back-img

It cannot be a mere coincidence that the intra-analytic analyst – let’s call her this way as to distinguish the clinical dimension from the institutional one – is the one who is never called by her name by her analysands, at least in the office, or they try to avoid this situation even in the didactic cases of a future colleague. The institution, instead, is the place where the name of its founder constantly resounds so that he is the only one who is tweeted about. There is no need to think that in one case we deal with belittling (since the regular specialist is presumably more humble), whereas in the other case – it is an excessive exaltation of someone who has deserved to become a classic. Rather, in the first case, the name is inappropriate, and in the second one – the other way around. 

It is commonly known that during all the phases of formation, existence, and collapse of the institutions, the source of these processes is the desire of the founding figures. It is on the basis of this desire that the heirs are forced to form their own professional desire, but not as the pure “desire of the analyst” which is today customarily okayed, nor as something that acts as the typical “subjective residue” that can, presumably, explain the confrontations and perturbations produced by the analysts in the community.

It is true that in some cases, these confrontations can really look like – and quite often they are – the settling of personal scores, the tensions between bruised egos. But even in this case, what inspires them is something different: something in the ego-ideal of the psychoanalytic founding fathers – i.e., at the very root of their professional desire – for one reason or another isn’t up to par.

These issues are very uncomfortable, so it is not surprising that at the level of institutional speech, this question is systematically passed over in silence. But even if the silence was broken, this speech could not accommodate a statement on this matter. What makes the analysts extremely delicate objects for each other and what hysterizes each psychoanalyst about herself so that her practice turns into a constant chain of self-examinations and disappointments – is not the actual rigorous professional regulations and rules whose austerity they voluntarily shoulder. Rather, it is the unavoidable consequence of the historically emerged situation when the analysts who professionally present their maîtres have to literally shield the loopholes in the maîtres’ ego-ideals with their institutional bodies. It is known that by means of the didactic initiation that formed them, these maîtres ascend to the very first Master of psychoanalysis, its founder. Speaking of him as a founding figure, we involuntarily speak about the subject whose professional ego-ideal was bursting at the seams due to the numerous disciplinary stretches of its emergence. These stretches are caused by the necessity of the impossible establishment of an absolutely new and at the same time legitimate science and practice. 

This means that the “subjective hypothesis” spontaneously shared by the psychoanalysts themselves to explain any tensions between the colleagues pointing to their “incomplete analysis” as well as the “violation of ethical norms” – is meant to cover that psychoanalytic conflicts are initially doomed to spread beyond purely theoretical disagreements. In other words, it is a nominally pathological – yet at the same time typical for the psychoanalysis invented by Freud right from the start – adhesion between the flaws, the notches in the ego-ideal of the analysis’s founder and what could be called “the institutional” desire: the analyst’s desire taken at the level of the psychoanalytic community. We can assert that this adhesion is psychoanalysis’s pathognomonic symptom: it cannot be found in any other practice – from psychiatric clinic to moderate psychotherapy specializing in questions of “personal growth.”

It is this distinction that should function as the psychoanalysis true trademark outstripping the others which are willingly presented by the analysts such as the clinical work with “singular desire,” or the abstaining refusal to act as the analysand’s authority or guide.

We should not forget that in light of what has just been said, the participant of psychoanalysis who is less and less often called “the patient” – no matter how medical this term sounds it should not be forgotten either – the patient, this “sufferer,” apart from other analysis’s effects has to endure what is endured by her analyst. It is important to remember that the latter endures – and it matters for the analysands only there – wherein her own “didactic analysis” is pursued in a special, post-analytic form: at the level of the analyst’s presence within the framework of some institution – or, if she chooses an individual path, between the outer borders of various institutions that keep on affecting her. The access to the effects that the institutions and their outer borders produce on the analyst is the object of the dispute over the supposed access: the possibility to let the analysand, albeit in an indirect symbolic form, into the territory where the institution continuously affects its members. 

“Access” here acts in a special form that gives full meaning to the presented forms of “admission” as marked by the act of “acceptance,” of admitting a possibility, a certain concession that is required from the analytic community specifically in relation to the analysands. As for this “acceptance,” it could be said that it does by no means require recognizing the analysands as equal to their analysts (which would be funny considering that no one actually claimed otherwise), nor confidentially initiating them into the details of the intra-professional affairs that they are probably curious about. To admit the analysands does not mean to accept them as “analysts,” although the fear of such a possibility is extremely common in the analytic environment.

Instead, the admission of analysands (and not only of the analysts) implies the possibility to attract primarily the clinicians’ attention to the fact that the refusal to accept the reality of an already present analysands’ access results in something that is systematically overlooked by both the analysts and those who according to their institutional position is meant if not to control but at least to comment, verifying that a previously unrecorded effect of the psychoanalytic interaction has indeed taken place. 

