COWAP Newsletter November 2015


November, 2015

COWAP Committee
Overall Chair: Gertraud Schlesinger-Kipp
Co-Chair for Europe: Ingrid Moeslein-Teising
Co-Chair for Latin America: Cândida Sé Holovko
Co-Chair for North American: Cecile Bassen
European members: Laura Tognoli Pasquali and Ester Palerm Mari
Latin America members: Ruth Axelrod Praes and Almira Correia de Caldas Rodrigues
North America members: Paula Ellman and Britt-Marie Schiller
IPSO representative: Monica Fraenkel d’Alançon
COWAP Newsletter editor: Ester Palerm Mari


The COWAP Committee would like to announce that Frances Thomson-Salo has completed her mandate as the Overall Chair. All the COWAP Committee is proud to have shared all these years with her and appreciate all the wonderful work she has done.

Now we would like to welcome the new Overall Chair Gertraud Schlesinger-Kipp.
We underline some of her functions. She is a training analyst and supervisor (DPV/DGPT/IPA); President of the Alexander-Mitscherlich-Institut for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy Kassel e.V. (Institute of the DPV/IPA 1995 – 2003); President of DPV (2006 – 2008); member of the IPA board (2009 – 2011); PhD at the University of Kassel (2011).
We wish her all the best for her mandate.


  Frances Thomson-Salo

It has been my absolute pleasure to have been chair of COWAP for the last 6 years and I have always been, and remain, deeply grateful to Stefano Bolognini and Alexandra Billinghurst not only for this privilege but also for their warmly interested support.
I am proud of the increasing number of international COWAP conferences and the books resulting from the papers presented, which deepen our understanding of gender relations. I am also proud of an integrative function which COWAP has performed, establishing joint activities with other institutions, such as the United Nations committee, culminating this year in the first inter-committee meeting organised by COWAP with 5 other IPA committees to co-ordinate a psychoanalytic approach to child abuse prevention. Working groups are collecting information and planning worldwide conferences such as “The abused child” in Nervi, Italy in 2016.  Both the deepened scientific understanding and establishing joint activities with other institutions fulfill our mandate.
A third achievement of these years is the sense of greater integration between the regions, seen when enthusiastic and thoughtful colleagues from around the world gather, and in the vibrant COWAP Newsletter for which my thanks go to Ester Palerm.
I wish Gertraud Schlesinger-Kipp, who will be chair for the next 2 years, every best wish in this venture.


  Gertraud Schlesinger-Kipp

The President of the IPA appointed me as Interim Chair of the Committee on Women and Psychoanalysis (COWAP). I accepted to take over as Interim Chair so that the IPA rules of rotation of chairships between the regions could be restored. In 2017 a North American colleague should take over this function. I feel honored and happy to be able to continue the most brilliant and wonderful way of chairing COWAP of Frances Thomson-Salo. She created an enthusiastic atmosphere of working together in the purpose of supporting primarily the women issues all over the world and also including men’s issues, because we all live as human beings in one world.
I joined COWAP in 2002 as German coordinator under the chair of Mariam Alizade who became a dear friend and whom I miss still so much in COWAP. Since then I was working with COWAP (as member and consultant) internationally and nationally. My aim is to broaden the outreach of COWAP into countries where we don’t have members and to foster there venues and conferences. My experience is that COWAP is able to bring people together who did not work together before, from different institutes and schools of psychoanalysis and from different professions and to create an atmosphere of understanding and also controversial discussions.
I also would like to intensify the first inter-committee project, where different committees of the IPA try to find a synergy in making a better world for children: the project on prevention of child abuse. As representative of COWAP I am in the board of the Inter-Committee project together with the Chair Mali Mann and Joshua Durban.
A particular interest of mine is the research of understanding the intercultural differences of the relations between women and men, as the globalized world is coming together – this year in an enormous amount in my home country Germany. Together with colleagues we support “refugees welcome” and work in the Refugees camps where the conflicts between the gender is often very obviously. Refugees, helpers and translators can profit from our psychoanalytic knowledge as well as we can profit from their cultural and personal way of life. Also the shelter for the children is an enormous task in this field. So the main aspect of COWAP and the inter-committee on prevention of child abuse is also for me personal of high interest and actuality.



On the occasion of European Equal Pay Day 2015, the European Commission draws attention to the gender pay gap. This date has been selected because on this date Women in Europe still work 59 days ‘for free’ until they match the amount earned by men. European Equal Pay Day reminds us of the unequal pay conditions women still face in the labour market. The gender pay gap -the average difference between women and men’s hourly earnings across the entire economy- has barely moved in recent years and still stands at around 16% (it stands at 16.4% as the year before).

