Q: What actually gets lost when someone takes his symptoms to a cognitive psychologist?
Laurent: “I can tell you where I do not agree with my colleagues from the ethical viewpoint. I am opposed to the behavioral aspect that exists in the usual combination of cognitive-behavioral therapy. The patient is liable to find himself in a confrontation with a powerful authority who tries to impose a behavioral change with a ‘one size fits all’ approach. As though good behavior exists that can be standardized. That is not only harmful to the subject, it is genuinely dangerous to the ideals of freedom. In 1971, at the height of the behaviorist ‘craze,’ Skinner [B.F. Skinner, the father of behaviorism] told Time magazine that freedom is a luxury we can’t afford.
It’s very good to hear that Mariana Otero’s acclaimed film about Le Courtil, the Lacanian-oriented treatment centre on the French-Belgium border for children, adolescents and adults with mental health problems, will be released with subtitles in the UK in October. We’ll try to see about getting a showing in Bristol somehow…
“Alysson considers her body with mistrust. Evanne spins and twists until he collapses. Amina can’t manage to make words come out of her mouth. At the border between France and Belgium there exists a special place which takes care of psychologically and socially challenged children. Day after day, the adults working there try to understand the enigma that each of these children represent and invent, case by case, without ever imposing anything, solutions that will help them live peaceful lives.”