‘Freud’s Bar’ is an outreach initiative with the aim of stimulating an interest in psychoanalysis among the public, with a special focus on young people. The IPA OUTREACH COMMITTEE heard originally about ‘Freud’s bar’ as an outreach idea from David Clinton (Swedish Psychoanalytical Society). They learned that this initiative had been an enormous success and thought it was interesting way of attracting young people and letting them know about psychoanalysis. So the Committee decided to experiment and to try it out in Rome: if it worked, it could serve a template for other Italian, and perhaps even foreign Institutes.
They started by finding the location – the scientific bookshop Assaggi, which has a bar inside and is located in a lively area, close to the university and near the psychology faculty in particular. They printed some flyers, and the bookshop sent invitations out to its mailing list. An article was even published in a national newspaper.
As for the theme, the title chosen was “An escape from reality”. From the outset, it was clear that this was going to be a popular choice. Eight colleagues were selected to give an informal talk of 20-30 minutes, one talk per month. The lectures would be: an introductory one , and then considerations of what an “escape from reality” might be from a psychodynamic perspective: to drugs, obsessive sex, to online worlds, to (and from) food, alcohol, reckless behaviour, cosmetic surgery and so on. To our surprise, around 40 to 50 people were present at each lecture, and even more surprisingly, there were quite a lot of young people – both university and high school students.
Even if some people attended more than one lecture, each time there were new faces present. After the short lecture, there was a time for discussion with the audiences: each lasted an hour and a half. All the speakers were required to follow the American Psychoanalytic Association’s guidelines for speaking in public about psychoanalysis: the use of simple and untechnical vocabulary, with no more than three psychoanalytic terms (such as masochism, or narcissism…), the explanation of each psychoanalytic term, the presentation of psychoanalysis in a positive and “concrete” way.
Each session the discussion was passionate and lively. A glass of wine and snacks served before and after the lecture encouraged a relaxed and informal atmosphere.
To conclude, the ‘Freud’s Bar’ initiative was an exciting and successful one. It provided an opportunity to create awareness of psychoanalysis in a large number of people, especially youngsters. In terms of numbers, Freud’s Bar allowed us to contact around 400 people .
In 2013 the same Committee is repeating the successful event in Rome in the same location.
This is the program you can download from this link above. flyer freud’s bar 2013
I wish to thank the creators, Claudia Spadazzi, MD, Società Psicoanalitica Italiana, the Film maker: Ariel Genovese, the Libreria Scientifica asSaggi, Anna Parisi, Lilli Garrone.
And Paola Marion as Chair for Europe of the IPA Committee on Outreach.