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Lainé, Tony (1930-1992)

LAINÉ, TONY (1930-1992)

Tony Lainé, French psychiatrist and physician, was born in Paris on April 25, 1930, and died in Toronto on August 21, 1992. His father was an "anarcho-labor" militant worker, and his Jewish Siberian mother was an elementary school teacher and former student of Henri Wallon. He spent all his childhood in the Poitou region of France, where he was educated and studied medicine. He served as an intern in psychiatric hospitals in 1956, became a doctor of medicine in 1959, and passed the highly competitive entrance examination for hospital psychiatrists in 1960.

Influenced by the Second World War, violence, anti-Semitism, and social injustice, Lainé was first attracted to literature before taking a simultaneous interest in medicine and philosophy. He showed a sincere attachment to workers and the communist movement until the 1970s, a time of reckoning. He nevertheless remained attached to the struggle against all forms of exclusion. Out of sympathy with the Italian antipsychiatry movement, he invented particularly innovative institutional models of mental disorders.

After a personal analysis at the end of the 1970s, psychoanalysis was a constant inspiration for him. Lainé used psychoanalysis as a constant reference in his clinical practice, his theoretical reflections, and his way of understanding institutions. He was greatly influenced by the thinking of Donald Winnicott, but he also related to theory in ways based essentially on his encounters with children and adolescents. Lainé used his talents as a storyteller to transmit the lessons he drew from his practice and make them accessible to all. He accorded great importance to the ethics of psychoanalysis: He insisted on leaving great scope for subjective evaluation, as opposed to more operational modes of practice.

Lainé took an interest in social structures and the unconscious and their reciprocal interactions. For more than thirty years he directed hospital units devoted to child and adolescent psychiatry and played a particularly active role treating child autism and psychosis, as well as adolescent problems. His contacts with film directors led him to make several television films: La raison du plus fou (The crazy one's reason), La mal-vie (Life pains), and Le bébé est une personne (The baby is a person). He also penned some notable popular publications: La mort du père (The death of Father), Le petit donneur d'offrandes (Little offerings), Les violences de l'amour (The violence of love). These films and publications contributed to making him well known.

Patrice Huerre

See also: Adolescent crisis; France; Infantile psychosis.


Lainé, Tony. (1991). Droit et accession au statut d'adulte. Nervure, 4 (5), 26-30.

. (1994, Sept.-Oct.). Conditions institutionnelles de la restauration des images parentales. Courrier de Suresnes (Centre national d'études et de formation pour l'enfance inadaptée), 61.

Lainé, Tony, and Lanouzière, Jacqueline. (1972). La relation d'objet chez l'enfant autiste. Psychiatrie de l'enfant, 15 (2), 287-398.

Lainé, Tony, Lanouzière, Jacqueline, and Delage, M. (1972). Conflit, répétition et pathologie du caractère. Neuropsychiatrie de l'enfance et de l'adolescence, 20 (5).

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