(full member of the S.P.P.)
the 1960s, François Blondel, then a young member of the I.P.A.-affiliated
Paris Psychoanalytic Society [Société Psychanalytique de
Paris or S.P.P.], took the pioneering step of inviting two well-known
analysts, Maria Torok and Nicolas Abraham, to help establish child analysis
as a method of treatment here in Caen. They were instrumental in training
child psychotherapists, including E. Korotkoff (now an S.P.P. member himself),
to work in the local Child Guidance Clinic. At approximately the same
time, Lacanian psychoanalysis began to develop in the region, thanks in
particular to Léone Richet, a pupil of Françoise Dolto.
In the 1970s, with the support of André Berge of the Claude Bernard
Centre in Paris, the present writer set up a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy
Department in the Caen University Medical and Psychological Clinic for
children and adolescents, and, in the University itself, began giving
a series of lectures in Clinical Psychology, with a marked psychoanalytic
orientation. I was thus able to offer intensive psychotherapeutic treatment
on an out-patient basis in the University Clinic to several autistic or
psychotic children. Long-term treatment of this kind (lasting sometimes
until young adulthood) helped many of these children to play a full part
in the social fabric of the community and, in some cases, to lead a perfectly
ordinary emotional and sexual life as adults.
In the other part of the Normandy region (around Rouen and Le Havre),
thanks to the efforts of Nicole Berry (of the I.P.A.-affiliated French
Psychoanalytic Association [Association Psychanalytique de France or A.P.F.]
and Jacqueline Berge [S.P.P.], child psychoanalysis and psychotherapy
began to take root there also.
In the 1980s, James Gammill played a major role in Normandy (as he had
done in the south of France) in creating a training course for child psychotherapists.
His contribution in establishing links between different training institutes
and in developing a space for sharing our experience as psychoanalysts
in the region - thereby ensuring that everything was not centred exclusively
on Paris - was truly a crucial one. He put me in touch with Louis Edy
[A.P.F.] in Alençon (Normandy) and with Albert Namer [S.P.P.] who
travelled from Paris to work with me on a part-time basis in the University
Clinic. Over the past 20 years, Albert Namer has never failed to honour
this commitment in spite of many difficulties, and we are all extremely
grateful to him for his contribution to the psychoanalytic treatment of
children and adolescents and to the training of psychotherapists; he has
been particularly helpful in encouraging thinking about the global impact
of institutional parameters on our work, and in developing the psychoanalytic
approach in general in Normandy. He was also for a time an assistant lecturer
in our local university, and was instrumental in setting up the Adolescent
and Young Adult Department in the University Clinic.
Over the past 20 years, then, supervisions and training seminars have
developed, and in 1982 we inaugurated the first of a long series of Annual
Encounters on Child Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy [les Rencontres Annuelles
de Psychothérapie et de Psychanalyse de l'Enfant], with meetings
taking place both in the University and in a renovated water-mill in the
nearby countryside. The recent (September 2001) E.F.P.P. Congress was
to some degree the culmination of these Encounters, with their emphasis
on workshops and small discussion groups. Among other noteworthy guest
speakers, we have been able to welcome James Gammill, Geneviève
Haag, Jean Bégoin and Florence Guignard, Anne Anzieu, Jenny Aubry-Roudinesco,
Piera Aulagnier, Didier Houzel, Claudine Geissmann, Irma and Eric Brenman
(on several occasions, including private seminars), Leon Grinberg, Salomon
Resnik, Lore Schacht, Anne Alvarez, Jean Bergès and Yolanda Gampel.
The Caen branch of the Paris-based Psychoanalytic Study and Research Group
on Child and Infant Development [Groupe d'Etudes et de Recherches Psychanalytiques
pour le Développement de l'Enfant et du Nourrisson or G.E.R.P.E.N.]
was initially responsible for organizing these activities. Some of the
psychotherapists trained here have gone on to become members of one or
other of the I.P.A.-affiliated French Psychoanalytic Societies.
Many Rouen-based psychotherapists working within the same psychoanalytic
tradition as ourselves attend our seminars. They have since been able
to open up new spaces for analytic thinking in that part of Normandy also.
Jeanne Pourrinet in particular has played an important role in this and
has recently become a training member of our own Association (see below).
For approximately four years, Annick Maufras du Châtelier (Paris)
supervised a training group in psychoanalytic Infant Observation, thus
enabling other colleagues to go on to take up posts of responsibility
in the local infant care network.
In 1991, Didier Houzel arrived in Caen. His talent for organization soon
helped us set up a full-blown training course in child and adolescent
psychotherapy, under the aegis initially of the Caen branch of the G.E.R.P.E.N.,
then of a new Association we founded together: the Regional Association
for Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy [Association Régionale
de Psychothérapie Psychanalytique de l'Enfant et de l'Adolescent
or A.R.P.P.E.A.]. I am at present the Chairperson of this Association.
As a result, and in spite of initial difficulties, we have managed to
increase the number of seminars, in particular thanks to the participation
of psychoanalysts working in foreign countries - Janine Puget, David Maldavsky
and Clara Roitmann, for example. Since Didier Houzel is also Professor
of Child Psychiatry at Caen University Medical School, he was able to
create a University Diploma Course in Infant Observation that draws students
from all over Normandy and elsewhere. He was instrumental in giving a
distinctively psychoanalytic impetus to teaching in child psychiatry,
furthering research into infantile autism and undertaking psychotherapeutic
treatment in the University training hospital.
Already an individual member of the E.F.P.P., Didier Houzel militated
in favour of our group joining the European Federation, and, with Claudine
Geissmann and Anastasia Nakov, helped to establish the French Federation
of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy [Fédération Française
de Psychothérapie de l'Enfant et de l'Adolescent], which has since
joined the E.F.P.P.
During the same period, in Rouen, the European Society for Child and Adolescent
Psychotherapy [Société Européenne de Psychothérapie
de l'Enfant et de l'Adolescent or S.E.P.E.A.] was founded, with seminars
and supervision groups chaired by Anne Couplan and Monique Lawday, and
workshops under the leadership of Florence Guignard and Anne Anzieu. (The
present author is also a member of the S.E.P.E.A.)
At present, the A.R.P.P.E.A., with its group-based "holding"
of students, each of whom has additional individual tutoring, has enabled
a number of psychotherapists to complete their training course, and several
former students have gone on to become members of the Association (and,
as I stated earlier, Ms Pourrinet, for example, is herself now a training
Our work ethos is very strongly based on three-session-per-week individual
psychoanalysis, a psychoanalytic approach to case material, and group
training and supervision as a way of limiting the idealization tendency
one often encounters in this kind of transference. Our membership of the
E.F.P.P. will help us, I am sure, to moderate any "endogamous"
inclination in what is, after all, a fairly small region of France, to
move on out of our provincial cocoon and to open up new horizons for encounters
such as those we had during the recent Congress.