Аннотация. В статье прослеживается исторический путь российского психоанализа. Выделяются несколько периодов развития психоанализа в России с начала XX века, в годы советской власти и в наши дни, дается характеристика этих этапов, выделяются концепции мыслителей, живших в переломные эпохи (Н.О. Лосский, Н.Е. Осипов, И.Д. Ермаков, М.В. Вульф). В настоящее время психоанализ в России бурно развивается и существует потребность в подготовке профессиональных психологов и психоаналитиков. Авторы показывают, что огромный эмпирический материал требует теоретического и философского осмысления.

Ключевые слова: психоанализ, философия, психология, теория, практика, идеология, человек, общественное сознание, бессознательное, социальная терапия.

The thorny path

The history of Russian psychoanalysis is not a smooth, linear chronicle. It has waves of renaissance and «totalitarian renunciation», stages of enthusiasm and despair. The early 19th century, Pushkin writes a scene from «Faust». His Mephistopheles says: «I’m a psychologist… oh, what a science!..» Another half of a century passes and the Russian physiologist I.M. Sechenov (1829–1905) attempts to create a project of psychology as a separate science. It is still in the bosom of philosophy and wouldn’t branch off. But the social demand is evident already. Russia needs guidelines for industrial, medical, paedagogic and military practice. Academic introspective psychology begins to lose its ground. Physiological laboratories begin to open, large psychological schools and directions arise. Psychologists are engaged in desperate discussions. Psychology is in demand. Vladimir Solovyov (1853–1900) polemisizes with the «philosophy of the unconscious» by Eduard Hartmann (1842–1906). The Russian philosopher regards psychology as an internal process of the self-opening spirit.

Can a scientific discipline develop according to its own requirements? Or is it constantly pressed by social and political demands? And maybe it is them that pave new ways for the development of science? Then what do the present authorities want from psychology?

An interest to psychology, paradoxical as it might seem, was stirred up by infatuation with mysticism. At the Russian imperial court not only Grigori Rasputin but also the Buryat esoteric practitioner Badmaev became very powerful.

Psychoanalysis comes to Russia. The main works by Sigmund Freud and his successors were translated into Russian immediately after their publication. The Russian language was the first language in which works of the first psychoanalysts were published. Freud believed that Moscow was the third stronghold of psychoanalysis after Vienna and Berlin. But Moscow was not the only Russian city, where psychoanalysts worked. Schools were established in Odessa, Rostov, Kazan. Psychoanalysis was acknowledged as a therapeutic method. The Russian school of psychoanalytic therapy was created. Versatile theoretical work began.

What periods in the development of Russian psychoanalysis can we identify?

The first period (1904‑1910) can be called enlightening. Many Freud’s works appeared and gained recognition in Russia. Our country had high philosophical and psychological culture at that time. Psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy and neurology had highly-qualified specialists then. Professional works helped the society to obtain an adequate understanding of the new direction in world psychology.

The second period can be specified as adaptive (1910‑1914). During that period, psychologists in Russia obtained more integral knowledge of psychoanalysis, testing of psychoanalytic ideas began, first attempts to use psychoanalysis for practical purposes were made. But elaboration of psychoanalysis immediately met with sociocultural difficulties. The general cultural and social context of Russia was not prepared to active development of new ideas. However, the journal «Psychotherapy. A Review of Problems of Mental Treatment and Applied Psychology» became a scientific organ of Russian supporters of psychoanalysis and one of the first international psychoanalytic journals. Significant landmarks of this period were as follows: in 1911 a group of Russians joined the Vienna Psychoanalytic Society (M.V. Wulff, L.M. Droznes, T.K. Rozental, S.N. Spielrein); publication of a book series «Psychotherapeutic library» (N.E. Osipov, O.B. Feltsman), in which works by S. Freud and his followers were published, started in Moscow. Many eminent philosophers — N.O. Lossky, E.L. Radlov, etc. — took part in discussions on psychoanalysis.

