The Italian Connection Part 1

6 ..17

(1) Italian psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, co-director of the journal Psicoterapia e Scienze Umane (Psychotherapy and Human Sciences), editor of the section ‘Psicoterapie’ of
(2) ‘A Letter for another’.

From Perrella to the Supporters of Spaziozero
Padua, 30th June 1997

Dear friends,
With the approaching of the end of my position as a participant to the committee of Spaziozero – and of our first Congress, which is scheduled for next autumn – I think it is important to communicate to each one of you some general reflections on the work that the movement has carried out so far, and what still remains to be done. In the first instance, I think it is necessary to make public in all possible ways the fundamental theses, in support of which the movement was formed. I think it might be possible to summarise these as follows:

1. Psychoanalytic formation is completely independent from any university directives.
2. Law 56/1989 is not applicable to psychoanalysis.
3. Any law that seeks to legislate a matter such as psychotherapy can have no judicial
value (obviously, leaving aside those general rules regarding financial and taxable
operations, which apply to any profession and are already enforceable through other
Italian laws).

It is obvious, nonetheless, that on at least two of these points (the first and the third) there is no general agreement whatsoever, not even within our movement. This, in my view, often precludes any serious attempt at political action on our part. On the first point, in particular, often we continue to confuse the exigencies of psychoanalytic formation with the presumed judicial necessity to guarantee a minimal standard of professional competence. We know, however, that these directives bear no relation whatsoever with an effective formation of the subject, and, therefore, with the formation of analysts. This concerns a dangerous point, since if not even our movement is able to reach a univocal and clear conceptualisation with regard to the complete difference between analytical formation and professional competence, not only we have no hope to persuade anybody else of the necessity to recognise the distinction between psychoanalytic formation and the directives of the university, we even run the risk of becoming more legislative still than law 56 itself.
Further, with regard to the third point, it is true that Spaziozero is not at all obliged to concern itself with psychotherapy in general (even more so, given that this generality is assured by nothing other than the word that designates it). Nevertheless, this must not lead us to forget that Spaziozero emerged precisely as a result of a lack of clarity regarding law 56/1989, which, by not mentioning psychoanalysis, seems to exclude it as its object, but without this being enough to guarantee it.