  By Ester Palerm

Historically, this day has been chosen as on November 25th 1960 the three Mirabal sisters were assassinated. The sisters made a political statement against the Trujillo dictatorship (1930–1961) in the Dominican Republic. For their political activities they were harassed, persecuted and imprisoned, all while their family suffered retaliation from the Military Intelligence Service. On November 25th 1960, Patria, Minerva and María Teresa, together with their chauffeur Rufino de la Cruz, were returning from visiting their husbands in jail. They were beaten to death and their bodies and vehicle were dumped off a cliff in order to make their deaths look like an accident.

In 1981, activists marked November 25th as a day to combat and raise awareness of the violence against women. Thirty nine years later, on December 17th 1999, the date received its official United Nations (UN) resolution.
Several writers, poets, playwrights and movie directors have remembered the Mirabal story in their works. The COWAP Committee would like to mention some of them.

  • Adela Mirabal “Dedé” was the only one of the four sisters who survived. She wrote a book in 2009 “Alive in their garden” in which she explains their lives and their fight for freedom, including family photos.
  • The American writer Julia Alvarez, whose parents are native Dominicans, wrote a novel with the title “In the time of the butterflies” which was first published in 1994. The title was named after Minerva whose name was Butterfly in the clandestinely. A movie about the novel was made by the Spanish director Mariano Barroso in 2001.  Part of the film was filmed in the house of the Mirabal’s sisters. In 1994 the house, located in the small village “Ojo de Agua” in Salcedo/Dominican Republic, in which the Mirabal sisters grew up, became the “Museum of the Mirabal sister”.
  • Mario Vargas Llosa, who received the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2010, wrote in his book “La fiesta del chivo”, published in 2000 and one year later with the title “The Feast of the Goat” in English, where he recreates the assassination of the Mirabal sisters in the framework of the Trujillo dictatorship. In 2005 a movie about this novel was made by the Peruvian director Luis Llosa.
  • The Dominican writer, actor and movie director Etzel Báez wrote the book “Asesinato de las hermanas Mirabal y ajusticiamiento de Trujillo” in 2003. He also made a film in 2008 “Crimen” (Crime”) with  the advise of Leandro Guzman, who is Maria Teresa Mirabal’s husband.

Other writers who have written about the Mirabal sister’s:
– “Las Mirabal” (1976) by Ramón Alberto Ferreras
– “Minerva Mirabal: Historia de una heroína” (1982) by William Galván
– “Tres heroínas y un tirano. La historia verídica de las Hermanas Mirabal y su asesinato por Rafael Leonidas Trujillo” (1996) by Miguel Aquino García
– “Las heroínas de Salcedo en un Ojo de Agua” (1997) by Alcibíades Cruz González
– “Minerva Mirabal: la revolucionaria” (2000) by Roberto Cassá
– “Heroínas nacionales: María Trinidad Sánchez, Salomé Ureña y Minerva Mirabal” (2007) by Roberto Cassá

Movies and other documents based on the of the Mirabal sister’s assassination are:
– “Oriundos de la noche” (2007) documentary directed by Spanish Javier Balaguer
– “Trópico de cáncer” (2009)  by Dominican director Juan Deláncer
– “Codename: Butterflies” (2009) documental by Cecilia Domeyko


March 4-5, Weekend Conference: “The Courage to Fight Violence Against Women”, Washington D. C. (USA)
Presented by The International Psychoanalytical Association, the Contemporary Freudian Society, the American University Katzen Arts Center, the Baltimore Washington Center for Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and the Washington Center for Psychoanalysis.
An international and interdisciplinary Conference on the Courage to See and Fight Violence against Women. In recent years there has been a surge in awareness of the many arenas in which violence against women occurs.
Psychoanalysts and scholars from Argentina, Mexico, Peru, the UK and US address how violence can be seen, known and represented on the world stage and in psychoanalytic treatment, along with the consideration of depictions of violence against women in film, art, drama and poetry.
Location: The Katzen Arts Center at American University

Full brochure and print registration
Or register on line: session 1 & 2

March 17-20,COWAP Panel at the EPF Conference: “Women and Power-Men and Power”, Berlin (Germany)
Friday 11.30-12.00
Speakers: Susanne Walz-Pawlita and Hans-Jürgen Wirth
Chair: Gertraud Schlesinger-Kipp

April 1-2, First Journey about Sexual Abuse: “Consequences to subjectivity and prevention”, São Paulo (Brazil)
The issue of sexual violence is of importance not only to Psychoanalysis but also to the whole society, involving professionals of physical and mental health, judges, lawyers, teachers and parents in the search for understanding early intervention and prevention.

