Friday, May 23, 2008

Psychology and Psychotherapy in Buenos Aires

Buenos Aires Journal; Doctor, Why Do I Keep Dreaming of Argentina?
This article was written by CLIFFORD KRAUSS for NYTimes in 1998 … 10 years before!! And still so update than I wanted to share and comment some parts and say my consideration about it…
When rush-hour traffic gets him down, Andres Cornejo pulls his taxicab over to the curb and opens his trunk to his collection of Sigmund Freud. His frustrations quickly melt away, he said, as he reads Freud’s theories on dreams and the development of the infantile libido.
It could be also a bus driver too..??!! why always taxi drivers? Specially now they´re debating about lanes. But Frustration is deep here more than those years…
Like many Argentines, Mr. Cornejo, 38, has been through years of psychotherapy. He said he had had serious relationships with two psychologists, is in love with a third and is seriously considering going back to school to become a psychologist himself.
Argentines??? Well this is a proper characteristic of “porteños” only , I can´t imagine a hardworking gaucho laying down in a couch at this moment with so big farmer crisis.!
”I don’t know if I am in love with psychoanalysis, or just with psychologists,” Mr. Cornejo said with a laugh. Either way, his overriding interest — you might call it obsession — is as thoroughly Argentine as the tango.
Cheating!! we call this to be cheating on= Engañar
There are more psychologists in Argentina per capita — 111 for every 100,000 inhabitants — than in any country in the world except Uruguay, Argentina’s small neighbor. New York and Buenos Aires are neck-and-neck for the distinction of being the city with the most psychotherapists, including psychologists and psychiatrists, over all. And the number of Argentine psychologists is growing, from 5,500 in 1974, to 20,100 in 1985, to an estimated 37,000 today. There are also more than 2,500 psychoanalysts with medical degrees in Argentina.
Uruguay, Argentina’s small neighbor… well, they don´t deserve such lack of respect even they area polluting our river

