Compiled by Liliana Pedrón, 21 July 2020
Psychoanalysis in the time of Pandemics
The editorial group of the ejournal Psychoanalysis.Today has decided to publish a special issue on the pandemic. This edition presents a change in format, with short articles written by authors from the different regions that form the community of the psychoanalytic associations. The decision was made taking into account a moment where the attention of humanity is focused on the description, evolution and control of Covid-19. This disease is a threat whose consequences are currently unknown.

Will it lead to the announcement of a new normal? Will the changes produced by the pandemic be irreversible? How will this influence psychoanalysis?

We have more questions than answers. From the very beginning of the pandemic, in the practice of psychoanalysis, modes of virtual working came to the fore. Some modifications in the framing and in the technique may have a way of return; however, they will have left an imprint. 

In this introduction, from our perspective as editors of Psychoanalysis.Today, and from our different nationalities, we want to present our testimonies on the way in which we have lived the experience of the pandemic. 

Ursula Burkert, EPF: After decades of living in prosperity and freedom the growing awareness of climate change and the Covid-19 pandemic have made clear, that all this is not self-evident and that it is limited by a changing reality. All of us are now mourning losses and enduring fears. As a result there seems to develop an awareness of – and also gratitude for more basal things in life.

Daniel Biebel, FePAL: We need, as we did in pre-Covid psychoanalytic treatments, to keep our mind and our patients’ minds working together, before, during and after the storm. This is our commitment, this is our expertise.

Marina Bilenky, FePAL: The pandemic unveiled in a very poignant way the inequality already known in Brazil and in the world. We witness the population's efforts to take care of themselves and the community as a way to face the helplessness and hopelessness that arise due to the political and social crisis that is plaguing the country.

Chantal Duchêne-González – EPF: The end of the lockdown has brought a lot of social uncertainties and is increasing the level of anxiety of the patients.

Helen Fronshtein – NAPsaC: Two analysts from the United States discuss the very different experiences of COVID-19 for citizens of color and white citizens. Privilege is a defining predictor of severity and outcome for this pandemic.

Adrienne Harris – APsaA : The pandemic is a form of apres-coup, traumatic in itself, a threat to life. But also it is a current moment that opens and activates for all of us memories of our early traumas, for each person in the particular way we are haunted.

Gouri Salvi – IPA : Two psychoanalysts – from Australia and Israel – reflect on the change to online sessions in times of Covid-19, and hold out hope for multidimensional understanding even through flat screens. 

The plurality of authors will allow the reader to come into contact with different themes and realities and share the effort to apply the knowledge of psychoanalysis in the times of the pandemic. 

We invite you to travel around the world with us, in the hope that it can be an opening up of so much confinement.