Jumat, 16 Juli 2010

From Freudian Symptoms to Lacanian Sinthom #2

5°) ”The Subjective Rectification”

At this stage proper care should be taken in assimilating the symptom to the oedipal structure or to the setting up of the Father’s Name, as it is always the case. If these statements can be conceived as the outcome of the post psycho-analytical work or of the trial of psycho-analytical symptom construction, they can quickly become stigmatising notions just like diagnosis procedures used by the medical or psychiatric circles. The risk remains with exempting the psychoanalyst from this preliminary work of the construction by making it as if only standard and graded symptoms are analysable compared to the imaginary model (and unrealistic) of what should be the demand in psycho-analysis or the relationship with the symptom.

While some clinicians are concerned with transforming the analysis’s demand or treatment and lamenting the fact that they no longer keep to their initial expectations, the question is whether it is due to the real transformation of the subjective modalities which structure the subjects of our societies or on the contrary, whether this does not come from the refusal to do this preliminary work to which lacan gave a precise name i.e. “rectification of the subject’s relations with the real" [1]

It is at this “subjective rectification” stage that we should struggle to make our patient to realise that he/she actively contributes in the formation and the perpetuation of the symptoms or the situation of which he/she is complaining. In order for the work to be achieved, the subject should at least accept to be partly responsible for this danger which is firstly interpreted as if coming from the outside or from the reality.

Lacan states that the subjective rectification is dialectic and in order to reach it, we must start with the subject’s sayings. Which means that, interpretation cannot be exact inspite of it being an interpretation.

It is clear that it is not the matter of a theoretical presentation which is done to the patient to inform or teach him/her of the unconscious’s theory, but it is about a closer intervention to the interpretation, without necessarily being exact because by definition, it operates prior to the establishment of the transference.

Furthermore, he noted that this is the threshold of the way to cover with the Other. Because the transference has already done its duty, showing that it is a matter of another thing rather than the relations of the self with the rest of the world

I take this expression, ”the way to cover with the Other”. The fact that the later should hold on in order to open the way for the analytical interpretation to take place also includes the fact that it should be done thoroughly in the analytical process. There is a long way to cover with the Other. In other words, taking this phase into account as Freud and Lacan propose implies conceiving in a broader and open manner the conditions of analysis’ possibilities, or “indications” of the analysis as earlier stated.

It is this particular point that seems to be neglected in the theory as it is often presented, and maybe it is even worse in practice. Presently, I assume that the way to cover with the Other could be longer, more costly and also difficult for the analyst, but at the end of this path the conditions for a possible analysis could be found.

It looks like the numerous demands under the pretext that they are not outrightly “rectified”, in a degraded sense of “conformity” to what we can expect of the assumption of responsibility by the subject in relation to his/her actions, symptoms or his/her real situation to start an analysis, these demands are purely and simply rejected. This is the case with some patients who have social and financial constraints that the psychoanalyst to whom they present themselves transfers them to the social workers, considering that no work is possible as long as their social problems are not solved. Evidently this is to encourage them to put their social problems aside and separate them from their unconscious role (or not pertaining to their responsibility). This is against Freudian and lacanian positions.

All we can say is that most people presenting themselves to a psychoanalyst operating from the urban centre, who made this offer of analytical lessen open to the public, are in fact already “rectified in advance” because of this personal will which drives them to the analysis . To them, this phase maybe invisible.

This is quite different from when one is faced with the challenge of offering analytical orientation lesson to people who do not have even a slightest cultural knowledge of psycho-analysis, be it that they are in particular relations with the real as it can be the case with some traumatic neuroses, and probably some adolescents and many other patients. Therefore the “subjective rectification” takes all its significance.

6°) Symptom as Compromise and Return of the Repressed.

In psycho-analysis a symptom is classically described as the expression of the unconscious conflict, a formation of compromise between the accomplishment of a desire and the repression or as the sign of the return of the repressed.

Nonetheless, knowing the fact that most of the symptoms correspond to the sign of the return of the repressed and also that this mechanism is undoubtedly universal only acquires a functional value in the framework of the psycho-analysis because it is only there that the unconscious will be taken into account as it is.

We often find ourselves in this situation whereby we know that such and such a symptom is partly linked to the unconscious, for which strictly speaking, we cannot do anything. Expertise situation is exemplary of this case. In principle, the framework is not prepared to elaborate the demand because it does not exist, neither is it prepared to put transference in place. The unconscious knowledge is going to be able to express itself, but it will not be recognised as it is and it will not end up with any sign of truth.

