Elsa Cayat: The only woman killed in the massacre.

Subject: download (3)Elsa Cayat

Dear Friends,

I’m often silent on list servs these days, but couldn’t help but notice this woman. Does anyone know her?

Elsa Cayat, the psychiatrist and psychoanalyst, was the only woman killed in the massacre. She wrote a twice-monthly column for Charlie Hebdo entitled ‘Charlie Divan’ – ‘Couch’ – and published essays on relations between men
and women and sexuality.

As trained clinicians, We spend our days (and evenings) with aspects of life about which most don’t know.

I’m imagining the excitement Elsa Cayat felt about publishing her column. There is a subversive promise inherent to the translation of intimacy into shared discourse. It is really important to know what people authentically
experience instead of only how experiences are represented publicly.

I don’t know if I would have even liked her or her work but I very much applaud her attempt to try and bridge that strange divide between information that is kept secret and that which is known and validated by others. Privacy is important but too much secrecy can endanger democracy.

RIP dear, brave psychoanalyst Elsa Cayat.

Susan Bodnar, PhD
New York City