International Psychohistorical Association

Understanding the Past, Shaping  the Future

Who We Are

We are clinicians, historians and other scholars from diverse disciplines who seek to understand how history, public affairs, and culture shape and are shaped by individual and group psychology.  The IPhA is open to all who wish to study, teach, and conduct research in psychohistory.

Statement of the President

Dear IPhA members, friends and Colleagues,

As I begin my journey as the new President of IPhA, I’d like to share a few thoughts about my intentions and vision for our organization, an amazing fellowship that has been around for the last fifty years with a rich tradition and history. It is my sincere hope to follow in the footsteps of its founders whom I respect for their lifelong dedication and work.

Many disciplines have now confirmed the importance of childhood in the development of a personality. I’m thinking of developmental psychology and the discoveries of affective neuroscience among others. These scientific developments give us great confidence in the specificity of our discipline to study the social dynamics resulting from collective exposure to adverse childhood experiences.

In psychohistory we understand we bring those dynamics to our historical contexts, institutions and endeavors—taking advantage of them, fighting with them, giving them their shape in our time, transforming or preserving them. Psychohistory explores the interplay between organizations, institutions and historical contexts, all with dynamics of their own, on the one hand and the dynamics we bring to our engagement in this world from early life and its modifications as we go through life. Ours is a rich discipline indeed.

Within the framework of our association, I hope to promote access to further research in a spirit of openness and collaboration. For me, psychohistory is a discipline that combines multiple perspectives, with human beings and their motivations at its core. We understand that unless we commit ourselves to resolving its painful legacies, History tends to repeat itself through the bitter process of restaging unprocessed traumas. In my view, this comprehension should bring meaning to our actions.

Speaking of the IPhA, I love the metaphor of a big, welcoming tent under which we can exchange ideas and communicate, develop professional togetherness in a respectful, open way. We may have different perspectives, and that’s okay! We can still respect each other’s contributions.

IPhA is also a non-profit organization. Its members are dedicated volunteers who contribute their time and energy without expecting anything in return. I’ll do my best to recognize everyone’s enthusiasm and participation in this endeavor. I want everyone to feel appreciated for her or his contribution to collective understanding and scientific development.

Given the dramas we hear in the media every day and the tragedy of war around us, psychohistory has never been more important. It’s a crucial explanatory human science. And we can, in our own small way, contribute to a more peaceful world, where our children are welcomed and treated with greater benevolence in all dimensions of their being.

Thank you for your participation in this valuable project!

Marc-André Cotton, President, IPhA

INTERNATIONAL PSYCHOHISTORICAL ASSOCIATION’S
47th ANNUAL CONFERENCE
MAY 31st – June 2nd, 2024
VIRTUALLY ON ZOOM

Hopes and fears for our polarized world: PSYCHOHISTORICAL PERSPECTIVES

SUBTHEMES: PSYCHOHISTORICAL INSIGHTS ON

• WAR IN ISRAEL/PALESTINE AND UKRAINE
• DEATH ANXIETY AND TERROR MANAGEMENT THEORY
• ULTRANATIONALIST, FUNDAMENTALIST, AND OTHER AUTHORITARIAN MOVEMENTS
• 2024 US PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES AND CAMPAIGNS
• ROOTS OF ADULT PSYCHOPATHOLOGY IN CHILDHOOD TRAUMA
• PSYCHOANALYSIS, HUMANE PARENTING, AND INDIVIDUAL AND COLLECTIVE HEALING

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