"Non, vous n’êtes pas coupable"

Addressing intolerable pain with Paul Ricoeur and Sàndor Ferenczi





goodness, guilt, trauma, compassion, mutual recognition, Ferenczi, Ricoeur


This article aims to interrogate Paul Ricoeur's relationship with psychoanalysis, and in particular his estrangement from Freud. Freudian thought for Ricoeur would remain a victim of the 'culture of guilt' he claims to deconstruct. Ricoeur turns from a certain point onwards in his philosophical itinerary no longer to theory but to psychoanalytic experience and the transference relation, especially with regard to the work of mourning and melancholia. Beginning with this change of pace, moving towards what the philosopher calls a "culture of compassion", we set out to interrogate other analytic styles, primarily that of Sandor Ferenczi, asking ourselves and Ricoeur what the affective resources of goodness, compassion and mutual recognition might be within an analytic treatment with patients who are victims of childhood trauma.