Société Psychanalytique de Paris and Institut de Psychanalyse de Paris
SOCIÉTÉ PSYCHANALYTIQUE DE PARIS AND INSTITUT DE PSYCHANALYSE DE PARIS
From its creation in 1926 until the split of 1953, the history of the Société psychanalytique de Paris (SPP; Paris Psychoanalytical Society) practically coincides with the history of psychoanalysis in France, and since 1954 the society's history has been indissociable from that of the Institut de psychanalyse de Paris (Paris Institute of Psychoanalysis).
"On November 4, 1926, Princess George of Greece, née Marie Bonaparte, Mme. Eugénie Sokolnicka, Professor Angelo Hesnard, the two Drs. Allendy, A. Borel, R[ené] Laforgue, Rudolph Löwenstein, Georges Parcheminey, andÉdouard Pichon founded the SPP. The goal of this Society is to bring together all the French-speaking doctors qualified to practice the Freudian therapeutic method and to give doctors who wish to become psychoanalysts the opportunity to undergo the training analysis that is indispensable to the practice of Freud's method."
This was a fairly heterogeneous group of young psychiatrists (their average age was around thirty) who, after founding the groupÉvolution psychiatrique (Psychiatric Development) in 1925, were led to join forces with the non-physicians Eugénie Sokolnicka, a Polish-born emigrant; Freud's "legitimate representative" Marie Bonaparte, the main instigator of the organization (de Mijolla, 1988); and another emigrant of Polish origin, Rudolf Löwenstein, who had trained at the Berliner Psychoanalytisches Institut (Berlin Psychoanalytic Institute) and would become their main training analyst. Although they were united around projects such as continuing the conferences of French-speaking psychoanalysts, initiated in August of the previous year, the launching of the Revue française de psychanalyse in 1927, or the formation of a Linguistic Commission for the unification of French psychoanalytic terminology, there were also a number of points of opposition that were exacerbated over the years. Two clans formed: One was made up of those who were faithful to Freud and to the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA); the other consisted of those who, like Angélo Hesnard, or following Professor Henri Claude, who brought them together in his ward, were hostile to non-physicians. The latter group wished to invent a psychoanalysis purged of the "Germanic mystique," adapted to the needs of psychiatry and, tellingly, to the French "mentality"—Édouard Pichon, after all, was a disciple of Charles Maurras of the right-wing Action Française.
The two factions nevertheless continued to pull in tandem, for better or for worse, until World War II, ensuring the publication of the Revue, the translation of a number of Freud's works (many of these thanks to the efforts of Marie Bonaparte), and the introduction into the medical community of Freud's theories, which had been rendered more than a little suspect by the voguish effects that had accompanied their dissemination in France by way of the literary milieus of the Nouvelle revue française and surrealism.
When the society was created, René Laforgue was elected president (a post he held until 1930), Eugénie Sokolnicka vice president, and Rudolph Löwenstein secretary-treasurer. The first permanent member to be elected was Dr. Henri Codet, on December 20, 1926; Anne Berman, at the time Marie Bonaparte's secretary, became the first regular member on January 10, 1927. Ernest Jones came to give a lecture on April 5 (Hanns Sachs was invited to lecture in 1928 and Hanz Prinzhorn in 1929, despiteÉdouard Pichon's opposition to those who did not speak French), and in May it was announced that "Messieurs Codet, de Saussure, and Odier will be known as founding members." In 1927 Sacha Nacht, as a "guest of the society," presented "Quelques considérations sur une psychanalyse chez une schizophrène" (Some considerations on a psychoanalysis of a schizophrenic woman); he was elected to [membership on January 17, 1928, and to permanent membership on October 21, 1929. A week later, the Second Congress of French-speaking Psychoanalysts discussed Charles Nodier's report, "Obsessional Neurosis," the first official manifestation of the SPP and the first in the long series of these Conferences (later called Congresses) that continue even today to bring together Europe's French-speaking psychoanalysts and to put on their agenda various theoretical and clinical aspects of Freudian psychoanalysis: "Psychoanalytic Technique" by René Laforgue and Rudolph Löwenstein in 1928 and Eugénie Sokolnicka's presentation on the same topic, also in 1928; "Les processus de l'autopunition en psychologie des nevroses et des psychoses, en psychologie criminelle et pathologie générale" (The processes of self-punishment in the psychology of the neuroses and the psychoses, in criminal psychology and general pathology) by Angélo Hesnard and René Laforgue in 1930; "L'hystérie de conversion" (Conversion hysteria) by Georges Parcheminey in 1931; "La psychanalyse et le développement intellectuel" (Psychoanalysis and intellectual development) by Jean Piaget in 1933; and "Le masochisme,étude historique, clinique, psychogénétique, prophylactique et thérapeutic" (Masochism: a historical, clinical, psychogenetic, prophylactic, and therapeutic study) by Sacha Nacht in 1938, the last lecture before the war.
