London Group-Analytic Society had been postponed for this Symposium. The main issue on the agenda was to decide whether it should become an international association, independent from local societies, requiring the ammendment of the Constitution for renaming it simply Group-Analytic Society. Halfway through the Symposium a fishbowl-workshop was organized78 on historical aspects of the Society which I wrote about once again in GAIPAC format with the title "Groupanalysis. Its roots and fate, the GAIPAC way... of course!" It included the constitutions of several group associations and work related to the subject that I had previously published in other languages.

In this atmosphere the IAGP meetings in Heidelberg were held. In point 8a of the Board meeting report of the first day we read:

"Formation of a Psychodrama Section (D. Kipper and D. Bustos). A petition had been received in accordance with the Constitution requesting the formation of a Psychodrama Section. The Secretary pointed out that notall the signatories were paid-up members of IAGP although a sufficient number were so as to validate the petition. There was general assent to the formation of the Section, there being no current international Psychodrama Association. G. Leutz informed the Board that there would be a meeting in Stockholm, Oct. 16-18, 1993 for psychodramatists who were members of IAGP and work will commence on drawing up standards for membership of the section. Discussion followed on the relationship of sections to IAGP, how the Governance Committee might draw up conditions for reporting to the Board, that membership of a section should only be open to full members of IAGP, a structure for the management and integration of sections required to be worked out but in principle the proposal was to be agreed. That the formation of a Psychodrama section in accord with Articles of the Constitution be approved was proposed by D. Kipper and seconded by J. Campos. There were 20 votes for, 1 against and 3 abstentions. The proposal was agreed."

During the afternoon of the same day the Governance Committee presided by Zimmerman of which Serrano, Cramer Azima, Hopper and Whiteley were members, elaborated the conditions that the Board had requested. During one of the Board's breaks on the following day the groupanalyst members present suggested that I propose changing the name Groupanalysis Studies Group to Groupanalytic Section, proposal which I put forth after commenting on the report that I had previously submitted on the work plan of the Studies Group for the Congress in Buenos Aires. Reading the reports I realize it was backed up by J. LeRoy and approved without discussion immediately before the Governance Committee presented its suggestions. I thought I remembered that it was Kipper himself who supported this proposal in reciprocity to my gesture the day before in relation to his. He was the first to request becoming a member of my Section and I of his. The suggestions79 of the Governance Committee totally agreed with the idea of Section that I had proposed during the European meeting held in Amsterdam in 1987.

The reports of the Program and Organization Committees were discussed jointly. In relation to the Sections, Hopper suggested that some of the acts be directed towards integrating the different approaches such as groupanalysis and psychodrama and that the integration of the new developing sections should be stimulated.

During the course of this Groupanalysis Symposium I called an assembly of people potentially interested in the Section and a report of this meeting was written80; the decisions made there appear in Nº 1 of the Circular Information Sheet81 of the Groupanalysis Section September 28, 1995 addressed to the members of the old Study Groups not present in Heidelberg.

I excused my non-attendance to the winter meetings that, as usual, coincided with the annual meeting of the AGPA in mid February this time in Washington. It was at this Board of Directors' meeting that Susana S. Bulrich and Alberto Serrano submitted a proposal for the creation of a Family Therapy Section that they circulated amongst the Board members who accepted it unanimously. Its approval was proposed by E. Hopper and backed up by F. Cramer Azima. My report on the Groupanalysis Section was circulated during my absence by M. Pines who also informed of the meeting held the day before on the structure of the Section, in which the wish was expressed of maintaining it as a communicative network for analytic exchange rather than structure it as suggested by the Psychodrama Section. It is interesting to point out that simultaneous to the development of the sections during Serrano's administration was the development of the Consultative Assembly of Organizational Affiliates (CAOA), the coordination of which had been entrusted to Sabar Rustomjee. On the one hand the means were being created to enable dialogue between the different tendencies and, on the other, a "democratic" structure was being created that would ease the dialogue between affiliated organizations and administration.

On the way to the Buenos Aires Congress, the equator of the present IAGP administration had long been crossed. As usual, Mónica Zuretti and Janine Puget jointly informed of the Congress Commissions they presided. They brought with them a new leaflet in English and two others in French and Spanish, announcing that the number of people registered was already 240. The Executive began to show its concern for the inaccuracy of the financial terms and the payment conditions presented by the Organizing Committee. The organizers reminded the Executive that the proposal they had submitted included a clause specifying that the benefits, if any, would be divided 50/50 between the IAGP and the organizing societies (some of which were not members of the IAGP). Reviewing the agreements of previous congresses in this respect Pines affirmed there was the precedent of sharing some benefits during the Congress in Copenhague. This contrasted with Battegay's assertion that the benefits from Copenhague had gone entirely to the IAGP and that before the congress the Board members had made a written agreement to face the losses, if any. Surkis, who had been on the Canadian Committee of the previous congress, said they would have liked to follow this policy but they had had to pay the Canadian Group Psychotherapy Association a 5,000 Canadian dollar compensation for the revenues not received for canceling its annual meeting in favour of the IAGP Congress. The responsibility for the earnings and losses between the IAGP and the organizers became the main issue of the Washington meeting. Mónica Zuretti stated that in spite of agreeing that it was important to achieve maximum benefits from a congress the priority should be to make it a success and some flexibility should be awarded to the local organizers. She insisted that the existing conflict of interests and lack of understanding was an obstacle to progress and that this was commonplace in group processes. The Treasury insisted that a contract should be signed and the local organizers agreed with the condition that they be sent the contracts.82

This discussion somehow reminds me of the one that lasted years between the Executive of the IAGP and the organizers of the Congress in Mexico. It seems to me that the question of lack of understanding has little to do with the language barrier. From my point of view the barrier between Hispanics and Anglos is in the financial language spoken by these two cultures, a subject which is untouchable.

The meeting in Santander, the most luxurious held by the IAGP on the European continent, was only comparable to the one in Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, UK at which the Study Groups in Groupanalysis approved the proposal I headed for creating a Groupanalysis Section, a possibility provided for by the Constitution since the foundation of the Association. In Santander it was planned to establish the regulations by which these special interest sections would be governed. I was conscious of the situation and in anticipation of the problems this concept of Section would meet with, I prepared a detailed report on the meeting of some members of the Section held at the Sacro Cuore University in Rome on May 27, 1994.83 I prepared a document in accordance with the points on the Agenda of the Board meeting, which covered the following three:

1.3: Issues arising from the reports of the meeting in Washington.
1.9c: Issues proposed by the Board members about the rules and regulations for the Sections, and
2. Reports and questions in relation to the Permanent Governance Committee.

With respect to 1.3, I asked why in officially reports the name "Groupanalytic Section" was consistently used instead of "Groupanalysis Section", the name with which the Section had been approved by the Board in Heidelberg. Regarding point 1.9c, agreeing with Zimmerman and Battegay's observation at the previous meeting on the urgency for establishing a set of rules for governing the Sections that would apply equally all and avoiding their proliferation.

I made a series of remarks in relation to the inconsistencies between the basic formulations proposed by the Governance Committee and the specific formulations they put forth on the government of the Sections. I insisted that the content of Article X of the Constitution on Sections need not be modified for this purpose. Finally, in relation to point 2. I simply asked for clarification of the meaning of point b) of the Governance Committee report that stated: "The institutionalization of any theoretical tendency or field of interest must be avoided".84

My report was accompanied by a graph of the relations between the different government agencies in the IAGP.85 It should be said that the proposals contained in this report had to be discussed in the framework of a very tight agenda which, apart from the issue of governing the Sections, included other important issues such as completing the details and specifying pending issues from the Congress in Buenos Aires, selecting the site for the following congress amongst the four candidates who had opted and deciding the rules in relation to the rotation of directors in the nomination of proposals submitted to the general Assembly of members for their election or ratification. I am not going to refer here to the discussions that these subjects led to but I will mention them insofar as they affect the subject of the government of the Sections and insofar as they led to the creation of the atmosphere to be analyzed in the three-hour think tank session on the future of the IAGP. This encounter, with the title of "The Spirit of Santander", was conducted by the President-elect Earl Hopper in the role of facilitator, by office also a member of the Governance, Nominations and Site Committees of the following Congress.

