Raimbault, Émile (1923-1998)

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RAIMBAULT, ÉMILE (1923-1998)

Émile Raimbault, a French physician, psychologist, psychoanalyst, and member of theÉcole Freudienne de Paris, was born in Anjou on October 21, 1923, and died at Saumur on August 21, 1998.

He first studied psychology, then, on the advice of Jacques Lacan, with whom he commenced his psychoanalysis, he also began to study medicine. He followed Lacan into the Société française de psychanalyse on the occasion of the split in 1953. Michael Balint, the first guest of this society, encouraged him and his wife, Ginette Raimbault, to regularly attend the "training cum research" seminars ("training seminars for physicians on the therapeutic relationship") that he gave at the Tavistock Clinic in London under the auspices of the National Health Service. The Balint and Raimbault families became close friends.

Along with his wife and Jacques Gendrot,Émile Raimbault soon started one of the first "Balint groups" in France. This mixed group (physicians, interns, physiotherapists, an odontologist, and trainee psychoanalysts) met in the Raimbaults' home in Paris. Known by the name of their street, the "Marignan group" became a reference for those that followed.

Raimbault also practiced as an analyst under Raoul Kourilsky in the Saint-Antoine hospital, where the pneumologist began to experiment in 1949 with a new type of consultation conducted by a "therapeutic pair": an organicist physician and an analyst. Raimbault then introduced, in addition to listening to the patient's unconscious, listening to the suffering of the medical team treating dying patients: he created the first Balint group in the hospital department. His experience resulted in his being appointed director of the psycho-oncology team in the Institut Gustave-Roussy, a position he occupied for fifteen years.

Along with Raoul Kourilsky and Jacques Gendrot, Raimbault co-edited the proceedings of the first congress in France, after the Brighton congress, of Balint leaders, held in the Paris medical faculty in 1964 and at the Trianon in Versailles. He was also responsible for a report on the leaders' meeting, published in the same volume. He also wrote an essay on death with the title La Délivrance.

Michelle Moreau Ricaud

See also: Balint group.


Raimbault,Émile, et al. (1964). La Formation psychologique des médecins. Paris: Maloine.

. (1976). La Délivrance. Paris: Mercure de France.