N.O. Lossky (1903‑1958) believed that teachings of Christian devotees show ways of freeing oneself from spiritual wounds and complexes sometimes without psychoanalytical digging in the soul [7, p. 176]. The Russian philosopher called Freud’s discoveries great, especially those pointing to the significance of mental traumas for the development of psychoneuroses. N.O. Lossky wrote: «Comparatively not long ago many philosophers and psychologist thought that there are not unconscious mental states. In their works, instead of “spiritual life” the word “consciousness” is often used. In line with their theories they stated that to speak of an unconscious spiritual state means to acknowledge the existence of the “unconscious consciousness”, i. e. to enounce an absurd contradiction. Certainly, they are wrong: there is no contradiction if in the cited example of unconscious envy we shall correctly describe it, calling it unconscious psychic process. At present, due to research done by the psychiatrist Freud and his school the conviction has become widespread that unconscious psychic processes exist and that considerable areas of out spiritual life occur as unrecognized states of which we might be unaware» [6, p. 336].

N.O. Lossky also pointed to the great significance of the works of the Russian psychiatrist N.E. Osipov, who made an attempt to correlate psychoanalysis with the personalistic tradition of Russian philosophy. Illness and death in 1934 did not let N.Е. Osipov develop in detail his teaching of love as the main cosmic factor accounting for relationships between people.

The third period in the history of Russian psychoanalysis is referred to as disintegrative (1914‑1922). Then the world war actually interrupted the research and publishing work of Russian specialists. At the same time, Russian psychoanalysts used their knowledge for working in a combat setting, at various city clinics. During that period the activities of I.D. Ermakov were of special value. He was an outstanding Russian psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, literary critic.

The fourth — institutional — period (1922‑1932) was marked by a rapid spread of psychoanalytic ideas in Russia. In the first post-revolution years I.D. Ermakov, becoming professor of the Psychoneurological Institute, created the department of psychology. In 1921 he organised the Psychoanalytic Children’s Laboratory (one of its tasks was to observe children’s complexes in collectives). The Psychoanalytic Children’s Laboratory was an important division of the Psychoanalytic Institute, organised and headed (since 1923) by I.D. Ermakov. In 1922 the Moscow («Russian») Psychoanalytic Society was set up. With the assistance of S. Freud this society was admitted into the International Association. Among the founders of the Russian Psychoanalytic Society there are such figures as I.D. Ermakov, P.P. Blonsky, M.V. Wulff, V.I. Nevsky, etc. Ermakov was interested in the possibilities offered by applied psychoanalysis. He was elected a member of the State Academy of Arts for his contribution to this work.

Of considerable interest are the activities of I.D. Ermakov (together with M. Wulff and other psychoanalysts) aimed at translating Freud’s works into Russian and developing related terminology. «Introductory Lectures on Psycho-Analysis», two books of selected papers by Freud and his pupils, C. Jung’s «Psychological Types», books by M. Klein, E. Jones and others were published. Due to the efforts of Ermakov and his colleagues Russian philosophy and medicine had an opportunity to correlate themselves with the theory and practice of psychoanalysis. But this opportunity began to narrow with time.

The most striking thing in these activities was that institutionalisation of psychoanalysis in Soviet Russia was going hand in hand with large-scale repressions against Russian intelligentsia. The new revolutionary power is trying psychoanalysis out. Almost all distinguished political figures are willing to flaunt their knowledge of Freudist phrases. Lenin and Trotsky, Bukharin and Krupskaya clearly demonstrate that they are «informed» of novel psychological embellishments. Trotsky displays a high interest in psychoanalysis. The Psychoanalytic Institute was established, where Professor I.D. Ermakov worked. The Russian Psychoanalytic Society headed by M.V. Wulff becomes popular. There are talks about the possibility of Freudo-Marxism. This idea was initiated by A.R. Luria (1902–1977). But love is apparently melting away. The «fading» of psychoanalysis is noticeable. Soon it begins to die out in Russia. It disappears for six decades.