Looking back I realize that the previous reports both of the Governance Committee and of Groupanalysis Section, as well as the numerous hours spent on studying the problem by both Committees in Santander, were totally useless given the decision we reached in relation to a pseudo problem. The Board's concern with respect to the structure and functions of the Sections was related to the fear that promoting these would lead to divisions in the IAGP. The only thing that this effort did was bring about the realization that the present formulation of Article X of the by-laws, in relation to establishing "sections based on special interests to serve the purpose of the Association and assure their cooperation in the organization of congresses", perfectly serves to prevent these divisions. Even so, in order to assure their integration in the IAGP the Board decided to provide the Sections with a special mentor. Past President Grete Leutz was designated to share the direction of the Psychodrama Section with its promoter David Kipper; Past President Malcolm Pines to co-direct the Groupanalysis Section with Juan Campos; and Alberto Serrano, President at the time, to co-direct the Family Therapy Section with Susan Bulrich. This proposal of sharing the management of the coordinating committee of the Groupanalysis Section with Malcolm Pines was especially acceptable for us, amongst other things because he was already a member of the Section as well as a friend and collaborator of mine since the end of the fifties. Prior to the Board session where these decisions were made, the coordinating committee of the Groupanalysis Section and the members of this group present at Santander met, as is traditional, in assembly with the coordinating committee of the Psychodrama Section.

In Santander, the Site Committee of the following Congress presented the questionnaire they had submitted to the four candidates amongst whom we would have to choose during the next Board meeting in Atlanta and, given the number of offers, they recommended that congresses be held every two years instead of three, a recommendation that would also be considered in Atlanta. On the other hand, the Nominations Committee presided by Gerhard Rudnitzki began to elaborate the list of candidates for the 1995 slate for President-elect, Treasurer and Secretary. It was also decided that the third part of the members of the present Board who had served more than three periods (nine years) would resign as well as those who, for whatever reasons, had not been able to attend at least one congress and two Board meetings during the last three year period. Alberto Serrano, to whom I owe these data, literally states on the presidential page of Forum:

"Let me remind you that officers (President-elect, Secretary and Treasurer) are nominated from the ranks of current and former Board members, while candidates for the Board are nominated from the IAGP membership-at-large. The mission of the nominations committee is to prepare a slate on time for the next Board meeting in February 1995. Candidates will represent geographical and theoretical diversity as well as proven leadership abilities. Furthermore, candidates are expected to comply with Article VI of the By-laws with a commitment to participate in at least one of the two Board of Directors meetings held each year and a minimum of one of the International Congresses. The Board of Directors would like to be able to present a double slate of candidates to the membership for the next election to be held in the Spring of 1995 prior to the Buenos Aires Congress." 86

By then the organization of the Buenos Aires Congress was well under way and the Organizing Committee presented its conference program, the locations where the presentations would be held and a detailed list of the presentations. In spite of not having received the copy they had requested of the previous financial contracts,87 the Committee submitted an outline of their own contract.

Personally, for me the meeting in Santander was very laborious, difficult and tiring in spite of the apparently promising results obtained in relation to the coordination of the Sections. The most creative and lively part of the meeting was the "free floating discussion" that took place in the three-hour think tank on the afternoon of the last day, which unfortunately took place when many of the participants had already left. There were plenty of reasons for centering the subject on the future activities of the Board. As ideas emerged, Secretary Stuart Whiteley took notes on a note board. They were only suggestions which as far as I know have not been published anywhere.88 During the session, however, my free association went in another direction. Apart from what I stated out loud, I saved what I could not share then for the article titled "Plus Ultra", the name of the airplane with which four Spanish soldiers crossed the south Atlantic headed for Buenos Aires, a group flight that took place one year before Carl Lindbergh set out on his famous solitary flight from New York to Paris in 1927 with "The Spirit of St. Louis" monoplane. The article, like its predecessor "On professional associationism," also conceived during a Board meeting in New York, never appeared in the pages of Forum.

The Board's last meeting in Santander took place on Sunday, September 4, 1994, at 9 in the morning when the few who still remained were about to leave. The key Committees presented a summary of the work done in Santander, we were informed of the recommendations of the think tank and it was decided that the following meeting would take place, as was foreseen, in Atlanta on February 19 and 20, 1995 after the annual AGPA meeting.

The penultimate meeting of any mandate, as was the case of Atlanta, initiates the countdown towards the election of a new Board and the general Assembly of members where the new Executive and Directors posts come into office. This is the most important meeting of every mandate since it is here that the details of the next congress are completed and the Board approves the list of nominations proposed by the Committee and ratified by the Executive. In general, the European directors are at a disadvantage since this meeting always takes place in February in the United States, coinciding with the annual AGPA meeting. Apart from the usual, on this occasion important decisions had to be made, which required amending the Constitution. The election of the reduced Executive, which had been approved by mail voting during the last amendment, was to take effect. Consideration was to be given to the recommendations of the Board in Santander as to the maximum number of consecutive terms that it was permitted to serve on the Board of Directors; a measure that would not take effect after the Assembly in Buenos Aires approved it. Even so, it was requested of those who had served more than three or more consecutive periods to notify the Nominations president if they were prepared to resign voluntarily. After an interval of one period from the Board if the person was interested he/she could become eligible once again.

The recommendation that the interval between congresses be two years instead of three was approved, with the implicit consequences that this would have for the periods of service on the Board and the Executive. Although the amendment of the Constitution required that this change be formulated and submitted to the Assembly for approval. The final decision on the site of the next congress had been postponed until this meeting and London won over Stockholm.

As for the following European meeting, Earl Hopper had contacted the organizer of the European Symposium on Groupanalysis in Copenhague in 1996 to ask about the possibility of holding it there. He preferred this site to others such as Sicily, which had also been proposed. The Groupanalysis Section did not submit any report to this meeting and, although my co-director Malcolm Pines was present, as far as I know he did not call a committee meeting. The reason why we did not submit a report of the Section was that I had already circulated the information to all those interested and I was concentrated on recruiting new members and preparing the administrative and scientific sessions for Buenos Aires, as well as the joint meeting with the other Sections as had been agreed. Obviously, in these circumstances it did not cross my mind that I should propose to resign since the two periods I had served on the Board had not been consecutive and I did not understand that serving on the Executive Committee could be equivalent to doing so on the Board. Neither did I believe that resigning from my post, as coordinator would be beneficial at this moment of the Section's development. I point this out because, although I began to be interested in the nomination proposals in mid March, it was not until April 29, 1995 that I wrote to the President of the Nominations Committee, Gerhard Rudnitzki, asking him straightforwardly whether or not I was on the list of directors, since this would affect my position as co-director of the Groupanalysis Section. I added that in order to avoid confusion I informed him that as a director I had only served one term on the Board after having served two periods on the Executive as Second and First Vice President. On May 12, Rudnitzki answered me explaining the reasons for which I had been excluded, saying that I could continue to be helpful to the Board as co-director of the Groupanalysis Section, and sending me the final list proposed to the Executive. I realized upon reading it that the only remaining person of Spanish nationality was Roberto de Inocencio who, if chosen President-elect, would leave Spain without a representative on the Board. This gave way to a dialogue that was a fatuous exchange by fax and phone between Alberto Serrano, Rudnitzki and myself in which the only strong argument was the potential non representation of Spain, a point which I already had made; the argument that the rules could not be changed once the game had already started was not accepted; to my case a set of rules was applied which had not been properly formulated nor presented to the Assembly for amendment. On July 18, 1995 -in America they may not be aware of the significance of this date in Spain, which indicated the military up-rising which gave place to Franco's dictatorship- I received a letter of justification from Serrano in which he reaffirmed his position without offering any convincing explanation except that the directors are elected amongst the members in general and they do not represent a country or affiliated organization, something which I already knew. He ended by stating that he hoped his comments would serve to clarify some of my concerns and, on a more personal level, thanking me for the many years of service as a member of the Board, especially those under his administration during which the Groupanalysis Section had reached its maturity.

