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GUIDING PRINCIPLES FOR ANY PSYCHOANALYTIC ACT

ric Laurent


First principle: Psychoanalysis is a practice o speech! It in"ol"es t#o partners$ the
analyst an% the analysan%$ &ro'(ht to(ether in a sin(le psychoanalytic session! The
analysan% spea)s a&o't #hat &rin(s hi* there$ his s'erin($ his sy*pto*! This
sy*pto* is hoo)e% into the *ateriality o the 'nconscio's$ *a%e o't o thin(s that ha"e
&een sai% to the s'&+ect$ that ha"e h'rt hi*$ an% thin(s that are i*possi&le to say an%
ca'se hi* s'erin(! An analyst #ill p'nct'ate the #or%s o the analysan% an% ena&le
hi* to #ea"e the threa% o his 'nconscio's! The po#ers o lan('a(e an% the tr'th eects
that it ena&les$ #hat is calle% interpretation$ is the act'al po#er o the 'nconscio's!
Interpretation is apparent on &oth si%es$ analysan% an% analyst! They %o not &oth ha"e
the sa*e relation to the 'nconscio's$ ho#e"er$ since one has alrea%y carrie% this
e,perience thro'(h to the en% #hereas the other has not!
Second principle: A psychoanalytic session is the place in #hich the *ost sta&le
i%entiications &y #hich a s'&+ect is attache% can co*e 'n%one! A psychoanalyst #ill
a'thori-e this %istance ro* one.s c'sto*s$ nor*s$ an% r'les to #hich analysan%s
constrains the*sel"es o'tsi%e o sessions! He #ill a'thori-e a ra%ical /'estionin( o the
o'n%ations o each one.s i%entity! He is a&le to te*per the ra%ical nat're o this
/'estionin( &y ta)in( into acco'nt the clinical speciicity o each s'&+ect #ho a%%resses
hi*sel to hi*! He ta)es nothin( else into acco'nt! This is #hat %eines the speciicity o
a psychoanalyst.s place #hen he 'phol%s this /'estionin($ openin( an% eni(*a in any
s'&+ect #ho has so'(ht hi* o't! He thereore %oes not i%entiy #ith any o the roles that
his interloc'tor #ants to *a)e hi* ta)e on$ nor #ith any place o *astery or i%eal that
alrea%y e,ists in ci"ili-ation! In a sense$ an analyst is one #ho cannot &e assi(ne% to any
other place than the place #here %esire is in /'estion!
Third principle: An analysan% #ill a%%ress an analyst! He #ill attri&'te senti*ents$
&elies$ an% e,pectations as a reaction to #hat he says$ an% he #ishes to act 'pon the
&elies an% e,pectations that he anticipates! The %ecipherin( o *eanin( in the
e,chan(es &et#een analysan% an% analyst is not the only thin( at sta)e! There is also
the spea)er.s intention! It is a *atter o rec'peratin( so*ethin( lost ro* the
interloc'tor! This rec'peration o an o&+ect is the )ey to the Fre'%ian *yth o the %ri"e! It
o'n%s the transerence that &in%s the t#o partners to(ether! Lacan.s or*'la that the
s'&+ect recei"es his o#n *essa(e ro* the Other in in"erte% or* incl'%es &oth the
%ecipherin( an% the #ish to act 'pon #ho* it is that one is a%%ressin(! Ulti*ately$ #hen
an analysan% spea)s he #ishes$ &eyon% the *eanin( o #hat he says$ to reach the
partner o his e,pectations$ &elies an% %esires in the Other! He ai*s at the partner o his
antasy! A psychoanalyst$ enli(htene% &y analytic e,perience a&o't the nat're o his o#n
antasy$ ta)es this into acco'nt! He restrains ro* actin( in the na*e o this antasy!