After discussions and revisions, which would often recur over the years, the statutes of the society, whose headquarters had been established at René Laforgue's home, were officially registered on October 25, 1927. In 1928 the bureau saw Angélo Hesnard become vice president, Marie Bonaparte treasurer, and René Allendy secretary. In 1929, however, there was a crisis, because, as Laforgue wrote to Freud on October 26: "A very active minority of our group is against the International Psychoanalytical Association and against lay analysis." The conflict was resolved, but at the price of Laforgue's giving up the presidency.
On January 10, 1934, the first Institut de psychanalyse de Paris was inaugurated. Marie Bonaparte, who had made its creation possible, was named director. On July 13, 1937, Daniel Lagache was elected to permanent membership, as Jacques Lacan would be in December 1938.
Beginning in 1933 the issue arose of what welcome should be extended to analysts fleeing the threat of Nazism, first from Germany and then from other Central European countries. It was essentially Marie Bonaparte, supported by Anne Berman, René Laforgue, and Paul Schiff, who pleaded in favor of these analysts and attempted to integrate them into a society whose nationalistic members—together, moreover, with the French population as a whole—wanted it to be more closed. René Spitz and Heinz Hartmann, among others, passed through Paris before emigrating across the Atlantic. The SPP offered no official welcome to Freud when he passed through Paris on June 5, 1938.
The beginning of the war in 1939 did not stop courses at the Institut de psychanalyse, but the German occupation brought all psychoanalytic activity to a halt. The Revue française de psychanalyse ceased publication.
The society's activities gradually resumed after 1946 under the presidency of John Leuba. In the wake of Sacha Nacht, wreathed in the laurels of his resistance activities, there appeared newcomers such as Serge Lebovici, the first among those who would soon form the core of his team. Discredited by his attempts at collaboration with Matthias Göring, René Laforgue was excluded, and those who had undergone analysis with him—Juliette Favez-Boutonier, Françoise Dolto—suffered from this discrediting. However, the Revue française de psychanalyse, published by the Presses Universitaires de France, was reborn in 1948, the same year that the Eleventh Congress of French-Speaking Psychoanalysts in Brussels saw joint presentations by Sacha Nacht and Jacques Lacan: "L'aggressivité en psychanalyse" (Aggressiveness in psychoanalysis).
This theme presaged the conflicts that would crystallize around the issue of the training of new candidates, for Freud had again become fashionable in France, and the prisonlike structures of psychiatric institutions were being called into question by young psychiatrists. The SPP, which no longer knew where to hold meetings, had no library and no means of accepting students (there were seventy of them in 1950), and needed to establish premises for its operations. Sacha Nacht was elected president in 1949 and took in hand the future of the institute of psychoanalysis that everyone was determined to create. Although there was unanimity around the contents of the "Rules and Doctrine of the Commission on Teaching Delegated by the SPP," drafted by Sacha Nacht and Jacques Lacan in September 1949, Daniel Lagache quickly became opposed to its authoritarian views and convinced a number of René Laforgue's analysands, and then Lacan himself, to take his side. After three years of internecine struggles, Lacan was shown, on June 16, 1953, to have minority support as president of the SPP and resigned, while Daniel Lagache announced the founding of the Société française de psychanalyse (SFP; French Society of Psychoanalysis). Meanwhile, legal proceedings filed in 1950 against a non-physician colleague, Mrs. Clark-Williams, for the "illegal practice of medicine," had established that a psychoanalytic society had a the collective responsibility to civil society. There were thus ample arguments to support Nacht's imposition of strict, medically-oriented standards for training, applying the criteria of co-option defined by the IPA with regard to the number, frequency, and duration of sessions in the "training analysis" or the "supervised treatments" required of candidates.