In addition to all this lobbying and in order to avoid being politically incorrect, I continued to prepare the aforementioned Section meetings and other relevant meeting notices with enthusiasm. As I had already done in Lisbon, I prepared a detailed four-page report in the form of a letter for circulation addressed to three groups of people: 1) those who signed the original request of this groupanalytic determination in the framework of the IAGP in June 1987, 2) individual members and affiliated organizations who felt identified with a psychoanalytic outlook and/or showed their interest first in the Studies Group and later in the Section, and 3) groupanalysts and group workers around the world who share the ideological and practical positions promoted by the IAGP which the Sections attempt to channel. I must add that ever since the day of the original request many have joined the IAGP so as to be able to join the Section. The draft of the letter had been previously submitted to the consideration of David Kipper, to the members of the Study Group who formed the coordination troika (Guilherme Ferreira, Francesco Di María and myself) and to Malcolm Pines, the present co-director of the Section who would cooperate with me in the final writing and signing of the letter. President Serrano, who was also co-director of the Family Therapy Section, was informed at all times and he approved this development. An English and a Spanish version of the letter were written and I took fifty of the latter with me to give out to the members of the Board as a Report of the Section.89 Under these conditions and with this baggage I headed to Buenos Aires with my wife, the President of the affiliated organization SEPTG, where we were received as guests by our soul mates the Kesselman's, wholehearted members and promoters of the Groupanalysis Section in South America.

When I went to the office of the Congress at General San Martín Cultural Center to pick up the documentation, I found David Kipper there in conversation with Earl Hopper. After greeting them I asked Hopper what he thought of the letter. He fired a severe expression at me that he had not liked it at all. At first I was unsure of whether he was serious or joking. When I realized he was serious I asked him why and he answered that the reason was I had not consulted him. I did not wish to worsen the situation by reminding him that he had not come into office yet, but I told him that Alberto Serrano had been informed at all times and that it was up to him to communicate it to the other members of the Executive.

We have already referred to what happened in Buenos Aires at the beginning of the interview. The only remark I wish to add -now that I have at my disposal the reports of the meetings held there, thanks to the present Secretary Christer Sandahl- is in relation to the most significant meetings that I attended there.

The first was the administrative Session of the Groupanalysis Section held on August 28, 1995 in the Blue Lounge of the Savoy Hotel, the detailed agenda of which was published in a double column in English and Spanish and supplied to the attendants.90 The session was taped and notes were taken in Italian and English to present to the outgoing Board and the general Assembly of members.

The meeting of the outgoing Board, the last I attended as one of its directors, took place at the General San Martín Cultural Center of Buenos Aires on August 29, 1995. This Board meeting was the saddest and most disappointing one that I have attended in my twelve years of service to the IAGP organization. It scarcely lasted one and a half hours and began with a group process session in the style of the think tank in Santander during which, according to the report of the meeting:

"...predominantly reflected the taking leave of many Board members and mutual expressions of gratitude for the work done by them and the co-operation received from colleagues. The need to retain contact with -and the services of-those retiring members was expressed and will be followed up by the incoming President. Appreciation was voiced for the degree of consultation and communication during this administration and it was felt that the organization had gained in strength in the past three years." 91

After emphasizing once again the need for a professional secretary's office the outgoing President announced the results of the elections declaring Roberto de Inocencio President-elect, Sabar Rustomjee Treasurer and Christer Sandahl Secretary who, together with himself and President Hopper, formed the new Executive. He went on to read the list of directors, which had been ratified by mail. The rest of the agenda was covered in a hurry. The few remaining minutes were mainly employed approving the previous reports and drawing up amendments to the Constitution to be submitted to the vote of the Assembly the following day. There was no time for a detailed discussion of any of the reports presented earlier nor for the Groupanalysis Section report circulated; no time even to inform of the Section's administrative meeting held the day before with the attendance of over fifty interested people and two affiliated organizations. An advanced news pamphlet of the XIII Congress to take place in London was distributed titled "Annihilation, Survival, Recreation?", together with a copy of the report addressed to the President and the Board from the coordinator of the organization of the new congress, Meg Sharpe, who excused her absence from Buenos Aires.

The most important incident of the general Assembly of members regarding the Groupanalysis Section, as we have already said, took place once the outgoing President had transferred his functions to the incoming President and the latter had advanced his presidential policy for the 1995-98 period. Previously, Malcolm Pines had informed that in the administrative session of the Section held the day before, over fifty per cent of the one hundred people summoned had decided they wished (a) to have direct access to the Program Committee in the following Congress, (b) to have a budget and, in the future, (c) be able to name one's own representative for the Board. The amendments to the Constitution that would be ratified by a mail vote of all the members on the agenda were also read; these amendments meant that after 1998 congresses would be held every two years and, thus, the periods of service in the organization's administration would also be limited. A change in the structure of the Nominations Committee was also suggested, as well as the rationalization of the process and authority of the Board when reviewing the nominations proposed by the Committee.92 President Hopper ended his speech with a personal statement on his beliefs and identity as a groupanalyst and psychoanalyst. Personally and in representation of the IAGP he expressed his solidarity with colleagues from those parts of the world who are not free to honour their commitment to search for the truth both intrapsychically and in social life; two completely interdependent spheres which are really two sides of the same coin. He asked Malcolm Pines to speak of the Sarajevo Charter. Pines accounted that after the so-called ethnic cleaning in Serbia, English colleagues had put an ad in the papers proclaiming the need to preserve human rights in the affected areas and requesting signatures in support. Battegay declared that we could not remain silent when it was precisely a psychiatrist who was playing such an important role in supporting the elimination of certain ethnic groups and that he felt a personal responsibility in that no one seemed to condemn these acts. Hopper showed his appreciation for these remarks and added that although the fragmentation of old Yugoslavia and its devastating consequences were thousands of miles from Buenos Aires, to draw attention on this tragedy was not an attempt to flee "from issues that affect us more closely", an argument which he repeated when writing the President's page of the following Forum.93

Amongst the subjects touched on at the Assembly, apart from touching the problem of counting on a complete translation of the session and discovering that the participants from Eastern Europe were unable to discover what the fees were for becoming a member, what interested me most were the new President's comments in relation to two initiatives coming from the Assembly. The first was Surkis' announcement that the IAGP would have a monthly page in Internet from then on, to which Hopper responded that, although welcome, this type of initiative in the name of the IAGP should be a shared effort and responsibility, taking for granted that these efforts should be coordinated within the context of the new Publications Committee. The second was Jaak LeRoy's observation that there was little of African representation in the Association, to which Hopper responded that he was already in touch with South Africans who requested training experiences and that he hoped there would soon be new members from South Africa and other African countries.94

During the meeting of the new Board that took place after the General Assembly on August 30, most of the time was spent exchanging ideas and feelings with respect to the situation in order to create a positive climate and scarcely forty five minutes were dedicated to administrative issues. Thus, Malcolm Pines could not submit his report on the Groupanalysis Section on this occasion either. In view of this, I immediately wrote to the new Secretary asking him for the address of the new Board members with the intent of sending them the report directly, which I did not do due to the interference entailed by the naming of the "so-called" counseling team that President Hopper had imposed on the co-ordination committee of the Groupanalysis Section, an initiative that put the brakes on the impulse the Section demonstrated upon its arrival in Buenos Aires. In mid November of that year the Italian Groupanalytic Society celebrated its national congress that was held to coincide with Fabrizio Napolitani's birthday, one of its founders and inspirer of the European groupanalytic movement. Malcolm Pines and I were invited and we held an assembly with our Italian colleagues during which we could finally refer to the situation of the Section after the congress in Buenos Aires. The summary of this meeting is published in the same issue as "Farewell to a Comrade in Arms", my contribution to the obituary that Forum95 dedicated to our brilliant colleague Fabrizio Napolitani. Paradoxically, this was the first work that I published as Honorary Archiver, a task that President Hopper had assigned me. The Congress in Buenos Aires coincided with Bill Gate's world campaign with Windows 95 in Internet. The proposal I received from Earl Hopper on December 6, 1995 proposing me as President of the Archives Committee did not seem senseless. It was like being told that since one cannot make history one might as well begin to write it. All this occurred while I was waiting to receive the transcription of my interview with Gabriela Ventrici and Nora Speier Fernández in Buenos Aires for the journal Revista de la Sociedad Argentina de Psicología y Psicoterapia de Grupo.

