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.