Franco Borgogno, PhD, 2010

Right from his beginnings in the mid-Seventies as professor of psychology (University of Turin) and from 1984 as psychoanalyst of the Società Psicoanalitica Italiana (I.P.A.), Franco Borgogno Ph.D., full Professor in Clinical Psychology and Training and Supervising Analyst, has increasingly focused his theoretical and clinical endeavors on the exploration of the relevance of the psychic environment (both parental and analytic environment) as a key factor of health and illness. This attention on the vicissitudes of “real life events” in their connection with the transference-countertransference dynamics brought him to a new reading of the works by Paula Heimann, Wilfred R. Bion, Donald W. Winnicott and especially Sándor Ferenczi. From his personal “re-visitation” of these authors he has come to propose a series of key clinical concepts which he has described in his fundamental books (published in Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, English and French) Psychoanalysis as a Journey (Bollati Boringhieri, 1999), The Vancouver Interview: Notes and Fragments of a Psychoanalytic Vocation (Borla, 2007) and, more recently, in his new book “The Young Lady Committing Hara-kiri” and Other Essays (Bollati Boringhieri, 2011).

From 1974 to date, Franco Borgogno has passionately devoted himself in presenting and transmitting clinical psychoanalysis in the Academia in a non dogmatic way, a mode particularly fit for the application of psychoanalysis in the medical, psychological and psychiatric work. As a development of this, he founded in 1999 and directed until 2009, within his university, a postgraduate school in Clinical Psychology that lawfully licenses M.D.s and Psy.D.s to conduct psychotherapy, and has contributed in 2001 to establish a Doctorate Program in “Clinical and the Interpersonal Relationships Psychology” of which he has also been Director for several years. This interest in the transmission of psychoanalysis within the university has earned him the appointment as member, co-chair for Europe and lastly – from 2009 – chair of the I.P.A. Committee “Psychoanalysis and University” and member ex-officio of the I.P.A. Outreach Committee.

Moreover, Franco Borgogno is an active member of the Società Psicoanalitica Italiana, of the European Psychoanalytical Federation and of the International Psychoanalytical Association and has organized numerous international conferences, among which the Turin 1997 International W.R. Bion Congress and the Turin 2004 International S. Ferenczi Conference. He has done a rich editorial activity with many international psychoanalytic journals and Italian publishing houses, editing the Italian translations of many psychoanalytic classics. His publications (books, articles in journals and chapters in books) in various languages are more than 330.

Excerpt from acceptance speach:

I come from afar – as I told you – and I am here this evening thanks to the credit that I have received and to your recognition. That credit and recognition fill me with joy, but in this particular moment – I must confess – they frighten me. They scare me because now I should tell you what my contribution to psychoanalysis is and, frankly, I don’t know how I might summarize it for you in a few words.

I am a romantic – you must excuse me – but I will again turn to an illustration in order to express myself, this time an illustration that originates from my mother. When people in my father’s extended family (an aristocratic one) would ask her, a bit provocatively, to present her “pedigree” (“Nina,” they would say, “where do you come from?” “What is your history?”), she answered proudly on those occasions, but also with a grain of impudence: “Sir, as you already know (the question had been voiced repeatedly), I was born to plod along with my hands on a wheelbarrow…and in my family (not an aristocratic one: this was a family of wood industrialists), from the first day of life, you couldn’t avoid getting your hands dirty with labor, because in my home it has always been labor that is ennobling.”

So here it is: “I come from afar,” “I have received recognition and credit,” “I pushed a wheelbarrow,” and “I got my hands dirty.” It is these, all these expressions, that I think well represent the spirit with which I have moved toward and within psychoanalysis, and with which I have tried to transmit it to others – patients, students, and colleagues – with my clinical work, my writing, and my teaching. – Franco Borgogno.