From therapeutic work to inestimable work. “Don’t separate pure theory from what’s going on”


This article articulates therapeutic work as discussed in the 1960s by psychiatrists of the institutional psychotherapy movement with the inestimable work conceptualized by Jean Oury in the 2000s in response to managerial evaluation. Inestimable work is understood at the therapeutic, economic and ethical levels. This last dimension appears to be linked to the rise of a perfectionist approach to care. Its development and transmission over several decades around the notions of daily life and “caring function” are essential in front of the analysis of other aspects linked to hierarchical relationships and the division of labour between employees, an analysis which is also essential but which is left to others.

How Jean Oury, a giant of psychiatry, can help us to practice a humane psychiatry

Summary :


Jean Oury is one of the main creators and actors of the mouvment of institutinnal therapy. Along his professionnal life, he created many and important conceptions for the practice and theorisation of human psychiatry. Some of his inventions (double alienation, dissociated transferance, transferancial constellation, « collectif »,…)are studied in this paper and give an idea of his importance, on the psychopathological way and also on the societal and politic way.

Ethics and ends of threads

Abstract. In this article, the author summarizes the itinary of research that led her to put on the same level the “coffee break stories’ by caregivers with the “little stories” by Jean Oury in his seminar at St.Anne Hospital. These narratives are set out on a cathartic and humorous, tragi-comic mode, and used to elaborate the suffering generated by the care activity and trasmit work’s experience, developing incidents where ethics takes the form of self irony and tricky behavior.