The author's ideas about the IAGP's present and future and the development of group psychotherapies.

Q: What is your impression on the global development of the IAGP?

A: As in life itself, the social matrix succeeds the biological. No one will argue that Moreno and Slavson were the main promoters in the organization of group psychotherapy. However, after Zurich its patronage went to the hands of a group of friends and colleagues. There is no doubt that both the meetings of Toronto 1954 and Zurich 1973 were important landmarks in the development of the Association, but the other twelve congresses held so far are also important... as were others that were never celebrated. It is true to say that the meetings and correspondence that took place between congresses, the conversations in the corridors during the congresses and the work of its Committees, Assemblies and Boards is where ideas began to emerge, creating the mechanisms and managing organs that would make the Association what it is today. It is important to remember, however, that this approach does not do justice to the enormous amount of hours, work, travel and money invested by an enterprising group of colleagues in order to make this possible. It is also possible that the final result has little to do with the aim that consciously led them to make such an effort.

These considerations remind me of some remarks by Edward Glover on the "myth of the origins" in his book Psychoanalysis in England:

"In studying the pioneering phases of psychoanalysis, one is impressed by the many identities between the biography of an individual and the life of a scientific group... in their earliest phases, small scientific groups reproduce those stages in individual development at which various introjections and identifications shape the mental apparatus and determine the expansion or, alternatively, the contraction (progression or regression) of their subsequent activities... this structural aspect is reinforced by a dynamic factor, namely, the conflict aroused by the ideational content the groups ostensibly set out to sustain and advance. The social historian would, no doubt, be content to express all this by saying that the life history of a scientific group involves a study of its leading personalities and the part each plays in advancing (or retarding) certain scientific aims and theories. Although this is the most labor-saving approach, it tends to overemphasize individual leadership at the expense of specific group interactions, particularly those unconscious interactions that modify the growth of any society."

And Glover concludes that:

"The history of psychoanalysis has been marked by repeated dissensions and schisms... The early psychoanalytic groups came into existence following what might be called an "act of participation", a sort of "primary identification" with Freud by his original and closest adherents. To this extent their growth had much in common. But to understand the specific characteristics of each group, one must trace the complicated interplay of gorup factors -both constructive and disintegrative- that followed the development of independent group function, that is, the birth of the group."_

The history of the IAGP is obviously not marked by its dissensions and disagreements but rather by its attempt to overcome differences, to unite, to join, to group together... to construct a greater whole, a unity from the parts through a dialogue between different tendencies and practices. Curiously, however, even today this organization still lives under the fear of division. It is enough to observe the virulent and visceral reaction set off by the mere mention of the word section to realize that either it still feels pursued by the ghost of the relentless battle between Slavson and Moreno during the first years, or a consolidation between the different parts, overcoming differences, has not yet been achieved, an aspiration depicted in its Constitution and Statutes. Glover's observations in relation to the corporative growth of psychoanalysis, the second of the psychiatric revolutions according to Moreno, may not be directly applicable to what he considers the third revolution, that is his own, that of group therapies.

In fact, everything I have read on the origins of the IAGP falls into the bad habit that Glover denounces of placing the emphasis on the clash between Moreno and Slavson's personalities and not on their ideologies or the group discourse of which they are spokesmen. For the groupologist or the social psychologist this attitude is as incongruent as trying to reduce the motivations and dynamics of a group to the personality of the leaders with which the group identifies. It is not easy for the social historian to follow Glover's recommendations since, in a society centered on the isolated individual and a concept of group that considers it as an individual, the biography of its leaders magnified or belittled according to the mood or disposition of the biographer is more accessible than the "life history" of the groups crystallized around them. In relation to this, documentation is very scarce, not very reliable, hardly interesting and rarely conserved except as in my case when the participating observer, live testimony of these processes, attempts to contemplate them from a "group optic".96 The birth of the IAGP cannot follow the same pattern of an "act of participation" or "primary identification" with the leader that Glover attributes to the birth of psychoanalytic groups for one simple reason. There is not only one but, rather, at least two leaders in this movement. Neither is it easy to understand the specific traits of this group "retracing the complex interplay of group factors" since it is more a question of inter-group rather than group factors. It is very possible that in spite of the fifty years elapsed since the IAGP was conceived; it has not yet reached its "independent function" and, as a group, is still to be born.

Although it is true that group psychology was born during World War I with the concept of war neurosis, and that during World War II group therapies emerged in an attempt to prevent them and to aid people affected by these neuroses, it is also true that the IAGP is a product of the postwar era. It arose from the appearance in the international arena of two rival tendencies in the field of group therapies which, during a whole decade, competed fiercely in New York for the leadership of the "professional corporativism" of group therapies in the USA: the Society of Psychodrama and Group Psychotherapy, founded in 1942 by Moreno and the American Group Therapy Association founded the following year by Slavson, although its logo bears the same date as Moreno's. At the time these were the only two professional organizations in this field. The only exception, in any case, would be the American Lifwynn Foundation founded by Trigant Burrow and associates in 1927. This association could at once be considered the precursor and doyenne of group organizations and also be excluded from this group since it is not of professional nature nor is it concerned with therapies or group psychotherapies;97 rather, its field is that of "research in social and analytic psychiatry".

How can we explain that these groups decided to promote an organization at an international level at the same time independently from each other? How can we explain their attempt to achieve cooperation at the world level when they have not even attempted to cooperate in New York City where they both emerged and coexist? I believe this is the most important question we must answer if we truly wish to discover the origins of the IAGP. My impression is that neither had any intention of finding the cooperation at international level that they had so carefully avoided at local level. It is very possible that their idea of "international" was not the same and that the aims they pursued had very little in common. One factor which no doubt turned out to be influential was the success of the prestigious New York Psychoanalytic Society whose model they both adopted either by identification (Slavson) or by opposition (Moreno). Maybe the "act of participation" or "primary identification" of which Glover speaks is not with Freud the founder of psychoanalysis but with the institution he founded, the International Psychoanalytic Association. Like the IAGP this association sprung from two groups: Wednesday's psychological society of Vienna and the group of Freudian physicians of Zurich and, although according to its constitution its purpose was the cultivation and promotion of psychoanalysis as a science, its real aspiration was to become a professional corporation at world level; in other words, all its members -physicians or otherwise- have the license to teach and practice psychoanalysis all over the world. Could this be the secret agenda of the IAGP?

Q: What is the international status of the different presently prevailing group psychotherapy tendencies and what seems to be their future?

A: If we understand status as the position in terms of prestige or money that group therapies have in general and especially group psychotherapies, I would say it is lower every day. In their time group therapies were a desired consumer good and training in this field a sought out good because, for the Welfare State, collective treatments were an alternative to the individual treatment of the ill or a method of prevention in risk populations, families or the community. Around the world at present, less and less states are concerned with treating mental disease as a public disease nor do they feel compelled to dispense "psychotherapy for the people". However, it is my impression that in spite of the free market empire the "era of private practice" is coming to an end, not only for official medicine but also for any type of organized therapy. The truth is that the demand for collective treatments today in all countries is decreasing and the only hope that remains is that private insurance companies include group psychotherapy amongst their services. This is the attitude that led the American Group Psychotherapy Association, after its fiftieth anniversary, to proclaim itself an "accredited association", to dispense with its foreign affiliated associations, to establish the AGPA Clinical Members category for its members and to promote the National Registry of Certified Group Psychotherapists. In Europe, in view of the possibility of the free circulation of professionals and their training on the eve of the creation of the European Union, two European organizations rapidly emerged with the same purposes: the European Federation for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in Health and Related Public Services and the European Federation for Psychotherapy, competing to obtain the affiliation of national federations. In Spain, the FEAP or Spanish Federation of Associations of Psychotherapists -at first Spanish Federation of Institutions of Training in Psychotherapy- one of the promoters of the aforementioned European Federation of Psychotherapy, managed in record time and at astronomical prices, to achieve the affiliation of practically all the psychoanalytic, psychotherapeutic and group and family psychotherapy associations in the training business. The only exception for ideological rather than practical reasons is the Spanish Society of Psychotherapy and Group Techniques (SEPTG), doyenne of professional group associations whose objectives at a national level are similar to those of the IAGP at world level.

