Affiliated member of the WPA – World Psychiatric Association

Beyond the Talking Cure Principle: The Individual Psychoanalytic Psychodrama as Therapeutic Paradigm for Psychoanalysis in Psychiatry

Michel Botbol

Starting with the observation that talking cure principles and transference/ counter transference system are the two pillars of psychoanalysis as therapeutic method, one must consider that talking cure is more than a verbal exchange and closely dependent from the possibility to engage into transference. This presentation will therefore discuss one of the major critics the psychoanalytic model is facing in psychiatry: the limitation of its applicability to most mental heath patients for logistic or psychological reasons.
Considering that tackling seriously this issue may be one of the main required advances in today psychoanalysis worldwide, we will present one of the methods designed to overcome this applicability issue: « the Individual Psychoanalytic Psychodrama ». We will show how this therapeutic method good be a good candidate to challenge this applicability issue by extending the indication of psychoanalysis to patients who are not ready to engage into transference or talking cure principles. We will particularly underline that because it is based on acting rather than on worlds only, it is indeed well adapted to deal with patients’ defensive functioning which are obstacles to the psychoanalytic principles. We will conclude that even if it is not, however, an universal panacea, it can be seen as a therapeutic paradigm for the application of psychoanalysis in modern psychiatry.

Michel Botbol
Université de Bretagne Occidentale | UBO · Child and adolescent Psychiatry

Emeritus Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

Secretary Publications WPA, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Consultant on Juvenile Justice, French Ministry of Justice, President, WPA French Member Societies Association, Advisor of the WPA Section on Psychoanalysis in Psychiatry, Chair of the French branch of the World Association for Dynamic Psychiatry