For some thirty years, issues related to training took center stage in French psychoanalysis; at the same time, they stimulated unprecedented emulation in the theoretical, clinical, and institutional creativity of members of an SPP that was spurred on by rivalry with the SFP and later, increasingly, by the renown of Jacques Lacan and the growingnumber of his students.
The June 1954 inauguration of the Institut de psychanalyse, headed by Nacht until 1962, created a split that was not transcended until 1986. Although the SPP, in the eyes of the IPA, remained the sole representative of psychoanalysis in France until 1965, it was then reduced to the rank of a mere scientific society, without decision-making powers with regard to training policies or the dissemination of Freud's theories. To be sure, the society still played a determining role in the organization of "Romance-language congresses" (a new appellation suggested by Lacan before the split, and of which Pierre Luquet became permanent secretary in 1956), on commissions, and in international congresses, but the dynamism of the society was concentrated around the team that directed the Institut de psychanalyse (Serge Lebovici, René Diatkine, Maurice Bénassy, Henri Sauget). They formed the core of the "Commission on Teaching," whose members were co-opted from among the permanent membership, and where choices and decisions were made regarding candidates for various posts. While dual membership in both societies may have been mandatory, the importance given to the criteria for training and selection was such that soon the public no longer spoke of the "Society," but instead referred to the group as "the Institute."
Sacha Nacht's leadership style was autocratic, and he implemented a number of changes that remained after his departure, such as the professional development seminar for analysts from the provinces. His students and partisans were quickly elected to permanent membership to replace those who had left as a result of the split: Béla Grunberger in November 1953, Michel Fain and René Held in early 1954, and others thereafter. Above all, Nacht created a mindset and a way of conceiving of psychoanalysis that are evident in the works published during his tenure, such as La Psychanalyse d 'aujourd 'hui (Psychoanalysis Today, 1956). At the Twentieth Congress of the IPA in Paris at the end of July 1957, he was elected vice president of that organization. His work was a central reference in almost all the scientific papers presented in meetings of the SPP, and he was the preferred target for attacks by his former friend Lacan and his followers, although Maurice Bouvet, before his death in 1960, was another such victim, particularly with regard to his work on object relations. In 1962 a prize was created in memory of this analyst; until 1978, when it went to Micheline Enriquez, a member of the Quatrième Groupe O.P.L.F., it was awarded only to analysts from the SPP.
During the 1960s new names appeared in the ranks of the permanent membership, such as Conrad Stein, Serge Viderman, Robert Barande, and André Green, who would represent the next generation of the SPP and build bridges of scientific communication with psychoanalysts from "enemy" organizations. In 1962 a minor revolution displaced Sacha Nacht from the leadership of the institute in favor of Serge Lebovici, assisted by Michel Fain, with Francis Pasche responsible for the presidency of the society. The autocracy of Nacht and his restricted Commission on Teaching gave way to an oligarchy, that of the "permanent members" (there were thirty of them in 1963). By way of elections held within the society, this group for a number of years maintained their control over what was always the living part of the society, the institute and its Commission on Teaching, on which they all secured ongoing membership in 1965. This was also the terrain of after-conflicts, since over time the play of politics led to the election of about one-third dissenting voices, which, although they never managed to impose the liberal reforms they wished to promote, gradually caused movement in the ponderousness of this large, two-headed institution.
The 1964 election to permanent membership of Evelyne Kestemberg , the first nonphysician since the times of Marie Bonaparte (who had died in 1962), provided proof of the thorough expunging of the policies of Sacha Nacht, who had always opposed this. Others followed, such as Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel and Joyce McDougall in 1965, and then Salem Shentoub in 1966, providing the SPP with the openness and diversity that gradually came to characterize it and cause it to lose its monolithic aspect. It was also the year of the rapprochement between the society and the Association psychanalytique de France (APF; Psychoanalytical Association of France), which was recognized by the IPA in July and in 1970 fully participated for the first time in a Congress of Romance-language-speaking Psychoanalysts, with a presentation by Didier Anzieu entitled "Éléments d'une théorie de l'interprétation" (Elements of a theory of interpretation).
