The symbolic dimension occupies a central position in the constitution of the subject and of the social field. It is argued that the function of the symbol and its effects on the psychical apparatus and on clinical practise are elucidated by psychoanalytic theory . The author starts with a discussion of the parallel Freud draws between psychogenesis and sociogenesis., The symbol is pivotal in these processes and is characterised by its ability (i) to generate sense and (ii) to connect subject and other (social bond). Both characteristics equally define metaphor. With reference to psychopathology, the function of both symbol and metaphor is highlighted in the process of the coming-into-being of the subject.