In 1922, as is known, leaders of philosophical, sociological, historical and psychological thought were exiled from the country by the order of V.I. Lenin. From the mid-1920s negative vulgar-sociological criticism of psychoanalysis began to intensify under the influence of political factors. On 14 August 1925 by the decision of the Council of People’s Commissars of RSFSR under the chairmanship of N.А. Semashko the Moscow State Psychoanalytic Institute (MSPI) was liquidated. The struggle of psychoanalysts (R.А. Averbukh, M.V. Wulff, etc.) for preservation of psychoanalysis, for the obtained valuable materials on child psychology and continuation of research work on child psychoanalysis was not successful. In 1928, The GIZ Publishing House closes down the publication of the «Library». Not long before that the Psychoanalytic Institute closes, too. Since 1930 psychoanalysis as science is forbidden. In I.D. Ermakov’s archives there remained a big book about Dostoyevsky, his works analysed from psychoanalytic positions. He did not publish anything else on psychoanalysis. Ermakov was arrested in 1940, and two years later died in a camp. By 1930, the nominal activities of the Russian Psychoanalytic Society terminated. But Russian psychoanalysts remaining in emigration — M.V. Wulff, B.P. Vysheslavtsev, N.Е. Osipov, C.L. Frank — continued theoretical and practical work. Certainly, in their works there appeared also critical appraisals of Freud’s legacy. But they were related to an attempt at overcoming the narrow naturalistic direction of psychoanalysis [12; 2].

Rehabilitation of the unconscious

In April 2000 an International Russian-Austrian scientific conference was held in Moscow. At the plenary session a discussion arose about the causes of psychoanalytic exodus. Professor A.M. Rutkevich spoke of the disappearance of well-to-do people, who could afford visits to psychoanalytical clinics, after termination of the New Economic Policy. Possibly. However, not only clinical but philosophical psychoanalysis was destroyed in Russia. What impeded the flourishing of psychoanalytic theory?

Professor B.I. Pruzhinin articulated another version of the fall of psychoanalysis. He saw the cause in enchantment with technology in Russia, in the establishment of the collectivist frame of mind. If there is a «fiery motor» instead of a heart, there is no room for psychology. Against the background of mass enthusiasm the interest to man’s individual world was vanishing. Individual is null. But if masses bunch up, again, there is no room for studying timid murmurs of the soul.

And there is some grain of truth in these words. But on the other hand, in the West there was also was great fascination with technology. There was also the dictate of collective wills, mass movements. But psychoanalysis was still alive…

Some authors write that a rapprochement between psychoanalysis and Marxism played a fatal role in its fate. Freudianism acquired a social dimension, which could not but take a turn for ideologisation and indoctrination. Death of many specialists during the civil war is also taken into account. Psychoanalysis did not escape social cataclysms.

I believe that the sad fate of psychoanalysis in Russia is undoubtedly associated with the growth of totalitarianism. Total enforcement of like-mindedness, undoubtedly, is incompatible with psychoanalysis. There is one sphere of human life that is most difficult to come under total control. It is intimate life. It is possible to retrace what the Soviet man thinks about the country, leader, communism. But here he comes home, pulls down curtains and … escapes surveillance. Not incidentally, all totalitarian regimes so fervently «regulate» sexual life. (Only Cuba is an exclusion but traditions are different there.) A Soviet person who was divorced lost the possibility to go abroad. In exceptional cases, he or she could receive a party characteristic that «the party bureau knows the divorce circumstances and they cannot be the cause of refusal». The party bureau seemed to be at nightwatch…

Could Freudian sexuality theory be combined with Marxist ideology, about which some psychologists dreamt (and even wrote!) before World War II? Alas, no. However, the punishing finger of despotism also touched other spheres of psychological knowledge. In the 1930s, criticism of many provisions of a special science — paedology — began. Its subject-matter was rejected, the ideas of bio- and sociogenesis were proclaimed false. The Central Committee of the Communist Party adopted two special resolutions. Paedology was attacked, and this found reflection in the fates of many eminent psychologists. All paedological institutions and laboratories were closed. Paedology was struck out of curricula of higher educational institutions. Political labels were brought into play. L.S. Vygotsky was proclaimed an «eclecticist», M.Ya. Vasov and P.P. Blonsky — «propagandists of fascist ideas»…

