The Failed Assassination of Psychoanalysis: The Rise and Fall of Cognitivism




It can happen that a law incurs the wrath of the very people it set out to protect. This is what happened in France at the end of 2003 with the Accoyer Amendment, a Bill that intended to regulate the exercise of psychotherapies even at the cost of the disappearance of psychoanalysis itself. The public that this law was supposed to protect thus ran the risk of finding themselves stripped of certain freedoms that democracy usually guarantees.

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How had it become possible to reach such a point? This is what this book sets out to examine. Evaluation and cognitive-behavioural scientism, which have been progressively infiltrating different forms of knowledge with destructive effect, undoubtedly played a major role. And then, the International Psychoanalytical Association, despite having been founded by Freud to protect his invention, started to endorse the forced cognitivisation of psychoanalysis. Meanwhile, psychiatry slid back into its nineteenth century hygienic obscurantism and its new recruit, epidemiology, began playing host to racialist discourses.

However, the more evaluation steps up the commodification of knowledges and reinforces contemporary discontent, the more psychoanalysis in the Lacanian orientation demonstrates its public benefit. As Agnès Aflalo shows here with great clarity, this form of psychoanalysis is the only one to welcome the singularity of those who desire to find their way in the opacity of their symptoms.



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