Enriquez-Joly, Micheline (1931-1987)

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Micheline Enriquez, a French psychoanalyst, was born on September 11, 1931, in Châlons-sur-Marne and died in an automobile accident on October 18, 1987, in Vaux-le-Pénil. She spent her childhood and adolescence in Sézanne, where she attended grammar school and high school. She passed her baccalaureate degree in modern literature. In 1949 Enriquez went to Paris to study at the Institut de psychologie (Institute of Psychology), where she obtained diplomas in applied psychology, psychopedagogy, and psychopathology, and at the Sorbonne, where she obtained a certificate in social psychology. She also studied Russian at the École des langues orientales (School of Oriental Languages) and took courses at the Institut d'études politiques de Paris (Paris Institute of Political Studies).

After working with Professor Jean Maisonneuve (social psychology) on the process of affinity and evaluating training activities, she was appointed a psychologist at the mental health clinic of Paris Medical School (under Professor Jean Delay of the Centre psychiatrique Sainte-Anne). She worked with Professors Pierre Pichot, Thérèse Lampérière, and J. Perse, with whom she wrote a study on hysteria. She also worked at the Versailles Hospital.

She underwent her training analysis with Serge Leclaire of the Société française de psychanalyse (French Society for Psychoanalysis) before the 1964 split that led Jacques Lacan to found theÉcole freudienne de Paris (Freudian School of Paris). Her monitor was Piera Aulagnier. She joined theÉcole freudienne at the time of its creation but, at the time of a second split, participated in the creation of the Quatrième groupe, Organisation psychanalytique de langue fran-çaise (Fourth Group, Francophone Psychoanalytic Organization) in 1969. She served as secretary for analysis and secretary for research before becoming vice president in 1985 and president in 1986. She underwent a second analysis with Serge Viderman. For several years she was responsible for teaching projective techniques at the Institut de Psychologie (Institute for Psychology) at the University of Paris.

Enriquez wrote a number of articles in the review Topique and in the Nouvelle revue de psychanalyse. She was awarded the Maurice Bouvet Prize in psychoanalysis in 1978 for three of her articles: "D'un corpsà l'autre: réflexions sur le masochisme" (1971), "Fantasmes paranoïaques: différence des sexes, homosexualité, loi du père" (1974), "Analyse possible ou impossible" (1977a). She contributed an article to Comment l 'interprétation vient au psychanalyste (1977b) and, in 1984, published Aux carrefours de la haine. Her last published work, "L'enveloppe de mémoire et ses trous" (1987), appeared shortly after her death. Two of her essays, "Le délire en héritage" and "Incidence du délire parental sur la mémoire des descendants," a transcription completed the day before her death, were published in 1993.

As shown by the case studies she wrote, her work is based on her analytic practice and reflects on violence, lethal withdrawal of cathexis, the desire for historical and psychic reality, suffering, and the conditions for harmonious treatment, which, while not excluding the expression of negative affects, can mobilize life impulses and stimulate thought in analyst and analysand alike.

Enriquez provided new insights into paranoia, masochism, and what she referred to, after the Marquis de Sade, as apathy. She showed that paranoiacs and masochists eroticize suffering and hatred, and she found in paranoia and masochism the mechanisms of their object choices. Those who are apathetic reject affect and hatred to distance themselves from others in order to survive. She insisted on the need for the child, when confronted by delusional speech from one of its parents, to negotiate the violence imposed to avoid repeating it. She stressed the importance of a common memory between analyst and analysand, a condition for remembering to be fruitful and for access to history. For Enriquez, everything that fell within the sphere of love and reciprocity was capable of struggling against the spread of evil that resulted in anger against the self or others.

Enriquez has been referred to as one of the most highly esteemed psychoanalysts in France, where her clinical work and theoretical contributions were highly regarded, independently of her institutional associations. She was a member, since its foundation, of the Association internationale d'histoire de la psychanalyse (International Association of the History of Psychoanalysis). Issue no. 42 of Topique, "Mémoire et réalité" (1988), was dedicated to her memory. Her work has been translated into English, Spanish (she is well known in Argentina), Italian, and Greek. Her influence in Brazil continues to remain strong.

EugÈne Enriquez

See also: Intergenerational; Pain; Psychic envelopes; Quatrième groupe (O.P.L.F.), Fourth group; Secret.


Enriquez, Micheline. (1971). D'un corpsà l'autre: Réflexions sur le masochisme. Topique, 7-8, 85-118.

. (1974). Fantasmes paranoïaques: Différence des sexes, homosexualité, loi du père. Topique, 13, 23-58.

. (1977a). Analyse possible ou impossible. Topique, 18, 49-62.

. (1977b). Libres pensées. In Robert Barande (Ed.), Comment l'interprétation vient au psychanalyste (pp. 95-104). Paris: Aubier Montaigne.

. (1980). Du corps de souffrance au corps en souffrance. Topique, 26, 5-27.

. (1984). Aux carrefours de la haine: Paranoïa, masochisme, apathie. Paris:Éditions de l'Épi.

. (1987). L'enveloppe de mémoire et ses trous. In Didier Anzieu et al. (Eds.), Les enveloppes psychiques. Paris: Dunod.

. (1993a). Le délire en héritage. In René Kaës et al. (Eds.), Transmission de la vie psychique entre générations. Paris: Dunod.

. (1993b). Incidence du délire parental sur la mémoire des descendants. In René Kaës et al. (Eds.), Transmission de la vie psychique entre générations. Paris: Dunod.

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Enriquez-Joly, Micheline (1931-1987)

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