Participants: Joshua Durban, Juan Eduardo Tesone, Nilde Parada Franch, Plinio Montagna and David Levisky.
Coordinators: Cândida Sé Holovko, Cristina Cortezzi Reis, Cristina Maria Kurkdjian and Regina Elizabeth Lordello Coimbra.
Location: Brazilian Psychoanalytical Society of São Paulo (SBPSP)

June 3-4, XII COWAP Latin American Intergenerational Dialogue between men and women: “Challenges of Psychoanalysis facing the new sexual and family configurations”, São Paulo (Brazil)
Although the main concepts in psychoanalysis remain fundamental in our job we nowadays have to deal with new challenges coming to us in our clinical work that make us wish for a greater exchange of ideas with colleagues and professionals of related interdisciplinary areas. Themes to be discussed in the XII Dialogue: sexual diversity, homoerotic couples, assisted reproduction, transsexuality, sexuality and gender.

We have already confirmed the presence of Frances Thompson Salo (Australia), Leticia Glocer Fiorini (Argentina), Fernando Orduz (Colombia), Rui Aragão (Portugal) and other renowned professionals from Latin America.
We are receiving papers to be presented in small groups. These should be in Arial 12 font and should not exceed 5 pages, with summary and references. Deadline for acceptance of papers: February 29th.
Coordinators: Cândida Sé Holovko and Cristina Cortezzi Reis

September 2-3,Conference: “The abused child”, Nervi/Genova (Italy)
Co-organisers: Laura Tognoli Pasquali and Frances Thomson-Salo
International line up of speakers and discussants drawn from psychoanalysis and the law to include Irma Brenman Pick (UK), Jordi Sala (Spain), Luis Jorge Martín Cabré (Spain) and John Woods (UK) on “How does an abused child become an abuser?”
Location: Hotel Pagoda

October 29-30, “Female potencies”, Frankfurt (Germany)


“Women, Bonds and Loneliness”
8th Exhibition of Film and Psychoanalysis
October 14-26, Lima (Perú)
By Graciela Cardó Soria

The films of the exhibition represented the feminine universe in different eras, societies and perspectives, with emphasis on the various bonds and concomitant solitudes that women live were chosen. Through movies we felt, thought and reflected with a broad public on the various stages of the life cycle of women and their avatars.

This activity was conducted in conjunction with the Peruvian Society of Psychoanalysis (SPP by its acronyms in Spanish), COWAP and the Film Library of the Pontificia Universidad Católica del Perú.
Members of the SPP and COWAP-Perú participated in various forums over the exposed films.
The exhibition was conducted in Lima and the provinces.

“O Primeiro Olhar. Desenvolvimiento psíquico inicial, déficit e autismo” (“The first gaze”) by Teresa Rocha Leite Haudenschild

This book is a precious contribution to psychoanalysts and all professionals who are interested in studying primitive states of mind: psychologists, psychiatrists, psychotherapists, social workers, teachers of children with special needs, and careers of children with deficits.
Teresa Rocha Leite Haudenschild presents a rich experience in the clinic with patients who exhibit mental functioning at extremely primitive levels, and who demand of the analyst great affective investment and firm confidence in the psychoanalytical method.
The descriptions provided of the intimacy of the sessions with her patients are vivid, the theoretical-clinical articulations are elucidative.

With the proposals of Klein (on our emotional life); Bion (the relation of thecontaining objectand the development of thinking); Meltzer (thethinking objectand the relationship between dimensionalities and mental functioning); Bick (the development of thepsychical skin); Tustin (autistic phenomena); Alvarez and others, the author goes into the encounter with her patients at the level of mental functioning of each, and from this, they gain life.
The oniric repertoire and the analyst’s capacity forreverie lead us to associate the gaze with the umbilical cord, the breast, hearing, arms that hold, yet, above all, with doors and windows to the soul, to the internal world which, little by little, is constituted.
Terror can be named, self-containment developed, the symbolical process can blossom, speech can be unveiled, and subjectivation may strengthen, on the path that, step by step, is constructed in the analysis between the darkness of a world without emotional meaning on the way to psychical reality and the lucidity of a thinking mind. To do this, Teresa underlines “we should be creators and not copiers of techniques.”

Teresa Rocha Leite Haudenschild is a didactic analyst and an analyst of children and adolescents of the Brazilian Psychoanalytical Society of São Paulo (Brazil). She has worked in clinical psychoanalysis for around forty years and published on initial symbolization and the constitution of identity.