Unconscious communication and the resistance of the psychoanalyst

As a comment on Smith’s paper, “The Evolution of the Unconscious” (2002), the question of the nature of so-called unconscious communication is addressed. Some passages in Freud’s writings appear to suggest that this phenomenon can be explained by the transmission of meaning theory according to which what is communicated or transmitted in unconscious communication comes down to the transmission of unconscious meaning attached to material cues that are consciously or unconsciously perceived. With reference to some reported examples of unconscious communication, it is argued that there is no convincing support for this theory and that, at best, they demonstrate that what is communicated is not meaning but rather resistance. It is further argued that the extensive clinical case published by Jacobs (2001) in which a disruption of the analytical process is explained by the conveyance of unconscious messages attached to the nonverbal enactments of the psychoanalyst does not require us to accept the transmission of meaning theory but rather provides an excellent example of the notion that the resistance of the patient is ultimately explained in relation to the resistance of the analyst.

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Introducing Lacan into Moral Philosophy via Antigone

According to Lacan, moral sensibility revolves around the tension between the social necessity to symbolize and resistance against this necessity. This article introduces Lacan’s moral view via Goethe’s understanding of a perplexing passage in Antigone. In a remarkable passage, Antigone explains to Creon why she would not have acted in the same way for a husband or for a child or even for another brother, if she had one. Her actions depends on the significance of her blood tie with Polineikes, who is her last brother. After his death, no one can pass on the name of the family. Her devotion to the blood tie is socially infertile and isolates her from the community. This passage illustrates four aspects of our moral sensibility for Lacan: (a) Things that matter deeply receive their value from a symbolic system and only human beings care about non-natural meanings; (b) Although their significance derives from a symbolic framework, we cannot explain why they should matter so much and their meaning remains opaque; (c) Every individual is deeply involved in things whose meaning cannot be explained, a personal involvement Lacan calls jouissance; and (d) Things of deep significance have the power to isolate the individual from their social context. Lacan is Kierkegaard without religion. This article demonstrates how Lacan debates with Aristotle and Kant.

La psychothérapie institutionnelle… Histoire(s), politique, résistance. Interview avec Jean-Claude Polack (I)

Cet article est la retranscription de l’interview avec le psychiatre Jean-Claude Polack. Dans la première partie de l’interview, l’interviewé retrace les évènements politi¬ques majeurs qui traversent l’histoire de la psychothérapie institutionnelle: la guerre d’Espagne, la Résistance, l’extermination douce, la guerre d’Algérie, le Parti Communiste, mai ’68, le droit à l’avortement, etc. Il situe également les relations conflictuelles et tendues entre la psychothérapie institutionnelle, la schizo-analyse et l’antipsychiatrie, qu’il a vécu au premier rang lors de ses 12 années de travail à la clinique de la Borde, où il était un proche de Félix Guattari.

 

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