The founding in October 1966 of the European Federation of Psychoanalysis, in which societies' representation was proportionate to their membership base, led to a broadening of the SPP, the consequences of which were crucial for its development. This was the creation, in November 1967, of the category of "affiliated members," which was to serve as a screening stage between the completion of the curriculum at the institute and election to full membership in the society upon submission of a clinical thesis, which henceforth was the only path of access to membership. This new category would not be the last thing to agitate the tumultuous meetings of May 1968, where institutional constraints were called into question within the Commission on the Degree Program and Hierarchy—although without immediately producing any spectacular modifications. A January 1969 report by Jean-Luc Donnet on behalf of this commission set forth a proposed degree program, the first in a long series, for discussions, counterproposals, meetings, conflicts, and open letters addressing the problems of training which thereafter took center stage in most of the meetings and general assemblies of the SPP and the institute.
A new reform of the statutes promoted by Pierre Marty, who was elected president in 1969, that aimed to create an administrative college was voted in on June 16, 1970, on the condition that the problem of the "affiliated members" be set aside. Indeed, this category considerably changed the numerical ratio of the membership in an association where, by law, each dues-paying member was supposed to have administrative power and the right to vote: there were 43 affiliated members when the category was created and 81 in 1969, but there were 214 by 1986, while during the same time period the ranks of the regular members grew from 44 to 49 and then 79, and the number of permanent members grew from35 to 38 and then to 66. The college thus represented a first step toward expanding institutional responsibilities over the three categories of members, even though initially only the regular members were allowed to play a role, for example, on the candidature commissions and the election of their peers. The area of training analysis (in French, analyse didactique ), although the word "didactic" discreetly disappeared from usage, like the election of permanent members, remained a closed field reserved only for members of the Commission on Teaching. Only twenty-four years later, on September 27, 1994, would the permanent members modify the conditions for admission to the degree course and agree to allow any person who had been in analysis for more than three years with a member of the SPP to ask to be received by the Commission on the Degree Program. This measure put an end to the struggle that had underlain all the episodes of administrative turbulence that had beset the society and the institute from 1970.
A new attempt to reform the statutes to integrate the affiliated members into the institute failed in 1974 because of a negative vote from the permanent members, among whom a conservative majority continued to prevail. A gentleman's agreement was nonetheless adopted that provided for a three-year trial of a board of directors made up of the three categories of members, but this was followed by a series of discussions and votes that were aborted because one or several categories did not have a quorum.
In 1974, René Major had to resign in a climate of hostility from his post as director of the institute because he was not French and his naturalization remained blocked for an unusually long time. André Green, who succeeded him, proposed in a letter of December 19, 1974, an idea that would run its course, that of the "merger of two associations into a single one, with that society taking responsibility the totality of our psychoanalytic life in the three institutional sectors related to it: the scientific sector, the training sector, and the therapeutic sector, which currently go by the names of the Société psychanalytique de Paris, the Institut de psychanalyse, and the Centre de consultations et traitements psychanalytiques [Center for Psychoanalytic Consultation and Treatment]."
This idea was taken up anew by Pierre Luquet, president of the SPP after 1975, but nothing was settled, and the conflicts intensified to the point where in 1979 another split might have occurred had the dissidents been united around anything other than their opposition to the majority in place. The proposal for a training program with two tracks, one "classic," proposed by Serge Lebovici, and the other more "liberal," supported by Serge Viderman, was presented and in turn buried. The institutions held together only because of "moratoriums" whose end-dates were contested and extended, for no one could come to an agreement.
