The Delphi International Psychoanalytic Symposium was held for the first time in 1984, a year after the creation of the Study Group of the International Psychoanalytic Association in Athens.
The establishment of the Symposium was the result of the collaboration of Petros Hartokollis with two colleagues from Toronto, Canada, psychiatrist John Babatzanis and psychoanalyst Ian Graham. Canadian psychoanalyst Caspar Tutters also participated in the event.
Babatzanis suggested Delphi, “the navel of the earth”, the center of the ancient world, the homeland of Oedipus, as the site of the symposium. A very important archaeological site with a great museum surrounded by an impressive nature.
The first four Symposia were organized by P. Hartokollis, J. Babatzanis and I. Graham at the European Cultural Center of Delphi. From 2000 until today, the organization of the Symposium has been undertaken by the Association “Friends of the Delphi International Psychoanalytical Symposium”, which consists of Greek psychoanalysts.
The contribution of P. Hartokollis was essential. Apart from his love for philosophy, mythology and Ancient Greece, he had a long experience as a psychiatrist and psychoanalyst from the Menninger Foundation and the psychiatric clinic in Topeka Kansas, where he had worked with renowned psychoanalysts. In his own special way he brought these people from Menninger to Delphi. (link για τον Πέτρο Χαρτοκόλλη εδώ)
From 1984 to 2022, nine Symposia were held.
1st Symposium, 1984: The Personal Myth in Psychoanalytic Theory
2nd Symposium, 1988: The Maternal Element in Psychoanalysis. Clinical and Cultural Perspectives
3rd Symposium, 1992: Tragedy: Cultural and Psychoanalytic Perspectives
4th Symposium, 1996: Sexual Orientation and the Oedipus Complex: Before or After?
5th Symposium, 2000: “Self-Awareness: Before and After Freud”
6th Symposium, 2004: Psychoanalysis and the Human Body: Beyond Somatopsychic Dualism
7th Symposium, 2008: Psychoanalysis and Ideologies
8th Symposium, 2013: The Father
9th Symposium, 2022: Xenos
The 10th Delphi International Psychoanalytic Symposium is being prepared for the summer of 2026, with the theme “Authority and Authoritarianism”.
As an international institution, the Delphi International Psychoanalytic Symposium has always been a very welcoming podium for the younger generation. A meeting place for scientists from all over the world, it promotes a freedom of thought in the context of a high level scientific discourse, artistic creation, of history and philosophy. At the same time, it is very important that the symposium has greatly contributed to the Greek psychoanalytic terminology slowly finding its place in the Greek scientific literature.