I would like to thank Tim Hannan for inviting me to contribute my thoughts to this issue of Inside 0ut regarding the Future of Psychotherapy in Ireland. I do so with a certain sadness, knowing that this will be the final issue of a journal which has contributed so much over the last ten years toward the spreading of awareness concerning important issues in psychotherapy in Ireland. In preparation for writing this article I was perusing my collection of past issues of Inside Out, and discovered that the first issue I possessed was Autumn 1991. Having arrived in Dublin in December 1991, I realised that Inside Out has literally been with me since the beginning of my time here, and has always been for me personally a very useful source of information and ideas concerning psychotherapy in Ireland. I am sorry to see it go, and would like to thank all those on the staff who contributed to its publication over the years.
Since I am a relative newcomer to Ireland, I cannot claim to have experienced first- hand the growth of psychotherapy in this country, from what many trace as its beginning in 1942 with the founding of the Irish Psychoanalytical Association in Monkstown (I do find it amusing that I have ended up living in Monkstown). By the way, when I speak of “psychotherapy” in this article, I will use the term to refer to a broad range of styles, including psychoanalytic psychotherapy. My knowledge of psychotherapy in Ireland before 1991 consists of stories I have heard from my colleagues and information I have gleaned from several articles which summarise the development of psychotherapy in Ireland. Susan Lindsay’s “The Development of Humanistic Psychotherapy in Ireland – An Anecdotal History,” appearing in the Summer 1996 issue of Inside Out, is illuminating in this regard, as is Ross Skelton’s “Jonathan Hanaghan, The Founder of Psychoanalysis in Ireland,” in the Journal of the Irish Forum for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, Vol. 4/1, Spring/Summer 1994.
When I arrived in Dublin in 1991 I knew nothing of the history or current state of psychotherapy in Ireland. Nevertheless, as the proverbial “blank slate” I was eager to discover what my place might be in the scheme of things. Having recently finished my training as a Jungian analyst at the C.G. Jung Institute, Zurich, I was initially interested to see what was happening with regard to Jungian psychology in Ireland. What I discovered soon enough was that, while there seemed to be a great interest in Jung in Ireland, and a number of individuals who referred to themselves professionally as Jungian analysts or Jungian psychotherapists, very few of these practitioners had a professional qualification from an internationally recognised Jungian training i.e., an International Association of Analytical Psychology (IAAP) approved training. I also discovered that there were no regulations in Ireland concerning the practice of psychotherapy, and so therefore there was seemingly complete freedom to create oneself in the role of psychotherapist, in whatever persuasion one desired. Having lived in California before my training in Zurich, many readers may appreciate the stark contrast that presented itself to me in this context (e.g., in California, all therapists must obtain a state license to practise).
I soon learned that, although there were no regulations concerning psychotherapy in Ireland, there were existing groups representing different schools of psychotherapy that set professional standards for their members in terms of training and ethics. Soon after my arrival, I joined the professional umbrella body for analytical psychotherapy in Ireland, The Irish Forum for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (“IFPP”). As a Jungian, I was a bit of a novelty (there was only one other Jungian analyst in the group at that time); by far the most dominant theoretical orientation in the IFPP was Lacanian, with Freud, Klein and Object Relations also in strong evidence. Although I was somewhat familiar with the last three schools, I knew nothing about Lacan except for his famous “short hours.” but continue to be fascinated by the appeal of Lacan for the Irish analytic collective.
Through this professional organisation, I became known as one of the few “qualified” Jungians, and was soon invited to lecture on Jung at various psychotherapy and analytic trainings around Dublin. Sometimes I was asked to give a general survey of Jung in as little as two hours: other times I had as much as a whole semester of weekly seminars in which to explore Jung’s thought. In most cases, when I walked in students had only a vague and quite stereotyped view of Jung, slanted toward religious/occult/mystical associations, and also had been told things like “Jungians don’t work with the transference.” I found it challenging and fun to dispel some of these myths, and to present Jung and his theories from a more human, practical, and down-to-earth standpoint.
I was also one of the Founder Members and first Secretary of the Irish Institute of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in Ranelagh (“IIPP”)(1993-96). Originally conceived to include Jungian Psychology as an integral part of its academic and clinical training programme, by the second training intake (1996), Jungian studies had been virtually removed from the prospectus of the IIPP. It was my belief then, as it is now, that, in spite of the historical split between psychoanalysis and analytical (Jungian) psychology, in actual practice in today’s world, they are not that different. When there is openness to new perspectives and different languages to describe the complex realm of the psyche, it is clear that all of the tangents belonging to the broad field of psychoanalysis have much to add to one another. The main stumbling block to this unification within psychoanalysis seems to be the historically-based belief that Jungian analysis is somehow significantly different to the various streams originally stemming from Freud. Like the deep conflicts we experience between religious sects, these beliefs die hard, and for the time being, there seems to be a retreat into more tightly-bound groups, not only in analytic psychotherapy, but in other forms of psychotherapy in Ireland as well. I can only say that I hope that this trend represents a phase during which a strengthening in terms of diversification will provide the groundwork for a gradual reversal of this process, so that ultimately we will see more inclusiveness and sharing between various schools of psychotherapy in Ireland.