The fifth period in the development of Russian psychoanalysis is latent (1932‑1956). Despite the fact that psychoanalysis has in fact fallen victim of repression, in some Russian cities (Rostov-on-Don, Odessa, Irkutsk, Leningrad) a number of specialists continued their practice. When Freud came to know about persecution of psychoanalysis in Russia, he was embarrassed. He believed that his teaching serves no political parties, since it is an objective scientific discipline. Nevertheless, Freud ventured an appraisal: «Theoretical Marxism, as put into effect in Russian Bolshevism, has acquired the energy, the comprehensiveness and the exclusiveness of a Weltanschauung, but at the same time it has acquired an almost uncanny resemblance to what it is opposing. Originally it was itself a part of science, and, in its realisation, was built up on science and technology, but it has nevertheless established a ban upon thought which is as inexorable as was formerly that of religion. All critical examination of the Marxist theory is forbidden, doubts of its validity are as vindictively punished as heresy once was by the Catholic Church. The works of Marx, as the source of revelation, have taken the place of the Bible and the Koran, although they are no freer from contradictions and obscurities than those earlier holy books» [3, p. 414].

In the 1930s, the processes of radical politisation and ideologisation of scientific disputes began. On 9 December 1930 Stalin talked to the bureau of the VKP(b) party cell of the Institute of Red Professors. He encouraged a group of party members (M. Mitin, E. Kolman, P. Yudin), who criticised A. Deborin, N. Kareev, Ya. Sten. These authors prevailed in philosophical discussions on the pages of the journal «Under the banner of Marxism». On 25 January 1931 the Central Committee issued a resolution «On the journal “Under the banner of Marxism”», in which Deborin’s group was blamed for a number of mistakes, the main of which was philosophy’s withdrawal from politics. It announced that all non-Marxist stances in philosophy, social and natural sciences should be scarified. First of all, the editorial board of «Under the banner of Marxism» proclaimed that «one of the tasks is Marxist philosophical criticism of Freud and Freudianism from the positions of dialectic materialism» [11, p. 51].

In the early 1930s, a powerful and large-scale campaign of not only criticizing but also uprooting psychoanalysis began in the country. Special committees were set up in academic and educational institutions to review theoretical and practical work of scientists. In December 1930 — March 1931 there was an «inspection» of the faculty chairs in the Academy of Communist Upbringing. «Ideological» mistakes of L. Vygotsky, A. Luria, А. Zalkind and other scientists, who demonstrated «insufficient vigilance» with respect to psychoanalysis and Freudianism were revealed [8].

The bilateral period of the development of psychoanalysis (1956‑1989) was characterised by criticism of psychoanalysis, but the formal rejection of Freudian ideas made it possible for specialists to be acquainted with a broad spectrum of psychoanalytic knowledge. In the 1960–90s, monographs, articles, booklets related to psychoanalysis were published, various conferences were held. Nevertheless, the works of Freud and his disciples were not published. But a tremendous role in preparation of specialists belonged to publication of monographs on the problem of the unconscious (F.V. Bassin, A.T. Bochorishvili, A.E. Sheroziya and others); a symposium on the problem of the unconscious was held in Tbilisi in 1978; psychoanalytic works of foreign authors (K.H. Brown, P. Bruno, C.B. Clement, G. Politzer, L. Sève, H. Wells, L. Chertok and others) were translated and published.

Revival of psychoanalysis

The processes of democratisation of the country, which began in the late 1980s, positively changed the status of psychoanalysis. Debates on psychoanalysis become a reality only in the second half of the 1980s. In newspapers and journals there began to appear articles about Freud and the possibilities offered by psychoanalysis. The disintegration of the USSR in 1991 resulted in the situation when psychoanalysis began to be used for clinical purposes without restrictions.

