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Casoni, D. Gauthier, M. Brunet, L. Bienvenu, J. (2009). The Work of René Roussillon: An Overview of His Major Concepts. Canadian J. Psychoanal., 17(1):108-130.

(2009). Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis, 17(1):108-130


The Work of René Roussillon: An Overview of His Major Concepts

Dianne Casoni, Martin Gauthier, Louis Brunet and Jean-Pierre Bienvenu


René Roussillon has been a full member of the Groupe Lyonnais of the Société psychanalytique de Paris (SPP) since 1991. The same year, he was awarded the prestigious Maurice Bouvet prize attributed by the spp for his book Paradoxes et situations limites de la psychanalyse. He is also a university professor and the chair of the Department of Clinical Psychology at Université Lyon 2, Lumière.

René Roussillon belongs to the second generation of French analysts who have contributed to making Winnicott's ideas known in France, following the lead of Didier Anzieu, Jean-Bertrand Pontalis, and André Green. Roussillon has developed a truly personal and theoretically coherent integration of many of Winnicott's concepts, notably the development of the mind and of psychic processes, the role of the external object in the development of symbolization capacities and in the process of subjective appropriation. Also, he has expanded Marion Milner's analogy ofthe pliable medium to describe the functions exercised by the object and renewed what could be called the fundamentals of psychoanalysis. More precisely, Roussillon has attempted to grasp the implications of Freud's 1920 metapsychological turning point, identifying earlier concepts in need of revision in order to coherently link them to those associated to Freud's thinking in Beyond the Pleasure Principle. He thus reviewed the notions of primary and secondary trauma, primary and secondary symbolization, repetition compulsion, the pleasure principle, and transitionality, amongst others.

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