Since 2009, the Seine-Saint-Denis County Council has been backing “la Culture et l’Art au Collège (CAC)”. This project is based to a large extent on the presence in class for several weeks (40 hours) of an artist or scientist whose mission is to engage the students in a process of research and creation.


Psychoanalysts, psychotherapists

Project Manager:
Florise Pagès


If psychoanalysis makes it possible to understand our psyches, how does it work and what means of investigation does it have at its disposal? Looking back over the history of the discipline, the students delve into “the formations of the unconscious” of both the individual and society.   

What is psychoanalysis for?
To answer this question, the contributor introduces the students to the discipline’s major figures - Freud, Jung, Winnicott, Dolto and Lacan. Together, the students and contributor chart what each great psychoanalyst discovered and how: why talk of the unconscious and where does it hide? What’s a (Freudian) slip? What should we do with dreams? What are impulse and desire? By the end of this phase, the students have an organised list of the main terms in analysis.

Beings of language
The students learn more about the psyche by examining the psychopathological manifestations of everyday life; they gather examples such as advertising images, film excerpts, photos, typos, Freudian slips, dream narratives, subconsciously deliberate mistakes, déjà vu, etc. In groups, they share out the examples and try to interpret them using different interpretation grids supplied by the contributor. Using these initial analyses, the class learns to enrich the interpretations by evoking other relationships: emotions, impulses, conflict or self-defence mechanisms. Using role play and characterisation, the students study this material in even greater depth with the notions of repression, regression, displacement, denial, etc.

Mirror, mirror on the wall…
The class then focuses on the two major founding myths of psychoanalysis, Oedipus and Narcissus. The students read the original tales and the contributor shows how they are used in analysis to understand social relationships, the role of childhood in the psyche, parental relationships, etc. The students then continue their investigation by addressing the notion of transference; the aim is to understand the mechanisms of treatment: the principle of analysis sessions, and patients’ motivation. Lastly, the students and contributor arrive at the key question: if psychoanalysis does not cure, what does it do? How does it succeed? A survey is conducted with volunteer patients.


Participating Schools:
- René Descartes, Le Blanc-Mesnil
- Jules Michelet, Saint-Ouen