Academic journal article International Journal of Psychoanalysis

The French Model at Work: Indication and the Jean Favreau Centre for Consultation and Treatment

Academic journal article International Journal of Psychoanalysis

The French Model at Work: Indication and the Jean Favreau Centre for Consultation and Treatment

Article excerpt

The goal of this paper is to present the way in which an analyst trained in the French Model at the Paris Psychoanalytical Society and working at its policlinic, the Jean Favreau Centre for Consultation and Treatment (CCTP), approaches the question of indication. After a brief examination of Freud 's 1905 text on indication I will discuss certain concepts, such as representation and tertiary processes, which form the basis of our listening to today's patients. After presenting certain elements of the French Model I will then discuss a period which was a turning point in French psychoanalysis. Psychodrama, a psychoanalytically inspired treatment modality developed in France, which is useful when the capacity to represent is limited will be introduced. Two clinical illustrations of consultations at the CCTP will then follow.

Keywords: French model, indication, Jean Favreau Centre, psychodrama, representation, tertiary processes

We must create the framework in which the psychoanalytic object can be constituted.

(Pontalis, 1977, p. 203)

To foresee that a patient will benefit from an analysis is to suppose that he will be able to start and end his treatment with the beginning and ending processes being connected by definite metapsychological relationships.

(Diatkine, 1968, p. 267)

Introduction

The goal of this paper is to present the way in which an analyst trained in the French Model at the Paris Psychoanalytical Society and working at its polyclinic, the Jean Favreau Centre for Consultation and Treatment (CCTP) approaches the question of indication. Freud's 1905 ideas about indication and the capacity or incapacity for representation, implicit in the 'colourless canvas' of his Leonardo analogy, open the way to certain concepts then described, such as representation and tertiary processes. I will then briefly examine some other points of view. A French training tripod is described, highlighting the significance of a hiatus between one's personal analysis and theoretical and supervisory experiences. Through the prism of indication, I will then discuss a period which was a turning point in French psychoanalysis. Psychodrama, a psychoanalytically inspired treatment modality developed in France, which is useful when the capacity to represent is limited, will be introduced. Two clinical illustrations of consultations at the CCTP, one describing an indication for psychodrama and the other for psychoanalysis, will then follow.

Freud and indication today

More than 100 years after Freud's initial remarks on indication, it is not only unveiling the memory traces of hidden meanings that we consider when determining what analytic frame to propose; we evaluate the future patient's capacity to elaborate potential or absent meanings. Although we are attentive to the wish to change when listening to a patient for the first time, the great majority of difficulties that our patients bring are well outside the classical hysterical conflict between desire and taboo upon which Freud built his first theory of psychic functioning. When he first distinguished indication for psychoanalysis from hypnotic suggestion, Freud illustrated the difference with a quotation from Leonardo da Vinci. He initially considered that, like sculpture, psychoanalysis [per via di levare] "takes away ... all that hides the surface of the statue contained in it, whereas hypnotic suggestion, like painting [per via di porre] "applies a substance ... where there was nothing before, on the colourless canvas" (Freud, 1905a, p. 260). It is the analyst and the position he takes in the analytic setting that has evolved: as both painter and sculptor, he creates a dialectical relationship within and between the two protagonists of the cure. What was once considered to be inaudible, the 'colourless canvas' of the Leonardo analogy, can be seen today as an intuition of what 15 years later Freud would call psychic functioning 'beyond' the pleasure principle, leading him to develop the 'structural' theory. …

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