Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya • ISSN 2075-7999
peer-reviewed • open access journal


Fedunina N.Yu. Theory and practice in early works of Pierre Janet

Full text in Russian: Федунина Н.Ю. Теория и практика в ранних работах Пьера Жане
Moscow City University of Psychology and Education, Moscow, Russia

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The foundations of Janet psychological theory and psychotherapeutic practice are summarized on the basis of his early works including Psychological automatism and Neuroses and Fixed Ideas. The key idea of division between active and passive capacities, between conservative and creative psychic functions which was borrowed from Maine de Biran was crucial not only for Janet theory but also for his psychotherapeutic practice. This philosophical approach determined eclectic and integrative character of early Janet practice. The combination of two strategies in psychotherapy makes Janetian approach a unique integrative method of psychological work. Hypnosis and other methods (avoiding will, reflection, conscious self) were used in conservative therapy and actively combined with techniques dealing with psychic synthesis. In case of conflicts between these two strategies of therapy the priority was determined by the professional position of a therapist as a director who ascribed predominance of conservative function and low level of psychic synthesis to patients and higher level of psychic synthesis to therapists. Such integration involves some difficulties which reflect contradictions of therapeutic principles and methods of therapeutic work with conservative and synthetic levels of psyche. 

Keywords: psychological automatism, Pierre Janet, history of psychology, psychotherapy



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Received 8 July 2014. Date of publication: 26 December 2014.

About author

Fedunina Nataliya Yu., Ph.D, Leading Research Associate, Moscow State University of Psychology and Education, ul. Sretenka, 29, 107045 Moscow, Russia.
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Suggested citation

Fedunina N.Yu. Theory and practice in early works of Pierre Janet. Psikhologicheskie Issledovaniya, 2014, Vol. 7, No. 38, p. 8. (in Russian, abstr. in English).

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