Weekend seminars in Minsk

Photo of Tatra tram in Minsk
Tatra tram in Minsk

The Melanie Klein Trust has been giving some financial support to regular teaching in Minsk, Belarus.

There is a regular group of 20 participants, divided into two working clinical groups organised and coordinated by Sergei and Irina Sokolov. Their interest in Kleinian ideas was sparked by Igor Romanov, a Ukrainian Psychoanalyst, who was instrumental in developing the long-standing Kleinian seminars in Eastern Ukraine. After two initial meetings a programme of eight weekend seminars was agreed in early 2015 to be spread over the following two years.

The group is very hard working and interested in developing a solid foundation for thinking about their clinical work. They have had many different and disparate influences in their professional psychotherapeutic development since the 1990s and now are very appreciative of an introduction to the work of Melanie Klein. Many of the participants are training as psychoanalysts with the The Han Groen-Prakken Institute – The European Psychoanalytic InstituteEastern European Academy, run under the auspices of the International Psychoanalytic Association, and come from not only Minsk but also different parts of Belarus as well as from Moscow.

The programme so far has included an introduction to the paranoid schizoid and depressive positions, the Oedipus complex and primitive defences. There have been two weekends on each topic, each weekend involving a general introduction, two theory papers, four clinical discussions and a plenary discussion.

For the regular teachers, Anne Amos, Gordana Batinica, Sergei Grachev from the British Psychoanalytical Society and Igor Romanov from the Ukriane Psychoanalytical Study Group, the weekends are stimulating and rewarding work. The Minsk group are very warm, appreciative and generous hosts.

Added September 2016