A Question of Ethics: Dream Interpretation and the Danger of Acting Out

There is a reluctance to talk about the actuality of the clinic. As a clinician, I remain convinced that it is useful to do so. One has to be clear, however, about one’s motive. Quite apart from issues of confidentiality, a clinical account often does not translate well for the reader. In this paper, my motive runs to using the example of a dream, coupled with a potential crisis in the form of an acting out, to illustrate the psychoanalytic act as an ethical act. In addition, I am challenging a critique of the so-called Lacanian clinic. Through this challenge, I am attempting to define, while working within the confines of a circumscribed clinical example, what it is that allows me say, in as much as anyone can say such a thing, that, as an analyst, my actions are ethical. I realise that this precludes other types of intervention, in particular, transference interpretation.

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