Jardin Couvert's definition
Updated on 2018-12-06 16:59


The Jardin Couvert is an association, APELIPA, ran as a non-profit organisation.

The organisation, which is described below in more detail, is designed to allow at every level a verbal exchange that structures our work in a spirit of trust between the welcoming staff and the visitors.


Françoise Dolto created in 1979 La Maison Verte.

see Françoise Dolto Archives

This innovative idea led a team to meet monthly for two years, from 1982 to 1984, and create an association (APELIPA) in order to elaborate our project: write texts defining the project and prepare the files required to apply for grants from numerous social organisations.

From the very start, the association APELIPA, which runs the Jardin Couvert, has been the result of a collective experience as doctors, speech therapists, pediatric nurses, social workers, psychologists and psychoanalysts. It focusses on the human being, it raises the difficult questions of the psychoanalyst's status within the society and their mention in a social place.

The Jardin Couvert has been welcoming little children for more than 30 years. The venue has expanded, some of the very first staff members are still here, new staff members are being integrated through an ongoing transfert of knowledge, and the attendance is far from declining.


The Jardin Couvert is subsidised by:
  • the City of Lyon
  • the Rhône Family Allowances Fund
  • the Metropolis of Lyon


The association can receive donations from individuals and companies. The subsidies and services it receives, the membership fees and the visitors' contribution are not sufficient to balance the annual operating budget. The donations are a personal contribution which is essential to ensure the ongoing operation and the sustainability of the association. Members who do not use the facilities can, through their donations, contribute to ensuring the sustainability of the welcoming activities performed by the Jardin Couvert. Donations benefit from the tax deductions that apply to works of general interest.

The General Assembly

It represents for us a particularly important moment because it allows us to report on the management of the Jardin Couvert and the association, but also on our work. Anyone interested is invited to come and discover the Jardin Couvert and participate in the work of the welcoming staff. The payment of a contribution is not compulsory to be allowed to attend the General assembly but only contributing members are entitled to vote.

The Board of Directors

Elected for two years, it meets at least once a year. It is composed of ex officio members (representing the administrations that support our work through their subsidies), appointed contributing members who are not part of the welcoming staff (people who are interested in our work and eventually participate in the association's community life) and participating members (welcoming staff of the Jardin Couvert, on the basis of one appointed member per daily shift).

The Bureau

It is appointed by the board of directors and includes six members, three contributing members and three participating members (welcoming staff). It constitutes the executive power of board of directors: it manages the ongoing business, prepares the important files and actively participates in the associaton's community life. The bureau can, on an as needed basis, invite external competent personalities or other welcoming staff.

The welcoming staff meeting

The welcoming staff meet every first Monday of the month, on the evening, to work together and also participate in the association's community life and respond to various requests and mails. The decisions made after consultation of all the members are communicated to the bureau.

The members

The members of the association are all the people who paid their annual contribution; the donors are also members of the association and are entitled to vote at the General Assembly.

The membership fee

The membership fee is set at 30 Euros per year. It is important to remember that these contributions, just like the donations, are now deductible at 66 % from income taxes.

Important note

The welcoming of people at the Jardin Couvert is done with due regard to anonymity. Based on this principle, families cannot be part of the association, nor make any donation while they attend the institution.

For Further Information

The experience at the Jardin Couvert was reported in three books, written collectively, which reflect the development of the practice in a Dolto structure like ours, based on a fundamental and living reference to psychoanalysis.

These works give the opportunity to fully understand on what premises such a practice was built.

Se tenir debout et marcher : Du jardin oedipien à la vie en société. (1) Paris, Gallimard, collection " sur le champ ", 1995.
Né de l'homme et de la femme, l'enfant : Chronique d'une structure Dolto.
(2) Paris, Seuil, 2006.
Une parole pour grandir. L'Oedipe empêché, Erès, 2017.

(1) To stand and walk : From the oedipal phase to life in society.

(2) Born from man and woman, the child: Chronicle of a Dolto structure.

Translated by Antoine TROMBIK