The Tel Aviv Institute for Contemporary Psychoanalysis was founded in 1999 in an attempt to advance psychoanalytic knowledge and therapy and to contribute to their dissemination in Israeli society. The initiators – Michael Shoshani, Batya Shoshani, Gila Ofer and Michal Hazan – put together a group of senior professionals for this purpose. The founding group included Michael Shoshani, Batya Shoshani, Gila Ofer, Michal Hazan, Alice Buras, Neomi Huler, Beatriz Priel, Danielle Knafo, Kobi Avshalom, Hani Biran, Giselle Vered, Shimshon Wigoder, Michal Hazan, Gabi Mann and Haim Margalit.
This move won the support of the late Stephen A. Mitchell, among others, and of senior psychoanalysts from around the world, which saw the early stages of the Institute’s establishment through. Today, some of them are members of the Institute’s advisory board, headed by Owen Renick, and the training committee, headed by Paul Orenstein.
The Institute was founded in an endeavor to create a framework which could facilitate a free and open discourse between various psychoanalytic approaches and schools on the one hand, and between psychoanalysis and other disciplines on the other. It was set up as an unheirarchic intellectual community comprised of clinicians and non-clinician academics with interest in the psychoanalytic worldview. The Institute is committed to a social outlook, relating to the different social and cultural sectors which make up Israeli reality, according to the humanist values fundamental to psychoanalysis. Also, it maintains close connections with other psychoanalytic institutes in Europe and the United States.
The institute intends to provide a high level of knowledge and skill in psychoanalytic theory and practice and to enable a process of professional ever-becoming for associates interested in psychoanalytic training and participation in the work of the institute. We endeavor to provide a training which is broad and open-minded, including a myriad of perspectives and which would encourage trainees to be creative, innovative and critically minded, while adhering to standards of quality and maintaining an ethical commitment to those seeking treatment in every aspect of mental health.
The Institute’s organizational structure includes an expansive administrative board staffed by the heads of the various committees: the training committee, the admissions committee, the scientific committee, the conference committee, the social involvement committee, the regulation committee and the treasurer. Two members of the administrative board, together with the chairperson function as a minimal management.
Activity and study in the institute take place through two complementary paths. The first is the Study Forum which encompasses all institute members, including associates in training. This group, also devoted to the development of the institute’s foundations, meets once every month for several hours. Its meetings include theoretical and clinical study as well as organizational discussions. During study sections, associates and guests present their work before the forum and open fundamental psychoanalytic issues up for debate. In the organizational part, the group discusses the various aspects of the institute’s activities and the different frameworks of study, making principle decisions about these issues. The second path of activity is that of the Training Groups. These groups follow a set curriculum, alongside a wide selection of optional courses, dynamically combined with learning from clinical experience. Both in theoretical scholarship and through practical experience, we hope to provide room for openness and plurality and create an atmosphere of utmost freedom in study and professional development and of profound commitment to the patient’s wellbeing.