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French Film Criticizes Psychoanalysis for Autism

By Shana R. Spindler, Ph.D. on January 26, 2012


Pop News Brief: A French documentary about the use of psychoanalysis and the “talking cure” in the treatment of autism is receiving quite a bit of attention, according to a recent New York Times report. Psychoanalysis is a psychological theory that associates certain mental disturbances with events from childhood. According to the documentary, approximately 80% of mental health professionals in France are trained in psychoanalysis. The documentary suggests that France’s widespread use of psychoanalysis, as opposed to cognitive-behavioral therapies used in the United States, is putting French children with autism at a disadvantage. Three of the psychoanalysts interviewed in the film believe they were misled and have filed a lawsuit asking for monetary damage compensation and removal of their interviews from the documentary, reports the New York Times. A court decision is scheduled for today.


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