Why is psychological counseling and treatment popular in Argentina?

In a cafe in the Argentine capital Buenos Aires, 51-year-old construction worker Roberto? Alvarez listed to reporters the names of psychologists he had seen in the past 10 years. Before that, he talked about the famous French psychologist Jacques Lacan (1901-1981), saying that he sometimes treated patients in a taxi. “When it comes to choosing a psychologist, we are like women looking for the perfect perfume. Try this, try that, and we will always find the right person in the end.”

Indeed, although Argentines are struggling to cope with inflation and economic recession, many people know that they still urgently need psychological counseling from a psychologist. According to a study by Argentine psychologist and researcher Modesto Alonso, the number of practicing psychologists in Argentina has been increasing, with an increase of about 40% in the past 10 years. This also shows that Argentina is a world leader in psychology research, at least Argentines are more willing to open their hearts. “In Argentina, it’s not surprising that ordinary people go to see professional psychologists two or three times a week.” Tiziana Fenochieto, a 29-year-old psychiatrist, said she was in a public mental illness. As a resident in the hospital, “On the contrary, I myself have been receiving psychotherapy for the past 8 years, which is very fashionable.”

In the city of Buenos Aires, you don’t need to travel far to find that local people are obsessed with psychological counseling to varying degrees. The name “Villa Freud” is not only a tribute to the founder of the psychoanalytic school and Austrian Sigmund Freud, but also a tribute to many psychologists in Buenos Aires. They are engaged in psychological counseling and treatment in the elegant villas on both sides of the streets of Guemes Square in the north of the capital.

In the theater district next to Corrientes Avenue, many theaters often stage psychology-related dramas, such as the emerging stage drama “Freud’s Last Dialogue”, which attracts countless audiences every night.

When you walk into bookstores large and small in the capital, you can find books on mental illnesses that plague people and their treatments, including “The General History of Hysteria” and “Between Paris and Buenos Aires: Psychologists” “The Invention” and so on. The award-winning Argentine comic book “The Restorer of Dreams” even incorporates psychoanalysis into the story of a dystopian city.

Psychoanalysis is not only aimed at the wealthy class in Argentina. Some psychoanalysts in the national medical system also provide patients with free consultation and treatment. Except for some private medical projects that do not pay for psychoanalysis, the insurance plans of general union members all cover dozens of psychotherapy expenses each year. “We are not doing philanthropy, but providing equal opportunities for people.” said Ms. Adriana Abeles, chairman and founder of the Psychoanalytic Field Foundation. This foundation mainly conducts research in psychology, trains students majoring in psychoanalysis, and provides therapeutic practice. When patients cannot afford to pay, they can voluntarily use voluntary labor (such as repairing furniture, cooking, painting the walls, etc.) in exchange for psychological consultation and treatment costs.

The increasing number of psychologists in Argentina also means that consumers have considerable room for bargaining. Although some top psychoanalysts charge hundreds of dollars for each psychological consultation, most analysts charge flexibly according to the patient’s income, sometimes only 15 dollars per hour.

At present, the development of psychoanalysis in Argentina is very strong, and it is also affected by global treatment trends. For example, technologies such as cognitive behavioral therapy and drug treatment have made progress in Argentina; some psychotherapists in Argentina have opened online service projects, using Internet phone and other technologies to provide consultation. Andrés Raskowski, president of the Argentine Association of Psychoanalysis, insisted that psychoanalysis has almost no risk of disappearing in Argentina, because the cost of seeing a psychologist twice a week is affordable for most Argentines. of.

Theories about the causes of psychological disorders and professional treatment methods seem to be very popular in Argentina. Martin is the protagonist of the Argentine romantic drama “Meeting You in a Sea of ​​People”. This critically acclaimed film tells people’s lives in capsule apartments in Buenos Aires. He puts forward this theory: “Indifferent, Depression, suicide, panic disorder, obesity, hypochondriasis, sedentary, neurosis, etc., are all problems caused by architects and construction entrepreneurs.” Others look for explanations from the history of Argentina and think these psychological problems The problem has to do with the historical status of this country. We must know that Argentina used to be richer than many European countries, but the past glory is no longer there. This makes many Argentines sad.

Although many Argentines have suffered from depression for a long time, they are basically willing to share their worries with patient listeners. Argentina is a country of immigrants. Most of its citizens are descendants of immigrants from European countries such as Italy and Spain. Therefore, it has a tradition of drawing inspiration from European thought trends, including the rise of Freudian psychology a century ago. In the 1940s, in order to get rid of the fascist dictatorship of the Spanish dictator Francisco Franco, many Spaniards immigrated to Argentina, which laid the foundation for establishing the important position of psychoanalytic research and related professions in Argentina. Now, some famous psychoanalysts in Argentina are descendants of European Jews.

Others try to associate the appeal of psychoanalysis with the music of Argentina. For example, tango, from which people can clearly detect its dark theme; there is even a theory called “psychological tango”, which explores the use of psychoanalysis and dance as tools for “self-transformation”. But Mariano Ben Plotkin, author of “Floyd on the Pampas”, believes that the reasons for the prosperity of psychoanalysis in Argentina are quite complicated. “It is true that we have tango, but The Portuguese have Fado-Fado is the sad music of the Portuguese, and the number of psychologists per capita in this country is much smaller.” When Plotkin was young, his parents would take him to visit every week. Several psychologists. He believes that the rise of psychoanalysis in Argentina is due in part to the interest of a large number of well-educated middle class in this field in the 1960s. At the same time, he is optimistic about the “hegemony” status of psychoanalysis in the Argentine psychology community-after all, even ordinary Argentines often use psychological terms and can eloquently explain Freud and Jung’s psychology The difference in learning theories. In other countries, this is only possible for psychology professionals.

Argentines’ respect for psychoanalysis also extends to other fields, and psychology-related investigations and research appear in various national institutions. For example, when public schools hold parent meetings, parents are asked to communicate with psychoanalysts employed by the school system. In Argentina, you can find many terms related to psychoanalysis by reading newspapers or cultural supplements at will. Psychologist Diego Seychenckman writes a column for the “National” every week, which describes his hypothetical psychotherapy with politicians of various factions. He joked: “We especially want to see those who make It looks like we have suffered psychological torture for those in power.”