It is only fair that Tupinambá describes this effect primarily from the side of the analyst: following Lacan, he defines the latter’s position as a form of a lifelong – at least all the way through her own practice – post-transference being. Therefore, in the institution “transference, if that term can still be maintained here, without an analyst as reference or mediator; instead, the institution of psychoanalysis as such fills the role.”7

Nevertheless, there is another side that is directly affected by the above-mentioned. What affects the analyst in the phase of her post-transference being in the psychoanalytic community – i.e., something that can force her to dissociate from or solidarize with other community members in certain matters – will have consequences in the form of her patient’s acting outs within their own treatment. This connection has never been brought to the fore in the clinic, yet, its presence has to be recognized as no less indisputable than the connection between the so-called “personal” considerations of the analyst and the subsequent analysand’s thoughts and actions that appear, presumably, as an effect of analytic interpretations.

While paying our tribute to Lacan who separated acting out into two separate groups of consequences (passage à l'acte and acting out), we should still consider acting out in Freudian terms as a larger group of acts conditioned by treatment, given that not all of them have received an explicit nosological description so far, including in Lacan’s work. In this sense, the specification of acts proposed by Lacan in the 10th seminar should not be regarded as a complete and, in this way closed from further development, hypothesis but as a possible beginning for another study. The fact that at least one of them (namely, acting out) was attributed by Lacan himself to the course of the analytic process which cannot be reduced to simple analysand’s “resistance” – as we know the analysand is often held implicitly responsible for this resistance – but to the tendentious action of the analyst herself (“Kris’s patient”) should be regarded as the anticipating realization of Tupinambá’s own aspirations. At this point, the analysands do not act as the representatives of the lowest level of clinical effects but rather as “more than one” – an additional community that is inextricably attached to the psychoanalytic one. This community participates in the process of intra-professional analysts’ struggle and is also capable of making allies with them. 

It is in this sense that Tupinambá’s following statement should be understood: “the analytic community would have to come to terms with the idea that it is a community composed only of its own exterior.8

This side is not external in the sense that psychoanalysis is a discipline and institution that coexists with other institutions and endures more or less sensitive tensions with their passive, similarly organized membranes. On the contrary, this membrane – just like in Freud’s metaphor of a subject as a sensitive bubble – is the organism’s receptor, one of its layers modified under the influence of various forces: both the external, and what is more important, the internal that, as Lacan notes, are peculiarly externalized being the “external” of another order, defined by Lacan as extimacy. As we know from Freud, this extimacy, while obtaining its initial impulse from the receptor membrane, is distinguished by its capacity to secondarily affect the receptor element as a new libidinal source.  

That is how the relations between the analytic institution and the milieu of analysands or those who plan to become ones are organized; because the latter are affected by the institutional framework even more since the vacillators have not yet committed themselves to reckon the intra-analytic setting restrictions. Whereas in relation to the institution’s signals concerning the analyst-analysand pair these restrictions act as a sort of shield.

This sheds light on the reason why Lacan judged quite unfavorably and to some extent even dismissively the potential of the so-called “counter-transference” concept. This still causes confusion, including among the Lacanian specialists themselves, who secretly believe that Lacan’s criticism in this matter went overboard. Therefore, they still rely on the didactic meaning of counter-transference analyzing it with their supervisors, for example. In fact, the real reason for Lacan’s disregard is not his bare resistance against all forms of ethical control within the didactics of IPA that denounced his work, but his assumption of the more fraught consequences that are not considered, therefore, they cannot be anticipated by the counter-transference hypothesis.

It is precisely these consequences that are revealed when the remodeled axiomatics of the analytic process shifts from the assumption about the existence of the analytic instruments more or less mastered by the specialist but undermined from time to time by the so-called “subjective relation” to the analysand, to the resistances of a higher order experienced by the analyst in light of her struggle with the colleagues over some conceptual point, for example, or over some interpretation of the classic source, which is not necessarily connected with her clinical cases. In all these circumstances, the analyst who has the audacity to claim something within the clinical community or at least within its sight – e.g., in terms of intervening in the psychoanalytic theory conceptually – immediately involves all her analysands in this process, including those who have never read a page on psychoanalysis. 

This means that regardless of this presumed step towards the “analysands’ needs,” the concept of counter-transference along with its tinkering with the analyst’s “feelings” or her “subjective relations” separates the analysts and the analysands even more irreparably, mechanically leaving the latter overboard. It is precisely the concept of “counter-transference” that is responsible, both historically and conceptually, for the fact that, on the one hand, psychoanalysis is encapsulated around the two participants in the office but, on the other hand, it does not enable what we discuss here and what is called for by Tupinambá – to count two-as-one. Due to their asymmetric reciprocity, the bonds imposed by counter-transference on both of the participants are eventually inextricably durable, and Tupinambá is right here, – they have nothing in common with the count-as-one.

Returning to Kris’s case, it must be assumed that his declaration about the absence of plagiarism in his patient’s work does not reveal such deep disorientation by the counter-transference hypothesis. It seems that his patient’s need for “support” caused by the presumed burden of his status was not the only guide for Kris. 

In other words, the analyst, in this case, did not follow his feelings suggesting that at that moment the patient needed a “kind word” more than ever, which would perfectly coincide with an opportunity to introduce a sobering note and some common sense into the patient’s erroneous (as it seemed to the analyst) ideas. Instead, it should probably be reminded more often and more boldly that of all the existing methods of mental treatment psychoanalysis is the least based on the so-called “individual approach.” Given that today, the absence of such a basis is silenced more than ever before as if this absence was a highly dehumanizing and discrediting fact of the clinical practice. 

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7