Pierre Janet, the French philosopher, psychotherapist, and doctor (1859–1947), has often been presented as one of the central figures in contemporary clinical psychology, whose practices and ideas are said to have anticipated those of Sigmund Freud, before becoming a fierce critic of psychoanalysis. What is less well known, however, is that he was also an experienced botanist. The recent discovery of his personal herbarium, which was long thought to be lost, leads historians to address a curious paradox. Unlike his professional papers, of which only a fraction remains, his entire collection built up over 70 years of passionate collecting has been preserved. Thus although the world-famous clinician, bound to medical secrecy, still resists historical exposition, the hitherto unknown amateur naturalist appears in the full light of day. Even though Janet was careful not to hastily amalgamate the study of human behaviour to that of plants, detailed examination of his abundant written work shows that these two disciplines could overlap on occasions.
This paper examines the impact of sectorization, a central feature of French psychiatric reform, on the University of Strasbourg Psychiatric Clinic. The analysis begins with the first considerations surrounding sectorization in the 1960s; from there, the paper investigates how the Clinic was integrated into the sectorization of the Bas-Rhin from 1973 onwards, before ending with the sectoral repartition and thoughts about the de-sectorization of the Clinic in the early 1990s. The following questions are examined: What demands were placed on the Clinic in the course of sectorization and how did it deal with them? How and in which phases did the areas of responsibility of the university Clinic change as a result of sectorization? How did the number of patients and the patient structure change? What new sectoral care structures were established outside the Clinic, and how did they influence the work of its staff? The study reveals that, despite recognizing the importance of the new tasks of the psychiatric sector, the Strasbourg Clinic was primarily concerned with maintaining its traditional activities and was very successful in doing so. At the same time, this individual path led to delays in the development of sector structures and to tensions with regional hospitals and authorities.