Monday Jun 12, 2023

The distorted Oedipus complex - François Richard

How can we think about the Oedipus complex today in a contemporary society beset by a crisis of ideals and the emergence of new forms of sexuality? Neurosis has not disappeared, but borderline states have become a prevalent adaptive mode in a world lacking solid authority figures and sinking into symbolic misery.

In this episode, François Richard is proposing his concept of the distorted Oedipus complex. Beginning with theoretical conceptions of Freud and then of his successors, he is suggesting that a specific form of the infantile oedipus complex persisting in  adolescents and adults, give us a better understanding of borderline patients.

François Richard is a psychoanalyst and a member of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society. He is a psychoanalyst in private practice in Paris and has worked for many years in various medical and psychological institutions. As a clinical psychologist, he has also studied social sciences, which broadens his reflection on the impact of social factors on individual psychology. Professor of psychopathology at the Université Paris Cité, he has directed numerous theses and colloquiums, and at one time edited the journal Adolescence. He is the author of several books that have been subject of debates, including Le Processus de subjectivation à l'adolescence (2001), L'actuel malaise dans la culture (2011) and Le Surmoi perverti. His current research focuses on the current crisis of civilisation, the processes of sublimation (particularly in literature), sexual polymorphism, borderline states, and the relationship between frame and countertransference in the face of what he proposes to think of as a structurally deformed Oedipus complex.

Link to the paper


This episode is available also in French


This Podcast Series, published by the International Psychoanalytical Association, is part of the activities of the IPA Communication Committee and is produced by the IPA Podcast Editorial Team. Editor Gaetano Pellegrini.
This episode was curated by Julia-Flore Alibert. Introduction written and read by Julia-Flore Alibert.
Sound Engineer: Massimiliano Guerrieri.

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