Institut d’anthropologie clinique

Why an Institute of Clinical Anthropology?

IAC Logotype

Institute of Clinical Anthropology

Psychological suffering is indissociable
from symbolic structures
organizing human groups

Decline of clinical approaches in medical, educational and social work fields

Globalized societies are confronting isolated actors with forms of psychological sufferings leaving them helpless with the insularity of their clinical approaches. Dispersed, the theoretical/clinical currents of medical/social fields lose credit undermined by the ideological drift of ‘science’ and ‘result’.
However, theories developed in various social and historical contexts have ded valuable conceptual and methodological tools, which sometimes prove to be operationally limited. Challenging these theoretical/clinical approaches would help to bridge the gap and create forms of intervention and evaluation.

Field of clinical anthropology

For a long time anthropology has been looking at ways of thinking about disorders of the body, the mind and the social groups and at ways of curing them. This scientific discipline elaborated methods and tools to describe the practices and to analyse the symbolic systems in which they operate.
An anthropology of the forms of clinical experiences in globalized societies, ie clinical situations grasped both in their theoretical and practical diversity and in their anthropological unity, may be considered as a possible way to assess and invent new practices.
In this perspective the field of clinical anthropology is as much the anthropological study of the clinical forms as clinical practices integrating or relying on the science of anthropology.

A place to experiment, learn, study and invent

Counselling centre for individual, couple or family psychotherapy: the Institute of Clinical Anthropology is a place dedicated to studying and researching as well as training and accompanying professional practice. This is a place of reflection on professions of psychotherapeutic, medical, social, educational or pedagogic assistance where the intrapsychic, relational, cultural and institutional dimensions are considered.
With the study of these contemporary issues, the anthropology offers new perspectives to the consideration of clinicians facing the difficulties resulting from the transformations of the couple, the family, the ways to raise and protect children, the social bond structures, the relation to the body, sexuality, identity, illness, disability, relation to others in a global situation…
For several years now my practices with patients, professionals, groups and institutions are strained by tensions between clinic and anthropology. By opening this place I commit myself to defining precisely these tensions and contribute with others to the emergence of a clinical anthropology.

Serge Escots