Pierre Marie Félix Janet
(30 May 1859 - 24 February 1947) was a pioneering French psychologist
Psychologist is a professional or academic title used by individuals who are either:* Clinical professionals who work with patients in a variety of therapeutic contexts .* Scientists conducting psychological research or teaching psychology in a college...
, philosopher and psychotherapist in the field of dissociation and traumatic memory.
He was one of the first people to draw a connection between events in the subject's past life and his or her present day trauma, and coined the words ‘dissociation
Dissociation is an altered state of consciousness characterized by partial or complete disruption of the normal integration of a person’s normal conscious or psychological functioning. Dissociation is most commonly experienced as a subjective perception of one's consciousness being detached from...
’ and ‘subconscious
The term subconscious is used in many different contexts and has no single or precise definition. This greatly limits its significance as a definition-bearing concept, and in consequence the word tends to be avoided in academic and scientific settings....
’. He studied under Jean-Martin Charcot
Jean-Martin Charcot was a French neurologist and professor of anatomical pathology. He is known as "the founder of modern neurology" and is "associated with at least 15 medical eponyms", including Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis...
at the Psychological Laboratory in Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital
The Pitié-Salpêtrière Hospital is a teaching hospital located in Paris, France. Part of the Assistance publique - Hôpitaux de Paris, it is one of Europe's largest hospitals...
, in Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...
Some consider Janet, rather than Freud, the true 'founder' of psychotherapy
Psychotherapy is a general term referring to any form of therapeutic interaction or treatment contracted between a trained professional and a client or patient; family, couple or group...
. However Freud denied that he plagiarized from Janet.
He first published the results of his research in his philosophy thesis in 1889 and in his medical thesis, L'état mental des hystériques
, in 1892. He earned a degree in medicine the following year in 1893.
In 1898, Janet was appointed lecturer in psychology at the Sorbonne
The Sorbonne is an edifice of the Latin Quarter, in Paris, France, which has been the historical house of the former University of Paris...
, and in 1902 he attained the chair of experimental and comparative psychology at the Collège de France
The Collège de France is a higher education and research establishment located in Paris, France, in the 5th arrondissement, or Latin Quarter, across the street from the historical campus of La Sorbonne at the intersection of Rue Saint-Jacques and Rue des Écoles...
, a position he held until 1936. He was a member of the Institut de France
The Institut de France is a French learned society, grouping five académies, the most famous of which is the Académie française.The institute, located in Paris, manages approximately 1,000 foundations, as well as museums and chateaux open for visit. It also awards prizes and subsidies, which...
In 1923, he wrote a definitive text, La médecine psychologique
, on suggestion and in 1928-32, he published several definitive papers on memory.
While he did not publish much in English, the fifteen lectures he gave to the Harvard Medical School
Harvard Medical School is the graduate medical school of Harvard University. It is located in the Longwood Medical Area of the Mission Hill neighborhood of Boston, Massachusetts....
between 15 October and the end of November 1906 were published in 1907 as The Major Symptoms of Hysteria
and he received an honorary doctorate from Harvard in 1936.
- Brooks III, J. I. (1998). The eclectic legacy. Academic philosophy and the human sciences in nineteenth - century France. Newark: University of Delaware Press.
- Carroy, J. & Plas, R. (2000) . How Pierre Janet used pathological psychology to save the philosophical self. Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 36, 231-240.
- Freud, Sigmund An Autobiographical Study WW Norton and Company 1989
- Foschi, R. (2003) 'La Psicologia Sperimentale e Patologica di Pierre Janet e la Nozione di Personalità (1885-1900)', Medicina & Storia, 5, 45-68.
- LeBlanc, A. (2001). The Origins of the Concept of Dissociation: Paul Janet, his Nephew Pierre, and the Problem of Post-hypnotic Suggestion, History of Science, 39, 57-69.
- LeBlanc, A. (2004). Thirteen Days: Joseph Delboeuf versus Pierre Janet on the Nature of Hypnotic Suggestion, Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences, 40, 123-147.
- Lombardo G.P, Foschi R. (2003). The Concept of Personality between 19th Century France and 20th Century American Psychology. History of Psychology, vol. 6; 133-142, ISSN: 1093-4510, doi: 10.1037/1093-4510.6.2.123
- a short biography
- bibliographic site
- reading guide
- an 'autobiography' of his early years
- Pierre Janet & the 'Reality Function'
- A reader's guide to Pierre Janet on Dissociation: A neglected intellectual heritage
- Pierre Janet Institute (a French/English site dedicated to Pierre Janet)
- JANETIAN STUDIES electronic journal of the Institut Pierre Janet
Works of Pierre Janet