Médecine de la Reproduction


Evaluating a parental project: a possible mission? Volume 25, issue 4, Octobre-Novembre-Décembre 2023

Professeur émérite de psychopathologie et psychologie clinique à l’université Lumière-Lyon 2, psychanalyste
* Tirés à part : A. Ciccone

Evaluating a parental project is an almost impossible task, firstly because it concerns a desire and therefore a psychic context, and no one can really be an expert on psychic reality. This is because psychic reality is profoundly enigmatic and always unrecognizable; and because it cannot be captured directly, it is always reconstructed, and it attracts the projections and subjectivity of the subject who is supposed to have knowledge about it. Furthermore, the very object being evaluated makes it impossible to assess. Parenthood is not there in itself; it is a future, unknown to the subject himself, because what is at stake is profoundly unconscious. And parenthood is partly generated by the future child itself. Finally, all parenthood involves risk, and the limit of tolerable risk is always subjective. It is based on partly arbitrary norms, beliefs, projections and ideologies, some of which are rooted in the social culture and, above all, in the family culture of the evaluator. Social expectations of mental health professionnals are therefore an illusion. A relevant evaluative approach is necessarily humble; it must be pluriprofessional and can only be based on a transdisciplinary position – not pluridisciplinary or interdisciplinary, but transdisciplinary.