The IPA then intervened, dispatching its president, Edward Joseph, on a visit on October 6, 1980, to attempt to clarify the situation and encourage the SPP to find a solution to the conflicts. Raymond Cahn, elected president of the society, decided on November 25 to create a joint society-institute committee charged with presenting, within four months, a proposal for global revision of the statutes of the society and the institute. This proposed merger was voted in by the SPP on June 23, 1981, but rejected the following week at the level of the institute, essentially by the college of the affiliated members. At the Thirty-second International Congress in Helsinki the following month, the IPA decided to nominate an external committee charged with investigating the SPP's problems. It proposed a six-month moratorium, but nothing had been resolved as of June 18, 1982, when Adam Limentani, who had become president of the IPA, went to Paris. There had still been no resolution by March 1984, when conflicts between the offices of the SPP, under Michel Fain's presidency, and the Institut de psychanalyse, headed by Claude Girard, nonetheless precipitated the end of the crisis.
In a letter dated May 21, 1984, Adam Limentani noted that no one wanted to succeed Michel Fain, and announced that the SPP had to be placed under oversight, and that the institute had to transfer to the society all of its training activities. Daniel Widlöcher was a member of the oversight committee. In October 1984, Augustin Jeanneau was elected president, and he was determined to bring to its conclusion this reform that had been dragging on for ten years. He nevertheless had to wait almost another year and a half before the SPP, on May 6, 1986, voted to accept the new proposal for a merger that he had elaborated with the active help of Michèle Perron-Borelli; an extraordinary session of the Institut de psychanalyse on June 3 in turn formally ratified it.
The merger at last took place, and the SPP reclaimed the ground that it had lost with the creation of the Institut de psychanalyse in 1953. The institute remained its "training organ," but the autonomous organization that constituted it was dissolved. The price of this compromise was that the problems relating to training analyses were not taken into account in drawing up the statutes, but instead left to the initiative and responsibility of the institute's Commission on Teaching—that is, the permanent members. The society, meanwhile, was henceforth managed by a general committee made up of all the members, represented by an administrative board of forty-five members elected by the college in a system of parity representation. The society put an end to the unsound, two-headed functioning that was also in violation of French laws on associations.
On December 2, 1986, André Green was elected president of the new bureau of the organization whose creation he had set in motion exactly twelve years earlier. Simone Decobert became the first director of the new institute and remained in this post until 1996, when she was replaced by Paul Israël.
Suddenly, everything calmed down, or almost. There was an influx of candidates for permanent membership, and the SPP, four hundred and fifty members strong, encouraged the formation of groups in the provinces that brought together former students and attracted new ones: the Groupe lyonnais, the oldest of these (1958), the Groupe toulousain (1980), and the Groupe de travail méditerranean (1984) were followed by other groups in Bordeaux, Brittany, the Loire region, Normandy, Pas-de-Calais-Picardy in the north, Grenoble, and Savoy. The creation of the Journées occitanes de psychanalyse (Occitan Days of Psychoanalysis) in 1978 gave the signal for regional initiatives.
Certain personalities, such as Robert Barande, Conrad Stein, or Serge Viderman more or less distanced themselves from the society's activities, but on the whole the members appeared to be relieved by the outcome and determined to show the outside world that all that these years of dispute had brought much that was ultimately constructive for the discipline. They had been schooled in the exercise of democracy, with its contradictions, but also with the possibility of the confrontation of contradictory opinions, without any new "autocrat" having taken the dominant ideological position, and without another split occurring to bring a brutal resolution to the apparent incompatibilities.
Moreover, work in the field of psychoanalysis had never ceased, even though too much time and energy had been tied up in the endless statutory discussions. The Tuesday evening scientific meetings maintained their monthly schedule and the Saturday Encounters continued to be held twice each month, providing a proving ground for the next generation of analysts. The society's colloquium, started by René Diatkine in 1964, took place regularly in Deauville every autumn, focusing on theoretical and clinical topics. In March 1998, responsibility for organizing the colloquium was entrusted to André Green, and it was named the René Diatkine Colloquium in honor of its founder. The Congresses of French-speaking Psychoanalysts, under the guidance of Augustin Jeanneau, who succeeded Pierre Luquet in 1989, and Pearl Lombard, and then, beginning in 1997, that of Gérard Bayle and Georges Pragier, held in alternating years in Paris and a neighboring region, continued to serve as a forum for annual presentation of reports as a way of taking stock of advances in psychoanalytic theory in France and worldwide. From 1989, Franco-Italian colloquia confirmed the need for meetings between neighboring societies. The precursors of a trend toward openness that would increase over time, the Rencontres psychanalytiques d'Aix-en-Provence (Aix-en-Provence Psychoanalytic Meetings), placed under the aegis of the society by Jacques Caïn and Alain de Mijolla, from 1982 to 1991 brought a member of the SPP together with a psychoanalytic personality from another group and a non-psychoanalyst specialist from the field of the chosen common theme, ranging from "Languages" to "The Body and History," "Autobiography," and "Music." Christian David, Jean Guillaumin, André Green, René Diatkine, Francis Pasche, Joyce McDougall, Michel Fain, Jean Cournut, Michel Neyraut, Claude Le Guen, and Conrad Stein thus met with Piera Aulagnier, Jean-Bertrand Pontalis, Pierre Fédida, Olivier Flournoy, Michel Artières, Marie Moscovici, and Michel Schneider, and compared their psychoanalytic point of view with the perspectives offered by non-psychoanalysts such as Maurice Olender, Edmond Jabès, Eugène Enriquez, Philippe Lejeune, Isabelle Stengers, Marcel Détienne, Yves Hersant, and André Boucourechliev.
