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See detailL’acte incendiaire, son sujet et sa signification : propositions à partir du Saint Genet de Jean-Paul Sartre
Englebert, Jérôme ULg

in Annales Médico-Psychologiques (in press)

Objectives In this paper we studied fire setters with the hermeneutics’ method from the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre. In the psychobiography of Jean Genet, the philosopher raises issues of the ... [more ▼]

Objectives In this paper we studied fire setters with the hermeneutics’ method from the philosophy of Jean-Paul Sartre. In the psychobiography of Jean Genet, the philosopher raises issues of the infractional acting and its social meaning. Methods After recalling the basic notions of international literature about fire setters (including confusion with pyromania, diagnostic problems proposed by the DSM IV and the concept of "communicative arson"), we propose phenomenological and existential clues to discuss the act and its meaning. It is the unlawful act that is analysed and more specifically the arson. We propose different analysis than the psychic causality which is inspired by psychoanalysis. The criminogenesis gives way to a questioning of identity, about the place of fire in the subject’s history and within its relationships to others. As proposed by Sartre, the paradigm of this research is to consider the meaning "as the return of the future in the present". The second field of this study is an analysis of three clinical cases. These cases are the result of a forensic practice. The method is focused on the analysis of a narrative and autobiographical production. By this way we studied the temporal process of these three arsonists. Results A comparative reading of the psychobiography of Jean Genet written by Sartre and of the situation of arsonists gives accurate information. The "criminogenesis" gives way to a questioning of identity. In this way we discuss the meaning of fire in the subject's history and within its relationship to others. We highlight the inscription of the act in the social and constitutive process of the individual. From the clinical material, the author demonstrates a link between arson and construction of identity. Identity is considered as a dialectic between “ipse” and “idem”, as suggested by Ricœur. We can therefore consider the real sense that the arson has from the perspective of the actor but also from the viewpoint of the society and these conceptions may be similar or different. In clinical practice, we recommend to pay special attention to how the fire is part of the biography of the patient. Conclusions The fascination for fire is a source of meaning which can be radically different depending on whether we consider the external interpreter (the world or the clinician) or the author of the action. The basic principles of hermeneutics, as described by Gadamer and Ricœur, are to demonstrate that the understanding and the interpretation are not only the methods used in the human sciences but are also part of the fundamental processes inherent in human nature. Hermeneutics in general is the opposite of a doctrine of truth. It rather seeks to show arbitrarily how the interpretation and the search for meaning are paradigmatic of the human experience. [less ▲]

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See detailQuelques éléments en faveur d’une réflexion psychopathologique sur la psychopathie : première partie
Englebert, Jérôme ULg

in Annales Médico-Psychologiques (2013), 171(3), 141-146

Objectives: The objectives of this study are to offer some clinical and semiological considerations for a psychopathological conception of psychopathy. In the first part the author provides a history of ... [more ▼]

