The Challenge of Intimacy in a Care Institution

Issue 19 : May, 2020
ISBN : 9782749266909

Intimacy and institution do not match very well. Throughout history, it is the disengagement from the social and family institution which made it possible for intimacy to emerge. Moreover, the institution often relies, for its proper functioning, on the social control of individual intimacy. Care and medico-social institutions have, for their part, to face the challenge of reconciling what might seem irreconcilable : penetrate the intimacy of the bodies and minds in order to take care, while trying to preserve the intimate which constitutes the subject’s freedom and dignity. How can we think working in these places of cohabitation where the barrier between intimate space and exteriority is continuously questioned, where breaking in threatens as much as exposure, where secrets are revealed for more or less useful purposes? The challenge for institutions is to avoid the pitfalls of incestuous confusion or of phobic avoidance, in order to maintain a protective and structuring shield. This issue explores how and how far these questions concern patients as well as their caregivers.


Avec la participation de : Alain Braconnier, André Carel, Rosa Caron, Amélie de Cazanove, Bernard Chervet, Jeanne Duclos, Catherine Dupuis-Gauthier, Catherine Fourques, Virginie Jacob Alby, Alain Lemosof, Fabrice Leroy, Safia Metidji, Agnès Meyrieu, Jessica Ozenne, Charlotte Perrin-Costantino, Hélène Riazuelo, Françoise Simonet-Tenant, Benoît Verdon.

Table of contents


Patrick de Saint-Jacob


1. « Introduction », Charlotte Perrin-Costantino

2. « For a Historical Approach of Intimacy», Françoise Simonet-Tenant 


3. « Secret Intimacy, Discreet Private and Transparent Public. A Topic at the test of Care Institutions», André Carel 

4. « Intimacy in Hospital. Calling for a Form of Chiaroscuro », Hélène Riazuelo

5. « Forms and Figures of Intimacy in Perinatal Care Institutions », Virginie Jacob Alby

6. « The Inner at Work. The Group: A Place to think the Individual Unconscious Commitment in Professional Practice », Agnès Meyrieu


7. « Singular and Collective Intimacies intertwinned », Bernard Chervet

8. « A Room of one’s own – The Sites of the Intimate in Adolescence°», Amélie de Cazanove

9. « The Refuge of the intimate. From the “maddening object “ to the “Soothing Object”°», Alain Braconnier

10. « Restoring Psychic Intimacy, Revealing one’s Symptoms in the health and medico-social sectors », Jessica Ozenne

11. « On the Edge of Intimacy within a fragmented Family », Safia Metidji, Jeanne Duclos, Rosa Caron, Catherine Dupuis-Gauthier, Fabrice Leroy   


12. « Unconscious Intimacy and Professional Ethics, Alain Lemosof

13. «  In Complete Intimacy. Ethical Considerations on the Patient-Psychologist Relationship in long term Care Institutions », Catherine Fourques

14. « Patients intimacy put the test by exchanges within the team : psychological assessment and therapy », Charlotte Perrin-Costantino, Benoît Verdon


See also

Le Symptôme : un allié?

The symptom : a ally?

L'insolence du symptôme

The insolence of the symptom

Intimité dévoilée, intime à retrouver

Intimacy unveiled, intimate to be regained

L'intime à l'épreuve de la vie institutionnelle

The Challenge of Intimacy in a Care Institution

Faut-il avoir peur des institutions de soin?

Should we be Afraid of Care Institutions?

Les figures de la peur en institution

Fear figures in the institution

La vie quotidienne en institution : aliénation ou libération ?

Everyday Life in institutions : alienation or freedom?

La vie quotidienne : le véritable enjeu du soin psychique en institution ?

« Everyday Life : Institutional Care’s True Stake ? »

Les fonctions de la répétition

Repetition’s Functions

La répétition : entre résistance et changement

Repetition : from Resistance to Change ?

Les médiations : un dispositif thérapeutique ?

Mediations : a therapeutic device ?

Médiations, lien et symbolisation

Mediations, bonding and symbolization

L'acte : court-circuit ou relance ?

The act : short circuit or revival ?

Clinique de l'agir : décharge ou adresse objectale ?

Acting Out : Discharge or Object Intent?

La dépendance : de la fusion à la confusion

Dependency : from Fusion to Confusion

Dépendances avec fin, dépendances sans fin

Dependency with an End, Dependency without End

Ordres et désordres de l'oralité aux différents âges de la vie

Orality Orders and Disorders at Different Times of Life

Du traumatisme aux voies thérapeutiques possibles

From Trauma to Possible Therapeutic Paths

De la perte au renoncement

From Loss to Renunciation

Les enjeux de la pluridisciplarité

The Challenges of Multidisciplinarity

De l'effraction au traumatisme

From Intrusion to Trauma

Contenance et soin psychique

Containers and Psychic Care


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