Begun on a modest scale beginning in the 1960s, when it was handled by Louis Dujarrier and distributed in the form of galleys duplicated by Roneo ®, information for the membership became a major necessity that was concretized in the creation of a journal, the Bulletin de la S.P.P., the first issue of which was published in 1982, introduced by Michel Fain. Jacqueline Schaeffer took over as head of the journal in 1985. The society's library, which had a wealth of holdings thanks to the bequest of Marie Bonaparte and the accumulation of other consignments and acquisitions over the years, was housed, under the direction of Roger Perron (who succeeded Gérard Bayle), in new quarters in the Rue Vauquelin in 1994; named the Bibliothèque Sigmund Freud, it became France's most comprehensive repository of psychoanalytic works. Its computerized catalogue was made available to researchers by means of the Internet under the leadership of Ruth Menahem, who was succeeded by Eva Weil. For several years the library published a bulletin of reviews of works, Lectures, headed by Perel Wilgowicz. Meanwhile, the creation of a Department of Archives and History, decided on in January 1988, and headed by Alain de Mijolla, then by Alexandra Munier, and then, after 2002, by Nicolas Gougoulis, witnessed the constitution of an audiovisual archive devoted to some eminent members of the society. The Archives de France took responsibility for the cataloguing and archiving of all the administrative documents that had accumulated since the 1950s.
Relations with the government were marked by intense discussions around the 1982 proposal presented by Maurice Godelier to the minister of Research and Industry with the aim of creating a center for the development of psychoanalytic research. Supported at the SPP by Gérard Mendel and discussed at length, the proposal in the end did not lead anywhere, but the issue of the "status of psychoanalysis" regularly came up in government debates and at the instigation of certain people, such as Serge Leclaire in December 1989; however, this did not lead the SPP to abandon its reserve and go back on its refusal to sanction the official recognition under the label "psychoanalysts" certain, essentially Lacanian, groups whose training criteria it viewed as inadequate. Not that the SPP was excessively rigorous on this matter, as its frays with the IPA had continually shown. The SPP recognized three sessions per week as the minimum for a training analysis, instead of the four sessions required by the international organization. The society, under the leadership of Sacha Nacht, had been one of the first in the world to totally exclude a candidate's analyst from discussions and decisions concerning his or her accreditation. As early as the 1950s the SPP had implemented "collective supervision," which was unknown in the other IPA member organizations, and, around 1965, the "trial assessment." In terms of relations with the government, after successfully fighting against the 1981 decision of the Ministry of Finance to subject non-physician psychoanalysts, and subsequently those who did not have a degree in psychology, to the value-added tax (VAT), the society's only official step was its 1997 request for recognition as a public service organization, a possibility that had been raised as early as 1967—at the time, there were rumors that Jacques Lacan had requested this—but that had been ruled out owing to the society's desire to remain independent of any control by the state. In the fall of 2003, the tumult occasioned by the threat of an "amendment" intended to regulate the practice of psychotherapy enabled the SPP to state its position clearly: "Psychoanalysis, which includes what is known as 'psychoanalytic psychotherapy, ' is the purview only of psychoanalytic organizations accredited to guarantee the training and qualification of their members."
