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Vermorel, H. (1998). Raymond De Saussure: First President of the European Psychoanalytical Federation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 79:73-81.

(1998). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 79:73-81

Raymond De Saussure: First President of the European Psychoanalytical Federation

Henri Vermorel

The author reviews the life and career of the Swiss psychoanalyst Raymond de Saussure, who died in 1971. A member of an ancient Protestant family with a distinguished intellectual record in Geneva, Saussure studied medicine and psychiatry before turning to psychoanalysis after a fateful encounter with Sigmund Freud, with whom he subsequently maintained intermittent contacts. His subsequent efforts to establish psychoanalysis as a discipline in its own right separate from psychiatry, especially in the French-speaking countries, are described in detail. We learn of his important role in the promotion of psychoanalysis, the organisation of psychoanalytic training and the publication of psychoanalytic material, including his own substantial theoretical and clinical contributions. He is shown also to have had a wide range of other interests. Particular stress is laid on Saussure's Europeanism, as revealed in his familiarity with Germanic as well as French-language culture, his activities in France in addition to Switzerland, his role as an ambassador for European culture during his New York period, and, most importantly, his commitment to the formation of the European Psychoanalytical Federation, of which he was the first President. The author notes too that Saussure was a man of unfailing courtesy.

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