Short Presentation of The Romanian Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Ileana Botezat Antonescu
In the first years after 1989, there had been a significant number of persons (28), psychologists and psychiatrists, who founded in March 1990 “The Romanian Psychoanalytic Society”.
Some of them, especially psychologists, practiced psychoanalysis already since the ’70th and used to meet in different “Scientific medical or psychological symposiums” but without having a specific official activity as psychoanalysts or psychotherapists.
Much more, the communist regime suspended all the Universities of Psychology in Romania for a period of 8 years, after an ideological scandal in the upper political class due to the influence of a certain subversive “transcendental group”.
The interdiction of any group meetings and the dominant biological approach in the Medical Universities and Psychiatric Clinics were also factors, which interfered the development of psychoanalysis and psychotherapy in Romania during the last decades.
Coming back to 1990, it is interesting to mention that an intense program of psychoanalytic visits and visitors from the Western countries started, many from them coming from France; subsequently, some of the RPS (Romanian Psychoanalytic Society) members left the country in order to enter into a psychoanalytic training in Paris or London and have shown no intention to come back at least till now.
There is one psychotherapist who returned from the U.S. after 7 years of practicing.
Under these circumstances, the psychoanalytic psychotherapy training organized in 1996-2000 by the Rotterdam “Foundation to support psychotherapy in Romania” for a group of 15 people, psychologists and medical doctors all of them practitioners, led to a legitimate statute of the psychoanalytic psychotherapy in Romania (Bucharest and Constanta are the towns were, for the moment, psychoanalytic psychotherapists could be found).
At the end of 2000 there was founded “The Romanian Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy”, affiliated to “The Romanian Federation of Psychotherapy” (the National Umbrella Organization) where a continuous and sustained activity of clinical seminars, group intervisions and discussions on recent articles of psychoanalytic literature are going on.
Meanwhile, some persons who graduated the Dutch training program and were considered more skilled and experienced in teaching and supervising psychoanalytic psychotherapy, started “a second wave” training program with a new trainees group of 10 people (they are attending now the 3rd year), following largely the same curriculum tought by the Dutch team of trainers.
There is now a Dutch-Romanian Foundation under whose auspices the theoretical course and the supervisions are organized.
To the clinical seminars, group-intervisions, etc., organized by the Romanian Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, are invited not only the students in the course, but also candidates (young psychologists and residents in psychiatry).
Still now there were some attempts to cooperate with the Ministry of Health in order that such a type of psychotherapy training should be officially recognized, but the process has stuck on the unclear professional status of the psychologist in the Public Mental Health System and only a “competence” in psychotherapy for psychiatrists was advised, what is not acceptable for RAPP.
There are no other regulations for psychotherapy and no reimbursement from the part of Medical Assurance Companies till now in Romania. Patients pay their fee cash in the private offices and polyclinics or don’t pay or pay symbolically in the Public Services like Psychiatric Clinics or Day Hospitals.
Individual psychotherapy with adults and adolescents is practiced; group-analysis is not yet very much spread (at least in our association) and very few professionals practice child psychoanalytical psychotherapy, in the absence of a specific training.
A moment in the process was that a number of 16 persons were recognized in 1998 as “grand-parents” by the Romanian National Umbrella Organization (member of the European Association of Psychotherapy) having a long period of fully practicing different modalities of psychotherapy, before 1990 (5 persons – psychoanalytic psychotherapy).
Here is the place to say that during all these 10-11 years different theoretical orientations developed in Romania and their professionals are trained in a quite similar manner by specific European Associations and Institutes of Psychotherapy and have their own National Associations (Cognitive, Cognitive-Behavioral, Analytic-Jungian, Transactional-Analysis, Systemic Family, Somatotherapy, Logotherapy and Existential Analysis, Person-Centered, Psychodrama).
Another important step was the decisions made by the IPA Sponsoring Committee for Bucharest Study Group 2001, after examining a number of persons who applied to IPA member and IPA candidates.
This makes that at the present moment, The Romanian Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy has 27 members; from these: 1 IPA member since 1997, 2 future IPA members since 2001 and 6 IPA candidates.
A certificate of psychoanalytic psychotherapist should be provided by The Romanian Association of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in agreement with the National Umbrella Organization.
Discussions with the Ministry of Health and the Governmental Institutions have started for 1 year and are on the way (a Project for a Law of Psychotherapy is also prepared) but it is difficult to anticipate the course and the final achievement of such a process in a transition society as the Romanian one which faces several serious public health problems.
- Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy is provided only by a specific professional organization: RAPP and its entitled members as teachers or supervisors;
- The minimal requirements for a psychoanalytical psychotherapy training are:
- Theoretical and clinical seminars over 3 years (at least 200 hours)
- Personal psychoanalysis at least 300 hours (3 sessions/week) for 3 years, 45min., starting preferably before entering into the training course.
The duration of the training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy is 3-4 years and for the moment it is open to psychologists and medical doctors having at least 2 years of experience in a mental health field.
In reference to EFPP
Our Association feels rather positive than negative, and hope to be more clear after exchanging experiences in Praha Meeting with Eastern and Western colleagues.
EFPP could be a power point joining our efforts made on the national level in order that psychoanalytic psychotherapy should be credited by the Mental Health providers of services and the Medical Insurance.
Romanian people are good foreign – languages speakers, so they can speak English, French, Italian or German quite fluently.
The relatively common history and human feelings experienced during the former 50 years in the Central and Eastern Europe could gather, in my opinion, much more significant material for the development of the psychoanalytic psychotherapy in these countries, than the languages criteria could do.
A “Certificate” should bring, by sure, a relative unanimity concerning the training standards and more credibility for the trained psychotherapists in the Countries, like Romania where psychotherapy and psychotherapists are not yet fully legalized.
I thank you for your attention, apologize for my imperfect English and hope to answer to all your questions and remarks in Praha!
Bucharest, 15 October 2001
National Delegate – Romanian Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Co-President of the Romanian Federation of Psychotherapy