In this paper the author considers the central problem in therapeutic assistance: the powerlessness of the therapist. Lacans discours-theory is used to illuminate this problem. Next the author considers the statute of the ego-ideal as a proposed solution to man’s impotence. In considering how institutions deal with this impossibility, several strategies are situated: denying the relationship, standardising interactions, passing on responsibility, elevating details and using medication as a resort. Last but not least a possible psychoanalytic alternative is proposed.
In the early 1970s Lacan regularly referred to Gottlob Frege’s concepts Sinn and Bedeutung. Using these concepts he defined two elements of the symptom and two dimensions of analytic discourse. In this paper the author discusses how Lacan uses both concepts, and he explores how the third dimension Frege distinguishes in the sign – Vorstellung – can be situated in Lacan’s work. This discussion is situated within the broader context of Lacan’s teaching from this period and also explores the concepts speaking being, non-rapport, sexual jouissance and phallus.