Dear Colleagues and Friends,
It is a great pleasure to welcome you to the Ferenczi 150th Anniversary International Conference in Budapest as we celebrate the sesquicentennial of both Ferenczi’s birth and the founding of the city where Ferenczi lived and worked. Ferenczi’s clinical and theoretical work and his influence in integrating the concepts of psychoanalysis into culture, the arts and social scientific thought created the potential for development much like the former towns of Pest, Buda and Óbuda were integrated to form a world city. This conference, as we envisage it, offers an opportunity to approach the current phenomena and challenges of the 21st century in the spirit of Ferenczi.
The first international Sándor Ferenczi Conference was held in Budapest in 1993, and it has been organized in a different city almost every three years since then – including Baden-Baden, Buenos Aires, Budapest, Florence, London, Madrid, Miskolc, New York, Paris, São Paulo, Tel Aviv, Turin and Toronto, just to name the key events. These scholarly meetings have nurtured the Ferenczi Renaissance that has developed over the past decades, revealing Ferenczi’s therapeutic and theoretical approaches that are still relevant today. The generation of the Ferenczi network came out with Ferenczi’s unpublished works, accompanied by hundreds of monographs and studies translated into the major languages. All of these demonstrate the impact of Ferenczi’s legacy on modern psychoanalysis and, more broadly, on psychotherapeutic culture and thinking.
We are delighted that one of the conference events will take place in the garden of the Ferenczi House. The site represents not only Ferenczi’s intellectual heritage but also the international cooperation that enabled us to purchase Ferenczi’s former office in his villa a decade ago.
This space serves as the Ferenczi Centre, which is now open to the public and offers a growing archive for researchers. We are working to develop it into a modern visitor centre when finances allow.
This conference brings together clinicians and scholars. Today, we all face enormous social, economic and ecological challenges. However, psychoanalysis is an important means of achieving sovereignty and autonomy and developing the capacity to reflect on both ourselves and the world around us. It enables us to make our choices and decisions with as much inner freedom as possible.
The conference will also engage in a dialogue on how psychoanalysis can contribute to changes that can make our world more human and our lives more joyful.
We look forward to welcoming you to Budapest and wish you a successful meeting.
President, Sándor Ferenczi Society
Chair, Program and Organizing Committee