06/19/2024, 12:23, Vienna  DEUTSCH / ENGLISH

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Leading articles

THE VIENNA PSYCHOANALYST wants to give not only already internationally established psychoanalysts, but also still unknown psychoanalysts the opportunity to post a self-written and not yet published article on the FrontPage of our online magazine!

Our Users then can leave comments, ask questions or discuss the articles in our forum. Our aim is to provide an international platform where for the first time anyone interested in psychoanalysis can exchange ideas on certain topics.
Articles are welcome in German and/ or English.

If you are interested, please send your article to

(For reasons of readability, the male form is used with personal names, however the female form is also always intended.)




In our interview series "in conversation with“, we will briefly present the authors of the leading articles. We want to give our users the opportunity to read the leading article from a different point of view.

This week we are very glad to welcome Valeria Portaluppi from Oslo, Norway:

Valeria Portaluppi is a psychoanalyst from Argentina who graduated with honours at Universidad de Buenos Aires in 2010. She performed a Mental Health Interdisciplinary Residency at Hospital “Colonia Nacional Dr. Manuel Montes de Oca” from 2012 to 2015.   In the same institution, she was Residency Chief from 2015 to 2016.  After getting her Mental Health specialization degree, she performed a Gerontology Post Basic Interdisciplinary Residency at the hospital “Dr. Velez Sarsfield” from 2016 to June 2018.
Currently, she works for the Headmistress of the Mental Health Interdisciplinary Centre of the hospital “Colonia Nacional Dr. Manuel Montes de Oca” and for the Primary Health Service in the same institution.
She also runs her own office, working with teenagers, adults and elderly people.
It is expected that by the end of the year she finishes her postgraduate studies: “Clinical Psychology of Psychoanalytic Orientation” at Universidad de Buenos Aires, and “Vocational Orientation” at Universidad Nacional de Tres de Febrero.

DWP: What brought you to psychoanalysis?

Valeria Portaluppi: I guess I could mention three different reasons.

Before university, it was the idea that there was something unknown commanding the actions beyond people´s will. I mean, the first idea that I had of the unconscious system was related to this stereotypical situation: somebody not being able to stop doing something he wanted to stop doing.

My course programme was strictly related to Sigmund Freud as one of the main authors in every subject. It was completely enlightening for me.
Replying to this question faces me with a lack of signifier that could fully convey what Freud meant to me when I got to know his work, his commitment, and its huge value for humanity.

I consider his theoretical development positively revolutionary and will always be delighted and grateful with the empowering tool that he left us with. Taking the time to think about unconscious determinants, the place that one’s own history takes in everyone´s life, and the possibility to choose something different is, for me, tremendous, and ethical.

While studying at university, I started my own analysis and I myself could experience the power involved; even if it took time, money, anguish and the commitment to go through those areas that sometimes would be, paradoxically, better left alone..

Finally, when I got my degree and started working as a psychoanalyst, I could be in touch with other people´s processes and notice the way they started to introduce changes into their lives that both increased their wellbeing and decreased their suffering.  All this was  a consequence of starting living their life according to their own wishes, and awareness of their unconscious determinants and repetitions. These therapeutic developments still move me. .

DWP: If you had the opportunity to talk to Sigmund Freud, what would be the topic? Are there any specific questions?

Valeria Portaluppi: First at all, I would invite him to  the  Café Central in Vienna, and then, I don`t know, I guess I would like to know more about him, how he felt when he had to leave Vienna, how his life was like as an exile in London. I would like to know about personal aspects. I would even offer him my support, regarding the suffering he went through when his sisters were sent to a concentration camp.

His scientific work is so mind-blowing  that I think I still have a lot further to read before I can be completely sure that my questions haven´t already been answered by him.

DWP: Fabric or leather couch?

Valeria Portaluppi: Fabric, definitely!

DWP: Bruno Bettelheim pointed out the importance of fairy tales in childhood. Will you tell us your favorite fairy tale? And do you see parallels to your own adult life?

Valeria Portaluppi: My favorite fairy tale when I was a child was Hansel and Gretel, even if it was a bit scary for me. Today, I can find some parallels between the story and my love for the woods, the kitchens, and the animals.

DWP: I dream,..

Valeria Portaluppi: ... of living in a town surrounded by mountains, lakes, having a wooden house where I have afternoon tea with my husband (also a psychoanalyst) with our cats as company.  

DWP: What do you find good or particularly good about psychoanalysis and is there anything you do not like about it?

Valeria Portaluppi: I find  psychoanalysis particularly good as a tool of empowerment. I guess it is also a great resource to analyse different kinds of current events.

Sometimes I don´t like what some professionals say in the name of psychoanalysis.

DWP: What challenges did you have to face during your analytic training?

Valeria Portaluppi: A lot!  I guess it is always a challenge, since every single patient presents his own history, according to which the psychoanalyst will have to handle transference in a way that suits the patient. .

Besides, sometimes it is very hard to listen to the suffering of some people,  and of situations where they have been vulnerable or harmed by another. Also, it is touching to hear of the pain associated with the loss of a loved one.

DWP: Do you have a favorite Freud - quote?

Valeria Portaluppi: Yes, of course a lot, but on this particular occasion, I will choose one related to the subject of my article “The fact is, however, that when the work of mourning is completed the ego becomes free and uninhibited again”.

DWP:  Are there other psychoanalysts, in addition to Sigmund Freud, who you like to study?

Valeria Portaluppi: Yes, I also like studying Jacques Lacan.

Thank you very much for this conversation, we are already looking forward to your leading article!

Contact information of the author:
Valeria Portaluppi

Sigmund Freud Museum SFU Belvedere 21er haus stuhleck kunsthalle
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