The history of COWAP in Portugal began shortly after Otto Kernberg established in 1998 a commission of the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) that provided a framework for the exploration of topics relating to issues primarily of concern to women – COWAP – Committee on Women and Psychoanalysis. Probably due to a feminist connotation the purpose of COWAP slowly shifted towards including the relations between men and women, masculinity and femininity by 2001. Currently, issues of concern to women and men, maternity, gender and the articulation of the social and cultural aspects all fall under the scope of COWAP.
The idea of having a Portuguese member of liaison between the Portuguese Psychoanalytic Society (SPP) and COWAP-IPA was planted by Pedro Luzes. Teresa Flores was the first member of liaison appointed on November 16th 1999 and was nominated as COWAP European Co-Chair between 2005 and 2010. In 2005 Raquel Cavaleiro Ferreira succeeded as the member of liaison, for a period of three years.
Regular meetings were organized in the offices of SPP, every second Thursday of each month between 2001 and 2008. The initial group counted on the contribution, among others, of Teresa Flores, Raquel Cavaleiro Ferreira, João Lúcio França de Sousa, Maria José Vidigal João Seabra Dinis, Jorge Câmara and Frederico Pereira. Teresa Flores oversaw the organization of three conferences in Lisbon where members of SPP presented and discussed their theoretical and clinical psychoanalytical thinking with fellows from around the world:
2005 – 2nd European Conference: On Incest;
2007 – 3rd European Conference: Incest and Paedophilia;
2008 – 10th Anniversary Conference of COWAP in Lisbon: Sexuality Today- Interdiction and Permissivity- Psychoanalytical Approach.
Teresa Flores expanded SPP’s interchange through her participation in multiple COWAP Conferences:
2004 – Buenos Aires – VI Diálogo Latino-Americano COWAP;
2007 – Rio de Janeiro – VI Latin-American COWAP Dialog;
2007 – Paris – 67e Congrès des Psychanalystes de Langue Française – COWAP Workshop;
2007 – New York – COWAP Conference: Who is my Mother, Who is my Father, Who am I?;
2008 – Guadalajara – VII Dialogo Latino-Americano Intergeneracional entre Hombres y Mujeres: Género y Psicoanálisis: Contribuciones contemporáneas – Celebración de X Aniversario del Comité de Mujeres Y Psicoanálisis (COWAP) IPA;
2009 – Paris CPLF – Congrès des Psychanalystes de Langue Française – COWAP Workshop;
2009 – Paris – Conference Européenne et Latino-Américaine de COWAP-IPA.
In 2012 Ana Teresa Vale rekindles SPP’s active participation in COWAP at the Helsinki Conference: Medea and becomes the next member of liaison. Ana Teresa Vale fostered scientific sessions in the offices of SPP that had the participation of Rui Aragão, Jorge Câmara, Conceição Tavares de Almeida and Cândida Holovko. A year after, she was present in COWAP’s business meeting at IPA’s Congress in Prague and in 2019 participated in the European Federation of Psychoanalysis (EPF) Congress, in the COWAP panel: The Turmoil of Female Body, on the impact of the analyst´s pregnancy in the relationship of the patients with their own body.
Conceição Tavares de Almeida, vice-president of SPP has become the new COWAP member of liaison between 2016-2020. This decision was intentionally taken by the board of SPP in order to restate the importance of COWAP’s framework. Under her coordination several activities were developed targeting three areas:
organization of the Optional Seminar: Gender Identity in the Analytical Pair and Its Impact on Transference and Countertransference; setting up a Study Group that gathers monthly with 20 participants from Lisbon, Oporto, Coimbra and Madrid, constituted by candidates, associate members and training members on the topics Homosexualities (2017/2018) and The Feminine and Psychic Bisexuality (2018/2020). Participation and organization of national and international scientific events:
May 2015 – Lyon – 75e Congrès de Psychanalystes de Langue Française – Le Sexuel Infantile et ses Destins – paper presentation Identité de Genre Dans la Paire Analytique et Implications Transférentielles et Contre-Transferéntielles.
April 2017 – SPP – organization of a COWAP Session on Homosexualities and Psychoanalysis, presented by Jorge Câmara and Ana Teresa Vale.
May 2017 – participation in the XXVIII Colloquium of SPP – Contemporary Sexuality and Psychoanalysis: views, challenges, dialogs with the paper Dream, Phantasma, Identity: the work of the analytic pair;
January 2019 – Lisbon – discussion of Virgínia Ungar´s conference From the Glass Slipper to the Glass Ceiling – considerations on the feminine and frailty;
December 2019 – Lisbon – Co-organization of the COWAP Conference The Feminine Within: revisiting bisexuality.
Political and Administrative:
participation and representation in COWAP Meetings at EPF and IPA Congresses.
Promotion of Film Presentation and Discussion series in conjunction with Nova University and Medeia Films with the themes: Identity and Gender; There is a Psychoanalyst in the Audience – Trauma in Cinema; The Feminine Inside Out. Media and online participation through news on SPP’s Blog and interviews on TV.
Nineteen years after the first European COWAP Conference in Sweden, for the 4th time, Lisbon welcomes the COWAP Conference The Feminine Within: Revisiting Bisexuality, organized by SPP in conjunction with the Portuguese Nucleus of Psychoanalysis with the support of COWAP-IPA, the General Directorate of Health and the National Program of Mental Health – WELCOME!