Psychoanalysis was defined by Freud in 1923 as “(1) … a procedure for the investigation of mental processes which are almost inaccessible in any other way, (2) … a method (based upon that investigation) for the treatment of neurotic disorders, and (3) … a collection of psychological information obtained along those lines, which is gradually being accumulated into a new scientific discipline”. These three complementary definitions guarantee the strength of the internal dynamics of psychoanalytic theory. The internal integrity of these definitions have allowed psychoanalytic practice to receive continuous nourishment from external sources, and to be lucid and clear at the same time. This is why it would be incomplete to treat psychoanalysis merely as an investigative method or a type of treatment, or to limit its impact to the body of scientific knowledge it has offered to human sciences and human creativity.

The hundred years that have elapsed since the birth of psychoanalysis today require us to include the psychoanalyst in this definition. This is because psychoanalysis can no more be defined without the psychoanalyst. It is the psychoanalyst who improves and establishes psychoanalysis, and conveys it from one generation to the next. The existence of the psychoanalyst, on the other hand, requires the existence of psychoanalysis as an institution, as well as the psychoanalytic training it offers. It is difficult to imagine a psychoanalyst who is not affiliated with an institution, and it is beyond doubt that a person cannot be a psychoanalyst without psychoanalytic training.

Thus, psychoanalysis is a procedure for investigation, a method for treatment, and a collection of information, it is the training that is a precondition for becoming a psychoanalyst, and it is an institution that brings psychoanalysts together.