Thus, from 1987, under the presidency of André Green and his successors, the SPP practiced a policy of communication with the outside, a different image from the slightly outmoded one of a conservative "orthodoxy" that had been associated with the institute. Already, the Thursday lecture series, open to the public simply by registration, had made it possible to transmit the basics of Freudian theory and clinical practice to listeners from all walks of life. The two days for reflection organized on January 14-15, 1989, in the UNESCO building, on the theme of "Psychoanalysis: Questions for Tomorrow," under André Green's presidency, were a major success in this direction, mobilizing the media and making it possible to disseminate to some 950 registered listeners documents that clearly explained the goals and mode of operation of an organization whose previous desire to remain outside of the public realm had resulted in its being misunderstood and misjudged. Two additional days of meetings, organized by André Green and Alain Fine on November 23-24, 2002, created a forum for dialogue on the theme of "The Work of Psychoanalysis" between practitioners and the principal French psychoanalytic societies.
This was also a way of responding to the media attention garnered by the many groups and micro-groups born of the dissolution of theÉcole freudienne de Paris. Other colloquia open to the public were organized by Gilbert Diatkine in 1994, on the "Powers and Limits of Psychoanalysis," and by Marilia Aisenstein in 1996, on "Ill-Being: Anxiety and Violence." At the same time, internal colloquia were held, such as "The Drives," organized by André Green in 1995; "The Object in Person," organized by Paul Denis in 1996; and "Psychotherapeutic interpretation, psychoanalytic interpretation," organized by Gilbert Diatkine in March 1997.
Among the institutions linked to the SPP that continued their work throughout these years, mention must be made of the Centre de consultations et de traitements psychanalytiques, which, from its creation in 1954, made psychoanalytic treatment available free of charge for the most economically disadvantaged. Under the leadership of Michel Cénac and René Diatkine, Jean Favreau and Robert Barande, Jean-Luc Donnet and Monique Cournut, and, from January 2000, Jean-Louis Baldacci, it also provided for the clinical training of several generations of psychoanalysts. It was renamed the Centre Jean-Favreau in December 1993.
The Revue française de psychanalyse, meanwhile, continued in its efforts to present the work of members of the SPP. The journal made no further changes in publisher after 1947, when it was taken on by the Presses Universitaires de France, and the successive managing and editorial teams, despite not-infrequent conflicts, first and foremost sought to ensure the regular publication of the congresses of the French-speaking psychoanalytic community and the work coming out of the various conferences, colloquia, and other scientific meetings. However, from 1988, under the direction of Claude Le Guen, assisted by Gérard Bayle and Jean Cornut, the journal's autonomy in relation to the society, which had tried in vain to obtain the previous directorships, intensified, the latter having found a place for expression in its Bulletin, which, from 1991, also published texts from the congresses. The decision henceforth to produce thematic issues led to a clear-cut increase in the readership of the Revue, which was both older and the most widespread of the French psychoanalytic journals. That same year, 1988, Claude Le Guen, assisted by Gilbert Diatkine, created the Monographies de la R.F.P. (Monographs of the R.F.P. ), a series in which each issue, focusing on a specific theoretical or practical point, was an assured publishing success. The series Débats de psychanalyse (Debates in Psychoanalysis), of which Jacqueline Schaeffer was the assistant director, was created in 1995 with the aim of publishing the proceedings of colloquia and scientific meetings, which the Bulletin alone could no longer handle. In March 1996 Paul Denis took over the direction of the Revue française de psychanalyse and created the series Psychanalystes d'aujourd'hui (Psychoanalysts of today).
The Society's membership in and faithfulness to the IPA were concretized—following the lead of Marie Bonaparte, vice president after the war and honorary president from 1957—by Sacha Nacht, vice president from 1957 to 1969, by André Green from 1975 to 1977, and, above all, by Serge Lebovici, vice president from 1967 to 1973, and up to that point the only Frenchman to have been elected president of the IPA, from 1973 to 1977, and then by Haydée Faimberg and Paul Israël, each of whom served in turn as vice president. The SPP, however, was never subservient to the IPA, as attested to by the numerous disagreements that marked the history of relations between the two institutions, from the criteria for training analysis to the creation of the Chamber of Delegates announced in 1993. The SPP also maintained links with the European Federation of Psychoanalysis, in which a number of its members played important roles, such as Alain Gibeault, who was president from 1995 to 1999 before being named secretary general of the IPA alongside Daniel Widlöcher.
