This critical analysis of both the foundation and the organisation of the psychiatric institution, and of the way in which staff function and patients are treated, shows that unconscious mechanisms of the human psyche rule the institution in the same destructive manner as they do in the outside world. The institution is not a rational construction nor is it run by special driving forces, but rather is a place where the repetition of psychic tragedies and the drama of Eros and Thanatos prevail. Further, it functions as an overall mothering and securing structure where, when things go wrong, the fatherly repressive side takes the upper hand. And what of the rights of the patient? What kind of humanity drives the work within an institution? The author argues that the psychoanalyst plays a permanent subversive role within the institution, in order to make new effects possible, provided that the specific ethics of the psychoanalytic discourse are taken into account.
In this meditation, the author enumerates, in reference to his clinical practise as well as to his reading of Freud and Lacan, six laws of repetition: 1. repetition is continuous; 2. repetition operates in function of life; 3. repetition does not come down to mere reproduction but exists only through variation; 4. in repetition, smaller and bigger “rounds” are to be differentiated; 5. repetition operates in function of the cruelty of jouissance; 6. when one realizes that, beyond any mastering of the smaller rounds of repetition, the big round finds its way, then it already is too late.
This article is an introduction to Freud’s article on Narcissism. It attempts to bring the reader to revisit Freud’s text in a new way. Apart from the requisite amount of narcissism that each psychic system needs, we know all to well the places where that amount is exceeded. It is thought too easily that free association is the way to treat excesses of narcissism. Will a mere promotion of free association be sufficient or should the analyst be more exigent in relation to narcissism?
This paper deals with the question of the meaning of technique in analytical treatment. With Freud, it is acknowledged that the term “technique” is all too often interpreted in terms of rules or instructions for the analyst in relation to good direction for the cure. In contrast, Freud underscored another dimension of technique: that of creativity, a dimension that contributes to the emergence of the subject as well as to the creation of additional degrees of freedom for its speaking; the one in which the analyst, having analysed his own freedom (or lack of it), creates the conditions wherein the subject comes to his own, truthful, speech. The tension between technique in the narrow sense, and technique in the sense of the creative manipulation of transference, is illustrated on the basis of a few clinical fragments.
Starting from the effects of the power of speech, the relation between free association and “full speech” is questioned. It is argued that, whereas “empty speech” (i) confirms the very necessity of speech and (ii), establishes or re-establishes the social bond, “full speech” is constitutive on the level of the subject. In addition, some psychoanalytical techniques are highlighted which enable the psychoanalyst to support speech in its different functions.