In my experience I recently met a man who was brutally beaten by the police. Some years later, he claimed damages and he filed a law suit in an apparently paranoiac mode. When listening to his version of the story, the fact that he was treated “like a bastard” by the police in this scenario, was due to an innate fantasy asset since his childhood for which he accused his parents. Being able to give an account of this or being conscious of it did not even transform his claim symptoms to analytical symptom i.e. analysable symptoms. However, the way in which he influenced his violation could legitimately be interpreted as the return of the repressed. What can we say about this man? Is he paranoiac or neurotic? It does not matter because what was essential was that it was either impossible to construct an analysable symptom from him or it was impossible for him to see his fault in his misfortune, but for some reason, he was far from realising that it was only due his structure. It could also just be strong invitation from an ambient speech making oneself as victim or of the effects of bad encounters in the eyes of lawyers, doctors or psychiatrists, etc. On the contrary, it is possible in a psycho-analytical profession to witness astonishing situations in which some symptoms which seemed to be displayed outside or a somatisation become analysable at ance.

For a considerable number of months, I received a man who complained of many pains mainly centralised on the lower limbs on which the neurologists had diagnosed some anomalies on the electrogram exhibiting an organic pathology. This man strongly denied it with strong and explicit term. He refused to accept that these pains could stem from the psychological effects and that they are related to his childhood problems, which are displayed by particularly painful events, or his conjugal problem which led to his divorce. He recently came to see me again with a totally different story. According to him, he was engaged in an unceasing struggle in order to keep his dignity and to come to terms with his sorrow. He had just “collapsed” for the first time before the judge who made him relate his biography during his divorce. He came back to see me, but this time he had possibly recognised the effects of this humiliation suffered at childhood stage caused by his father who influenced the present state. Up to this meeting, he was conscious of all these. He could even explain. Nonetheless, this was without effect. Today’s difficulties can appear as the echoes of psychological traces of the past.

In this perspective, lacan could say that the symptom is what can be analysed. This functional definition is more useful to us than the theoretical attempts of predicting the nature of the symptom according to the structure.

In fact, whatever the initial structure, the form and the content i.e. the supporting explanation, the symptom is in the first place what will become analysable in the psycho-analytical work. Although we can absolutely trust on the structure, except for extreme cases, we cannot qualify the symptom as analytical or non analytical from its form or content as it is. One utterance can refer to different meanings, in different positions vis-à-vis the symptom, and especially to various possibilities of the symptom construction in the psycho-analytical sense. Utterances such as, “he hates me”, “i am possessed”, “i am suffering from a fatal illness”, “I am a monster”, have nothing to do with the symptom.

7°) The Desire for Recognition and the Social Formation of the Symptom

Lacan, in the seminar on Formations of the Unconscious, highlights how much it could be paradoxical to talk about the emergence of the desire or about accomplishing the desire through the symptom. However, this is what is suggested by the term “compromise”, as though the symptom on its own or its formation, was a space of intermediary solution to the unconscious conflict by authorising a little of desire and a little of repression at the same time. In fact Lacan is clear and he reminds us that we cannot talk about satisfying our desire in the symptom. When there is a symptom it is good because the desire does not satisfy itself, no matter what we understand by satisfaction of the desire which is evidently not fulfilled by the object. In other words, the desire which manifests itself through the symptom is a particular desire. It is a repressed desire especially the desire for recognition, and therefore, something else rather than the desire according to lacan. It is an ambiguous desire, which is not oriented to an object and gives its enigmatic feature which hides the symptom.

In addition, Lacan insists on this other paradox. What about the symptom which is there to enable recognising the desire before the meeting with the psychologist? Or before the invention of psycho-analysis by Freud? He answered that this recognition of desire, is an acknowledgement by the person, not aimed at anyone, because nobody can realise it until someone starts to learn the key. This acknowledgement manifests itself in a form which is close to the Other. This is therefore recognition of the desire, but acknowledgement by a person”. However, in same pages a bit further, he went on to highlight the social role of the symptom from ethnology. He finds a confirmation, of the presence of desire in the demonstrations as perfectly conventional, inside Michel Leiris’ works on the possession among the Ethiopians.

Should it be concluded that before psycho-analysis (or the psychoanalyst) the only possible answer to this call to the recognition of the desire by the symptom is the social conformity to the rituals? The psychoanalysis’s point of departure would be to open this “closed” process which is a symptom to another reading, in contrast with the interpretations given by Lévi-Strauss and Michel Foucault, who put psycho-analysis in relation, one with shamanism the other with Christianity. This opinion should, however, be put into perspective and should also be given the credit of a possible special listenership even within the traditional procedures of healing. This is obviously an affair that needs to be considered according to each case, but of which some psycho-analysts happened to witness the surveys done in the field (cf. OLIVIER Douville).

8°) Symptom and Oedipus Complex

We can obviously draw a distinction between symptoms which will be used in the oedipal process and the symptoms which are not characterised by the passage of the Oedipus complex, provided that this distinction takes place in an analytical framework and not from medical or psychological observation. What is the real scope of this distinction? What can we expect of it in any possible analytical work? Not so much in terms of the unpredictable results, but certainly rather in terms of difficulty and discomfort for the work of a psychoanalyst, etc.

