Right of Reply by Claude Schauder to the Article “My meeting with Russian analysts. Riposte by S. Benvenuto”

For reasons I can absolutely not comprehend [1], or perhaps due to an imperfect translation of my article published in Oedipus.org[2], in response to Sergio Benvenuto’s article of 07.03.2022[3] that led to some misunderstanding, the latter in his new article of 14.04.2022,  did clearly misquote me and ascribed remarks to me that I never made. Moreover, he also disowns comments he previously made.

If he had read and commented my article with a real willingness to pursue the debate, he would probably have formulated his answer in accordance with  the rules of disputatio and psychoanalytic ethics. To the contrary S.Benvenuto has lost himself in ideological interpretations unrelated to the arguments I developed on the reasons why I am planning to continue collaborating with Ukrainian, but also Russian or Chinese psychoanalysts, without asking them at the beginning of the psychoanalytical supervision sessions about their political opinions or for whom they vote[4].

I am prepared to agree that these reasons can be contested and debated. Opposing arguments should however be based on psychoanalytical ethics, which in no way exclude the fact that the psychoanalyst remains a citizen and that it is not only his right but even his duty to stop his work when he cannot maintain the ‘benevolent neutrality’ that is crucial in order to remain attentive and focused on the ‘other scene’ of the person he is listening to. Let’s not forget that this is precisely our role .

These however are not the arguments developed by Sergio Benvenuto which I do very much regret.

I did not refuse an open and honest exchange on the substance. When I provided an answer to  Sergio Benvenuto’s article I was actually hoping and calling for such constructive exchange. I do sincerely regret that he was unable or unwilling to enter into such debate and has preferred to oppose an ideological judgement to the theoretical reflection we, as citizens and psychoanalysts, ought to be contributing to, today more than ever.


[2]  L’incontro con il gruppo di analisti russi. Commento di Claude Schauder, European Journal of Psychoanalysis



[4] In my article I explicitly mentioned the colleagues with whom I collaborate and who still wish to analyze what hinders or makes their psychoanalytical work difficult. I do sincerely believe that it is essential to support those colleagues. They must be able and enabled to continue questioning their unconscious and what comes in the way that parasitizes their thoughts or their interpretations, as it sometimes happens to any psychoanalyst whatever their origin, culture or nationality is .


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European Journal of Psychoanalysis