Eric Chauvier : The Unconscious of the Investigation, an Experience of Knowing

The observation of human suffering often takes place from distance achieved by disavowing emotional states which, nevertheless, often seem decisive for the observer. This paper will attempt to investigate this hypothesis using the example of a research-intervention mission in an institution for adolescents living through familial break-up. Deeply troubled by the strangely disaffected voice of an adolescent girl, the observer is obliged to drop the distanced attitude of the expert. What bothers him is not the history of this young girl, but what it recalls of his own family experience, which gets mixed up with scientific observation. The return to this “unconscious of the observation” forms the basis of what we could call an initiation.

Adolescence, T. 31 n°1, pp. 145-152.