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Lechat, Fernand (1895-1959)

LECHAT, FERNAND (1895-1959)

Fernand Lechat, a Belgian industrial psychologist with the Center for Applied Psychology and a psychoanalyst, was born at Mont-sur-Marchienne in 1895 and died in Brussels in 1959. He and Maurice Dugautiez were among the first to promote psychoanalysis in Belgium. His religious, middle-class family wanted him to become a priest.

During World War I he enrolled in the air force as a volunteer. After the war he divided his energies between a prosperous insurance business and poetry. During this time he became a fervent believer in depth psychology and devised a personality test based on color selection. His first wife died. Then, following a difficult mourning period, he met a young teacher who became his second wife. She worked alongside him and encouraged him through all their years together.

After meeting with Maurice Dugautiez in 1933, he burned all his poetry and turned his back on his growing insurance business to devote himself entirely to his psychoanalytic training. In the course of his training analysis with Dr. Ernst Hoffman, a Viennese refugee in Belgium, he became a specialist on the Rorschach test and character examination in industrial psychology.

After the end of World War II he resumed his training at the Paris Psychoanalytic Institute. Having been recognized as a training analyst in 1946, he devoted himself, with his wife, to training analysis, and in 1947 he founded the Association des psychanalystes de Belgique (Association of Belgian Psychoanalysts), along with Maurice Dugautiez. He also launched the association journal, Bulletin de l'Association des psychanalystes de Belgique, and expanded its circulation to an international level. As president of the the association, he organized the twentieth Congress of Romance-Language Psychoanalysts in Brussels in 1958, the first congress of its kind to be held in Belgium.

An active participant at many congresses and meetings of the Société psychanalytique de Paris (Paris Psychoanalytic Society), he won many friends with his enthusiasm and jovial character. Of all his highly eclectic psychoanalytic work, he is mainly known for his report "The safety principle," presented at the seventeenth Conference of Romance-Language Psychoanalysts in November 1954.

Daniel Luminet

See also: Belgium; Dugautiez, Maurice.


Lechat, Fernand. (1952). Jamais deux sans trois. Revue française c de psychanalyse, 17 (4), 518-540.

. (1955). Du principe de sécurité. (rapport). Revue française de psychanalyse, 19 (1-2), 11-101.

. (1956). Notes sur les premières relations objectales et leurs conséquencesà l'âge adulte. Bulletin de l'Association des psychanalystes de Belgique, 14.

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