The Subject’s Responsibility: The Beginning and the End of Analysis

Responsibility is a crucial notion in psychoanalysis. This article begins with a discussion of the preliminary sessions and the installation of the supposed subject of knowledge as the clinical moment in which the analysand takes up responsibility for his suffering. The second part of this article deals with the fate of the subject supposed to know in analysis as illustrated by the author’s testimony of a moment of pass in his own analysis. The analysis of two crucial dreams proves both the intransigence of a religious dimension in transference and the responsibility of the analyst in this matter. The final section of this article discusses the way in which this religious dimension can creep into and undermine psychoanalytical associations.

The Joke and its Relation to the Unconscious: Freud’s Footnote to the Interpretation of Dreams

This article, part of a broader research agenda on the link between psychoanalysis and Witz, presents a study of the reception of The Joke and its Relation to the Unconscious within Freud’s own work. In contrast to the numerous references that can be found in the work of Lacan, the number of references in Freud’s own work to The Joke can be counted on the fingers of one hand. Starting with The Joke and its Relation to the Unconscious itself, a closer look is taken at a letter from Freud to Fliess, at a footnote in The Interpretation of Dreams, and finally at a passage within The Introductory Lectures on Psychoanalysis. A comparison of these different passages shows that The Joke not only was generated from a footnote but even as a book always stayed a kind of elaborated footnote in the margin of Freud’s work. It is argued that the reason for this can be found in Freud’s later insight that critique against psychoanalysis in most cases is a kind of resistance that cannot be broken by means of books but only by analysis itself.

Coping with Aggression within an Institution

Physical aggression incidents directly confront care workers with the limits of their capacity “to be good” to the patient. The severity of these incidents is not determined by the measurable and objective facts but depends upon the subjective experience of the victim. Coping with aggression within the context of an institution means giving team members enough room to verbalize this subjective experience in order to make working with the patient possible again. With three clinical cases it is shown how team members that took the opportunity to verbalize their subjective experience discovered, to their surprise, that they had contributed to the incident.