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Sparer, E.A. (2009). La cure psychanalytique classique by Maurice Bouvet PUF, Paris, 2007; 322 pp; €28. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 90(2):422-426.

(2009). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 90(2):422-426

La cure psychanalytique classique by Maurice Bouvet PUF, Paris, 2007; 322 pp; €28

Review by:
Ellen A. Sparer

With the growing interest in the ‘French Model’, it has become increasingly important to situate the different currents in French psychoanalytic thought. That it is so common to underestimate the impact of Maurice Bouvet's work on French psychoanalysis is particularly regrettable. In this re-edition of La cure psychanalytique classique with a preface by Paul Denis, the reader is immediately reminded that in his short life (Bouvet died in 1960 at the age of 48), Bouvet's crisp and precise description of classical technique is at once a description of analytic technique, a French theory of object relations, an early influence on the French school of psychosomatics, a profound influence on diverse French theoreticians who would then weave and build what is known today as the ‘French model’ and the counterpoint to Lacan. As Paul Denis points out in his preface, to understand what Lacan was lampooning at the time of the division of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society in 1953, on must study Bouvet. Not included in this review, but noteworthy, is that a new edition of Bouvet's seminal work on object relations was re-edited and published in 2006.

Maurice Bouvet represents a certain ideal of rigour and reflection, grounded in a careful reading of Freud as well as his contemporaries. His insistence on a thorough initial evaluation of a patient's psychic structure has become a hallmark of French psychoanalysis.

Following a brief biographical note and a preface, La cure psychanalytique classique (which might be loosely translated as the classical cure), is divided into four sections: ‘La cure type’, ‘Resistances’, ‘Transference’, and ‘Technical Variations’.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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