At a scientific level the future of what the English call learned societies, that is societies for scientific exchange and confrontation, is more than doubtful for the theory and practice of group therapies. There is evidence that even the IAGP itself and its more powerful affiliated associations will follow the prevailing tendency. However, a tendency existed in the opposite direction, namely the Italian Confederation of Analytic Research in Groups promoted by Fabrizio Napolitani in Italy. Although lately this organization has been invited to become an accredited confederation promoting its own institute of group psychotherapy at a national level. Insofar as group therapies specifically, for many years the different fields such as family, couple therapy, therapeutic communities or organizational psychology, have created their own associations both at the national and international level.

Q: What was, is and will be, in your opinion, the function of congresses on group therapy?

A: As I have insinuated throughout this interview most of the associations that have arisen in group therapies followed the model of the International Psychoanalytic Association, based on the practice of psychotherapy within the context of liberal medicine. So much so that in "Psychische Behandlung..." Freud himself goes as far as to unbashfully state

"...if the right of a patient to make a free choice of his doctor were suspended, an important precondition for influencing him mentally would be abolished."98

Ferenczi's proposal to the Congress in Nuremberg for the creation of an international association begins in the following terms:

"Psycho-Analysis is still a young science, but its history is already rich enough in events to justify a momentary pause to survey the results attained and to weigh up its failures and successes. Such a survey should help us to apply our efforts more economically in future by abandoning ineffective methods for more fruitful ones. Drawing up such balance sheets from time to time is as necessary in scientific workshops as it is in trade and industry. Congresses are generally nothing but Vanity Fairs, providing opportunities for self display and the theatrical first production of scientific novelties, though their real task should be the solution of such problems of scientific policy." 99

I have the impression that in group psychotherapy we are still where hypnosis was in 1890 or where psychoanalysis was in 1911, with the difference that new scientific developments presented to IAGP Congresses are very scarce. If self-exhibition is still possible it is only for the sacred cows with a teaching vocation that, dedicated to the world training circuit, take advantage of the congresses to sell their wares. Even so, if we review the history of the IAGP we see that its Congresses at least served to develop the "invisible network that attempts to expand the practice of group psychotherapy worldwide", the training of its professionals and the research in this field, and to consolidate the professional corporative movement. We must remember that sixty years ago only two group associations existed and at present there are hundreds.

Unfortunately, group psychotherapy congresses have contributed to the increase of mass scientific tourism and these congresses are not considered productive if they do not summon thousands of participants and produce a significant economic surplus for the organization that organizes them. A difference, for example, in relation to medical or psychiatric congresses, for it is not the pharmaceutical companies who finance most of the participant's registration fees, lodging and travel expenses. Except in the case of rare exceptions when the university or some medical establishment takes care of the financing in group psychotherapy, each participant has to pay his registration fees out of his own pocket. No consideration is given to the scientific benefits that can derive from holding a congress in a country with broad experience in our field, as was the case of Buenos Aires, or the social and even political benefit of holding the Congress in Madrid at the end of Franco's dictatorship. Frankly, after being on the IAGP Board for so long I still don't understand how or why different countries compete for becoming the site of one of these congresses. As far as I know -except for the doubtful contribution of the Yugoslavian Ministry of Tourism to the Congress in Zagreb and with the only exception of the Congress in Montreal for which the local and national authorities provided a generous subsidy- this has not occurred elsewhere.

My impression is that mass congresses, tourist congresses, are not very useful insofar as communication and exchange of ideas and experiences. Furthermore, the last IAGP Congress of which the complete works were published was Copenhague in 1980. The question of productivity and efficacy of mass congresses in group psychotherapy had already been discussed in the pages of GAIPAC at the beginning of the seventies. Günter K. Ammon, founder of the Deutsche Gruppenpsychotherapeutische Gesellschaft, proposed the alternative of "house-congresses" with a maximum of one hundred participants where it is possible to explore the dynamics and structure of the congress as an in vivo research project.100 Since the Congress in Amsterdam in 1989, the subject of which was "Encounter and Alienation", attempts have been made to introduce measures for fighting alienation in IAGP Congresses. However, similar to what Ammon proposed to investigate were the "¿What happened today?" groups introduced in the Buenos Aires Congress at the end of each day. If this innovation is a success -innovation by which organizers and organized participants meet- it can become as creative as that which gave way to the "Human Relations Laboratories" in Kurt Lewin's time.

Q: What achievements, teachings, questions can the XII Congress held in Buenos Aires leave behind?

A: In all my years of attending congresses and group meetings of the IAGP or its affiliated organizations this is the first time I have felt I was in a truly organized congress, conducted as a group by a group of groups, a fact I consider extremely new and stimulating. Moreover, I believe that the "Space Open to the Community" that took place every day at noon was just as creative and promising as the "What Happened Today?" space dedicated to groups. Whilst the latter was an attempt to establish a bridge between organizers and registered participants, the former, overcoming the money barrier, was the establishment of a bridge between the professionals of "a psychotherapy for the people" and the community that supports them.

This is the third time an IAGP Congress is organized in a Spanish-speaking cultural context. Every time this has occurred the congress was an economic fiasco. As one of the oldest members explains after having to cancel the congress in Nice due to lack of economic support, the Board agreed to maintain the congress in Madrid in August 1976:

"Arrangements for the Madrid meeting were progressing nicely and many registrations were received. The program, under Jay Fidler, Malcolm Pines and Zerka Moreno was progressing smoothly when Spain, in the United Nations, voted to declare Israel a racist nation. This act caused so many to cancel their reservations and withdraw from the program that the board cancelled the meeting again after considerable funds were spent in advertising and other expenses." _

It was not necessary to cancel the congress in Mexico, although it was postponed for one year after having to compete with a psychoanalysis congress held that year in Europe. Upon reviewing its accounts it appears they lost money, and year after year during the Board meetings its organizers were requested again and again to present the report of their accounts. The surprising thing was the Mexicans' patience and commitment not to present deceitful accounts. The fact is they returned 4,000 US dollars to the "central office" and invested the rest of the profits in promoting a national organization. But the myth, or hoax, produced its effects: from then on, the money that the IAGP invests in a congress is advanced with the well understood condition that during its celebration the organizers will return it and the congress will close its balance sheet without losses. The Congress in Buenos Aires was not cancelled as requested by some after the terrorist attack on the city's Jewish Community Center. However, I have heard that costs were not covered this time either. If this is true I wonder how the Executive will take these results. Will the balance be in terms only of dollars and cents or will consideration be given to the enrichment that it has entailed for organizers, participants, Argentinean citizenship?

During the closing session of the Congress at San Martín Center I took my leave saying that I had had to cross the Ocean three times in my life for different reasons: Caracas, New York and Buenos Aires. Referring to this third time I stated that apart from crossing the Ocean I had also crossed the Equator and was leaving with the hope of consolidating the bridge between Río de la Plata and the Mediterranean basin. This is the project I am presently working on. Upon my return to Barcelona I took part in the Inter-med Congress the purpose of which was to "organize" Internet in the Mediterranean basin. I learned many things, amongst them that the "global society" in this ever-shrinking world that we are headed for is a "global society of information" -not communication!! I was also witness to the birth of a new profession, that of the computer technicians who are going to run the world. Or exploit it. But first they will have to weave the net with which to trap it. This was one of the events that coincided with the Congress in Buenos Aires: The world launching of Windows '95 Microsoft by Bill Gates. The same as I had concluded a decade ago when I realize that if I did not buy a computer I would be missing a whole culture, I decided to jump into the net and added my name to several mailing lists. Since all the group therapy lists that I found in Internet operated in English I dared to try an experiment in communication, the Groupanalysis Forum in Spanish,

It remains to be seen whether this mailing list and archives serve to establish a dialogue with the English lists that abound in the net and, thus, perhaps even have access by electronic mail to what is published on paper in journals within our field.

Q: In the interview you also mentioned the "complex" of not speaking English as a the mother tongue. You related it to the communication between nations and this issue was intensely experienced during this Congress.