After several years of giving many lectures and seminars on Jung in these types of contexts, it became clear to me that, even though there was a great interest in Jung in Ireland, it could not be followed through professionally unless there was a legitimate centre for Jung, which could grow into a home for qualified professionals. In light of the already-existing problem (of ill-defined criteria regarding training standards and professional titles for Jungian psychotherapists), it was important that such a group also have clear categories of membership that reflected the training of its members.
With this need in mind, the Irish Analytical Psychology Association (“IAPA”), came into being in July 1996, springing initially from an idea of Ellen O’Malley- Dunlop, who with Kate Nowlan, had for some years organised a Jungian lecture series in Dublin in the late 1980s. The current IAPA Executive Committee is composed of Patricia Skar (Chairman), Ruth Kearney (Vice-Chairman), Benig Mauger (Secretary), William Callanan (Treasurer), Patricia Cummins, Mairin Ni Nuallain, Denys Tims and Anne Young. Most of our work during the first two years centred around becoming legally incorporated, forming a Constitution, Code of Ethics, etc., so that we could apply for membership in the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP). I have been impressed by the work that has been done by the ICP to provide standards and structure for psychotherapy in Ireland, and to liaise with the European Council for Psychotherapy. I also would like to thank Inside Out for its excellent reporting on the meetings of the ICP throughout the 1990s.
The Inaugural Meeting of the IAPA took place in Dublin on 20th September 1997. Since then, our annual programmes have featured lectures and clinical seminars given by visiting analysts from Europe and America as well as from our own professional membership. When there are enough qualified analysts in Ireland, we hope to sponsor an IAAP-approved Jungian training programme (currently there are five analysts; we need ten to form an approved training). One of the IAPA’s goals from the beginning has been to establish close ties with the International Association for Analytical Psychology (IAAP), based in Zurich. In August 1998, at the XIVth International IAAP Congress in Florence, Italy, our group was officially accepted as a Developing Group within the IAAP. This new status gives us an important link to our international professional Jungian body. But most importantly, it means that we will be receiving direct support from the IAAP in developing our programmes. In addition to support for our annual lecture/seminar series, we are receiving direct consultation from the IAAP with regard to the Individual Membership route to analyst-membership in the IAAP.
Earlier I mentioned that one of the problems I encountered soon after arriving in Ireland was the question of training and accreditation in Jungian psychology. Many people asked me, “How can I train to become a Jungian analyst in Ireland?” I had to reply that there were currently no internationally-accredited trainings in Ireland, therefore there was no way to train as a Jungian analyst in Ireland. Of course, this answer comes from the perspective that the term “Jungian analyst” is a professional qualification that relates to having fulfilled a training approved by the international professional Jungian body, the IAAP. It is important to stress that this is a professional rather than a personal matter: having a professional qualification as an analyst, as in any other profession, is no guarantee that one is necessarily good at what one does. But systems of professional qualification are all we have in terms of maintaining some degree of conformity in standards of training, so that there is at least a modicum of protection for prospective clients as to matters of integrity and skill in the profession. Many have made the argument that in the early days of analysis as a profession, becoming an analyst was not a matter of going to school and becoming accredited by some professional body; e.g., you went into analysis with Jung and when he felt you were ready, he gave you a letter to that effect But, for better or worse, we do not live in that time and the world of psychotherapy is quite different today than it was sixty years ago! The challenge is to find a balance between the positive regulatory effects of professional training and what has not changed since Jung’s day – the need to recognise the personal equation in becoming and continuing to work as an analyst/psychotherapist. In this vein, it might be well to recall some of Jung’s words:
The intelligent psychotherapist has known for years that any complicated treatment is an individual, dialectical process, in which the doctor, as a person, participates just as much as the patient. In any such discussion the question of whether the doctor has as much insight into his own psychic processes as he expects from his patient naturally counts for a very great deal, particularly in regard to the “rapport,” or relationship of mutual confidence, on which the therapeutic success ultimately depends. The patient, that is to say, can win his own inner security only from the security of his relationship to the doctor as a human being. . . . The analyst must go on learning endlessly, and never forget that each new case brings new problems to light and thus gives rise to unconscious assumptions that have never before been constellated. We could say, without too much exaggeration, that a good half of every treatment that probes at all deeply consists in the doctor’s examining himself, for only what he can put right in himself can he hope to put right in the patient.
