The purpose of this course is to present the general features of a work recently achieved with Marcel Veneroni. Part of the methods and results were already published in previous articles, but a synthesis has now been made, and a coherent though flexible scheme for evaluating correlations has emerged. We shall illustrate the approach by an example which leads to an elaborate extension of the mean-field theory for interacting fermions. Application to finite temperatures field theories may also be considered. (author).