A: In relation to this it is interesting to note Malcolm Pine's account in the same report quoted earlier with respect to the European panorama of the Congress in Zurich in 1973:

"I was struck, both at this Congress and the Psychoanalytical Congress in Paris, how much active interest and apparent progress is being mad in France and Germany and others of the European countries which we in the United Kingdom, and almost certainly in the USA are unaware of. The bookstalls at both Congresses contained what appeared to me to be interesting and original documents in the native languages of their countries, as well as containing very up to date translations of works written in English. Alas, the converse is not true at our own Conferences and on the shelves of our own bookstalls. Few translations are made from French and German at present into English [naturally, Spanish is not mentioned] and a language barrier is a very real one. For instance, at this particular Congress in Zurich the majority of section meetings were for German speaking participants, there were many in French and relatively few in English, therefore the few of us who came from Britain and America were very limited in the choices that we could make. This of course did not affect the initial plenary sessions of the morning and the discussion panels in the late afternoon, all of which were served most ably by the most impressive and idiomatic team of simultaneous translators that I have been privileged to listen to." 101

I imagine many of the English-speakers who attended the Congress in Buenos Aires could make the same remark. Those of us for whom English is not our mother tongue always find ourselves in this situation. Maybe we have become so accustomed that we no longer realize it or protest about it. I would say that in Buenos Aires a tremendous effort has been made to overcome the language barrier in favor of the non Spanish-speaking visitors at the expense of the Spanish speakers. The question of translating is always a problem technologically impossible to assume -based on simultaneous translation carried out by professional translators- if nothing else for economic reasons. The magnificent teams of volunteers we had in Buenos Aires in almost all the sessions could not prevent the sequential method of translation from taking up at least half of the time or that the participants themselves interfere with the task of the translators by not feeling properly translated or that they end up speaking English in spite of this not being their native tongue. Since the times of Babel the problem of the dominance of one language over another has always existed. For whatever reasons, there was always a people who imposed their language and thus their culture on others. It is not that people dispersed when the Lord confused their languages, rather confusion began when the experts spoke: those who knew how to cook bricks in the sun and bind them together with bitumen to build the city and the tower. What really bothered the Lord, the Grand Horloger, expert of experts, was that these people spoke only one tongue and could thus do everything that crossed their mind. What crosses our mind, what we may wish to do, passes through words. But words are at once the vehicle and matrix of culture. Since the beginning of the twenties we know that human culture is ill and that the "social neurosis" we suffer is anchored to words and the way in which we use them, as Trigant Burrow used to say, or is the result of "ideologies", as Schilder used to say. You asked me about the relationship between present-day worldwide social problems and the psychological work with human groups and also if I could advance anything about the next congresses.

Regarding the next congress in London in 1998, all I can advance is the unfortunate title chosen: "Annihilation, Survival, Re-creation". I hope it is only one of those end-of-millennium apocalyptic hysterias and not a prophecy in relation to the IAGP. The Catalan songwriter and singer Raimón says in one of his songs: "Who loses his origins loses his identity". In the origins of this Association is the notice of the Congress in Toronto. The aim of that first congress was to make a definite contribution to the awareness that all forms of group work need to be newly evaluated insofar as indications, standards and policy and they also need an adequate adaptation to the different cultural environments where they will be applied. In its almost fifty years of existence a cultural community has formed within the IAGP. This community's culture oscillates between a culture governed by the basic assumption of respect for communication and that of a professional type of corporate culture of the people and groups that adhere to it. Maybe it is also time to go on to examine the disorders of this community and as a group give them relief. This could be a good subject for the end of millennium congress and Jerusalem a good place to explore it. If we are successful with this "group, heal yourself " maybe we will be able to offer a way of dealing with the problems of the human group at the threshold of the new century and the new millennium.

 

Notes

 

