Psychological Perspectives on Psychiatry for the Person

Main Article Content

Michel Botbol
Yrjö O. Alanen
Margit Schmolke


Human individual psychological development emerges in interaction with other persons, beginning with the infant-mother relationship and continuing with significant others in the environment nurturing the baby. A gradual developmental process culminates in two critical separation-individuation phases - the first one in early childhood and the other during adolescence – and leads to increasing independence of the subject and more mature relationships with other persons.From a psychological perspective, person centred psychiatry has then to consider both the intra-subjective and the inter-subjective aspects of clinical situations when failure in the developmental process leads to severe psychopathological disorders.In line with a contextualized definition of the person (“I am I and my circumstance”), person centred psychological approaches will have to focus both on the individual experience of the patient, including his subjectivity, and his experience involving the family and the social environment.

Article Details

Special Section: Conceptual Bases of Psychiatry for the Person
Author Biography

Michel Botbol, Paris Psychoanalytic Society; and Paris Catholic University

Dr Michel Botbol is a Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, Psychoanalyst from the Paris Psychoanalytic Society, member of the International Psychoanalytic Association. He is Associate Professor at the School of Psychologists of the Paris Catholic University and teaches also in various other French Universities.He is the coordinator of the Child and Adolescent Psychopathology program of the Paris Institute of Criminology. For his research duties he is affiliated to U 669 unit of the French National Institute for Medical Researches (INSERM). Since 2006, he is the Psychiatric Consultant of the French Ministry of Justice for the Juvenile Justice System National Agency. From 1997 to 2005, he was the Medical Director of a Psychiatric Hospital specialized in the treatment of students with severe mental disorders. He is also consultant of the Belgrade Mental Health Institute (Serbia) for his Adolescents Program, and of the Nant Foundation near Lausanne (Switzerland).  He is also involved in various teaching programs in Latin America (mainly in Peru and Mexico). Previously he has been Director of a Day Hospital for Autistic Children, near Paris, and the coordinator of two INSERM National Research Network on Autism.  He is the author of nearly 300 papers in French and International journals, of various book chapters and of four books on the main topics on which he had worked: Autism, Adolescence, and Institutional treatments associating psychiatric attention with schooling facilities, Empathy in Classifications and Treatments. He is currently member of the board of the International Network for Person Centered Medicine, Secretary General of the French Association of Psychiatry, and Co-Chair of the Psychoanalysis in Psychiatry WPA Section. From 2005 to 2008 he was the WPA Zonal Representative for Western Europe and, from that time, has been very involved in various programs on Person Centered Psychiatry or Medicine.