Buenos Aires, the Argentine capital known for its tango bars, has another claim to fame: it may well be the world’s capital of psychoanalysis.
For every 120 inhabitants in this bustling metropolis, a psychologist is on hand to help struggling individuals make it through tough times — or simply lend an attentive ear to accounts of life’s daily travails.
“We portenos like to talk more than we like to listen,” Marcelo Peluffo, one such disciple of Sigmund Freud and Jacques Marie Emilie Lacan told AFP referring to residents of this city of three million. “That must be why someone who works to listen is successful.”
Andres Rascovsky, president of the Argentine Psychoanalytic Association (APA), one of the World’s largest with 1,200 members, attributes the penchant for such services to immigrant nostalgia similar to that expressed on the dance floor.
“Psychoanalysis is so much a part of Buenos Aires because the city makes you suffer,” the 61-year-old said in an interview in his practice — near a neighborhood dubbed “Villa Freud” due to its abundance of analysts like him.
The popularity of therapy is also reflected by what sells well on television and in the city’s theaters where 10 shows currently deal with the subject.
“The public could relate to a series called ‘In Therapy,’ which just ended,” said Rascovsky, whose office walls are adorned with deer antlers, seen as symbols of wisdom and connections to the spiritual world.
On stage, productions that have drawn full houses include “Knock, Knock” — a piece about six people who suffer from obsessive-compulsive disorder — and the comedy “The Last Session of Freud.” The musical “Almost Normal” about a child’s death and its impact on the family has also been a hit.
“These productions do very well because people identify with something you don’t see every day but which is latent in all of us,” Florencia Otero, 22, one of the stars of “Almost Normal” told AFP as her colleagues agreed in unison.
Therapy can also be a useful tool for actors, chimes in Mariano Chiesa.
“My teacher tells me, the more you know about yourself the better an actor you’ll be,” Chiesa said.
Jealousy, desire and infidelity are the key themes of the bestselling book “Encounters” by psychologist Gabriel Rolon that topped sales in Buenos Aires bookstores. Rolon has popularized psychoanalysis with other chart-topping works such as “The Sufferers” and “Couch Stories.”
Country-wide, some 50,000 psychologists compete for business, which amounts to an average of one practitioner for every 690 residents — three times more than in the United States. Those wanting to pursue the profession can choose from 200 schools in Buenos Aires alone.
To illustrate how mainstream therapy sessions have become, Rascovsky — whose father Arnaldo was a pioneer of psychoanalysis — tells an anecdote about a Mexican couple in town for a conference who were astonished when a taxi driver asked them who had been elected APA president.
Indeed, it is difficult to find people who have not sought the services of a therapist, with even those with modest salaries can get sessions partially reimbursed by social security health plans.
Vera Czmerinski, a 40-year-old actress and journalist, told AFP she has spent two decades trying to find herself in sessions.
“I use therapy to know how far I can go without getting hurt by life,” she said.
If Trump loses two more states it’s ‘ballgame over’: AP reporter
Appearing on MSNBC's " Morning Joe," Associated Press White House correspondent Jonathan Lemire explained Donald Trump's chances of being re-elected have reached the point where, if he loses the electoral votes of one more, he will be out of luck and out of office.
Speaking with co-host Joe Scarborough, Lemire was asked where Trump stands in the battleground states he so desperately needs.
"Both campaigns agree that there are six battleground states to decide this election: Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, Michigan, Arizona, North Carolina, Florida," he began. "Now the president has to play defense and has had to spend resources and had to go the past week to places like Ohio, Texas -- Georgia is another one where he has to play defense. We don't see, outside of perhaps New Hampshire, a place where Democrats have to do the same now that the Trump campaign has ceded Michigan."
Trump’s executive orders are confusing and unconstitutional — and likely to hurt his own voters. He doesn’t care.
Trump administration says US would share COVID vaccine with world after America’s needs are met
On Monday, Fox News reported that Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar is offering to share any potential COVID-19 vaccine with other countries, after it stabilizes public health in the United States.
"The U.S. will share any coronavirus vaccine it develops with the globe after American needs are met, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said Monday during a visit to Taiwan," reported Evie Fordham.
"Our first priority of course is to develop and produce enough quantity of safe and effective FDA-approved vaccines and therapeutics for use in the United States," said Azar. "But we anticipate having capacity that, once those needs are satisfied, those products would be available in the world community according to fair and equitable distributions that we would consult in the international community on ... After our departure from the WHO, we will work with others in the world community to find the appropriate vehicles for continuing to support, on a multilateral and bilateral basis, global public health on the order that the United States has done in the past."