Bruni-Sarkozy tells of 8 years in psychoanalysis

AP News
Posted: Nov 07, 2009 12:33 PM

During her years as a top model, French first lady Carla Bruni-Sarkozy gave psychoanalysis nary a thought.

But after her father died, the then-28-year-old model dove into therapy "body and soul," and has since spent many years in analysis, she told the makers of a French documentary broadcast Saturday.

The documentary "La premiere seance" ("The First Session") features people talking about the reasons that pushed them to go into analysis and their experiences on the psychiatrist's couch.

Other celebrities featured on the program included Chanel designer Karl Lagerfeld and filmmaker Claude Chabrol.

"I didn't know anything about psychoanalysis and didn't think I needed it. I lived in total action, in youth, completely outside psychoanalysis until the age of 28," Bruni-Sarkozy told documentary director Gerard Miller _ himself a psychoanalyst.

"And then I had a sort of fracture when my father died and then I went ... into psychoanalysis body and soul, if I dare say,"

It took her two false starts _ with analysts Bruni-Sarkozy described as "glum" _ before she hit on the right one.

"The first consultation with that analyst was incandescent," she said.

"I think it was that human contact that, in my heart at least, made me commit to psychoanalysis and invest in it."

Bruni-Sarkozy, 41, said she didn't ever like lying down on the analyst's couch but acknowledged, "I stayed lying down for eight years."

During the program, Lagerfeld described what an analyst's office should look like _ Spartan _ and Chabrol defended the often exorbitant price of sessions.

"It's part of the treatment," the director said with a laugh. "It's really smart in terms of our understanding of human nature, our taste for showing off, our taste for all things expensive."