Person Centred Psychiatry and Neuropsychoanalysis: Bridging the Gap Between the Suffering Mind and the Dysfunctioning Brain

  • Fabian Guenole
  • Michel Botbol


More than other medical disciplines, psychiatry is exposed to the negative effects of a disorder-centred approach. Indeed, a disorder-centred approach neglects key aspects for psychiatric clinical practice and research such as subjectivity and psychodynamic dimensions. The current implicit or explicit tendency is then to apply to psychiatry, the paradigm based on the biomedical classifications used in other medical disciplines. The problem is that, despite all its other merits, this paradigm, and the practices related to it, does not fully allow inclusion of the patients’ emotional life and more globally their subjectivity. On the other hand, dynamic psychiatry puts its focus on these emotional and subjective dimensions but does not really take into account biological facts and up-to-date biological knowledge.

Person-centred psychiatry has had the great merit of bringing this dilemma at the forefront of international psychiatry, but it is still struggling to find an adapted approach to overcome it. In contributing to this movement, one of the aims of the WPA Psychoanalysis in Psychiatry Section is to participate to this effort, through the exploration on how psychoanalysis can contribute to develop a more integrative psychiatry in a person-centred perspective. As an advanced branch of psychoanalysis, neuropsychoanalysis is another way to take up this challenge. After introducing this new concept, this chapter will give examples of its application and consider to what extent it can build up a bridge on the gap between the suffering mind and the dysfunctioning brain.


Psychoanalysis in Psychiatry Neuropsychoanalysis Person-Centred Psychiatry Depression Psychodynamic Psychotherapy 


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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Child and Adolescent PsychiatryCaen University, Caen University HospitalCaenFrance
  2. 2.Child and Adolescent PsychiatryWestern Brittany University, Brest University HospitalBrestFrance

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