On May 6, 1980, Freud¡¯s birthday, the Korean Association of Psychoanalysis (KAPA) was established under the name of "The Seoul Research Group for Psychoanalysis." Doo- young Cho, Seung-whan O, Eyoung Kim, Dong-Su Han, Hyun-Woo Kim, and Jin-Wook Sohn were the group's original participants. Ik-Keun Hwang and Heuy Rhee joined the group somewhat later.
Based on the historical fact that the first psychoanalytic meetings were held at Freud's home every Wednesday, back in 1902, we also held our meetings to study psychoanalysis every Wednesday. In retrospect, it was a feeble attempt to start psychoanalysis in Korea. However, with the dedicated efforts of all its members, the KAPA has grown continuously over the last 29 years, in terms of its quality and quantity.
Everyone went through a strict screening process in order to become a member of the KAPA and was required to promise he/she would be psychoanalytically trained, if possible. All members participated in intensive educational seminars regularly. Also, internationally-outstanding training analysts were invited to give seminars for the members every year. These seminars were held two to seven times per year for more than twenty years, and the quality of the seminars was equal or superior to that of the educational programs of famous psychoanalytic institutes in the United States or some European countries.
Every year, the KAPA organized open lectures for non-members who were interested in psychoanalysis, in order to compensate for the limitations of a closed group and to spread psychoanalysis extensively in Korea. Alan Fraser (Connecticut), who was an analyst of founding president Doo-Young Cho, gave some of these open lectures. One of the KAPA's main activities was supporting members who wished to receive psychoanalytic training at famous psychoanalytic institutes abroad. As a result, we have a number of members who have studied psychoanalysis in the United States or England.
The following is a list of the international scholars who were invited by the KAPA to have educational seminars in Korea and greatly helped to develop the group: Myung-Hee Kim (New York), Normund Wong (Baltimore), Edward Joseph (New York), Dinora Pines (London), Collette Chilland (Paris), Donald Cohen (New Haven), Robert Wallerstein (San Francisco), Joseph Sandler (London), Anne-Marie Sandler (London), Ronald Baker (London), Theodore Cohen (Pittsburg), Otto Kernberg (New York), Raymond Gehl (New Jersey), Sanford Gifford (Boston), Arnold Cooper (New York), Peter Kutter (Frankfurt), James Strain (New York), Teresa Yuan (Buenos Aires), Robert Tyson (San Diego), Robert Nemiroff (San Diego), Calvin Colarusso (San Diego), Elizabeth de Bianchetti (Buenos Aires), Marcello de Bianchetti (Buenos Aires), Harold Blum (New York), Adeline van Waning (Amsterdam), David Sachs (Philadelphia), Sander Abend (New York), Nancy Goodman (New York), Jung-Kwi Seo (Toronto), Nishizono Masahisa (Japan), Doi Takeo, Okonogi Keigo (Japan), and Kitayama Osamu (Japan), Owen Renik(San Francisco), Jay Harris(New York), Robert Michels (New York), Marcia Kaplan(Cincinnati), James Dimon(San Francisco),, Abigail Golomb(Israel), and Nadine Levinson(San Diego).
Among them, the late Myung-Hee Kim, the Korean-American psychoanalyst who played an important role in the development of psychoanalysis in Korea, even left her books and journals to the KAPA.
The KAPA has continuously cooperated with the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA), which was founded by Sigmund Freud, and many members of the KAPA have attended the IPA Congress regularly. As a result, the KAPA was accepted by the IPA as its first Guest Study Group, at the IPA Congress in Buenos Aires in 1991. Domestically, the KAPA was also recognized by the Korean Academy of Medical Sciences as a regular member, representing the psychoanalytic field in Korea. In 2000, the KAPA started the Advanced Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training Course (a two-year course) in order to produce well-trained psychotherapists in Korea, and around ten psychiatrists apply for the course every year.
The short-term goals of the KAPA are as follows. First, we aim to establish Freud's psychoanalysis firmly in Korea. At the 43rd IPA Congress in 2004, Do-Un Jeoung and Tak-Yoo Hong were approved as direct members of the IPA. Shortly after that, Jae-Hak Yu, MeeKyung Kim, and Moo-Suk Lee also qualified as direct members of the IPA. After achieving five direct IPA members in 2008, the KAPA's guest study group was promoted to a formal study group of the IPA. In September, 2009, the formal study group started an analytic training course to produce direct members of the IPA in Korea. At the same time, the IPA officially accepted the other group of the KAPA except for the formal study group as an allied center of the IPA. Thus, the KAPA is now composed of the formal study group and the allied center of the IPA.
Second, we also aim to produce a greater number of experienced professionals in Korea who can do psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapy well. Although neuroscience has become a major tool for understanding complex brain functions currently, we still believe that psychoanalysis is also an important scientific method for creating a better understanding of the human mind. The KAPA has tried hard to verify our belief for about thirty years, and we will continue to do our best to establish psychoanalysis firmly in Korea.