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Favez, Georges (1901-1981)

FAVEZ, GEORGES (1901-1981)

Georges Favez, a Swiss psychoanalyst, was born on February 15, 1901, in Lausanne, Switzerland, and died on February 15, 1981, in Paris. His family ran a gourmet food store. He had an older sister, who was unmarried when she died, and from his first marriage he had a daughter whose three children Favez adored.

After studying in Leipzig and Strasbourg, Favez wrote his theology dissertation on Luther and worked as a country pastor in a free evangelical church rather than in the national church of the canton of Vaud. In 1936 he resumed his studies in Geneva at the Institut de l'éducation (Institute of Education), then under the supervision of Edouard Claparède, but he failed to sit for the final exam, which he felt he did not need for his future career as a teacher and psychotherapist.

From 1936 to 1938 Favez stayed in Paris with Georges Heuyer. In 1940 he was analyzed by Heinz Hartmann in Lausanne. Shortly after the war broke out, Favez was mobilized, and his analyst went into hiding and later emigrated to the United States. Favez divided his time among his psychoanalytic practice, the Office médico-pédagogique (Medical-Pedagogical Office), and the Maison d'éducation de jeunes délinquents (Home for the Education of Young Delinquents) in Vennes, Switzerland.

During the first Congrès des aliénistes et neurologistes de langue française (Congress of Francophone Psychiatrists and Neurologists), held in Lausanne in 1946, Juliette Boutonier, André Berge, and Georges Mauco visited the first Centre psychopédagogique français (French Psychopedagogical Center) at the Lycée Claude-Bernard in Paris in preparation for its opening. It was at this time that Favez met Boutonier, who became his wife in 1952. He began making frequent trips to Paris as a consultant and colleague at the Claude-Bernard center. He commuted regularly between Lausanne and Paris, and underwent analysis with Sacha Nacht. He was elected a member of the Société psychanalytique de Paris (Paris Psychoanalytic Society) in 1948. After his (third) marriage in 1952 to Boutonier, he settled permanently in Paris, on rue Descartes.

At this time, at the home of either Favez or Fran-çoise Dolto, Favez, together with Daniel and Marianne Lagache and Juliette Favez-Boutonier, formed the Société française de psychanalyse (SFP, French Society for Psychoanalysis). Jacques Lacan joined shortly after its formation. In 1964 the society split into two groups: theÉcole freudienne de Paris (Freudian School of Paris), under the supervision of Jacques Lacan, and the Association psychanalytique de France (APF, French Psychoanalytic Association), presided over by Daniel Lagache. Favez was one of the most active partisans for the association.

Favez devoted a great deal of his energy to the Association psychanalytique de France. He was soon elected secretary of the selection committee (formerly the training committee), a position he held for many years, and was president in 1966-1967. He was convinced that the association had a role to play in the French psychoanalytic landscape.

In 1966 he began to issue a semiannual newsletter, which published the psychoanalytic talks of the APF and reports of association activity. He was actively engaged in the activities of teaching and transmission and helped train many APF students. He also did much to popularize psychoanalysis. For example, after the war he had a program on Radio-Lausanne and gave many talks during the Journées des centres psychopédagogiques (Festival of Psychopedagogic Centers) and at SFP and APF events.

In 1971 and 1974 he published two articles that are still considered important: "L'illusion et la désillusion dans la cure psychanalytique" and "La résistance dans l'analyse." A number of his articles are collected inÊtre psychanalyste (1976).

Those who knew Favez remarked on his intelligence, depth, and intellectual clarity. In his work he constantly emphasized the framework of psychoanalytic therapy and the psychoanalyst's thoroughness and resolve. He loved Bach and Mozart, had a wonderful sense of humor, and enjoyed lively discussion. He was, according to Didier Anzieu, a man who lived well. Firmly rooted in clinical practice, he liked to quote Charles Ferdinand Ramuz: "We die making claims about ideas before having made claims to things." He died in Paris on February 15, 1981, the day of his eightieth birthday.

In 1982 the APF journal Documents et débats devoted issue number twenty to Favez's memory. It included articles by Jean-Claude Lavie, René Henny, André Bourguignon, and François Gantheret, together with a biography by Didier Anzieu.

Bernard Golse

See also: As if personality; Internal object; Normality; Self (true/false); Splitting.


Favez, Georges. (1971). L'illusion et la désillusion dans la cure psychanalytique. Nouvelle Revue de psychanalyse, 4, 43-54. (Reprinted in hisÊtre psychanalyste [1976])

. (1974). La résistance dans l'analyse. Nouvelle Revue de psychanalyse, 10, 193-199. (Reprinted in hisÊtre psychanalyste [1976])

. (1976).Être psychanalyste. Paris: Dunod.

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