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(1956). Dr. Henri Flournoy Geneva, 1886–1955. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 37:199-199.

(1956). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 37:199-199

Dr. Henri Flournoy Geneva, 1886–1955

The Swiss psycho-analytic movement has recently suffered heavy losses; the death of Charles Odier in 1954 was followed last spring by that of Dr. Henri Flournoy, who was among the first psycho-analysts in French Switzerland and one of those who were most attentively heard at out meetings.

Henri Flournoy was the son of Théodore Flournoy, one of the first Swiss psychologists to take an interest in Freud's discoveries. He prepared himself for psychiatric practice by an exceedingly complete and varied range of studies, not limited to medical psychiatry, but extending from the outset to a wide field of knowledge, including psychology, philosophy, anthropology, and biology. Apart from the periods of instruction passed at the usual psychiatric institutions, he spent a year at the Johns Hopkins Hospital at Baltimore, where he broadened and enriched his experience of psychological psychiatry in contact with Adolphe Meyer, who made a deep impact on him and to whom he used frequently to pay tribute. Moreover, he prepared himself for psycho-analytic practice with Ophuijsen in Holland, subsequently with Freud, and finally with Nunberg in Vienna.

Apart from this academic preparation, Flournoy broadened his horizon by foreign travel, notably in China, Japan, and India, and by enlisting in a Swiss Red Cross unit during the Balkan war of 1912–13.

From 1915 onwards he practised psychiatry, and more particularly psycho-analysis, in Geneva, his native town. His constant aim, for which his training as neurologist, psychiatrist, and psycho-analyst was a perfect preparation, was the synthesis of the psychological and the organic; his whole career was distinguished by this search for harmony between the different methods which aim at knowledge of the human mind as an indissociable whole.

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