The Association seeks to provide as complete an understanding of psychoanalysis and its founder, including (1) the history of the discovery of psychoanalysis,;(2) the biography of Freud, his relatives, his disciples and psychoanalysts who have succeeded; (3) the history of the psychoanalytic movement since its origin, including international developments through its major divisions or branches; (4) the place of psychoanalysis in the history of science and ideas of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, and (5) the relationship of psychoanalysis with the general history and the political, socio-economic and cultural conditions of the time. To achieve these objectives, the Association brings together published and unpublished documents relating to its research themes. It has working groups in several countries who hold scientific meetings and it publishes monographs and articles written by its members. Every two years it holds an international scientific meeting.
With practically no outside support, this organization has been able to set up highly successful international meetings, stimulated significant studies of the history of psychoanalysis, and effectively published its proceedings. It is well know for its research on, and publication of, topics that are relevant for psychoanalytic discipline and development.