Collège de Psychanalystes

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The Collège de Psychanalystes was founded on November 3, 1980, by a group of psychoanalysts (roughly thirty) from different backgrounds upon the initiative of Dominique Geahchan (1925-1983), François Roustang, Jacques Sédat, Conrad Stein, and Serge Viderman, who drafted the by-laws. There were no founding members. The organization's goal, beyond that of existing analytic institutions, was to consider the role of psychoanalysis in society and defend the analytic approach against the risks of governmental regulation or the shifts in practice arising from mental health coverage. Membership was simple, and involved only approval by a majority of the members. This removed any problems associated with qualifications, which, along with training, were relegated to the various psychoanalytic organizations. Its originality lies in the way it enabled analysts from different organizations and with different backgrounds (members of the International Psychoanalytic Association, its critics, Lacanians) to work together on issues of psychoanalysis and society.

The Collège at times had more than a hundred members, including both French and a handful of Canadian members. Beginning in November 1981 it began publishing a review, Psychanalystes, at the request of its first president, Dominique Geahchan, who was also cofounder of Confrontation with René Major in 1974, and a member of the Société Psychanalytique de Paris. The review remained in print until March 1994; a total of forty-eight issues on the role of psychoanalysis in society were published.

Problems arose, however, over the question of membership, which gradually evolved into a form of licensing, and finally the question of social issues and anti-Semitism, the offshoot of a conference devoted to Rudolf Binion's psychohistorical work on Hitler held on June 18, 1992, caused further friction within the organization. This led to a series of group and individual resignations from the Collège and engendered a climate of crisis, culminating in the dissolution of the organization in June 1994.

Jacques Sedat

See also: France.


Geahchan, Dominique. (1986). Temps et Désir du psychanalyste. Paris: InterÉditions.

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Collège de Psychanalystes

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Collège de Psychanalystes