Therapeutic walks: psychoanalysis invites itself in the parks

From psychoanalysis in the open air, consultations in parks ... This is what proposes Jean-Bernard Gauci , psychoanalyst and philosopher, with his therapeutic walks. The idea? Walking together, patient and analyst, in the tradition of Greek philosophers, to better express his suffering and find the path of serenity.

Interview by Margaux Rambert

Psychologies: Why these therapeutic walks?

Jean-Bernard Gauci: During my consultations, I noticed that sometimes the patient loses a little of reality. That by dint of returning to his neuroses, he shut himself up in his complaint, in his inner self. If psychoanalysis helps to be at peace with oneself, it must also make it possible to better live the weight of the gaze of others. Outside, in a park, we are in the middle of them. This is where our place is: in contact with our contemporaries. Not in our suffering.

What does nature bring to the analytic cure?

Jean-Bernard Gauci: Contact with nature helps to better express emotions and pain. To look at a flower, a tree or children who play is to enter into relation with an object, and thus to cling to reality. Nature fixes things. Without object in front of oneself, there is this risk that the person is lost in his speech, snatched up by his suffering. Lying on the couch, she sometimes ends up getting into it, by really being one with him. In the park, she can sit, or stand up to take a few steps if the tension is too strong. Walking, she will be in - healthy - tension. And so in action. She will become an actress of his word.

Exactly, is the word different outside?

Jean-Bernard Gauci: In a cabinet, the silence is often heavy. The person often feels compelled to fill it. In a park, it is easier to arrange a time without words. It's more natural. The person may also be distracted by a passing child or a singing bird. This creates a self-discipline that does not exist on the couch. During walks, speech is more measured. And people are more relaxed. What's more natural than walking alongside someone in a park? To all of us, we have been entrusted to a close friend or friend for a long time while walking.


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