Cormac Gallagher – Opening Remarks

The Letter Issue 66-67 (Autumn 2017/Spring 2018) Pages 1-2

Conference: ‘Why was psychoanalysis founded by an emigrant?’

9th December 2017 in Marino Institute, Dublin

Opening Remarks

Cormac Gallagher

Helen has asked me to open this conference and welcome you all. The title as you know is: Why was psychoanalysis founded by an emigrant? and what’s interesting about the place we find ourselves in today, The Marino Institute, is that it was one of the training grounds for the Christian Brothers. The Christian Brothers were great founders (since we’re talking about founding psychoanalysis here today), founders of primary schools, secondary schools, Colleges and Universities even. Right across the English speaking world you had the mark of the Christian Brothers who were founding things and one question I have is; what is the difference between founding a University or a College and founding psychoanalysis? What does it mean to found psychoanalysis?

In our own history, you could say Jonty Hanaghan started off back in the Forties but I suppose psychoanalysis really got going in the University with several different schools of training, starting about the 1980’s. The school of psychotherapy was the first and then afterwards we had APPI, and then, after that, various other groups emerged.

The title is enigmatic. Helen told me that it’s not written down anywhere, it’s something that was discussed between Charles Melman (who is here to talk today) and herself – Pourquoi la psychanalyse a-t-elle été fondée par un émigrant? – Why was psychoanalysis founded by an emigrant? Now all these Christian Brothers were emigrants – they started here and they headed off and they founded their various colleges and institutions throughout the English speaking world. The School of Psychotherapy also benefited from emigrants. We had a whole series of people – well not a whole series of people – but starting with Bill Richardson, a man greatly admired by Heidegger; he wrote a preface, as many of you know…

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