100 Years of the IPA: The Centenary History of the International Psychoanalytical Association 1910-2010: Evolution and Change

41Rn4YdvZhL. SL500 AA300

100 Years of the IPA is currently offered at a VERY special price on the IPA website, www.ipa.org.uk.

Review by Sheri Harshberger

100 Years of the IPA: The Centenary History of the International Psychoanalytical Association 1910-2010: Evolution and Change edited by Peter Loewenberg and Nellie L. Thompson

Published by the International Psychoanalytical Association (www.ipa.org.uk) through Karnac Books, www.karnacbooks.com

ISBN: 978-1-905888-16-0

This 560-page book is a birthday gift from the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) to itself--and what a wonderful gift it is! In 2010, the IPA, which was started by Sigmund Freud in 1910, turned 100 years young. During its 100 years, it has grown from a local group with a membership of 100 to an international organization spanning 41 countries with a membership of thousands.

Four years in the making, this compendium is a collection of essays written by members and past presidents of the IPA. The contributors list (there are 56) reads like a "who's who" in the world of psychoanalysis. Given this, the expectation should be that this book would be that perfect cure for the insomniac, filled with informative, yet dry, text.

That expectation would be wrong.

The contents of this book document the "life" of psychoanalytic training from its birthing through to the present moment. The essays, which are organized geographically (which is brilliant), relay the exuberance and drama of birth, growing pains, controversy, setbacks, and successes as the pioneers of the psychoanalytic movement set out across the globe over the last 100 years-- and yet, even with the successes to date, the pioneering continues as issues with custom, religions and cultures in countries that don't allow psychoanalysis collide with their peoples' recognition of the very need for it. 

The first page of the book is a reprint of the Program of the Second IPA Congress held in Nuremberg  March 1910. The last pages of the book, before the Index, contain a list of the IPA Societies worldwide and a historical listing of all the IPA Congresses from 1908 through the 48th, which is scheduled for 2013. Very special essays, written by the past IPA presidents provide honest self assessments of their administrations and add a very personal and compelling dimension to the book. After reading about the struggles and the fortitude it took for the IPA to get to where it is today, one sees this book for what it is... a happy ending with much more to come.

I couldn't put it down.

Anyone with an interest in psychoanalysis will want to get this book. Anyone interested in a compelling read about how a group of people who had a different way of doing things fought their way into acceptance across the world (and still are) will want to get this book.

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