Award Year: 1992
Serge Lebovici , professor emeritus of child psychiatry, was a mainstay in psychoanalysis in France for many years. His leadership kept Freudian psychoanalysis strong and has maintained the significance of psychoanalysis of infants, children, and adolescents. He died in 2000.
Dr. Lebovici wrote more than five hundred scholarly papers and books, many dealing with the development of babies and with the bond between mother and child. He also explored the biological basis for that bond, the fantasies of the mother and the autoerotic activity of the child.
Born in 1915, his medical studies at the University of Paris were interrupted by World War II during which he spent two years as a prisoner of war. He received the Croix de Guerre for his service during the war years. After the war, he trained as a pediatrician but soon turned to child psychiatry. He began his psychoanalytic training in 1946. In the years that followed he played a major role in the reconstruction of the French psychoanalytic movement and the development of child psychiatry and influenced generations of its practitioners.
An able manager, a humanist who loved music, a man with a curious mind who was always in search of new areas of research and activity, Dr. Lebovici played a role in the leading innovations in psychoanalysis of the second half of the twentieth century.