On 16 February 1990 the Presidium of the All-Union Scientific Medical Federation registered and approved the protocol of the constitutive conference of the Russian Psychoanalytic Association (RPA). Therefore, for the first time in our country, more than sixty years afterwards, a professional public organisation was reestablished with the aim to unite multiple by that time associations, unions and groups dealing with psychoanalysis. Publication of the «Russian Psychoanalytic Bulletin» (1991) played a great role. On the same year, the East European Institute of Psychoanalysis opened in St. Petersburg. Established in 1994, the Academy of Humanities Research began to publish a philosophical-psychoanalytical journal «Archetype». In 1995, the Institute of Psychoanalysis and Social Management started to work and prepare specialists in psychoanalysis.

On 18 July 1995 the newspaper «Moskovsky komsomolets» published an article entitled «Psychoanalysis is the weapon of the proletariat», which noted: «While the magazine “Foreign Literature” celebrates its forty anniversary, a philosophical-psychoanalytical journal has just been born and presented its first issue. Not long ago Soviet ideologists were intimidating children and adults with psychoanalysis as a fearful weapon of bourgeoisie and corrupt capitalism. But this science proved to be useful. It can help specialists to understand many things about human being. Psychoanalysis also has practical application — dozens of thousands psychoanalysts throughout the world make their contributions to the health of their population without mental clinics or other unpleasant things. Psychoanalysis also has a philosophical dimension, for the obscure depths of the human mind are waiting for clues, explanation and interpretation. The greatest minds of mankind in the 20th century turned to the classics of psychoanalysis — Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung. In Russia, Freudian theory was withdrawn from use in the early 1920s, and the country of the triumphing proletariat was practically left without psychological help and support. Only in the last five-seven years works of the world’s eminent scholars and philosophers returned to Russia, where the power often belonged to madmen who had little compassion for all of us — living and suffering people.

The first issue of «Archetype», whose editor-in-chief was Pavel Gurevich, addressed various sides of life: for the first time — Freud’s correspondence with Einstein, an essay about grandiose delusions of Hitler, who personally created projects of his mausoleum, articles of American and European philosophers-psychoanalysts and even poems. The journal was oriented to a wide spectrum of the reading public.

The democratic wave reached President B.N. Yeltsin. The Decree of the President of the Russian Federation No 1044 of 19 July 1996 «On the revival and development of philosophical, clinical and applied psychoanalysis» was a significant event in the history of Russian psychoanalysis. The idea of preparing this decree was initiated by М.М. Reshetnikov. This event can be evaluated differently. On the one hand, the previously repressed psychoanalysis was recognised at last. But on the other, it was evident that ideology still wants science to be its trust territory.

The decree stirred up a brisk folklore wave. People seemed to stop collecting funny stories about Chukchas and new Russians and began to joke about happy psychoanalysts. For example, two psychoanalysis meet. One says: «You know, a strange thing has happened to me. I’ve made an odd Freudian slip. Yesterday we had guests. I turned to mummy and wanted to say: “Dearest, will you pass me the salt”. But instead I said: “You, old hag, you’ve spoiled all my life…”».

Russian satirical writers Ilf and Petrov once made an observation: when some folklore figure appears in mass consciousness, look for social tendencies behind it. Indeed, when an image of a mighty oligarch begins to ramble through newspaper pages, the Antimonopoly Service immediately takes alarm. There appears an insidious stereotype of a «person of Caucasian origin», the Ministry on Nationality Affairs gets frustrated. But who needs a psychoanalyst bearing in the public mind all traits of psychic degeneration.

The first impression is that the above joke has nothing to do with the Decree. But we should take a closer look. The Decree contains many lapses of the pen. In fact, its aim was «passing the salt». But the result was «old hag» in many respects. Apparently, this decree could hardly promote revival and development. Now we can assert that as soon as B.N. Yeltsin ceased to be President, Russian psychoanalysis was subject to a mortal threat.

