The Time to Exist
Michel Delage is a psychiatrist, former professor at the Army Health Services, and former department head at the Sainte-Anne army teaching hospital in Toulon. A family therapist, he has focused his practice on the study of trauma and on understanding attachment bonds within the family. He has written multiple books on these areas of his practice, and Famille et résilience which he co-edited with the neuropsychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik
Each one of us lives our own experience of time, linked to what we are, to our family history, and to the society in which we have grown up. Each of us orients ourselves in existence thanks to temporal markers, which enable us to situate day relative to night, or the present relative to yesterday and tomorrow.
But sometimes those markers are disturbed. This is what happens when a family isn’t stable, if it breaks down or is reconstructed. This is also observed in phenomena of migration when social time abruptly becomes different from that which existed in the society of origin. And this can happen, too, when social time itself is disrupted and causes slow-downs, blockages, and accelerations to co-exist.
In his new book, Michel Delage specifically shows how the variable of time is an essential given for understanding the appearance of certain psychic disorders, or, quite simply, of certain difficulties in living in our hypermodern and disorganized societies.