Affiliated member of the WPA – World Psychiatric Association

Scientific Introduction

Dear colleagues and friends,

wadp_nicolai-neznanov_itit’s a real pleasure for us to inform you about our 19th World Congress of the World Association for Dynamic Psychiatry (WADP) that is going to be held in Berlin, Germany, on the topic “Peace and Aggression – A Social Challenge for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy”.

The topic of the congress goes beyond the specific medical problems and considers the global social problems of the modern world, because mental health is inseparable from the social environment and value based care can be only provided by specific attention to the issues of peace, tolerance, security and respect to human rights, by building inclusive societies free of stigmatization for mentally ill.

The founder of the WADP, Professor Günter Ammon, is known for his struggle for peace as a citizen and his creation of a new aggression concept as a scientist. He introduced the definition of the constructive aggression, which is defined as the capacity to be active, determined, self-confident, to be capable to invest in reciprocity and trust and in this sense to live in peace with oneself and others. On the other hand the implemented deficient aggression theory by G. Ammon assumes the lack of self assertive behavioural skills, the impaired ability to regulate inner tension, the inner accumulation of frustration that can bring the tragic outburst of violence with a great number of innocent victims. That means that speaking about aggression, we as mental health specialists, should emphasize in our discussion not only the problems of the aggressive behaviour of seriously mentally ill, but the needs and highlights of the psychotherapeutic aggression prevention programs in society.

The challenges we face today and the lessons we learned defined the topic of the congress. More than 400 spe­cialistspsychiatrists, psychotherapists and other professionals – from Germany, USA, Russia, France, Italy, Israel, India, Australia and other countries are going to participate in our congress. Our main goal is to provide a vigorous discussion and creative experience exchange to the wide spectrum of specialists involved in the treatment and prevention of mental illnesses and also maintenance of mental health. We cordially invite you to participate at our congress and make your contribution to the topic.

Professor Nikolaj G. Neznanov
President World Association for Dynamic Psychiatry


Dear colleagues and friends,

the 19th World Congress of the World Association for Dynamic Psychiatry and the 32nd International Symposium of the Deutsche Akademie für Psychoanalyse e. V. has this time the topic “Peace and Aggression – A Social Challenge for Psychiatry and Psychotherapy.”

This theme has special relevance to the field of dynamic psychiatry and psychotherapy. Furthermore it is a topic which people have to deal with daily.

Understanding “constructive aggression” as an inherent developmental force in human beings, is a matter that occupied Günter Ammon as early as 1970. He showed, that this force can become destructive or deficient only through interpersonal group-dependent developmental energy. He thereby detached himself from the Freudian notion of death instincts, and his theories established the basis for a humanistic view of aggression serving peace. To quote G. Ammon: “Peace means living, loving, working for oneself and others, having joy and resting in oneself, being content with oneself as well as being able to lead a life that is interesting for others within the framework of the possibilities that are set individually for all of us by the circumstances of society as a whole … with the possibility of changing social conditions within the scope of our strengths and in solidarity with others” (Ammon 1986).

In a world where people continue to be confronted by many challenges, including wars throughout the world, as well as the effects of globalization and the threat to the environment, such as climate change, we as psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, and social educators are particularly called upon to deal with this issue. In an article entitled “Freedom is wonderful – and vulnerable,” which appeared in the newspaper “Tagesspiegel” on 9 November 2018, the social scientist and politician of the Green Party Ralf Fücks stated: “Freedom is wonderful and exhausting at the same time. A person who wants to live in a self-determined way must take responsibility, too. … The future of an open society will depend on whether we can master the great challenges of our time. … Especially in times of turbulent change, in which old professional and cultural certainties are dissolving, there is a growing need for community based on solidarity.”

This congress will therefore be about understanding the roots and dynamics of aggression. While constructive aggression furthers responsibilty and solidarity, destructive aggression destroys them. What possibilities can we develop in psychiatric and psychotherapeutic treatment for dealing with aggression, conflict resolution, and even the ability to live in peace? Congress topics will also be suicide and self-aggression. Processes for developing peace skills in psychotherapy and psychiatry will always call for new thinking, new research findings, and new aspects of treatment for activating and creating arrested and destructive identity development. The common interest running through our congress will be to find new possibilities, hypothesis, assumptions, and new creative conditions in our rapidly changing world.

We hope that the encounter between scientists from various disciplines such as medicine, psychiatry, psychology, psychoanalysis and psychotherapy can promote the integration of interdisciplinary research. We also seek to have interdisciplinary findings from sociology, philosophy, pedagogy, cultural anthropology a.o. and areas of research to the discourse on this topic. It is our wish to have those humanities to contribute to the 2020 WADP Congress in a way that makes it possible for problems related to aggression and freedom to be perceived, consolidated, and addressed on behalf of our patients.

Again, we would like to thank the international organizations – WPA World Psychiatric Association, WASP World Association for Social Psychiatry, WFMH World Federation for Mental Health, ICPCM International College for Person Centered Medicine, IFE Fromm International Foundation Erich Fromm and DGG Deutsche Gesellschaft für Gruppendynamik und Gruppenpsychotherapie – for their support.

We greatly look forward to welcome you in Berlin, a city that has shown how to overcome politically imposed division and how to enable its people to grow together again.

Professor Maria Ammon
President German Academy for Psychoanalysis
General Secretary World Association for Dynamic Psychiatry