  1. S.H. Foulkes (1970). "The Symposium in retrospect: An introduction to the discussion in GAIPAC" (GR/AN 4/1 1971). This Symposium had been called by Edoardo Corteçao, Foulkes' disciple and founder of the Sociedade Portuguesa de Groupanálise, with the aim of comparing the theory and techniques taught and practiced there with those put forth by the Group Analytic Society (London). This initiative gave rise to the face-to-face encounters between European groupanalysts: the Symposiums, once every three years, and the annual European Workshops.
  2. Werner W. Kemper, "A short contribution to the history of analytic psychotherapy and G.A.I.P.A.C.", GR/AN VIII/3, October 1975, p. 175 and S.H. Foulkes "In Memoriam of Dr. Werner W. Kemper", GR/AN IX/1, October 1976, p. 66.
  3. S.H. Foulkes and E.J. Anthony (1964), "Psychoanalytic group psychotherapy" Buenos Aires: PAIDOS.
  4. S.H. Foulkes and E.J. Anthony (1965), "Group Psychotherapy. The psychoanalytic approach". London: Penguin, p.18.
  5. The Lifwynn Foundation for Research in Social and Analytical Psychiatry is the oldest group-analytic organization, founded in 1927 by Trigant Burrow and his associates; it did not join the IAGP until 1992 after it was invited to do so by the recently founded Groupanalysis Section.
  6. The Group Analytic Society (London) is a scientific association founded in 1952 by Foulkes and a group of disciples and collaborators "with the purpose of exchanging ideas on groupanalysis and expanding the teaching and training tasks carried out by Dr. Foulkes at the Maudsley Hospital".
  7. During the Congress in Toronto (1954) Foulkes, together with Joshua Bierer, Henry Ezriel and T.P. Rees, had been proposed as representatives of Great Britain in the International Committee for Group Psychotherapy. See photocopy of original document "The position of Group Analysis (Group Analytic Psychotherapy) to-day, with special reference to the role of this Society", presidential address of S. H. Foulkes read 31st January, 1955, on the occasion of the First General Meeting of the Society, p.2.
  8. Document mentioned in footnote 9, p. 3-4. Also, abstracts of Foulkes' presidential address mentioned in footnote 9 have been published in News and Views Nº 1 (summer 1961), pp. 6-10, and "S. H. Foulkes. Selected Papers. Psychoanalysis and Group Analysis," London 1990: Karnac Books, pp. 145-150.
  9. Article X.-SECTIONS: The Board of Directors may in its discretion establish temporary or continuing sections based on specialized interest, in order to serve the purpose of the Association and to provide for cooperation in the organization of congresses. Under such conditions as the Board may set up, sections may organize for their internal cooperation in ways consistent with the organization of the International Association and its brad purposes. The range of sections will depend upon present and future needs. Action to initiate a section may be initiated by an application to the Board signed by twenty-five or more members of the Association.
  10. The first paragraph of the original proposal literally states: "Ever since 1970, and specially since 1980 an important number of group-analysts, individual members of our Association, have been trying to establish an international network of communication in order to further develop the work that in favor of the development of Group Analysis in theory and practice they perform in their local or national societies, institutes and organizations."
  11. Documents related to Correspondence and Reports relative to the Groupanalysis Section 1987-97.
  12. Documents related to the history of the "European Movement of Groupanalysis 1981-1987".
  13. These quotes have been taken from "The President's Page" of the International Forum of Group Psychotherapy, Fall 1995, Vol. 4, No. 1, p.1 and p. 3, ratifying what was read during the Assembly in Buenos Aires. "The shift to elected coordintaing committees reflects my view that the growth of our organization, if not its very survival, depends on how we manage the twin process of unity and diversity. The potential for creative dialogue is high. It is noteworthy that in this respect the request of the membership of the organization as a whole are identical to the Boards initiatives: let us continue to work together and to share our ideas and basic values and orientation but let us have our own spaces for the development of distinctive identities and special interests".
  14. These quotes have been taken from "The President's Page" of the International Forum of Group Psychotherapy, Fall 1995, Vol. 4, No. 1, p.1 and p. 3, ratifying what was read during the Assembly in Buenos Aires.
  15. Letter from Grete Leutz in apology.
  16. Minutes of the October 1984 Board Meeting of IAGP in Paris.
  17. H.V. Dicks (1970) "59 years of the Tavistock Clinic", Routledge and Kegan Paul. The expression "invisible college" is used to refer to the men of the Tavistock Clinic whom its director, J.R. Rees as General Brigade of the Psychiatric Services, managed to bring together during WW II and which, after the war, was applied to the members of the voluntary organization "The Tavistock Association" (pp. 228).
  18. Juan Campos Avillar (1984), "From the politics of teaching to the pragmatics of learning: group analysis' greatest hope in training". Zagreb: VI European Group Analytic Symposium, publicado en inglés y croata en la revista Psihoterapija, Vol. XV, No. 2, 1985, pp.53-93.
  19. Juan Campos (1980), "Psicoanálisis, psicoanalistas y psicoterapias grupales" in Psicología Dinámica Grupal, Madrid: Fundamentos.
  20. Correspondence and documentation relative to the Panel of the 1989 IAGP Congress in Amsterdam entitled "Pioneers' Re-encounter: The Fathers of our Constitution in a Fishbowl".
  21. A. James Anthony (1971): "The History of Group Psychotherapy" in Comprehensive Group Psychotherapy, Kaplan, Harold I. & Saddock, J., eds., (Baltimore: The Williams and Wilkins Co.), p. 5.
  22. Zerka Moreno (1966), "Evolution and Dynamics of the Group Psychotherapy Movement", in The International Handbook of Group Psychotherapy, ed. J.L. Moreno in association with A. Friedemann, R. Battegay and Zerka T. Moreno, New York: Philosophical Library, pp. 27-128.
  23. Samuel B. Hadden (1984), "Historical Sketch of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy", Membership Directory, March, pp. 6-8.
  24. S.R. Slavson (1975), "In the beginning...", Intl. Journal of Group Psychotherapy, Vol. XXV, No. 2, pp. 147-148.
  25. It is probably confused with the International Conference on Medical Psychotherapy of the III International Congress on Mental Health, in which Hulse and Slavson took part.
  26. Mortimer M.S. Schiffer (1983), "S.R. Slavson (1890-1981)". IJGP, Vol. 33 (2), April.
  27. The First International Conference on Mental Health held in London to which it refers really corresponds to the Third World Congress on Mental Health, the first of which took place in Washington in 1930 and the second in Paris in 1937. This third one, which Anna Freud labeled as "Der Monster Kongress" in which 2.500 representatives of 42 countries met during ten days to evaluate what had been learnt about mental health during the war and to plan for peace, represents a definite landmark in the "movement for mental hygiene" initiated in the USA on account of the publication of Clifford W. Beers' book (1919). As from this Congress the old "International Committee for Mental Hygiene" which had organized the world congresses until then became the "World Federation of Mental Health" assembling all the existing "National Associations". The Third Conference of the World Health Organization on Mental Healthmentioned here really corresponds to the V World Congress on Mental Health, organized by the Federation. The World Health Organization organized that year has, since 1959, a "Mental Health Unit" whose first director was R. Hargreaves of British nationality; the second director was E.E. Krafft, an Argentinian of German origin who, from this post, was a great support for the organization of the IAGP. The WHO, which has different Offices, does not organize congresses but rather "expert committees" and "priorities' reports ". Finally, what took shape in Toronto was an International Committee, in truth the third since the first had been founded in Paris in 1951 and the second in New York at the request of Fremont-Smith so as to organize the Toronto Congress; the third arose during the latter. The International Council was not founded until 1957 in Zurich and was enlarged in 1958, its officers being elected by mail voting; it held its first Assembly during the Congress in Milan on July 20th 1963.
  28. Marineau, R. (1955). J.L. Moreno. Su Biografía. Buenos Aires: Lumen-Hormé, Spanish translation, p. 195.
  29. Group Psychotherapy, Vol. IV, 1951.
  30. Saul Scheidlinger and Gerald Schamess (1992), "Fisty years of AGPA 1942-1992: An Overview", in Classics in Group Psychotherapy, published by K. Roy McKenzie. New York: The Guildford Press, p. 4.
  31. Committee on History: "A Brief History of the American Group Psychotherapy Association 1943-1968", IJGP Vol. XXI, Num. 4, pp. 406-455.
  32. Committee on History: "A Brief History of the American Group Psychotherapy Association 1943-1968", IJGP Vol. XXI, Num. 4, pp. 406-455.
  33. Program of the Congress.
  34. "Historia de la psicoterapia de Grupo en la Argentina: A manera de prólogo", Revista de Psicología y psicoterapia de Grupo, V, 1, 1982, p. 21.
  35. Documents in relation to the history of the IAGP" see the complete original version in English by Samuel B. hadden (1984), "Historical Sketch of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy", Membership Directory, March, p. 7.
  36. Raymond Battegay, M.D. (1989), "The Predecessors and the Beginnings of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy", contributed to the Panel "Pioneers' Re-encounter: The Fathers of our Constitution in a Fishbowl", Congress in Amsterdam.
  37. J.L. Moreno (1959), Chapter Geschichte (History) in "Gruppentherapie und Psychodrama. Anleitung in Therie und Praxis"". Stittgart: Georg Thieme.
  38. J.L. Moreno (1993 [1934]), "Who sahll survive. Foundations of Sociometry, Group psychotherapy and Sociodrama", Student Edition, McLean, VA: American Society of Group Psychotherapy & Psychodrama.
  39. The International Council of Group Psychotherapy, Proposals and Actions of the Executive Committee, Zurich, August 31st 1957, in The International Handbook of Group Psychotherapy, published by J.L. Moreno, A. Friedemann, R. Battegay y Zerka T. Moreno. New York: Philosophical Library, 1966, p. 725.
  40. Report of the Second International Congress of Group Psychotheray, August 31st 1957. Basilea: S Karger, 1959, pp. 593-595.
  41. Reports of the IV International Congress of Psychotherapy, European and Latin American Magazine of Psychology and Medical Psychology, Volume IV, years 1959-1960, pp. 422-430.
  42. Group Psychotherapy, Vol. XV, 1962, p. 270.
  43. GR/AN VI/3, November 1973, pp. 190-193.
  44. Fidler, J.W., (1990), "A Developmental History of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy", Forum, Vol. 1, No. 1, Winter, p. 3.
  45. Fidler, J.W., (1985), "One man's view of the development of IAGP: for consideration of the Future", , mimeograph copy, October 5th.
  46. Fidler, J.W., (1990), "A Developmental History of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy", Forum, Vol. 1, No. 1, Winter, p. 3.
  47. Samuel B. Hadden (1984), "Historical Sketch of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy", Membership Directory, March, p. 8.
  48. Samuel B. Hadden (1984), "Historical Sketch of the International Association of Group Psychotherapy", Membership Directory, March, p. 8.
  49. Campos, J. et al, (1980), "Psicología Dinámica Grupal". Madrid: Fundamentos.
  50. S.H. Foulkes (1981), "Psicoterapia Grupo-Analítica. Método y Principios". Barcelona: Gedisa, p. 16.
  51. Juan Campos (1982) "Foulkes' Network Theory of Neurosis and the Scope of Group Analysis in Family Therapy", in Malcolm Pines and Lise Rafaelson eds. (1982), "The Individual and the Group. Boundaries and Interrelations". New York and London: Plenum Press, Vol. 1, p. 124.
  52. Juan Campos (1979), "Group Analysis, International Panel and Correspondence. A Bystander's View", GR/AN 1979 XII/2, pp. 107-108.
  53. Juan Campos (1979), "Group Analysis, INternational Panel and Correspondence. A Bystander's View", GR/AN 1979 XII/2, pp. 107-108.
  54. A. Quiroga, J. Campos and H. Kesselman, "Groups on the threshold of the XXIst Century: A Dialogue between the disciples of Foulkes and Pichón-Rivière", summaries of the XII International Congress of the IAGP, p. 133.
  55. Juan Campos (1980), "Some afterthoughts to the Copenhague Meeting", GR/AN XIV/1, p. 4.
  56. "Report on the Standing Committee of the Study Group for Group Analysis", submitted to the Board of Directors of the IAGP in Lisbon, September 6-8, 1991.
  57. Malcolm Pines and Lise Rafaelson eds. (1982), "The Individual and the Group. Boundaries and Interrelations", Vol. 1 (pp. 680) and Vol. 2 (pp. 368), New York and London: Plenum Press.
  58. Report of the Assembly of Members of April 27th 1984.
  59. Personal letter from Jay Fidler to Juan Campos on October 13th 1991, in response to the latter's Lisbon report on Study Groups in Group Analysis.
  60. Letter of May 7th 1984 through which Jay Fidler calls the following Board meeting.
  61. SAGA/GAAS memorandum to the Managing Board in Cumberland Lodge, Windsor, on August 20th 1988.
  62. Otto. F. Kernberg, August 21st 1990, report for Fern Cramer Azima.
  63. Fern Cramer Azima, The President's Page, The International Forum of group Psychotherapy, Vol. 1 No. 3, Autumn 1991.
  64. Fern Cramer Azima, The President's Page, The International Forum of group Psychotherapy, Vol. 1 No. 3, Autumn 1991.
  65. Mail received from Earl Hopper, accompanied by the following handwritten note: "Dear Juan. I include these letters for your information. I to count on your support. Thankyou for your speedy response. Earl".
  66. Same as previous note.
  67. Letter from Juan Campos to Alberto Serrano, President of the Scientific Program of the Congress in Montreal, February 20th 1991.
  68. Letter from Juan Campos to Fern Cramer Azima on March 6th 1991.
  69. Letter from Fern Cramer Azima to Juan Campos on April 29th 1991.
  70. Juan Campos, Max Rosenbaum, Lloyd Gilden and John Wikse, Symposium: "Beyond Dichotomy: The orientation of Trigant Burrow", 11th Congress of the IAGP, The Lyfwynn Correspondence, Vol. 2, No. 2, Autumn 1992, pp. 1-31.
  71. Juan Campos, Report of the Standing Committee on the Study Group for Group Analysis: 1. A short history of the establishment of the Committee. 2. The institutional significance of a Study Group as an alternative to the establishment of Sections contemplated in Art. X of the By-Laws in regard to the Proposals for the organization of the Committee and philosophy and line of action to be implemented by the Study Group for Group Analysis.
  72. Letter from Jay Fidler to Juan Campos on October 13th 1991.
  73. On this ocassion Plexus Editor(e)s of Grup d'Anàlisi Barcelona had prepared a bilingual Spanish-English edition of Trigant Burrow's "The Structure of Madness", 1932. A package of this edition was sent to Buenos Aires and was lost on the way.
  74. Forum Vol. 2, No. 1, Autumn 1992, p. 12
  75. Campos Juan, "The Study Group for Group Analysis met in Montreal", Forum Vol. 2, No. 2, Spring 1993, p. 2.
  76. Josephine Cunningham, MSW, "Credentialing - Direction for the 90's?", The Newsletter of AGPA, Spring-Summer issue 1991.
  77. Franco Di maría and Gioacchino Lavanco eds., (1994), "Nel Nome Del Gruppo. Gruppoanalisi e società", Collana di Psicología sociale diretta da G. Trentini, Milano: Franco Angeli.
  78. Juan Campos i Avillar (1993), "Contributions to a Historical Overview" (abridged resumé) in Proceedings, 9th European Symposium in Group Analysis "Boundaries and Barriers. Hedelberg: Mattes Verlag, pp. 163-164.
  79. Anticipation of the Managing Committees' conceptualization of the role and integration of the Sections in the structure of the IAGP, August 28th 1993.
  80. Report of the Heidelberg Group Analysis Section assembly.
  81. Circular Information Sheet No. 1 of the Group Analysis Section September 28th 1993.
  82. Minutes of the Board of Directors Meeting, Washungton, Feb. 15-16, 1994, p.4.
  83. See Report on the Group-Analytic Section (here's an example of the mentioned lapsus) in "Reports of the Permanent Committees to the Board in Santander", p.11.
  84. Compare my "Intended Contributions to the Board of Directors' Meeting in Santander, 1-4th September 1994" with the "Report of the Governance Committee" in "Reports of the Permanent Committees to the Board in Santander", p.8.
  85. Juan Campos (1994) "IAGP Organization Chart".
  86. Forum Vol. 3, No. 3, Autumn 1994, p.6.
  87. Note from Alan Surkis to Alberto Serrano and sent by the latter to the Organizing Committe. Report from the Organizing Committee to the Board of Directors on the meeting in Santander, September 1994, pp.5-7.
  88. I transcribe here the handwritten notes in English of the blackboard page that was left behind in the room where this meeting took place which I picked up because of its possible historical value. It appears that my vocation as Archivist comes from afar.
    FUTURE BOARD ACTIVITIES

