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Buenos Aires, Argentina

Villa Freud

A pocket of Buenos Aires with an unusually high concentration of psychotherapists.  

Argentina is known for (among many other things) being the country with the most psychologists per capita in the world. This unusually high concentration of therapists is highest in its capital city, where there is such an abundance of therapists in one particular pocket of Buenos Aires the area has earned the nickname Villa Freud.

Located near the beautiful Plaza Güemes, Villa Freud, also known as Guadalupe, is a micro-neighborhood within Palermo, the largest neighborhood in Buenos Aires. Aside from having an extremely high number of therapists’ offices in the area, analysis has seeped into the culture in Villa Freud. Local bookstores and newspapers regularly offer plenty of reading material on the subject, and you can find Freud-themed cafes and bars.

Though a range of psychology disciplines like cognitive and behavioral therapy are also practiced, Argentinians remain partial to psychoanalysis, the method invented by Sigmund Freud. There are various theories as to why the practice took such strong hold in the country. Some point to the fact that it’s an introspective and open culture, and doesn’t stigmatize mental health in the same way as other parts of the world.  

The therapy boom began in the 1940s, when a Spanish immigrant named Angel Garma, who had studied psychoanalysis with people who had studied with Freud himself, came to Argentina to investigate the death of his father. He brought his education with him, and it started to spread. Recent estimates suggest that, today, there are nearly 200 practicing psychologists in Argentina for every 100,000 people, and nearly half of them are based in Buenos Aires.