This decree may be more striking than some well-known party resolutions. The notorious article «Muddle Instead of Music» said about D. Shostakovich’s opera that it «bangs, quacks, puffs and pants». But after the composer’s international recognition a rehabilitating resolution was adopted: actually, it doesn’t bang, quack, puff, and doesn’t pant at all…

Shouldn’t we be grateful to the East European Institute of Psychoanalysis for the valuable initiative? We certainly should… But as it turns out there would be more sense without the presidential decree. Psychoanalysis wouldn’t have perished. It could revive without any ancillary efforts… But after a sage governmental order there appeared turmoil of minds…

In the film «Gentlemen of Fortune» there is a wonderful remark: «If we don’t want back to jail, if we want to find the way to the helmet…» It seems to be a national idea! In order not to go to prison we have to find the way to the helmet, vouchers, motherland, psychoanalysis, devil knows what else… And it’s a noble cause of patriots, oligarchs, «real men», psychoanalysis. The main thing is to issue a decree, to advance an idea.

Was ideological rehabilitation of psychoanalysis necessary? Probably not. It is not a task of president but of a democratic community of scholars. When nobody tries to keep thoughts on a short leash, many things acquire their niche. For instance, nobody tried to rehabilitate the grandfather of linguistics N.Ya. Marr, the misanthropic pseudo-theory cybernetics or pseudo-science genetics by issuing a decree. In Russia, there was no party resolution banning psychoanalysis. On the contrary, its crossbreeding with Marxism was planned. But this union was not realised due to the firm step of universal ideology.

For many decades, the sad fate of Russian psychoanalysis was determined by its ideological inappropriateness. But neither the Communist Party nor the government accepted any resolutions about psychoanalysis. That is why the presidential decree giving indulgence to psychoanalysis seems strange. It might as well be a decree about a «revival» of S. Prokofiev’s «formalist» music, N.Ya. Marr’s linguistic works or, as the newspaper «Komsomolskaya pravda» once wittily remarked, about the comprehensive development of sadomasochism in our country.

Everything that happened to psychoanalysis after the decree evokes thoughts about a sadomasochistic effect. Taking the psychological science in general, the crushing paedology decree of 1936 should be abated. Logic suggests that to revive psychoanalysis and to pass over in silence everything else would entail much confusion. Not incidentally, one of eminent psychologists V.P. Zinchenko remarked not without humour: before rehabilitation of the unconscious, we should rehabilitate consciousness… Exactly: science cannot be administered by the hit-and-miss method…

Everyone talks about the rigid control over the psychological science during the years of communist rule. In 1999 A.V. Brushlinski reminded about that in connection with the jubilee of S.L. Rubinstein. But the collapse of psychoanalysis in Russia was associated with one more cause, which is hardly remembered. It is an attempt at monopolist establishment of an original school and cutting off other branches of knowledge.

The ruling power maximally encouraged elimination of rivals. Psychoanalysis was devastated by rows long before the possible ideological resolution. Many central newspapers, among them «Izvestia», «Literaturnaya gazeta», «Komsomolskaya pravda», «Independent Psychiatric Journal», «Archetype» exposed the decree to fierce criticism. Naturally, psychoanalysis has many directions — behaviourism, gestalt psychology, humanistic psychology, transpersonal psychology. Why not dash down decrees?

All these could have been left to history, if the years that had passed since the appearance of the decree did help to «revive» and «develop». At first, intensive work began. The Ministry for General and Professional Education of the RF began to look for specialists. Together with the Committee on Science and Technologies it started to work out a state programme for development of psychoanalysis. This programme was adopted. The National Psychoanalytic Federation was established.