Citing the names of members of the SPP throughout this article makes it unnecessary to say more about the organization's scientific resonance and the place that the work of its members ensured within the psychoanalytic landscape in France and internationally. Whether in terms of readings of psychoanalytic texts, reflections on metapsychology, studies on the psychoanalytic process and situation, on psychoanalytic conceptions in the areas of psychopathology or therapeutics, child psychoanalysis, individual or group psychoanalytic psychotherapy, psychodrama, psychosomatics, research on the history of psychoanalysis, or the relationship between science and psychoanalysis, the number of institutional creations or original theoretical contributions by members of the SPP is considerable, as is the list of collections of reference works or journals that they head or in which they participate.
André Green's successors to the presidency of the society, Michèle Perron-Borelli (elected in January 1989, she resigned in February 1990 after a dispute with the board of directors over policies regarding Serge Leclaire's proposed "ordinal authority"), Paul Israël (1990-94), Gilbert Diatkine (1994-96), Marilia Aisenstein (1996-98), Jean Cournut (1998-2002), and Alain Fine (1998-2004) have pursued the policies of openness initiated by the 1986 reforms, in a spirit of rigor attested to by the creation in 1995 of a Commission on Deontology charged with elaborating and enforcing a code of ethics. A report by Paul Denis on behalf of the Socioprofessional Commission, supported by Michèle Perron-Borelli, petitioned beginning in 1989 to ask for recognition as a public service organization; in January 1996 a general assembly of the SPP voted in favor of requesting such recognition. A new modification of the statutes followed to make the necessary adaptations for this change in status, which was granted by a degree published in the Journal officiel of August 20, 1997.
With nearly 600 members extensively trained in psychoanalytic theory and practice (109 permanent members, 82 members, and 383 affiliated members), the SPP provides, for the diversity in thinking implicit in such a gathering, an open forum for discussion and developments that nevertheless remain with the strict framework of Freudian thought. Plans are under study for a federation-type organization that would bring together the psychoanalysts in France who would feel linked to such an entity, for the importance of regional groups has only grown over the years, making up for the lag that occurred from the 1960s to the 1980s, to the benefit of other psychoanalytic organizations, particularly those coming out of theÉcole freudienne de Paris. The Institut de psychanalyse de Lyon's move to become autonomous in 1996, with Françoise Brette as its first director, is a testament to this. Doubtless one of the next tasks of the SPP will be to organize this mode of affiliation on a national scale, since there is such lively demand from those who identify with the currents of thought and the institutional building that have characterized, with the many vicissitudes that are synonymous with life and many democratic debates, its long historic pathway and the place it has been able to take and maintain for almost eighty years in the French psychoanalytic movement.
Alain de Mijolla
Mijolla, Alain de. (1992). France, 1893-1965, in Psychoanalysis international: A guide to psychoanalysis throughout the world, volume 1: Europe. (p. 66-113) Stuttgart-Bad Cannstatt: Frommann-Holzboog, .
——. (1988). Psychoanalysis and psychoanalysts in France between 1939 and 1945. International Forum of Psychoanalysis, 12, 136-156.
——. (1988). Quelques aperçus sur le rôle de la princesse Marie Bonaparte dans la création de la Société psychanalytique de Paris. Revue française de psychanalyse, 52 (5), 1197-1214.
——. (1991). Les congrès des psychanalystes de langue française des pays romans: Quelques éléments d'histoire. Revue française de psychanalyse, 55 (1), 7-36.
——. (2001). Splits in the French Psychoanalytic movement between 1953 and 1964. In R. Steiner and J. Johns (Eds.), Within Time and Beyond Time (pp. 1-24). London: Karnac.
Perron, Roger. (1990). Médecins et non-médecins dans l'histoire de la Société psychanalytique de Paris. Revue internationale d'histoire de la psychanalyse, 3, 167-98.
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