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23 novembre 2011 3 23 /11 /novembre /2011 13:02

Carole Contaut, a French mom, translated this article posted on the famous magasine " L'express" - 18 November 2011

You can see here the psychoanalytic vision of autism in this article



Autism: psychoanalysts prosecute a documentary filmmaker


Legal action has been taken over a documentary, “The Wall: psychoanalysis put to the test for Autism”, which concludes to psychoanalysis’ failure in treatment for autism.


Legal action over a documentary, “The Wall: psychoanalysis put to the test for Autism” has been taken. A first hearing has been held by the Lille Regional Court on November 15th. Three of the thirty psychoanalysts interviewed in this film, which has been available online http://www.dailymotion.com/video/xlowfu_the-wall-or-psychoanalysis-put-to-the-test-for-autism_news  at for two months by now, ask for a ban on the documentary. They are claiming damages from documentary filmmaker and independent producer Sophie Robert in the amount of 290 000€


This 52 minute documentary is presented on the Autistes Sans Frontières website as “an authentic proof by reductio ad absurdum that the psychoanalytic approach of autism is inefficient”. The plaintiffs, Eric Laurent, Esthela Solano et Alexandre Stevens, all members of the School of the Freudian Cause, feel they have been “tricked”. The project has been put before them as a “journey into the unconscious” before it revealed itself as a controversial undertaking meant to ridicule psychoanalysis.They write in theirrequest : “the speakers’ thoughts and speeches have been oversimplified and misrepresented by the comments and their meanings”.


Their statements have not been taken out of context”


This case comes at a time when mot associations representing people with autism and their families are denouncing the psychoanalytic approach of treatment of autism in France. For years they have been asking unsuccessfully for access to “educational” therapies which are extensively developed abroad. Quoted by Rue89, Delphine Piloquet, the General Delegate for Autistes Sans Frontière, highlights the toughness of their battle: ““It all gives the impression that we attack a religion of State. This film is stricken by a fatwa.” A spoof website parodying the Lacanian thought, has stated the main parts of the controversy, with a touch of humour and an explicit title “Sang sur le Mur” (an untranslatable play on two French phrases : “sang sur le mur”/ “blood on the wall” and “censure “le Mur””/ censor “the Wall”).


The judge has to make a first decision on November 29th, about the request for seizure of recordings, the film’s raw material. Interviewed by L’Express, Mr. Christian Charrière-Bournazel, the plaintiffs’ lawyer, explains that “my clients want to be able to watch the recordings and check the cut work that has been made of it” to justify this request. As a matter of fact, the case has started when documentary filmmaker Sophie Robert found a note stuck on her letter box, in the Lille Old Town building where she live and has established her production company, Océan Invisible Production. The noted mentioned a bailiff’s phone number and urged her to call that number.


She met the bailiff on October 25th; he informed her of the current judicial procedure and requested to seize the recordings. Sophie Robert refused, regarding this request as “a violation of the confidentiality of journalistic sources”. Indeed, apart the three plaintiffs, 24 other people have been interviewed in this documentary. She afterwards sent to the bailiff the written re-transcriptions of the recorded interviews with the three plaintiffs. “I have nothing to hide, “she says. “The statements of the three people involved have not been taken out of context; actually, they comply with the well-known, long-standing psychoanalytic views of treatment for autism.”




Psychoanalysts in a deadlock towards autism


The merits of the case, that is the question of the film ban, will be dealt with during a second bail hearing on December 8th. The filmmaker’s lawyer, M. Benoît Titran, insists in the importance of the debates upon this matter. “This is not about defamation; this is all about the image right”, he analyses. “The plaintiffs delivered information and were properly informed of the purpose of the film. But they realized afterwards the scope of their statements; therefore they don’t assume them anymore and they want to be able to reconsider the authorizations they gave. If the Court accepts their request, the basis of journalistic work will be undermined.”


