In the development of psychiatry, the paths in our two countries, Great Britain and France, have often run parallel, have frequently come into contact, yet each has retained its individuality and with it a nuance of its own. Pinel, freeing the “aliénés” of Bicêtre from their chains, and William Tuke, establishing the York Retreat, were effecting at almost the same time the same revolution in the treatment of the mentally ill, but the philosophical backgrounds of their actions were different; and though the Royal Medico-Psychological Association and the Société Médico-psychologique are of about the same age, their journals reveal that the preoccupations of their members are not absolutely identical. Certainly the interpenetrations have been fruitful. In establishing in Edinburgh, in 1823, the first formal teaching of psychiatry in this country, Sir Alexander Morison had been influenced by the example of Esquirol, his old master; and Théodule Ribot, the founder of modern French psychopathology, had found his conceptual model and his inspiration in the works of English psychologists, to whom he eventually dedicated a volume which became a classic. But too often, in an age which prides itself on having elevated the study of communications to the rank of a science, the diffusion of information meets obstacles which are more than material or linguistic, and a true medical particularism comes into being. The cultivation of national scientific traditions is a sign of creative originality; but, just as the virtues of hybridization have been demonstrated by the geneticists, the advantages stemming from a knowledge of the efforts and the results of other schools are not negligible for psychiatrists. In this paper I am going to attempt to contribute to this mutual understanding by presenting the recent major trends of French psychiatry.