It is said that ... in psychoanalysis, everything is the fault of the mother

Distancing or intrusive, too much or not enough loving ... Our mothers would be responsible for our neuroses and our misfortunes. What? How? This is not what is repeated on the couch?

Cécile Guéret

Well no ... Well, not quite. "Many patients think so, but it's caricatural", tempers the psychoanalyst Gérard Bonnet 1 . Because if "the mother is for something in our psychic destiny, she is not guilty". It has, most often, not done on purpose to shape us with all these beautiful neuroses. Of course, she is at least responsible (with our father, let's not forget) for giving us life. Of course, for psychoanalysis, our first years are crucial. After nine months in her, her way of wearing us, taking care of us, talking to us and looking at us, is imprinted on our body and our psyche. As we grow up, we also internalize the maternal (and paternal) figure. For all that, Gérard Bonnet explains, "the mother does not model the child, she transmits elements of her own history and of the environment, often without realizing it. in psychoanalysis, it is necessary to understand "maternal place", which can be occupied by the father, the grandmother, the nanny, any person regularly taking care of the child ".

Another shortcut: "When a patient regrets not having had a tender enough mother, the psychoanalyst does not hear the accusation but the lack experienced by the child, whatever the truth," continues Gérard Bonnet . However, "especially on the question of autism, mothers have been wrongly implicated". Considering, moreover, their inclination to feel guilty, it is not surprising that some children (grown up) unconsciously take advantage of it to make a prosecution on the couch. Except that inventing an all-powerful and faulty mother leaves us in a position of object, victim, and not responsible subject of her life. "For the psychoanalysts Jean Laplanche and Françoise Dolto, what matters is what we do with what we have received A reversal that we observe when, tired of having talked so much about mother, the patient questions how he wants to exist for himself ", concludes Gérard Bonnet.

Did you know?

"Madam, whatever you do, you will do it badly." This announcement, which Freud would have made to a mother, is enough to make those who are worried about not being "good enough", to use the expression of the pediatrician and British psychoanalyst Donald W. Winnicott, to be taken away. In 1937, Freud even considered (with the fact of psychoanalysis and governing) education as an impossible task (in "Analysis completed and interminable analysis").

1. Director of the School of Propaedeutics to the knowledge of the unconscious and author of Narcissism (Editions In Press).

To go further:

==> 10 received ideas on psychoanalysis

Treatment of shock for neurotics or gadget for wealthy narcissus ... On psychoanalysis, we hear everything and its opposite. An adjustment is necessary.

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