Florence Guinard, Psychoanalyst with Caregiver Soul


She does not know how to refuse when her colleagues offer her something of interest to her. Conference in Bologna. Supervising Zoom for St. Louis Hospital in Missouri. Introduction to a book on the environmental crisis. And this Saturday, a public symposium at the University of Lausanne. At 87, she did not stop. Would you like to tell them no? “It is true that I have less energy than before. I have to take care of myself, which takes time. So I find it difficult to finish other things.”

Florence Guinard is first and foremost a smile. Bright, slightly mischievous, which she willingly enhances with red. She loves meeting people and working with them. With a wild side to the paradox. It is not for nothing that she settled there in the mountains. At Chandolin, in the Anniviers Valley. In an upstairs chalet with her two cats. « It is my heaven. Because there is silence, beauty and nature. Previously, I loved to walk, but now I have difficulties due to a collapsing spine. From being sitting too much for forty-three years when I played sports in Paris and carried many children in her arms.


In his living room, there are piano and books everywhere. It sounds messy but to her, it’s not. “I can’t live without books. When I moved from Paris, I had to get rid of two-thirds of my library, but you see, they are growing up again!” On one of the piles is a book in honor of Annie Anzio with whom she founded the European Society of Child Psychoanalysis. “We had to struggle for years to convince our peers of the importance of specific teaching. We were fundamentally opposed to the idea that children would not need as much as adults, as if their suffering were less!”

Paris, she settled there with her second husband, who is also a psychoanalyst. She received in her office adults and children. « Working with children is an extraordinary leaven. We see things in vivo before they are too repressed. Because we shape ourselves in childhood. And over the years, through those we interact with, we see society change. »

She says she had her childhood « where I was often very sick and bored at school ». Marked by World War II, she was deprived of a father due to mobilization. Divorce of his parents and a mixed family « with three younger children I cared so much about, which confronted me with the fluctuations of psychological development. » Psychology studies at the University of Geneva, at that time Jean Piaget And Andrei Re.

Then she did her first practical training when she was barely 21: « I entrusted the children from the very beginning, I was so flopped! » She has the « great privilege » of working for ten years with Julian de Aguriajira. « With him, I conducted interdisciplinary research, and this permeated my entire career. » What a profession! More than 250 published articles and numerous books, conferences, supervisions and teachings in Europe and Latin America. She was also the first editor-in-chief of International Year of Psychoanalysis.

However, for psychoanalysis she initially said no. I resisted. “I got married instead, at the age of 25. A beautiful lost business worked!” Divorce after three years and a “very hard time.” This will be followed by eight years of analysis averaging four sessions a week with psychoanalyst Raymond de Saussure. « With him I really felt the right to exist and develop myself. » She trained at the Swiss Psychoanalytic Society, and then at the Psychoanalytic Society in Paris, where she taught for thirty-five years. “I had the idea that when one becomes a psychoanalyst, it is in order to solve our problems, which are often cross-generational. That we leave the place free for our children… and that they don’t need to become that too! He succeeded: his son is a lawyer and his daughter is an actress.

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In his chalet in Chandolin, two major works are in progress: the autobiographical dialogue and the second volume of his work Any psychoanalysis of the twenty-first century? Shrinkers who brought him the most? “Freud, Klein, Bion, Meltzer, but also Serge Leibovici, René Deatkin, Michel Vine. What connects me to the idea is what I find there. I don’t feel like a school prisoner. Nor can one be a psychoanalyst if one does not agree to participate fully in order to listen to the suffering. I’m a therapist, even if I don’t always recover.

She recognizes him with amusing tenderness: “My inner child? As for everyone, he gives me joy and strength to live, and I always find it difficult. Still my goal is to study and send. To die?” She is not my friend. I try to tame it a little, it is necessary anyway at my age. One last question you answer before even being asked: “No, I wouldn’t play a piano piece. I find it hard to do that in front of someone. It’s one of my limits, it definitely hurts! »

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1934 Born in Geneva.

1970 Installation in Paris.

1972 and 1974 the birth of his sons.

1994 Founding of SEPEA with Annie Anzio.

2013 Move on to Chandolin.

You find all Pictures from « Time ».


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Written by mbenfoddil

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