Fourth principle: The transerence &on% pres'pposes a loc's$ the 0loc's o the Other1$
as Lacan p'ts it$ #hich is not r'le% &y any other in partic'lar! It is the loc's in #hich the
'nconscio's is a&le to appear #ith the (reatest %e(ree o ree%o* to spea) an%$
thereore$ to e,perience its l'res an% %iic'lties! It is also the loc's in #hich the i('res
o a antasy2partner can &e set o't in the *ost co*plicate% o their *irror (a*es! This is
#hy a psychoanalytic session %oes not per*it o any thir% person$ #ith his (a-e e,ternal
to the act'al process that is 'n%er#ay! A thir% person #ill &e re%'ce% to this loc's o the
Other! This principle thereore e,cl'%es the inter"ention o any a'thoritarian thir% parties
see)in( to assi(n &oth a place to e"eryone an% a pre2esta&lishe% ai* or psychoanalytic
treat*ent! The a'thority o the e"al'atin( thir% party$ #ho its into the series o thir%
parties$ is air*e% ro* o'tsi%e o #hat is at sta)e &et#een an analysan%$ an analyst
an% the 'nconscio's!
Fifth principle: There is no stan%ar% treat*ent$ no (eneral proce%'re &y #hich
psychoanalytic treat*ent is (o"erne%! Fre'% 'se% the *etaphor o chess to in%icate that
there #ere only r'les an% typical *o"es at the &e(innin( an% the en% o a (a*e! To &e
s're$ since Fre'% the al(orith*s that ha"e *a%e it possi&le to or*ali-e chess ha"e
(ro#n in po#er! 3hen connecte% to the calc'latin( po#er o a co*p'ter they *a)e it
possi&le or a *achine to &eat a h'*an player! This %oes not chan(e the act that$
contrary to chess$ psychoanalysis cannot &e presente% in the or* o an al(orith*! 3e
can see this in Fre'% hi*sel #ho trans*itte% psychoanalysis #ith the help o partic'lar
cases4 the Rat 5an$ Dora$ Little Hans$ etc! 3ith the 3ol 5an the case history entere% a
crisis! Fre'% #as no lon(er a&le to contain the co*ple,ity o the processes 'nol%in(
#ithin the 'nity o a case! Far ro* &ein( a&le to &e re%'ce% to a technical proce%'re$
the e,perience o a psychoanalysis has only one re('larity4 that o the ori(inality o a
scenario thro'(h #hich all s'&+ecti"e sin('larity e*er(es! Psychoanalysis is thereore not
a techni/'e &'t a %isco'rse #hich enco'ra(es each person to pro%'ce his sin('larity$ his
e,ception!
Sixth principle: The %'ration o a treat*ent an% the 'nol%in( o sessions cannot &e
stan%ar%i-e%! The %'ration o Fre'%.s treat*ents "arie%! There #ere treat*ents that
laste% a sin(le session$ as in the psychoanalysis o G'sta" 5ahler! There #ere also
analyses that laste% o'r *onths$ as in the case o Little Hans$ a year as in the Rat 5an$
se"eral years as in the 3ol 5an! Since then the "ariation an% the %i"ersiication ha"e not
stoppe% (ro#in(! 5oreo"er$ the application o psychoanalysis o'tsi%e the cons'ltin( roo*
in *ental health settin(s has contri&'te% to the "ariation in the %'ration o
psychoanalytic treat*ent! The "ariety o clinical cases an% the "ariations in the a(e at
#hich psychoanalysis has &een applie% *a)e it possi&le to consi%er that the %'ration o
an analysis is no#$ at &est$ %eine% as 0tailor *a%e1! An analysis contin'es to the point
#here the analysan% is s'iciently satisie% #ith #hat he has e,perience% to en% his
analysis! The ai* is not the application o a nor* &'t an a(ree*ent on the part o the
s'&+ect #ith hi*sel!
