psychobabble
  • Developing a Historical Perspective
    by Philip Cushman
  • French Anti-Psychiatry
    by Sherrie Turkle
  • Political and Societal Implications
    by Derald Wing Sue & David Sue

  • LINKS
  • S.F. Society for Lacanian Studies Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis



  • French Anti-Psychiatry
    (by Sherrie Turkle) Three features make French anti-psychiatry very different from its Anglo-Saxon counterpart: its links with psychoanalysis, its links with Marxism and its grass roots base. Thus, we stress French anti-psychiatry's relationship to French psychoanalysis, to other currents in French radical politics and to the student revolt of May-June 1968 whose aftermath seems to have conditioned a milieu receptive to antipsychiatric ideas, particularly on the French Left.

    In Freud's work are formulations of psychoanalysis as a radical doctrine with an implicit critique of social repression. In America, medical professionalization contributed to defusing much of what was most radical in his vision. The wedding of American psychoanaiysis and psychiatry began as a marriage of convenience. When Freud's ideas appeared on the scene, American psychiatrists were in need of a new paradigm, and the first psychoanalysts wanted to use a medical affiliation to increase the legitimacy of the new doctrine. American psychoanalysis may well have paid a price for such expediencies.

    Torn from its base in the cultural sciences by an early (1927) decision by the American Psychoanalytic Association to limit the practice of psychoanalysis to medical doctors, American psychoanalysis became a psychiatric, medical and even corporate Insider'. In its theoretical development it favored a psychoanalytic ego psychology where the predominant model is of a therapeutic alliance between the egos of analyst and patient in the service of a better adaptation to reality. American psychoanalysis was socialized or, perhaps, domesticated by American institutions and values. Although some analysts did use psycho-analytic insights as part of a critique of American life, they were exceptions to the general trend. (from French Anti-Psychiatry, in Critical Psychiatry, p150.)