Welcome to the website of the G.R.A.A.M (Groupe de Recherche Appliquée sur l’Accompagnement des Managers). The purpose of this webpage in English is to allow non-french speakers to be briefly introduced to the G.R.A.A.M.

The G.R.A.A.M is an association which brings together professionals who in their work are focused on and thus takes into consideration the profound nature of the relationship a person has with his/her work. Our common belief is that what is at stake in the work also relates to conscious and unconscious elements of our personality.

At some stage in our lives we may feel the need to review and clarify our professional ambitions, present and past work situations. For those wishing to explore their professional lives and work in a deeper way the G.R.A.A.M created the approach, which we in French have called: Accompagnement Fondmental ©. This approach allows to reestablish and clarify the professional involvement. However as we have not found a satisfactory English translation to the term “Accompagnement Fondamental” the term “Psychoanalytic coaching” will be used in this text.


The set-up of the G.R.A.A.M

In 2003, Gilles Arnaud, Roland Brunner, Catherine Caillard and Roland Guinchard felt the need for an in-depth reflection on the theory and the ethics behind the practice of coaching. As a result they created a Group of Applied Research on Coaching for Managers, i.e.: The G.R.A.A.M. The association engages in research and exchanges on all theoretical and practical issues linked to coaching and in particular on the reflection around the « desire in work ».

The G.R.A.A.M pays attention to the ethics of coaching and thus practitioners engages in its “Code of Ethics” and are involved in organising debates on the subject. G.R.A.A.M members are the founders and accredited practitioners who have completed a substantial and specific minimum curriculum, including training, supervision and an in-depth self-analysis.

Activities within the G.R.A.A.M

Because the G.R.A.A.M  is a place for reflection exchange, research and knowledge transmission we develop both theoretical and practical activities.

Today the G.R.A.A.M works with two main activities, one focusing on theory and the other on practice. The basic hypothesis is the existence of a « desire » linked to work. All members are invited to work on:

  1. Clinical research, developing the basic support on the approach
  2. Reflection on the ethics of the approach
  3. Production research articles and books


  • Twice a year the G.R.A.A.M organises a seminar for reflection. The seminars are open to all persons interested in the question: « Desire in work ».
  • Several times a year a research group gathers to deepen the central question of the psychological construction which binds man to work.

With the idea that when working with psychoanalytic coaching a specific training is neither necessary nor sufficient we have within the G.R.A.A.M set-up practitioners exchange and reflection groups. Activities around the reflection on the theoretical research on the relationship of a person to his/her work is included in all practitioner groups.

All activities within the G.R.A.A.M are meant to enrich each other and are therefore interdependent. This dynamic is maintained by the frequent and regular meetings between research and practice.

Coaching done by G.R.A.A.M practitioners

The Fundamental Approach is based upon psychoanalytical theories. The Fundamental Approach permits us to consider the coaching process as a place of progress, resolution of conflicts, and development of business relationships starting from the understanding of the individual sense of purpose and meaning. The person will during the coaching work reflect upon the different decisions (consciously or unconsciously), which have oriented the choices in his or her professional life as well as the behaviour at work. The coaching will often run over a 6 to 12 month period.

Psychoanalytic orientated coaching helps the manager to know how-to-be, rather than how-to-seem. Psychoanalytic coaching is a way of rendering meaningful a management that encompasses the respect of oneself and of others, as well as the respect of a personal ethics perhaps to be discovered. We believe that psychoanalytic orientated coaching concerns all those in positions of responsibility who not only want to reflect on their practice, their position of power in the firm and their position within society, but are prepared to put themselves into question.

Publications in English

The members of the G.R.A.A.M has the pleasure to present some publications which have been edited in English. Publications in French can be consulted in the part called “ecrit” to be found in the main menu.

Arnaud Gilles, The obscure object of demand in consultancy: A psychoanalytic perspective, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 13, Number 7, 1998.

Arnaud Gilles, Money as Signifier. A Lacanian Insight into the Monetary Order, Free Associations, Vol. 10, Part 1, 2003

Arnaud Gilles, A Coach or a Couch? A Lacanian Perspective on Executive Coaching and Consulting, Human Relations, Vol. 56; 1131, 2003

Arnaud Gilles, Poweract and Organizational Work: Gérard Mendel’s Socio-psychoanalysis, Organization Studies, Vol 28; 409, 2007

Arnaud Gilles & Vanheule Stijn, The division of the subject and the organization: A Lacanian approach to subjectivity at work, Journal of Organizational Change Management, Vol. 20 No. 3, 2007

Brunner Roland, Psychoanalysis and coaching, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 13, Number 7, 1998

Guinchard Roland, Absenteeism and phantasy, Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 13, Number 7, 1998