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Françoise Dolto and her legacy
Author: Richard Bates

In Psychoanalysis and the family, Richard Bates reveals the striking range and extent of the influence of Françoise Dolto (1908–88) – child psychoanalyst and France’s leading authority on parenting and family dynamics from the 1970s onwards.

Against the backdrop of rapid economic, social and cultural change, Dolto emerged as a new, reassuring, national presence. Seen as a national treasure, her views proved influential on a wide range of issues linked to psychology, parenting, education, gender, sexuality, bioethics and children’s culture and rights. Dolto claimed the mantle of a progressive, innovative expert who swept away outdated concepts – but Bates demonstrates that her ideas in fact had deep roots in right-wing, anti-feminist currents. Dolto used her media platforms and the cultural authority of psychoanalysis to ensure that her psychoanalytic vision affected the whole French nation and was implanted in a variety of institutional settings. Bates shows how her vision had lasting repercussions, in areas ranging from the treatment of autism to the organisation of children’s centres.

In demonstrating Dolto’s importance, this highly original, thoroughly researched book makes an essential contribution to historical understanding of twentieth-century French society. It forces a reassessment of the place of psychoanalysis in French social history, showing that its true significance lay well beyond the academic seminar or the consulting room.

A clinical archive, 1938
Michal Shapira

war, the psychoanalytical community became deeply divided between her followers and adherents of the ideas of Anna Freud (Sigmund Freud’s daughter) – chiefly over differences regarding child psychoanalysis. The Controversial Discussions in the BPAS, where these ideas were conferred in the early 1940s, were ‘a war within a war’, and indeed others have commented that it took ‘more than a World War to stop analysts from fighting each other’. 6 Nevertheless, the pre-war and war periods were productive times for Klein. She inventively conceptualised the different

in The Munich Crisis, politics and the people
Abstract only
Doltomania
Richard Bates

policy makers. Dolto’s reputation was also different in that she was known specifically as a leading child psychoanalyst: unlike Lacan and other senior colleagues, her patient base consisted mainly of children, and her pedagogical work focused on training others how to conduct psychoanalysis with children. Child psychoanalysis had existed as a sub-field since the interwar period, having been pioneered in the 1910s and 1920s by the Viennese analyst Hermine Hug-Hellmuth, and subsequently developed by Anna Freud, Melanie

in Psychoanalysis and the family in twentieth-century France
Abstract only
Popularising psychoanalysis, 1945–68
Richard Bates

. 283. 26 Ibid ., pp. 292–3. 27 Ibid ., p. 283. 28 Ibid . 29 Robcis, Law of Kinship , p. 139. 30 On the CCB, see Robcis, Law of Kinship , pp. 114–27; Geissman and Geissmann, A History of Child Psychoanalysis , pp. 298–301; Ohayon, L’Impossible Rencontre , pp. 290–2; Mijolla, La France et Freud 1946–1953 , pp. 14–16. 31 Georges Mauco

in Psychoanalysis and the family in twentieth-century France
Abstract only
Psychoanalysis in interwar France
Richard Bates

and Geissmann, A History of Child Psychoanalysis , p. 150. 29 Sophie Morgenstern, La Psychanalyse infantile: symbolisme et valeur clinique des créations imaginatives chez l’enfant (Paris: Denoël, 1937). 30 Geissmann and Geissmann, A History of Child Psychoanalysis , p. 292. 31 As Siân Reynolds noted, externships were easier to find than internships, which ‘were long jealously guarded by closing them to women. A

in Psychoanalysis and the family in twentieth-century France
Dolto and the psychoanalytic approach to autism in France
Richard Bates

Mannoni, a philosophy professor turned Lacanian analyst. 60 (Maud) Mannoni observed Dolto’s child psychotherapy consultations at Hôpital Trousseau and decided to specialise in work with (so-called) psychotic children. Mannoni’s Belgian analyst Maurice Dugautiez wrote to Dolto in 1949, praising her training of Mannoni and her methodology for child psychoanalysis. 61 Subsequently, Mannoni visited Donald Winnicott in London and did a control analysis with him – as well as undertaking a further personal analysis with Lacan, who

in Psychoanalysis and the family in twentieth-century France
Bonnie Evans

psychiatrists saw little problem with employing Kleinian concepts of psychosis, schizophrenia and child psychoanalysis and fusing these with the idea that childhood schizophrenia was a form of extreme psychopathology with biochemical correlates. This also encouraged a much more experimental treatment culture in relation to children than was seen in Britain. As Edward Shorter and David

in The metamorphosis of autism
Open Access (free)
Bonnie Evans

psychiatry, hoping to establish child psychiatry as a unique profession, distinct from child psychology and child psychoanalysis. 142 As the 1930s developed, child psychiatrists became distinct from psychologists and others because they trained within hospital settings with medical facilities and focused on severe psychopathology. In the USA and Britain, the affirmation of the

in The metamorphosis of autism