Objectives: The objectives of this study are to offer some clinical and semiological considerations for a psychopathological conception of psychopathy. In the first part the author provides a history of this diagnosis (see Introduction of this paper) and a description of the current trends in the international literature: the contributions of R.D. Hare and the PCL-R, D.J. Cooke and the Comprehensive Assessment of Psychopathic Personality (CAPP) and T.H. Pham for French-speaking validations (subtitle 2 of this paper). After that, the author proposes a definition of psychopathology in the sense of Minkowski and Jaspers proposals (i.e. these latter come from the principles of the continental phenomenology) (subtitle 3 of this paper). Patients and methods : This theoretical essay is improved by clinical situations. The psychopaths were interviewed in prison or in forensic centers. The method used was a psychopathological analysis from the clinical material , as well as references to the phenomenological psychopathology (continental phenomenology) and the philosophy of J.-P. Sartre, M. Foucault and P. Ricoeur. Results: This study shows that it is useful to consider a psychopathological reflection on psychopathy and this approach gives a framework for the clinical investigations. Regarding that, the author proposes a first comparison between the binswangerian conception of mania and the psychopathic functioning (subtitle 4 of this paper). By this way, we can understand why many studies show a positive correlation between the scoring in the PCL-R and the scale of the MMPI mania. The behavior is similar but the difference is about the dialectic between the “ego” and the “alter ego”. The maniac has a fundamental crisis of the “ego”, which the psychopath does not have. A second finding of our investigations concerns emotions and the dimension of the adaptive psychopathic disorder (subtitle 5 of this paper). An epistemological discussion of the concept of emotions allows us to say that the psychopath is competent in the management of emotional stimuli, which confers a psychological advantage to him. In addition, fundamental research on the management of the emotional stimuli in the psychopath seems to confirm our hypothesis of an adaptive dimension for the psychopathic disorder. The last point we discuss is about “morality” and “ethics” for the psychopath (these notions are from the concepts of empathy and sympathy). On the basis of Foucault's distinction between these two concepts, it becomes possible to study these dimensions and integrate them in the practice of psychopathology. This proposal enables to introduce the concept of narrativity. This observation prompts the clinician to listen to the patient and to pay attention to how he has to tell himself. Conclusions: Our contribution shows that it is possible to conduct a study about the psychopathology of psychopathy. Our study is not intended to be complete and irrefutable. Our goal is rather to give some evidence for a psychopathological consideration on psychopathy (as indicated by the title of this paper). Finally, we offered some thoughts on the practice of psychotherapy by integrating the adaptive dimension of this disorder which, when it is missed, can lead to a psychotherapeutic stalemate. [less ▲]

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See detailQuelques éléments en faveur d’une réflexion psychopathologique sur la psychopathie : seconde partie
Englebert, Jérôme ULg

in Annales Médico-Psychologiques (2013), 171(3), 147-153

Objectives: The objectives of this study are to offer some clinical and semiological considerations for a psychopathological conception of psychopathy. In the first part the author provides a history of ... [more ▼]

Objectives: The objectives of this study are to offer some clinical and semiological considerations for a psychopathological conception of psychopathy. In the first part the author provides a history of this diagnosis (see Introduction of this paper) and a description of the current trends in the international literature: the contributions of R.D. Hare and the PCL-R, D.J. Cooke and the Comprehensive Assessment of Psychopathic Personality (CAPP) and T.H. Pham for French-speaking validations (subtitle 2 of this paper). After that, the author proposes a definition of psychopathology in the sense of Minkowski and Jaspers proposals (i.e. these latter come from the principles of the continental phenomenology) (subtitle 3 of this paper). Patients and methods : This theoretical essay is improved by clinical situations. The psychopaths were interviewed in prison or in forensic centers. The method used was a psychopathological analysis from the clinical material , as well as references to the phenomenological psychopathology (continental phenomenology) and the philosophy of J.-P. Sartre, M. Foucault and P. Ricoeur. Results: This study shows that it is useful to consider a psychopathological reflection on psychopathy and this approach gives a framework for the clinical investigations. Regarding that, the author proposes a first comparison between the binswangerian conception of mania and the psychopathic functioning (subtitle 4 of this paper). By this way, we can understand why many studies show a positive correlation between the scoring in the PCL-R and the scale of the MMPI mania. The behavior is similar but the difference is about the dialectic between the “ego” and the “alter ego”. The maniac has a fundamental crisis of the “ego”, which the psychopath does not have. A second finding of our investigations concerns emotions and the dimension of the adaptive psychopathic disorder (subtitle 5 of this paper). An epistemological discussion of the concept of emotions allows us to say that the psychopath is competent in the management of emotional stimuli, which confers a psychological advantage to him. In addition, fundamental research on the management of the emotional stimuli in the psychopath seems to confirm our hypothesis of an adaptive dimension for the psychopathic disorder. The last point we discuss is about “morality” and “ethics” for the psychopath (these notions are from the concepts of empathy and sympathy). On the basis of Foucault's distinction between these two concepts, it becomes possible to study these dimensions and integrate them in the practice of psychopathology. This proposal enables to introduce the concept of narrativity. This observation prompts the clinician to listen to the patient and to pay attention to how he has to tell himself. Conclusions: Our contribution shows that it is possible to conduct a study about the psychopathology of psychopathy. Our study is not intended to be complete and irrefutable. Our goal is rather to give some evidence for a psychopathological consideration on psychopathy (as indicated by the title of this paper). Finally, we offered some thoughts on the practice of psychotherapy by integrating the adaptive dimension of this disorder which, when it is missed, can lead to a psychotherapeutic stalemate. [less ▲]

