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Psychoanalysis in Franco's Spain (1939-1975). Crónica de una " agonía " anunciada

Abstract : This chapter aims to trace the history of events relating to psychoanalysis in the Spain of Franco’s dictatorship (1939-1975); it will explore the political and ideological context in which these events took place, and analyze and assess the conditions under which the Spanish psychoanalytical community was able to develop at a time of restricted political freedom. Historiographical works on the situation of psychoanalysis during the dictatorship began to appear soon after Franco’s death, engendering an interpretative tradition that remains a reference today. These essays, published by psychiatrists who had themselves experienced professional repression for political reasons, addressed the question of psychoanalysis within the broader framework of the history of psychiatry. Studying a number of points, not least the rejection of psychoanalysis under Franco, they sought to define and demonstrate the ultra-conservative ideological orientation of the leaders of the psychiatric establishment, who, it was believed, were instrumental in the banning of Freudianism from official psychiatric discourse. It was, however, during the years of dictatorship that the first Spanish psychoanalytical society was actually created and officially recognised, by both the IPA and the Spanish government. Moreover, at that time, analysts were not only able to practise, but also to participate in official meetings of the psychiatric community and in Catalonia at least, to hold university posts. How can this apparent contradiction between the undeniably anti-Freudian stance of the psychiatric establishment during Franco’s regime and a concomitant tolerance towards psychoanalytic discourse over the same period be explained? What were the limits, if any, of this tolerance? Under what conditions and to what extent did the ultra-conservative psychiatric establishment permit the circulation of psychoanalytic discourse? Were psychoanalysts obliged to compromise their theoretical or ideological principles in order to practise? In other words: which features of psychoanalytical discourse and / or the way it was diffused by Spanish analysts allowed it to be tolerated by the psychiatric establishment under Franco? This chapter starts by establishing precisely what did happen in the field of psychoanalysis under the dictatorship. This question has already been partially studied, but a number of points remain unclear and/or have been solely presented from a personal standpoint. It is hoped a review of psychiatric periodicals published at the time will bring to light the real presence of Freudian discourse and its defining features. Research in the Archivos de la Administración, which holds key documentation regarding the censorship of psychoanalytic publications, also goes a significant way to determining whether such material had at some point been officially banned. In addition, a study of the activities (publications, public meetings…) and the development of the Spanish psychoanalytic community (documented in IPA bulletins) enables me to trace its history more accurately. Questions such as the impact of the psychoanalytic community within the field of psychiatry or in society as a whole, its involvement—or the lack of it—in public life, and the extent to which its activities had to be compromised are addressed. A re-assessment of these issues will, hopefully, contribute to a better understanding of the circumstances under which the analytical community was able to develop within the non-democratic context of Franco’s Spain.
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Psychoanalysis in Franco's Spa...
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Anne-Cécile Druet. Psychoanalysis in Franco's Spain (1939-1975). Crónica de una " agonía " anunciada. Joy Damousi, Mariano Ben Plotkin Psychoanalysis and Politics. Histories of Psychoanalysis under Conditions of Restricted Political Freedom, Oxford University Press, 2012, 9780199744664. ⟨hal-01573076⟩



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