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April 27: The First International Psychoanalytic Congress

lawrencebush
April 27, 2014
Psychoanalitic_CongressA group of Sigmund Freud's followers and associates met formally for the first time at the Hotel Bristol in Salzburg, Austria on this date in 1908, calling their convocation "The First International Psychoanalytic Congress" (Carl Jung called it the "First Congress for Freudian Psychology," and so it was known until the IPC was actually established two years later; the photo above is from the 1911 gathering). Forty-two people attended the one-day convocation, half of whom were practicing psychoanalysts. Freud gave the keynote talk, a presentation about the Rat Man, which aroused so much interest that he was persuaded to present for more than four hours. The following January, Jung, one of the few non-Jews in the fledgling movement, was appointed editor of the new Yearbook of Psychosomatic and Psychopathological Investigations. Also in 1909, Freud would travel with Jung and Sandor Ferenczi to Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, where he gave a series of lectures on psychoanalysis. While he keenly disliked the United States, Freud's presence at Clark helped raise psychoanalysis to international prominence. Today the Congress, called the International Psychoanalytic Association, has 12,000 psychoanalysts as members. To see a video about the founding in 1908, narrated in part by Freud himself, look below. "Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility." -Sigmund Freud