9°) Symptom, Transference and Enjoyment

The real question is rather the one that has to do with the destiny of the symptom taken in the transference. It is from this stage that a different conception of the analytical symptom could be made and we can radically move away from the medical and psychiatric conception such as broader general meaning of the symptom as message.

The transference will encounter several effects with regard to the symptom. When the psychoanalyst keeps in his place he will allow a mobilisation or putting symptom’s address into movement. All other large or small signs to which the symptom could be addressed will appear in this empty space that it occupies. If the psychoanalyst does not respond to these different places where he is successively convened, it will result in putting the symptom into perspective like emergency call from the outside. Overtime, it will become a private affair whose subject shall sort himself out and it will no longer have the same impact in social life. The other effect of the transference fits in the identification of the repetition. The psychoanalysis replaces the symptomatic repetition in social life by repetition within the transference. This is a symbolic repetition which is reparable by the return of some speeches and signifiers and it is the second way of putting the symptom into perspective. The analysing subject will be able to notice that the point is not to understand, nor get rid of the symptoms rather than to arrive at renouncing to the enjoyment provided by the repetition.

At this stage, Lacan’s statements according to which the symptom is on the one hand, what can be analysed and what could be enjoyed on the other hand are particularly useful. The progress of analytical cure goes in this sense of giving less importance to the initial symptom for the benefit of refocusing on the perseverance of some signifiers or some fantasies and their relationship with the enjoyment. Maybe the differences between psychotherapy and psychoanalysis can be picked up at this stage whereby the psychotherapy is tilted to identifying the Other while psychoanalysis in refusing to give consistency to the Other by rather allowing the emergence of the fantasy (cf. Jacques Alain Miller).

The enigma gets removed. Thus for an analyst the problem is no longer centred on determining why when driving, it happens that one has to turn back and check that he/she has not crushed a human being, but it is rather to know why he/she is attached to perceiving oneself as a monster. It is this self-perception and the cognisance of the enjoyment that she has which becomes the real question and as a result it makes the symptoms tolerable in social life.

At times the initial symptoms become useless and they are abandoned. It looks like it is often because of their uselessness that the symptoms disappear rather than the significant luminous and striking interpretation, etc. This is a phenomenon which is often encountered and which may have to do with symptoms which appear to be not easy to determine. I recently had a case of a patient who was a victim of drastic physical trauma which dated to 3 years back and who had developed headaches and daily, intense and crippling migraines which led her to taking the strongest of the most recent anti-migraines medication. She came to my consultation with the biggest scepticism, because she did not see any psychological reason behind her illnesses. To her biggest surprise, one good morning as she woke up, she was free of all these migraines after a session which made her aware that the real cause of her pains was just some unresolved clashes between her and her sister. We cannot claim that the meaning of the symptom was explained, but it became just useless because the work was centred elsewhere.

But the effect of the Other’s exclusion and repetition extends further. It finally leads to deviation from the sense register which is the one that has to do with the symptom and psychotherapy. Mourning a symptom is also the meaning in a broader general sense of the word (cf. Jacque Alain Miller and his reflections on “off sense” of analysis in Lacan’s last lessons).

10°) Production of New Symptoms in the Course of the Analysis

Besides putting the initial symptoms into perspective, transforming all the linguistic productions of the analysis into analysable symptoms, the analysis also produces the new symptoms which will show up in social life. But they do not at all have the same status as the symptoms which hindered the subject’s life before the analysis. They should be considered to be the creations of the analysis, or the way to act and show what cannot be explained even within the analysis itself. We can, therefore, see coming into life totally incongruous loves and hatreds for the analysand as well as for those who are victims or the external beneficiaries, but which are sometimes necessary in order to apply the oedipal apparatus elements which are still less structured. Thus, the hatred of a designated rival will enable us to determine, through association of ideas or dreams, the unprecedented rivalry and hatred for the mother. As for the boy, it is the manifestation of his multiple seduction ventures in the eyes of a psychoanalyst which will enable him to recognise the incestuous relation he has to his mother by the prejudice of his desexualised company.

Conclusion: Symptoms Transfer to the Anguish and the Sinthom ?

To conclude, i have two questions to ask without necessarily developing them. Is transfer to anguish not one of the destinies of the symptom in the analysis? The sinthom, taken from Lacan as “something else not related to symptom” (ptose) is it a matter of structures i.e. semi-constitutional impossibility (assumptions of the prosthesis’s necessity instead of debarment of the father’s name) or a matter of resistance and limitations to the analysis itself, while it’s impossible to go beyond the symptom, to give way for enjoyment, and “to traverse the fantasies”, as they briefly sum it up?

[source: http://www.psf-en.com/spip.php?article19]

14 komentar:

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