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Institutt for Psykoterapi: background and developments of the Institute for Psychotherapy in Norway

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The Institutt for Psykoterapi is a nationwide training institution offering postgraduate studies in psychoanalytic psychotherapy for physicians and psychologists. It is also a membership society aiming at safeguarding and disseminating the psychoanalytically oriented perspective in mental health care. The Institute was founded in October 1962 as a result of cooperation between the psychologists Einar Dannevig and Per Mentzen and the psychiatrist Endre Ugelstad. At that time, the only systematic training in psychotherapy for physicians and psychologists in this country was provided by the Norwegian Psychoanalytic Society. The training took place in Oslo alone, the teaching capacity was limited, and only psychoanalysis was taught. It is a demanding form of treatment that many patients with mental disorders are unable to carry through. The great majority of patients in institutions needed other forms of psychotherapy, but there was at that time no systematic training for this purpose. In a letter of recommendation for the foundation, Harald Schjelderup, professor of psychology, described the prevailing poor conditions for training in psychotherapy: ‘Training in psychotherapy in our country has been both sparse and poorly organized. There is no institution at the moment which can offer physicians and psychologists a sufficient basis for an independent practice of depth psychologically oriented psychotherapy for adults. Neither does it appear that any of the existing institutions will be able to take on this task for a long time to come.’
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Keywords: International Federation of Psychoanalytic Societies; Psychotherapy; neo-Freudian; training

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: April 3, 2014

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