In 1997, a multidisciplinary programme «Revival and development of psychoanalysis in Russia» was worked out in Russia, it was approved and adopted by related governmental bodies. It took only several years to set up a number of psychoanalytical institutions and organisations: Psychoanalytic Society «Psychodynamics» (1997, Moscow; E.N. Potemkina and others), Institute of Psychoanalysis (1997, Moscow; P.S. Gurevich and others), Psychoanalytic Society «Cathexis» (1997, Moscow; A.G. Popov and others), the chair of psychoanalysis and psychiatry at the Maimonides State Jewish Academy (1997, Moscow; A.I. Belkin, V.Ya. Vyatkina, А.V. Litvinov and others), Institute of Practical Psychology and Psychoanalysis (1998, Moscow; Е.А. Spirkina, М.V. Romashevich and others), faculty of psychoanalysis at Moscow Institute of Psychology and Sociology (1999, Moscow; P.S. Gurevich and others). Institute of Analytic Psychology (1998, Moscow; S.О. Raevsky and others), Institute of Psychology and Sexology (2000, St. Petersburg; I.М. Nichipurenko, V.А. Medvedev, L.М. Shcheglov and others), Institute of Clinical and Applied Psychoanalysis (2000, Moscow; E.V. Belokoskova, B.А. Eryomin and others), chair of psychology at Moscow State University of Technologies and Management and Institute of Psychoanalysis and Social Management (2000, Moscow, P.S. Gurevich, E.M. Spirova and others), Professor P.S. Gurevich’s Depth Psychology Clinic (2003; Moscow), All-Russian Association of Applied Psychoanalysis (2003; V.А. Medvedev and others). In 1999, the National Federation of Psychoanalysis began its activities (NFP; president М.М. Reshetnikov, vice-president А.I. Belkin), oriented to professional enhancement, coordination and consolidation of professional activities of psychoanalysts and their various  unions. Since 2003, the journal «Popular psychology» (editor-in-chief E.V. Vlasov) has been published.

A new stage in the development of Russian psychoanalysis is associated with the activities of the Russian Psychoanalytic Society (RPS). In 2004, Aleksandr N. Kharitonov was elected President of RPS which had a number of positive outcomes in the fate of Russian psychoanalysis. The research, publishing, clinical and organisational life became considerably more active. In December 2005, the All-Russian psychoanalytical conference «Man and woman in the changing world: psychoanalytic conceptions» was held. The international conference was a prologue to establishment of versatile close relationships with psychoanalytic organisations of other countries.

Therefore, Russian psychoanalysis has significant resources at its disposal. Russia has 10 members of the International Psychoanalytical Association, among them N. Asanova, I. Kadyrov, E. Kalmykova, V. Potapova, M. Romashkevich and others. About 20 psychoanalysts are candidates to the International Psychoanalytical Association.

Boom or no boom?

When the state programme for the development of psychoanalysis in Russia was prepared in the late 1990s, the mental health of people was studied. The material accumulated at that period showed that we need to undertake urgent measures in order to save the nation. Realisation of this programme remains a topical problem nowadays as well. The Beslan school siege, multiple terrorist attacks have shown how urgently we need practicing psychologists. However, medical authorities assert that only medical doctors can practice psychological correction. But practical psychology exists throughout the world. Nevertheless, the commission of the Ministry of Education and Science of the RF, supervising the practice of educational psychoanalytic programmes, declared that the world experience is no authority for them…

What impedes the «revival»? The same ideological guardianship that once destroyed psychoanalysis. The decree aroused a steady opposition in the scientific community. Some talk about the incompatibility of psychology and psychoanalysis, though for the whole world it is a pseudo-problem. Others transparently hint to the former president and his expired directives. There is talk about the «outdatedness» of psychoanalysis.

The scientific community is still ideologically oriented, even at academic institutes. This is how an eyewitness describes it: «The all-incinerating fire flares up: to fall flat, to elaborate an unfailing text that will go somewhere upwards, fascinate.., and then a bright flow of funds, payments, favour of the authorities will be pouring, and everything will work, and flourish. And so far — to make an effort and draw up, construct the final variant».

