This article focuses both on Lacan’s elaborations of the etiology of symptoms and the related question of the end of analysis. Starting in the 70’s, Lacan concentrates on a further elaboration concerning Freud’s notion of the fixation of the partial drives as the “causa” of symptoms and the end of analysis. In doing so, he supplements his earlier concept of the object a, that formalizes the four partial objects, with the notions of the “letter” and the “sinthome”. The end of the analysis and the definite disappearance of symptoms are situated by Lacan in the relation of the analysand with respect to his object. This relation is singular, hence only possible if it is no longer encumbered by the Other. After all, the sinthome is a knotting of the real, the symbolic and the imaginary that, following the example of Joyce, – operates entirely without the Other.
The article treats of the double etiology of psychopathology. From the beginning Freud and Lacan stressed that repression is not the only cause. The article mainly considers the topic of the fixation of the drive (Freud) or the real jouissance (Lacan) as being the ultimate cause of psychopathological symptoms. Finally, it discusses Lacan’s final developments on the end of the analytical treatment. According to Lacan, the end of the analytical treatment or the removal of symptoms in a permannent way has to do with the relation from the subject to his jouissance.