La Borde clinic
La Borde is a psychiatric clinic that opened in 1951, near the town of Cour-Cheverny in the Loire Valley of France. The clinic was established with the goal of becoming everything the word "asylum" once meant: a shelter, a place of refuge, a sanctuary. Still in operation today, La Borde has been a defining model in the field of institutional psychotherapy. It is an innovative psychiatric clinic where patients are liberated to actively participate in running the facility.
The clinic was founded by Jean Oury. A young psychiatrist who gained invaluable experience in experimental therapy at the famous Saint-Alban Psychiatric Hospital, the result of a World War II preponderance on the advancement of the movement of institutional psychotherapy. He was influenced by innovative therapists such as Paul Balvet, Lucien Bonnafé, the philosopher Georges Canguilhem, and the poet Paul Éluard.
The psychiatric practice of Oury's clinic would be ever-searching in its analysis of the relations between the "patients" and the "psychotherapists". It borrowed the idea of Hermann Simon that it is necessary to look after the establishment and to look after each patient, while returning initiative and responsibility to them by developing situations in which they can work and express their creativity. From François Tosquelles, Paul Bavet, Andre Chaurand and Lucien Bonnafé the clinic also took the lead in the development of a new practice of the psychiatry, in which "care, research and formation" are integrated in a collective step.
Since the mid-50s Félix Guattari became a fixture at La Borde, revolutionizing its practice and organization and producing alongside Oury a large body of theoretical work on the practice and theory of schizoanalysis, set in practice at La Borde, and popularized in his 1972 collaboration with the philosopher Gilles Deleuze, Anti-Œdipus.
Among the many distinctive aspects of La Borde is the annual summer tradition in which the "boarders" and staff work together to perform a play, choosing from among the world's greatest classical works. Nicolas Philibert, the documentary film-maker best known in the English-speaking world for his Être et avoir, made a documentary set at La Borde entitled Every Little Thing (French La Moindre des choses). The film was released in 1997 and follows the patients and staff staging their production of Operette by Witold Gombrowicz.
- Deleuze, Gilles and Félix Guattari. 1972. Anti-Œdipus. Trans. Robert Hurley, Mark Seem and Helen R. Lane. London and New York: Continuum, 2004. Vol. 1 of Capitalism and Schizophrenia. 2 vols. 1972-1980. Trans. of L'Anti-Oedipe. Paris: Les Editions de Minuit. ISBN 0-8264-7695-3.
- Guattari, Félix. 1984. Molecular Revolution: Psychiatry and Politics. Trans. Rosemary Sheed. Harmondsworth: Penguin. ISBN 0-14-055160-3.
- Every Little Thing at the Internet Movie Database