Baudouin, Charles (1893-1963)

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Charles Baudouin was born July 26, 1893, in Nancy, France, and died on August 25, 1963, in Geneva, Switzerland

During his career, he was a Swiss psychoanalyst and Privatdocent at the University of Geneva (1920), founder of the International Institute of Psychagogy and Psychotherapy (1924), director of the review Action et Pensée (Action and Thought) (1931), Chevalier of the Legion of Honor in Paris (1950), and associate professor at the University of Geneva (1962).

His father had a career in the French military as a non-commissioned officer in the public health service, and his mother came from a family of middle-class shopkeepers in the German-speaking area of Lorraine. Baudouin studied philosophy in Nancy, where he received his degree in 1912. He was a professor of philosophy at the school of Neufchâteau in the Vosges. In 1915 he traveled to Geneva, attracted by the success of the Jean-Jacques Rousseau Institute, where he taught. He wrote his doctoral dissertation, entitled Suggestion et Autosuggestion, at the University of Geneva in 1920.

Baudouin underwent three different analyses: One in 1917 with Dr. Carl Picht, a Jungian analyst, another, a training analysis, with Charles Odier, between 1925 and 1926, and a third with another Jungian, Tina Keller. Fluent in both French and German, Baudouin read the work of Freud and the first psychoanalysts early in his career. He met Freud in Vienna in 1926. In 1929 Baudouin applied for membership in the Société Psychanalytique de Paris, but his request was rejected because of pressure from Henri Flournoy, who insisted that he would join the organization only upon condition that Baudouin not be admitted.

Baudouin spent much of his career trying to reconcile the work of Jung, Freud, and Adler. His earliest work was devoted to suggestion and hypnosis. He later developed an interest in literature and the relation between psychoanalysis and education. Baudouin's literary output throughout his career was considerable. He wrote a Carnet de route in sixteen volumes (1910-1939), only some of which were published. These notebooks provide valuable commentary concerning the psychoanalytic atmosphere prevalent at the time. Carnet VI (October 1918-December 1921) is entitled, "When the Child Appears." His first book was Suggestion and Autosuggestion (1920). His most important publications includeÉtudes de psychanalyse (1922), Qu 'est ce que la suggestion? (1924), Le Symbole chez Verhaeren (1924), Psychanalyse de l 'art (1929), La Mobilisation de l 'énergie (1931), L 'Âme enfantine et la psychanalyse (1931), La Psychanalyse (1939), Psychanalyse et Victor Hugo (1943), L 'Âme et l 'Action (1944), De l 'instinctà l 'Esprit (1950), Y a-t-il une science de l 'âme? (1957), Psychanalyse du symbole religieux (1957). He also wrote a novel, Christophe le passeur (1964).

Baudouin's work merits greater attention from modern historians and psychoanalysts. His concerns and fields of interest are often directly relevant to contemporary psychoanalysis. He is a precursor in a number of fields (art, education, suggestion, and hypnosis). Baudouin did not adhere to orthodox Freudianism and turned to Jung and Adler for the theoretical elements that he felt were relevant for clinical work.

Mireille Cifali

See also: Autosuggestion; Suggestion; Switzerland (French-speaking).


Baudouin, Charles. (1920). Suggestion et autosuggestion. Neuchâtel-Paris: Delachaux and Niestlé.

. (1924). Qu'est-ce que la suggestion? Introduction à la psychologie de la suggestion et de l'autosuggestion Neuchâtel-Paris: Delachaux and Niestlé.

. (1931). L'Âme enfantine et la psychanalyse. Neuchâtel-Paris: Delachaux and Niestlé.

. (1957). Psychanalyse du symbole religieux. Paris: Fayard.

Cifali, Mireille. (1990). De quelques remous helvétiques autour de l'analyse profane. Revue internationale de la historie de la psychanalyse. 3, 145-157.

Roudinesco,Élisabeth. (1986). La Bataille de cent ans. Histoire de la psychanalyse en France (Vol. 2). Paris: Le Seuil.

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Baudouin, Charles (1893-1963)

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