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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.