Françoise Dolto and Extramural Psychoanalysis: Two Practical Examples

This contribution sheds light on Françoise Dolto as an inspiring pioneer of preventive work with children. A question that informs our discussion is the extent to which “extramural psychoanalysis” can, or should, be creative. Two projects illustrate the inventiveness and the power of psychoanalysis beyond the boundaries of the classical cure. The first project, “Les Enfants du Jeudi”, in which choreographers work with autistic children, reveals how the “unspeakable” can manifest itself through music and dance. Our second project, “Villa Ou-ki”, demonstrates how parents and children can be held within, or evacuated out of, their symptom by applying short-term psychoanalytic interventions with the focus on the relational aspect in the context of childcare. We present these two projects referring to the four key theoretical aspects of Dolto, namely, the relational, the unconscious body-image, the play of desire, and respect with regards to the subject aspects. The ideas of Jean Laplanche are used as supplementary theoretical tools.