Lithuanian Society of Psychoanalysis. Current situation and future perspectives
On behalf of Lithuanian Society of Psychoanalysis and myself I would like to thank the subcommittee for Central and Eastern European Countries of EFPP and colleagues from Czech Society for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy for giving possibility to share about our situation and to hear about our neighbour’s achievements and problems.
Before the Second World War the intellectuals in Lithuania were greatly interested in the ideas of psychoanalysis. In soviet times psychology as a science was prohibited. The first psychology generation graduated from the Vilnius University was in 1970. After of c period of common interest in psychotherapy societies of different schools appeared (from 1989). Today we have 15 societies, 5 of them are connected with psychoanalytic or psychodynamic approach.
Lithuanian Ministry of Health now is debating on documentation, regulating work of psychotherapists-medical doctors and psychologists. Medical Norms have to be worked out, regulating the policy of licensing, conferment of psychotherapy training programs, minimal requirements, etc. Our society initiated establishment of Lithuanian Psychotherapeutic Co-ordination Council, represented by 1 member from each society. The Council is working now already for 3 years and has good enough relationships with Ministry of Health
Lithuanian Society for Application of Psychoanalysis was established in 1989. It was the first officially registered psychotherapeutic society in Lithuania. Next year 5 most active members of the society started their psychoanalytic studies in Finland. The rest of us were faced with alternative: either to wait passively for the colleagues to return becoming psychoanalysts or to make active efforts to use existing possibilities in Lithuania. We chose the second way. In 1994, during the first Summer School in Estonia (organised by EPF) Lithuanian group met with Han Groen-Prakken and Eero Rechardt with the idea of comprehensive training- in the shape of training program of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. During the period of 1986-1995 regular workshops were organised, led by members of IPA, EPF and EFPP. Though ideas of psychoanalysis were brought by psychoanalysts to Lithuania, though we participate in workshops and conferences, organised by European Psychoanalytic Federation and International Psychoanalytic Association (our participating there is possible because of considerable support from the side of organisations), the first real step towards psychoanalytic training was training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy, standards of which were more achievable for us.
The program started in November 1995 based on the training program of Netherlands Society of psychoanalytic psychotherapy. This was the time of many uncertainties about future: the possibilities to have personal therapy, maintain structure of the training were not clear. Having finished one seminar, we were not sure about the next. But due to enthusiasm and motivation of the students and the teachers, the training program gained more and more structure. Especially it got new stability since the year 1998, when Dutch analysts issued the funds for the rest of the program. Training seminars were organised once a month by regular schedule. Totally, we had 43 seminars: 288 hours of theory, 144 hours of group supervision, 72 hours of individual supervision for each member and 50 hours of individual therapy. The teachers were 17 psychoanalysts from Holland, 1 from Czech Republic (Mr M.Shebek) and 4 Lithuanians, who accomplished psychoanalytic studies in Finland (only one of them- Stase Meskauskiene came back after becoming an analyst).
19 members of our society accomplished the whole training program in 2000.
Netherlands Society’s of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy training committee evaluated our program and came to conclusions: Theoretical training and supervisions meet NSPP criteria. Learning therapy was significantly less. Committee recommended: in order to establish a first generation of psychoanalytic psychotherapists, committee considered it sufficient to maintain, at this moment, the demand of 50 hours of learning therapy. There is not yet developed form of psychoanalytic infrastructure in Lithuania. In the future the criteria regarding the aspect of learning therapy must be raised, by means of a growth model. NSPP training committee and board summarised that the Lithuanian training can be, both in quality and quantity, compared to the NSPP training and it will therefore wholeheartedly support the Lithuanian Society’s’ request to be acknowledged as a full member of the EFPP. It would enable Lithuanian group to find the international bedding it needs in order to grow nationally and to establish roots within the health care in Lithuania.
Perspectives of training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy
At the end of 2000 the title of our society was changed to Lithuanian Society of Psychoanalysis. It could reflect inner movement of society. It seems, that we have applied psychoanalysis already: 19 members have accomplished training program on psychoanalytic psychotherapy, 8 members are studying psychoanalysis.
Now we are facing a new phase in our development organising the training program on psychoanalytic psychotherapy by ourselves. We are planning to implement these training programs:
- Further training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy to became teachers.
- Four times a year ( for two years) having seminars, lead by Dutch analysts( theory, supervisions of supervisory process and training therapies);
- Prolongation of personal therapy of future teachers is foreseen to meet the EFPP standards;
- Additional individual supervisions for child psychotherapists, working in a field of child psychoanalytic psychotherapy training program are included;
- Teaching in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
- Working out the training program on psychoanalytic psychotherapy according EFPP standards;
- Training in child psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
- External experts are planned to be included in the program;
- Training program should meet EFPP standards.
The first and the second programs we are planning to start next year, child psychoanalytic psychotherapy training – after 3-4 years.
In December 1997 our society became a member of EFPP in quest status and after accomplishing training program in 2000- as associative member of EFPP. Yes, we are very proud about being associative member of EFPP. As I have sad, we have plans to meet EFPP training standards in our future programs.
But… when we are talking, thinking and discussing this position some ambivalent feelings from deep inside appear. We as the first generation who completed the first program of psychoanalytic psychotherapy in Lithuania fell ourselves a little bit stuck -we have done what we could, but we haven’t feeling that we already are worth enough. A fantasy about unreachable rainbow appears… This situation is dangerous in same sense for society, because if the same people are reaching for more high standards, in order to attain perfection, society becomes more and more close system.
It is obvious that we need for support in our transitional period, recognition of our national reality. Idea about establishing of Central and Eastern European subgroup sounds very hopefully and helpfully because we have very specific issues. This forum would help us to make a step from “boiling in our own juice”, which leads to closed group, towards independence, competence, creativity and responsibility.
I wish members of the Conference inspiring ideas and fruitful discussions.
Psychologist psychotherapist, president of Lithuanian Society of Psychoanalysis
Chair of Lithuanian Psychotherapeutic Co-ordination Council