It is not widely known that Jung was the first in his field to recommend that the prospective analyst undergo a thorough training analysis. This is connected to the fact that Jung was also a pioneer in recognising the clinical usefulness of countertransference – the analyst’s subjective response to the client. Jung always stressed the analyst’s own culpability in the process:
The doctor knows – or at least he should know – that he did not choose this career by chance; and the psychotherapist in particular should clearly understand that psychic injections, however superfluous they seem to him, are in fact the predestined concomitants of his work, and thus fully in accord with the instinctive disposition of his own life. This realisation also gives him the right attitude to his patient. The patient then means something to him personally, and this provides the most favourable basis for treatment.
The importance of lung’s locus on the personal development of the psychotherapist cannot be over-emphasised. But what about the academic side of naming? Jung himself was highly educated and extremely well-read in science, medicine and philosophy, as well as all other branches of the humanities. As a young psychiatrist, his work with psychotics at the Burgholzli Mental Hospital in Zurich (1900-1910) broadened the scope of his view of human nature and the unconscious, and led to the formation of many of his original contributions to psychoanalysis, such as the theory of the collective unconscious. When one studies Jung, what comes through clearly is that knowledge and life experience are inseparable on the road to becoming an analyst. In many ways, Jung assumed (and certainly it was mostly his experience) that those taking up the analytic profession were already highly educated people who had a broad academic background, as he himself had. This was certainly one of the reasons he did not originally see the need for the formation of Jungian training institutes as such (in addition to his well- known allergic reaction to groups and collective labelling – recall the oft-quoted, ”I’m glad I’m Jung, not a Jungian!”). It would be interesting to see what Jung would make of Jungian trainings in the world today, or even what he would think of the situation in Ireland!
My own opinion is that Jung would be pleased at the current diversity in Jungian psychology and training, and also at the fact that so many of his original ideas, which were rejected by the Freudians of his time, are now integrated into psychoanalytic practice as a whole. I think Jung would also see the value – in the light of the phenomenal growth of psychotherapy as a profession – of some standardisation in the training of prospective analytic practitioners who seek to call themselves “Jungians.” In the best of all possible worlds, we would not need to bring this highly personal vocation into the realm of an academic training model. But since I am sure we would all agree that our world is far from perfect, we must come to terms with limits and boundaries – as well as checks and balances – in the domain of psychotherapy.
The last few paragraphs have been a somewhat roundabout way of coming back to the current and future situation with regard to becoming a Jungian analyst in Ireland. I referred briefly before to the “Individual Membership Route” to becoming an IAAP-accredited analyst when I was describing the Irish Analytical Psychology Association (IAPA) in its role as a Developing Group within the IAAP. The Individual Membership route to IAAP analyst-membership is provided by the IAAP for a country or area (such as Ireland) where there are not enough analysts (10 are required) to form an IAAP-approved analytic training. Although the Individual Membership route is not a training as such, it involves fulfilling a requisite number of hours of analysis and supervision with IAAP-qualified analysts and proving competence in Jungian theoretical and clinical areas through various procedures. Applicants for IAAP Individual Membership can begin the process at any time, but memberships are ratified only every three years, at an IAAP International Congress (the next Congress will be in August 2001). The IAPA is currently facilitating about ten of its members who are pursuing this route toward accreditation as IAAP analysts in Ireland.
In general, I believe that the future of psychotherapy in Ireland is a bright one. Even over the course of the eight years I have been living in Ireland. I have seen a major growth in the collective awareness that psychotherapy is not only for those who have something “wrong” with them that they want fixed, but for all those who wish to delve deeper into the meaning of their lives and to facilitate a dialogue between the conscious and unconscious sides of themselves. As Ireland moves toward becoming more connected to Europe and the international community, psychotherapy in Ireland can no longer remain isolated in its perspectives on training and accreditation. It has been encouraging to see the progress that the ICP has made on this front in the last few years. It is significant and perhaps also symbolic that the ICP will be hosting the 9th Congress of the European Association of Psychotherapy being held in Dublin next year (22nd-25th June. 2000).
As far as Jungian analysis in Ireland is concerned. I have been pleased to be involved in the formation and development of the IAPA and will look forward to seeing it grow as a Jungian professional centre, in the spirit of openness that Jung himself embodied. In this, as in most important endeavours, however: The goal is important only as an idea; the essential thing is the opus which leads to the goal: that is the goal of a lifetime.
[Patricia Skar is a Zurich-trained Jungian Analyst with a private practice in Dublin. She lectures on Jung at various training institutions in Dublin, and has also lectured abroad on the relationship between music and analytic processes. She is actively involved in developing links between the Irish and international Jungian communities and is currently Chair of the Irish Analytical Psychology Association.]
C.G. Jung, The Collected Works of C.G. Jung, Vol. 16: The Practice of Psychotherapy, ed. H. Read, M. Fordham, G. Adler and W. McGuire. trans. R.F.C. Hull, (Bollingen Series XX) (Princeton, N.J., Princeton University Press, 1954. 1974).
If any readers of this article wish more information on Individual Membership in the IAAP or general information about the IAPA, please feel free to contact Patricia Skar at 12 Brook Court, Monkstown, Co. Dublin.