Reading French Psychoanalysis

1st Edition

Dana Birksted-Breen, Sara Flanders, Alain Gibeault

Published December 21, 2009
Reference - 840 Pages - 2 B/W Illustrations
ISBN 9780415485036 - CAT# Y104006
Series: New Library of Psychoanalysis Teaching Series

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How has psychoanalysis developed in France in the years since Lacan so dramatically polarized the field?

In this book, Dana Birksted-Breen and Sara Flanders of the British Psychoanalytical Society, and Alain Gibeault of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society provide an overview of how French psychoanalysis has developed since Lacan. Focusing primarily on the work of psychoanalysts from the French Psychoanalytical Association and from the Paris Psychoanalytical Society, the two British psychoanalysts view the evolution of theory as it appears to them from the outside, while the French psychoanalyst explains and elaborates from inside the French psychoanalytic discourse. Seminal and representative papers have been chosen to illuminate what is special about French thinking. A substantial general introduction argues in favour of the specificity of 'French psychoanalysis', tracing its early influences and highlighting specific contemporary developments.

Sections are made up of introductory material by Alain Gibeault, followed by illustrative papers in the following categories:

  • the history of psychoanalysis in France
  • the pioneers and their legacy
  • the setting and the process of psychoanalysis
  • phantasy and representation
  • the body and the drives
  • masculine and feminine sexuality
  • psychosis.

An excellent introduction to French psychoanalytical debate, Reading French Psychoanalysis sheds a complementary light on thinking that has evolved differently in England and North America. It will be ideal reading for beginners and advanced students of clinical theory as well as experienced psychoanalysts wanting to know more about French Psychoanalytic theory, and how it has developed.


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