Beyond the fate of this documentary, what is raised once again in this trial is the question of the treatment of children with autism. The majority of the scientific community consider their pathology as a neurotic disorder, probably genetic in origin. Parents associations are currently struggling so that therapies meant to offset this disability, such as ABA or PECS, develop in France. But psychoanalysts keep on explaining autism as the result of a failed relationship between the child and his mother, regarded as either too fusional, or too cold.


Therefore, what can people with autism expect from psychoanalysis? Well-known therapists interviewed in this film, with breathtaking honesty, give us the impression that they are in the deadlock. “The pleasure of taking interest in a soap bubble,” one of them answers after a long silence. Another explains later on: “With an autistic child, I do very little. What does very little mean? That I sit my butt down close to him, and I wait for something to happen.” A third one says: “I try to win over the child. I’m stepping back.” No one talks about packing, even though this method is based on psychoanalytic principles, but it’s probably too controversial to be mentioned. It consists in wrapping the child in cold and damp blankets in order to soothe him. This treatment is regarded as “barbaric” by many associations.


By requesting for a ban of this controversial film, the three psychoanalysts are taking a risk: drawing the general public's attention to a film, where, the audience has remained so far essentially confined to autistic rights defenders.



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18 novembre 2011 5 18 /11 /novembre /2011 11:32

  Gunilla Gerland, a swedish author with autism, has created a page on Facebook to support us

Translation of an article posted on the famous daily newspaper "Libération" ( similar to "The times" ) 

05 November 2011


Disorders in mental illness


Medication, diagnosis… A practitioner denounces abuses in psychiatry on the other side of the Atlantic.


OCD, ADHD, PDD (obsessive-compulsive disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, Pervasive Developmental Disorders)... This is how the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM) understands the human psyche. Whereas a fifth version of this book is to be published in the United-States in 2012, Professor Maurice Corcos, a French psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, gives in Man according to DSM an alert on the dangers of this system in which a “psy-machine” label the patients. A salutary reading, even though its inventory of current abuses in psychiatry on the  other side of the Atlanticsends chills down your spine.


Denying the importance of the transgenerational, socio-cultural and individual history of the subject, the DSM does not take into account subjectivity. Its “hatred of the fluid” (Bergson) makes it unable to understand the moving essence of the psyche and reifies it, which results in many therapeutic disasters. The DSM sees in problems of adolescents the seeds of schizophrenia or bipolar disorders, eligible for an early preventive therapy with serious side-effects that confines the subject in a morbid logic. This is a real boon for some. If the DSM “experts” prove themselves unable to provide a deeper understanding of the subject, however they are “willing and able to team up with pharmaceutical laboratories on financial grounds”, Prof. Corcos denounces: to expand the spectrum of mental disorders (354 disorders have been “discovered” between 1987 and 1994) to benefit from an even more lucrative business market.


The ideology that underlies the DSM system is pervaded by “economism”, by “hegemonic universalism” and by individualism, dedicated to an ideal of performance and adaptation that privileges the exclusion of “losers”, the author explains. Reduced to a mere attitude, if not a mere automatism, man is downgraded to the level of an animal, and soon will be dragged down to the level of a robot. However, at a time when market economy faces a deep crisis, the author finds a reason to believe : “What if this stock exchange of human values would collapse?”






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17 novembre 2011 4 17 /11 /novembre /2011 09:32

 Gunilla Gerland, a swedish author with autism, has created a page on Facebook to support us

Translation of the article posted by the daily newspaper "La voix du Nord" , on the 16 November 2011


A French film about psychoanalytic approach of autism turns to legal battle


A step which is too rare to remain unnoticed


On one hand, Sophie Robert, a filmmaker living in Lille, who describes herself as a “psychoanalysis anthropologist”. On the other hand, renowned, internationally-recognized psychoanalysts, acknowledged by their peers. And in the middle, a documentary dedicated to the psychoanalytic therapy of autism.


