Founding Act

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1964 Acte de fondation
Founding act


Lacan founds the École Freudienne de Paris (EFP) on June 21, 1964.

On June 21, 1964, Lacan founds the École Freudienne de Paris (EFP).

According to the Acte de fondation, the central aim of the EFP is to restore psychoanalysis to its true functin by making a rigorous critique of all the deviations and compromises which threaten its future development.

That function is inseparable from the training of analysts who will be able to "reconquer" psychoanalysis.

Membership implies active participation in the work of small study groups.

The EFP is organized on the basis of three sections, each of which is divided into three subsections: pure psychoanalysis (doctrine, training and supervision), applied psychoanalysis (doctrine of treatment, casuistics, psychiatric information) and a section devoted to surveying the Freudian field (continuous commentary on the psychoanalytic movement, articulation with related sciences, ethics of psychoanalysis).

The solemn tone of the opening is well known:

"I hereby found the Ecole Française de Psychanalyse, by myself, as alone as I have ever been in my relation to the psychoanalytic cause."

The Ecole Française de Psychanalyse was soon to become, under the same initials, the Ecole Freudienne de Paris.

Very rapidly, people started talking of the Lacanian School, which defined itself by the haughty admission of its isolation, its conception of psychoanalysis as a cause to be defended, its faithfulness to a name -- Freud -- and to a body of texts, its appeal to disciples gathered in a School where they could militate in favor of the truth of a doctrine taught in seminars, its crusade against the unfaithful, and its "movement of reconquest" for which Lacan needs "determined workers."

The organization of the école in three sections revealed the theoretical choices.

The first section, the most prestigious, was called "the section for pure psychoanalysis, or praxis and doctrine of psychoanalysis properly speaking, which is nothing but didactic psychoanalysis."

It was the lively place of theoretical elaboration, which was not reserved for physicians alone.

Therapeutics and clinical practice were separated from it; they formed the section for applied psychoanalysis that was open to physicians even if they had not been psychoanalyzed.

As for the third section, it was linked to the seminars and to the research of the E.P.H.E. and the E.N.S.; it was the section for taking inventory of the Freudian field that studied the analytic movement and its publications, its articulation with related sciences, and, curiously, the ethics of psychoanalysis.

It seemed to be open to whomever supported the Lacanian principles.

The novelty and the open-mindedness of the enterprise are clear but the notion of a "pure psychoanalysis," so institutionalized and isolated, was soon going to create a problem.