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.

part I|33 pages

History of Psychoanalysis in France

chapter |6 pages


chapter 2|13 pages

What has Become of the Lines of Advance in Psychoanalysis?

The evolution of practices in France

part III|131 pages

The Setting and the Process of Psychoanalysis

chapter |19 pages


chapter 13|15 pages

Speaking and Renouncing

part IV|167 pages

Phantasy and Representation

chapter |18 pages


chapter 14|24 pages

Object Relationships in Children

chapter 16|17 pages

The Prelude to Fantasmatic Life

chapter 18|21 pages

Working as a Double 1

chapter 20|16 pages

Listening to the Telescoping of Generations

The psychoanalytic pertinence of the concept

chapter 21|13 pages

‘Speech in Psychoanalysis’

From symbols to the flesh and back 1

part V|118 pages

The Body and the Drives

chapter |13 pages


chapter 22|10 pages

Operational Thinking 1

chapter 23|4 pages

Essential Depression 1

chapter 24|14 pages

Psychosomatic Solution or Somatic Outcome

The man from Burma - psychotherapy of a case of haemorrhagic rectocolitis

chapter 25|19 pages

Functions of the Skin Ego

chapter 26|20 pages

The Death Drive

Meaning, objections, substitutes

chapter 29|10 pages

The Croatian Cravat

The narcissism of small differences and the process of civilisation

part VI|129 pages

Masculine and Feminine Sexuality

chapter |9 pages


chapter 33|8 pages

Primary Homosexuality

A foundation of contradictions

chapter 34|19 pages

The Beautiful Differences

chapter 35|14 pages

Plea for a Measure of Abnormality

part VII|82 pages


chapter |10 pages


chapter 37|18 pages

The Fetishistic Object Relationship

Some observations

chapter 39|14 pages

Retreat Into Hallucination

An equivalent of the autistic retreat?

chapter 40|13 pages

Schizophrenia and Soul Murder

Psychoanalytic psychodrama with ‘John’, the man ‘saddled with that/the id’