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See detailSur le fonctionnement psychologique pervers
Englebert, Jérôme ULg

in Annales Médico-Psychologiques (2012), 170(8), 547-553

The author starts by a reminder of the difference between perversion and perverse psychological functioning. Then he proposes to approach the subject from an ethological and ecological framework: by ... [more ▼]

The author starts by a reminder of the difference between perversion and perverse psychological functioning. Then he proposes to approach the subject from an ethological and ecological framework: by distinguishing the meaning of a behavior of its function, it appears that control of territory and social rank are observable skills perverse. The pervert is well adapted to the social environment and a specialist in relationship and "territorialization". He has excellent perception's skills and relational intuition. But in the other hand there are specific moments for which ones the "mis-adapting" is totally complete. That fact probably distinguishes the "leader" of the "pervert". [less ▲]

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See detailGéographie et psychose : territoire et perte du corps commun
Englebert, Jérôme ULg; Gauthier, Jean-Marie ULg

in Annales Médico-Psychologiques (2011), 169(9), 559-563

Faced with the observation of clinical stalemate that may cause psychotic subject's speech, the authors suggest an alternative methodology based on the report of the subject to its own geography and its ... [more ▼]

Faced with the observation of clinical stalemate that may cause psychotic subject's speech, the authors suggest an alternative methodology based on the report of the subject to its own geography and its faculty of "territorialisation". Based on arguments coming from ethology and Phenomenology, they suggest an epistemological reflection of the act for the practice of clinical psychology with psychotic patients. These acts consisting the refrain, the social adjustment, the emotional regulation or even the relational intuition are witnesses stating that the central problem of psychosis is within the broad spectrum and complex of the loss of common sense and common body. [less ▲]

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See detailImpact des déficits cognitifs dans les activités de la vie quotidienne des personnes souffrant de schizophrénie
Levaux, Marie-Noëlle ULg; Danion, Jean-Marie

in Annales Médico-Psychologiques (2011), 169

It is now well recognized that cognitive dysfonctions contribute to a decisive way to the difficulties of the everyday, social and professional life of the people with schizophrenia. The cognitive ... [more ▼]

It is now well recognized that cognitive dysfonctions contribute to a decisive way to the difficulties of the everyday, social and professional life of the people with schizophrenia. The cognitive variables would explain between 16 and 30 % of the variance in the functional status when assessed one to three and a half years later. However, the specificity of the complex relationships between the cognitive domains and the functional variables still remain to identify. To this end, it is necessary to carry out studies by respecting various principles: 1. Selecting not multi-determined cognitive tasks; 2. Investigating specific daily-life tasks (e.g. shopping, choosing a menu, preparing a meal), in particular by an observation in real situation in order to identify the problematic components; this has to be made by determining a priori hypotheses regarding the cognitive nature of the difficulties; 3. Taking into account the heterogeneity of the cognitive deficits and the functional difficulties of people with schizophrenia. It also remains to investigate the presence of mediator variables of the relationships, such as the potential of learning, the social cognition, the metacognitive processes and the intrinsic motivation. Besides, other personal or environmental factors can also play a role in the functional status as for example, the negative symptoms, the awareness that has the person of his(her) state and its consequences, or the critical attitude of relatives towards the person with schizophrenia. [less ▲]

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