Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society

, Volume 22, Issue 4, pp 439–447 | Cite as

Psychoanalysis in a changing Cuba: A note from the field

Field Note


In 2015 and 2016, the author and four other psychoanalysts from New York City visited Havana and met with the Psychoanalytic Association of Cuba (APDECU), a study group of the International Federation of Psychoanalytic Societies (IFPS). These meetings provided an important opportunity to learn about psychoanalysis in Cuba, a little known topic. The author discusses the APDECU’s history and its members’ interest in psychoanalysis, describes the trajectory of psychoanalysis since the Cuban Revolution of 1959, and observes how economic, political, and social change has affected this trajectory. Psychoanalytic private practice, as we know it in capitalist countries, ended with the revolution, and psychoanalytically-oriented clinicians are employed by state-run public health institutions. Cuba’s leaders have introduced unprecedented economic change since 2008, resulting in an increasing marketization and privatization of the economy, which they refer to as “updating” or “reforming” socialism. The author explores the impact that economic reform may have on the future development of psychoanalysis and on the professional identity of psychotherapists.


Cuba economic reform psychoanalysis psychotherapy psychoanalytic association of Cuba (APDECU) socialism 



The four psychoanalysts from New York City are Roman Crudele, James Holmes, Mary Lantz, and Beverly Schneider. I wish to thank them for their work on our Cuba project. I also thank Cristina Díaz and the members of the APDECU for their collaborative work with our group from New York.


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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Emeritus Professor, Wurzweiler School of Social WorkYeshiva UniversityNew YorkUSA

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