Françoise Dolto online conference with UCL

The French Psychoanalyst Françoise Dolto in English and in London. This online event is organised by the UCL – London’s Global University on Saturday 14th of October.To attend, follow the link: F66 Francoise Dolto & The Other French School A UCL Psychoanalysis Unit Online Half-Day Conference | UCL Online Store


The French newspaper Le Monde announced the death of Catherine Dolto in August 1988 with an article that began: “She was France’s favourite granny, the only psychoanalyst whose language was accessible to everyone, the ‘wise granny’ everyone dreamt of.” And yet she is curiously unknown in the English-speaking world and ignored by the IPA-affiliated French psychoanalytic schools. Starting to work analytically as a Paediatrician in 1937, she belongs to the second generation of French analysts, and like Winnicott, worked intensively in Paediatric liaison. From the beginning of her career, she linked psychoanalytic theory with her own ideas about the body, its functioning and its psychic representations. Her book The Unconscious Body Image espouses a completely original view of the links between physical and psychic development, providing fresh insight into our understanding of psychosomatic symptoms and child development. Using numerous case studies drawn from her decades of work with children and parents, Dolto shows both how parent-child interactions impact on the development of the unconscious body image, which forms the basis of the elaboration of thought and influences the functioning of the real body. She shows how the mind develops in relation to unconscious body images generated at each stage of development (oral, anal, genital, latency and puberty), and details how psychic castration at each developmental stage influences the child’s socialisation, thereby filling a significant gap in psychoanalytic understanding of the mental integration of social law.