And maybe the scientific community should, at last, turn to the internal logic of the development of psychological science? The psychological boom can be seen now throughout the world. Many books are published, new fields of psychological knowledge develop (psychology of emergency situations, business psychology, managerial psychology). The sphere of psychotherapy broadens. Probably, Herbert Wells’ prophecy that psychology will be the principal science of the 21st century is coming true. The American futurist Alvin Toffler points to the birth of a new psycho-sphere. He believes that «future shock» (from people’s psychological inability to quickly adjust to a new life) is the most important global problem.

One of the urgent problems of the developing psychoanalysis is the problem associated with inclusion of this discipline into educational standards. A strange situation has taken shape in the country. On the one hand, the 1996 Presidential Decree «On the revival and development of philosophical, clinical and applied psychoanalysis» seemed to ensure absolute legalisation of psychoanalysis. But on the other hand, after B.N. Yeltsin left the political arena the state structures began to demonstrate their estrangement from psychoanalysis again. This situation prevented preparation of licensed specialists in psychoanalysis. «Non-recognition» of psychoanalysis found its expression in the steady position of the Ministry of Education and Science of RF not to admit this field of world psychology to educational standards.

In January 2002 the Russian Academy of Education initiated hearings at the Bureau of the Department of Psychology and Age-Related Physiology RAE «On the state and development of psychoanalysis in Russia» (speaker P.S. Gurevich). The Bureau adopted a resolution to ask the Ministry of Education to include psychoanalysis in educational standards. But this resolution was not implemented. Then the Russian Psychoanalytic Association together with the chair of psychology of Moscow State University of Technologies and Management and the Academy of Humanities Research addressed President of the Russian Federation V.V. Putin. As was pointed out, the sad odyssey of psychoanalysis in our country should finally come to its end. Having signed the Bologna declaration, we cannot leave outside the limits of education one of the leading disciplines of world psychology. V.V. Putin assigned a task to the Ministry of Education and Science of the RF to fulfill this task positively.

Now the situation is queer. «Wild psychoanalysis» flourishes, while «civilised» is not allowed. Meanwhile, private educational institutions make advertisements about preparing specialists in the discipline «Psychoanalysis». Political image-makers persistently add «psychoanalyst» to their titles. Psychoanalysts appeared in some ministerial clinics.

At present, psychoanalysis in Russia is rapidly developing. The Institute of Philosophy RAS implements an international project of publishing works on transpersonal psychology. Dozens of books have been published. Many international conferences dealing with research on perinatal and transpersonal experience were held in Moscow. The Ministry of Health of the RF supports these projects. But inside the psychological community there is no such support. Again caste-like closedness is reborn, from which psychoanalysis suffered earlier. Specialists who received international certificates differ in different cities where it happened. Simultaneously the question who is most equal among equals is discussed.

The question arises: is it possible without any fuss or declarations to legitimize the development of this field of knowledge, which the country needs so much? To securely introduce this subject in curricula, at least at psychological faculties. To work out necessary standards and rules of certification of specialists. To remove ideological guardianship that prevents scientific community from establishing a system of priorities.

Recently, at a large scientific conference participants talked much about what troubles carries lack of public demand for psychology nowadays. But is it really not in demand? The recent sad events showed how few specialists in the psychology of urgent situations we have. Politicians have finally become aware that successful publicity is unthinkable without political technologies. Firms and enterprises are looking for specialists who could ensure their efficient work. Teachers try to get psychological education. О.Yu. Vasilyeva, the current minister of education, persistently speaks of preparing professional psychologists.

But social demand is not the point. We can put the question as follows: are at present psychologists capable of meeting the social need? Apparently not. Psychology as a discipline is in crisis. It obviously lacks sociological imagination, theoretical depth, philosophical comprehension. There are heaps of empirical studies. But theoretical interpretation of the obtained evidence lags behind. It is an adverse effect of isolatedness, authoritarianism. Problems are multiple, and they are not to be solved by the authorities but by the scientific community itself.


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Источник: Гуревич П. С. , Руднева Е. Г.  Психоанализ в России (на англ. яз.) //  Философская школа. – № 5. – 2018.  – С. 145-153. DOI: 10.24411/2541-7673-2018-10533