On the DVD, you can read: “Sophie Robert did a large survey among thirty paediatricians-psychoanalysts. Some of them are the greatest French specialists of autism. The documentary demonstrates, by the absurd statements made by the interviewees facing the camera, how inefficient psychoanalytic care of autism is. ““In France, psychoanalysts are forty years behind on the rest of the world in treatment of autism,” the filmmaker states.


They’re opposed to cognitive-behavioural techniques.” She highlights: “I filmed them while they were expressing their points of view. It’s so shocking. It damages their image. Three of the thirty experts interviewed by Sophie Robert feel they have been tricked by her and ask for a ban on the documentary. A judge of the Lille Regional Court has already granted them the recordings disposition authority. Yesterday, Sophie Robert and her lawyer, Benoît Titran, counterattack. They asked the Court to cancel this “ex parte” order. The aim, inter alia, is to “protect journalistic sources, M. Titran argues. “Some people who have been interviewed in what will be a series of documentaries wish to remain anonymous. They don’t want to be recognized.”


A sabotage job


There is no question ever of retrieving all the images”, M. Charrière-Bournazel, the psychoanalysts’ lawyer, answers. One of them had been interviewed for three hours, another for two hours and the last one, for an hour. Their statements have been distorted, and made incomprehensible. Questions have been added later just before my clients’ declarations. “He therefore wants to compare the six hour raw material with the 52 minute documentary that has already been released last week in the “Univers” movie theatre in Lille. So the question of the confidentiality of journalistic sources is not to be taken into account in what the lawyer regards as a “sabotage job meant to create a controversial work.”One has the right to regard psychoanalysis as an absurdity, he says. But here, it’s all about ridiculing my clients.” The decision will be rendered on November, 29. Another action has been launched to have the film banned.






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15 novembre 2011 2 15 /11 /novembre /2011 16:21

Gunilla Gerland, a swedish author with autism, has created a page on Facebook to support us

Carole Contaut, a french mom, translated an article posted in 2007 on the website " psychomédia "


 Autism in France: psychoanalysis is denounced by ethics committee. 



Prof. Didier Sicard, President of the French Comité Consultatif National d'Ethique (CCNE), has reported the conclusions of the working group on the situation of the 350000 to 600000 people, adults and children, affected by autistic syndromes in France.

The Committee had been seized in July, 2005 by a number of family associations, who were strongly protesting against current conceptions about care for children and adult people with autism, and against the absence of teaching support for children and teenagers.

“As opposed to many other countries, particularly Anglo-Saxon and Northern European countries, France is currently experiencing a huge deficit in this respect,” the report says.

“Children and adult people with autistic syndromes and their families are still nowadays the victims of diagnostic wavering which leads to frequent late diagnosis, huge problems accessing early and specialised educational support, the shortages of places in structures adapted to them, the impossibilities for families to choose their children’s caring procedures, a lack of family support and a lack of support, care and social inclusion of adult and old people affected by this disability in France.

France has been condemned by the Council of Europe in 2004 for not meeting its obligations to provide autistic a child with education, but it still has not resulted in any significant change in the educational care provided to these children,” the report mentions.

Since the law of February 11th, 2005, their school enrolment has become compulsory. “But it’s often a fictitious scholarship, which is often reduced to a mere registering,” the Committee criticizes.

The report highlights particularly the harm resulting by the (still regrettably prevalent) psychoanalytic approach in this cause.

“The tragedy of autism is a particularly painful example of the consequences which theories may have on the causes of a disability or illness in terms of human suffering and respect for a person’s dignity. The psychoanalytic theories on autism – psychodynamic theories such as the “empty fortress” theory (1) – as they were suggested in the 1950’to explain and describe the autistic child’s inner-world, have led to questioning the parents’ behaviours, and particularly the mothers’, described as “refrigerator mothers”, “”deadly mothers”, in the development of this disability.

Since the 1980’, the international classification of autistic syndromes as “Pervasive Development Disorders” (PDD) has led to the abandon of psychodynamic theories on autism and the notion of “autistic psychosis” in almost all countries in the world, apart from France some Latin-American countries. (...)”