”Argentines are passionate about understanding themselves and making their lives better and happier through self-knowledge,” said Lucia R. Martinto de Paschero, president of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association.
Mrs. Martinto is right but it´s relate to human-being
The numbers tell only part of the story, since it is hard to count the ways Argentines express their abiding interest in analyzing their egos and psyches.
Probably nowadays the best way argentines express their abiding interest to make “their lives better” is banging pots and not in a couch so How many therapist lost their work?… I wonder how many psychoanalyst lernt English in order to analyze the niche of turist-resident and ex-pats??
Television and radio talk shows featuring psychologists fill the airwaves with daily psychobabble. Pagina 12, a leading Buenos Aires newspaper, devotes two pages of coverage to psychological matters every Thursday. A hot rock band in Argentina calls itself The Paranoid Rats, while another is known as The Crazy Old Ladies.
Ok, this is past time … Now is the time of “Bailando por un sueño” people reject to think about problems and switched tv .
One neighborhood in Buenos Aires, a part of the Palermo district, has so many psychologists as residents that it has come to be known as Villa Freud. The neighborhood is graced by a popular restaurant that goes by the name Bar Sigi and serves a concoction of cognac and vanilla named after the father of psychoanalysis.
Now there are pubs, shops, handcarft and markets there!!
Argentines talk about going to their therapist as openly as they discuss going to the butcher, and expensive therapy is as much a part of middle-class life as a summer weekend on the beaches of Mar del Plata or a season opera ticket at the Teatro Colon.
I beg to differ but what is a butcher?? Meat?? It´s so expensive... And let´s not talk about Teatro Colón !!!! When it will be open again??
But Argentine interest in psychology goes beyond the middle class. There are inexpensive psychology clinics in virtually every neighborhood of Buenos Aires, social security covers mental health problems, and elementary schools typically send young children with reading problems to psychologists as a first course of remedial education.
Middle class?? … yes it was 10 years before…
Argentines who seek psychotherapy typically say that their country is fraught with neurosis. They note that there is a high incidence of anorexia among Argentines, and Buenos Aires drivers are known as among the most aggressive in the world. National obsessions include fitness, plastic surgery and stylish dressing. But leading psychologists here say there is no evidence that Argentines are more neurotic than other peoples, and the alcoholism and crime rates are low by Latin American standards.
I think we´re exporting anorexia, plastic surgery, stylish dressing coming from clandestine factory. Please review also crime rates subject too!
There is still no systematic sociological or anthropological study that explains why there is such an interest in psychology here,” said Modesto M. Alonso, a leading Argentine psychologist. ”There are only theories.”
So why psychologyst don´t help with the survey??
Felipe A. Noguera, a political analyst and pollster, speculated that ”Argentina is a very frustrated society because it has long suffered a crisis of expectations.” That crisis, he said, is rooted in a long period of economic expansion between 1880 and 1930, followed by a 60-year slump characterized by political instability, recession and hyperinflation.
Add also the background of sadness and nostalgia coming from ”ex-rich-in Europe” relatives
”Until very recently,” he added, ”people would say, ‘I work hard but I can’t own a home. I study hard but I have a limited future.’ So many years of frustration created an archetype of negativity, a world view of things being a disaster in Argentina.”
Blocked= bloqueado is the key-word
In the 1970’s the right-wing military junta singled out psychology as a national problem, blaming psychologists and psychoanalysts for the country’s negativity and navel-gazing. Several prominent psychologists disappeared.
So, time shows it wasn´t the only thing to blame and they maked dissapear also doctors, teacher, students, religious, secular… and the list is so long… Where are they? Where is Lopez?
Argentina first became a world-class center for psychotherapy in the 1940’s, when a wave of European immigrants included several prominent Jewish psychoanalysts from Germany and Austria. Today a large proportion of the country’s psychotherapists and patients are Jews, whose population of 250,000 is one of the largest in the world outside Israel and the United States.
Important activities like Yidish theatre (culture)… cooperative ideas (economy)… trade unionism (social and labor)… are other contributions from Jewish immigration
But the large number of Jews and Argentina’s interest in all European intellectual fashions do not explain the longstanding national interest in psychology, nor why the themes of alienation and loneliness have such deep roots in the national psyche and culture. The gaucho in 19th-century Argentine literature*, for example, is an estranged outlaw, expelled by society, living between the worlds of the Indian and urban society. *Tango, which is as much a national ritual as a dance, is a fusion of haunting laments and premonitions of sad things to come.
*Yes, this the gaucho but in literature only let´s not forget Martín Miguel de Güemes in Salta, just to say one Heroic Hero.
* The natinal dance is Pericón, not Tango.
Newspaper reading was the domain of the intelligentsia and upper class in Argentina until the 1930’s, when the tabloid Critica vastly expanded its circulation by inviting readers to send in contributions describing their dreams. Soon after, a popular publishing house known for distributing translations of Tarzan books put out a serial collection of books called ”Freud for All” that became a national sensation.
”That showed that the entire Argentine public is disposed to an interest in psychology, and not just the intellectuals,” said Hugo Vezzetti, a psychology professor at the University of Buenos Aires.
It talks about Domingo Faustino Sarmiento´s ideals (1811-1888)
In recent years, psychological analysis has played a major part in both popular and high culture. Ernesto Sabato’s renowned novel ”On Heroes and Tombs” investigated the tortured relationship between a father and his daughter. Leopoldo Torre Nilsson, one of Argentina’s leading modern film makers, analyzed sexuality and guilt in his films ”The Fallen” and ”The House of the Angel.” Juan Jose Saer, the novelist and poet, described the existential crisis of a journalist married to a psychoanalyst in his popular novella ”The Indelible.” Marcos Aguinis, an author of popular Argentine historical novels, is himself a psychoanalyst.
This paragraphis unquestionable.
Raimundo Salgado, a 58-year-old bookstore owner in Villa Freud, said he was reminded what it means to be an Argentine a few years ago when he went to a Woody Allen movie in Mexico City and he was one of only 15 people in the theater. ”If that movie had been shown in Buenos Aires,” he said, ”there would have been people waiting in line around the block.”

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