    1. Have a process group each day.

    2. Develop role for ex-board members.

    3. Keep people on b. O d. If they wish to stay.

    4. Help them leave board but stay in contact.

    5. Value their contribution.

    6. Disband executive vs expand executive.

    7. Have more time for leisure.

    8. Have less business.

    9. Bring all business to b. O d.

    10. Do more work in committees.

    11. Have an extra executive meeting one month previous.

    12. More written reports - less verbal.

    13. Go to less expensive venue.

    14. Develop philosophy/direction of iagp.

    15. Formalize advisory council of ex-congress chair.

    16. Drop non-communicating members from board.

    17. Have less rigid agenda-loose discussion.

    18. Look at social/political problems of world.

    19. Bridge european & usa meetings.

     
  89. Letter from Juan Campos and Malcolm Pines, co-chairpersons of the Group Analysis Section of the IAGP, June 1995.
  90. See the agenda for the meeting of August 28th on the CDRom, the summary of which was prepared to be presented to the Board of Directors on the following day, and the reports in Italian prepared for the Forum by Nadia Benedetto.
  91. Reports of the Board of Directors' meeting, August 27, 1995, p. 1.
  92. Agenda of the general assembly of members of the IAGP August 30th 1995.
  93. President's Page, Forum of the IAGP, Vol. 4, No. 1, Autumn 1995.
  94. Reports of the General Assembly of members of the IAGP, August 30th, 1995.
  95. Juan Campos (1996), "Farewell to a comrade in arms: Fabrizio Napolitani", Forum, Vol. 5, No. 1, 1996, p. 21 and Report of Groupanalytic Section by Juan Campos and malcolm Pines, p. 18.
  96. Glover, Edward: "Psychoanalysis in England", in Psychoanalytic Pioneers, by Alexander, F. et al. New York: Basic Books, 1966, pp. 534-535.
  97. Campos, Juan (1995): "L'intolleranza alle radici del movimento psicoanalitico: da quale ideologia è scaturita e quali consequenze ha avuto sulle teorie e sulle istituzioni psicoanalitiche?", report presented during the 3rd National Congress of the Italian Groupanalysis Society held, Castel Gandolfo, published in Rivista Italiana di Gruppoanalisi.
  98. "You will be amused to know that group-analysis is coming to be quite in vogue in New York. The popular adaptation has to do, I understand; with the analysis of collections of people on the part of a self-appointed arbiter called the psychoanalyst. It is a form of group-analysis (!) in which the arbitrary position of the analyst receives the yet wider arbitrariness of a social extension. It is interesting to speculate what will be the outcome. (Trigant Burrow's letter to Leo Stein, December 29th 1927).
  99. Freud, S. (1890), "Psychical (or Mental) Treatment", Standard Edition, Volume VII, p. 293. This article by Freud, which he wrote on his return from his second trip to Paris, corresponds to the hipnotic period but, by mistake, it is traditionally ascribed to 1905. However, Freud's attitude and that of his followers in relation to the free election and payment per medical act never changed in spite of psychoanalysis.
  100. Ferenczi, S. (1911), "On the Organization of the psychoanalytical Movement", in Final Contributions to the Problems and Methods of psychoanalysis, Maresfield Reprints, London, 1980, p. 299.
  101. Ammon, Günter et al, "An alternative to the structure of scientific congresses - Preliminary Investigation on the Dynamics of Congresses", in Dynamische Psychiatrie 4/2, 1971, reproduced in GAIPAC vol. 4/(3) p. 191, with comments by Paul Foulkes.
  102. Samuel B. Hadden, M.D. "Historical Sketch of the IAGP, Membership Directory March 1984, pp. 7-8.
  103. Malcolm Pines, M.D. "The International Congress of Group Psychotherapy, Zurich, August 1973, in GR/AN VI/3 November 1973, p. 191.
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