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Houzel, D. (2018). Autism and psychoanalysis in the French context. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 99(3):725-745.

(2018). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 99(3):725-745

Autism and psychoanalysis in the French context

Didier Houzel

As is the case in Western countries as a whole, the application of psychoanalysis in France to the treatment of autistic children has been subjected over the last few decades to more or less violent criticism, and even to obstacles of various kinds, which make it increasingly difficult. This takes on, of course, different colourings from one country to another, depending on each country’s history, culture, traditions, and the current organisation of psychiatric and psychotherapeutic care. This article aims to describe these particular features in the French context. With this end in mind, it is necessary to take into account the evolution not only of the notion of infantile autism but also of psychoanalysis, as well as of their interface.

The advent of infantile autism in France

As much as French psychiatry had played a pioneering role in the history of psychiatry, the descriptions of Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger were only heard of relatively late in France.

[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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