IN SESSION: John Galliano donned a three-piece navy suit and a tie for his latest confessional: a Q&A with renowned French psychiatrist Boris Cyrulnik in French newsweekly Le Point. In it, the designer, ousted in 2011 from Christian Dior and his signature fashion house for racist and anti-Semitic outbursts, remains mum about his new role as creative director of Russian perfumery chain L’Etoile, but opens up about multiple demons and a childhood marred by harassment and lies because of his sexual orientation.

Cyrulnik, who is Jewish and is said to have escaped Nazi-led capture as a child, is a proponent of psychological resilience. Le Point said Galliano requested the meeting as part of his recovery, which includes three weekly meetings with a psychotherapist specializing in addiction.

This story first appeared in the June 11, 2014 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

The designer confessed to Cyrulnik he has worn many masks in his life to gain acceptance and hide feelings of shame, fear and suffering. Asked if he felt he was punished too severely for outbursts he blamed on multiple addictions and work-related stress, Galliano told the doctor, “I’ve lost, but I also gained a lot. I’m a creative person, and no one can take that away from me. I’ve been told I committed professional suicide because it was the only escape from the terrible pressures I was facing. What do you think?”

Cyrulnik replies that suicidal thoughts rarely indicate a desire to die, but rather a wish for one life to end and a better one to take its place. His prescription: a balanced routine of work and rest to keep inner demons at bay.