Seventh principle: Psychoanalysis cannot %eci%e #hat is ai*s are in ter*s o an
a%aptation o a s'&+ect.s sin('larity to any nor*s$ r'les$ %eter*inations$ or stan%ar%s o
reality! Psychoanalysis has a&o"e all %isco"ere% any s'&+ect.s i*potence to achie"e 'll
se,'al satisaction! This i*potence is %esi(nate% &y the ter* 0castration1! F'rther$
psychoanalysis$ #ith Lacan$ has or*'late% that it is i*possi&le or there to &e any nor*
in the relation &et#een the se,es! I there is no satisaction an% i there is no nor*$ it is
'p to each person to in"ent a partic'lar sol'tion$ one that &'il%s on his sy*pto*! Each
person.s sol'tion can &e *ore or less typical$ *ore or less esta&lishe% 'pon tra%ition an%
co**on r'les! It *ay on the contrary #ish to %ra# 'pon r'pt're or a partic'lar
clan%estinity! It re*ains no less tr'e that$ at &otto*$ the relation &et#een the se,es has
no one sol'tion 0or all1! In this sense$ this relation re*ains *ar)e% #ith the seal o the
inc'ra&le$ an% there #ill al#ays &e so*ethin( that ails! In spea)in( &ein(s$ se, ste*s
ro* the 0not all1!
Eighth principle: Analytic trainin( cannot &e re%'ce% to the nor*s o 'ni"ersity trainin(
or o the e"al'ation o #hat has &een ac/'ire% in practice! Analytic trainin($ e"er since it
#as esta&lishe% as a %isco'rse$ rests on three le(s4 se*inars o theoretical trainin(
6para2aca%e*ic78 the psychoanalyst in trainin(.s 'n%erta)in( a psychoanalysis to its
en%point 6ro* #hich lo# the trainin( eects78 the pra(*atic trans*ission o practice in
s'per"ision 6con"ersations &et#een peers a&o't practice7! Fre'% at one sta(e &elie"e%
that it #as possi&le to %eter*ine an a psychoanalytic i%entity! The "ery s'ccess o
psychoanalysis$ its internationali-ation$ the *'ltiple (enerations that ha"e ollo#e% one
another or o"er a cent'ry ha"e sho#n ho# ill'sory this %einition o a psychoanalytic
i%entity is! The %einition o a psychoanalyst incl'%es the "ariation in this i%entity! It is
this "ariation itsel! The %einition o a psychoanalysis is not an i%eal$ it incl'%es the
history o psychoanalysis itsel$ an% o #hat has &een calle% psychoanalysis in the conte,t
o %istinct %isco'rses!
The title o psychoanalyst incl'%es contra%ictory co*ponents! It re/'ires an aca%e*ic$
'ni"ersity or e/'i"alent$ trainin($ %eri"in( ro* the (eneral conerrin( o %e(rees! It
re/'ires a clinical e,perience that is trans*itte% in its partic'larity 'n%er the s'per"ision
o peers! It re/'ires the ra%ically sin('lar e,perience o a psychoanalysis! The le"els o
the (eneral$ the partic'lar an% the sin('lar are hetero(eneo's! The history o the
psychoanalytic *o"e*ent is a history o %isa(ree*ents o"er an% interpretations o this
hetero(eneity! It or*s a part o this Great Con"ersation o psychoanalysis #hich *a)es
it possi&le to state #ho is a psychoanalyst! This statin( is &ro'(ht a&o't thro'(h
proce%'res in co**'nities that are psychoanalytic instit'tions! A psychoanalyst is ne"er
alone$ he %epen%s$ as %oes a +o)e$ on an Other #ho reco(ni-es hi*! This Other cannot
&e re%'ce% to a nor*ati"e$ a'thoritati"e$ re('latory$ stan%ar%ise% Other! A psychoanalyst
is one #ho air*s that he has o&taine% ro* the psychoanalytic e,perience #hat he
co'l% ha"e hope% or ro* it an% thereore that he has crosse% o"er a 0pass1$ as Lacan
calle% it! Here he testiies to ha"in( crosse% o"er his i*passes! The interloc'tion &y #hich
he #ishes to o&tain an a(ree*ent o"er this crossin( o"er occ'rs in instit'tional settin(s!
5ore proo'n%ly$ it is inscri&e% #ithin the Great Con"ersation &et#een psychoanalysis
an% ci"ili-ation! A psychoanalyst is not a'tistic! He %oes not ail to a%%ress hi*sel to the
&ene"olent interloc'tor$ enli(htene% opinion$ #hich he #ishes to *o"e an% to reach o't
to$ in a"o'r o the ca'se o psychoanalysis!