This old and marked opposition between the essentially psychoanalytic-oriented notions and approaches shared by a large number of psychiatrists, and the pressing demand of all families associations to have access to the therapeutic and educational approaches that have been developed worldwide, is gradually but still too slowly replaced by interesting forms of participations of psychoanalysts in multidisciplinary support and care procedures, based on educational approaches that have been recommended by international guidelines – let’s hope this change will develop in the future.

Right now families are facing a lack of choice and 2 to 4-year-old waiting lists.

Therapists in France are more likely to propose internment solutions,” Prof. Jean Claude Ameisen, rapporteur of this opinion, sums up. “Yet, ethical and human solutions are not more expensive, as the example of Sweden has shown”, in which big centres for autistic people have been closed and replaced by smaller, more human, structures.

The report also highlights the importance of supporting the person with autism throughout his life. “A child affected with autistic syndrome will become a teenager, then an adult, then an ageing person. These developments must not lead to an abandonment of the person and caring, education, housing, social and professional inclusion have to be adapted to the different age periods.”


(1) Bruno Bettelheim. The Empty Fortress : Infantile Autism and the Birth of the Self. Free Press, 1967


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12 novembre 2011 6 12 /11 /novembre /2011 19:50

 Gunilla Gerland, a swedish author with autism, has created a page on Facebook to support us

Carole Contaud, a french mom, translated the french article posted in the press-online called "Médiapart" , on November 10, 2011


Autism : psychoanalysts’ wall stands against documentary denouncing their dogmatism

Sophie Robert most certainly did not expect her documentary “The Wall”... to be wholeheartedly acclaimed by the congregation of French psychoanalysts. Nor, however, did we expect them to go as far as to strive to have it banned...


So the 52-minute film deals with a specific feature of psychology in France – under the powerful influence of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalytic theories – to support against all odds the idea that autism is a psychological disease related to psychosis, when the rest of the world diagnose “human social development disorders” due to neurological problems.


Throughout the documentary, our very prominent interviewed child psychiatrists / psychoanalysts explain in long sequences that the problem of autism comes from... the mother! A mother that is either too cold or too warm, either depressive or possessive (jealous of Man’s penis, she finds in her child a penis substitute), incestuous and abusive mother, dragon mother, crocodile mother, mother who defeated the father’s sacred mission to “cut the cord” and intervene in the mother-child relationship with the almighty power of his penis (symbolized by the law... even if a Bic pen will do just as well).


The basis for these affirmations rests on the intuition of several psychoanalysis’ Great Minds (Freud of course, Bettelheim, Lacan...), many psychoanalytic courses of treatment... but on no experimentation, nor even the least statistic nor result checking to support their theories.


There are consequences to their theories. Deeply convinced that their cause is just, with poses of Resistants to the Anglo-Saxon invader and his cognitive-behavioural theories (which they compare to animal training), here they are now separating children with autism from their parents, disagree with their socialisation and school education, blame the parents and instil the idea of potential parental, and particularly motherly, maltreatment.


As for their relation to science (biology, neurology, etc.), it’s just staggering and is no more but mere magical thinking! One can hardly believe its ears when hearing them getting bogged down into meaningless explanations on how the mother biologically rejects the father’s genetic part in the foetus, the mother’s biological double negation, the paternal role of the placenta and so on. These men and women provide care in psychiatric hospitals in France, and yet their level of knowledge in human biology is basically very, very poor.


Let me pass on this so-called-psychiatrist’s unacceptable statement, according to which father-daughter incest causes much less damage (“at worst, it makes girls dumb”, she says) than mother-son incest (it causes psychosis).


Eventually, these statements depict implicitly a wrong, negative and retrograde, almost biblical notion of womanhood: jealous, evil, “nature-oriented” and inevitably guilty! Whereas Manhood is depicted as powerful and responsible for culture transmission (as opposed to the mother’s state of nature, of course), for the respect of the law, for separating the baby from his mother (those potentially baby-devouring creatures) and bringing him up to make him a real human.


Now, make your own judgement!







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