"Psychoanalysis reminds people that the subject has to do with speech. Psychoanalysis evaluates the power of speech, proposes an alternative to the anguish of scientific determinism… It locates the place of the necessary, and maintains the place of the contingent."
-Eric Laurent, Mental, Paris, 1995
"Mental Health exists, but has little to do with mental, and very little to do with health. It has to do with the Other (values, laws, language, culture, family, parents, teachers, bosses…) and silence. Mental health is what ensures the Other’s silence, just as health is the silence of physical organs”. “The application of Psychoanalysis aims at decoding productions of culture."
*the words in parenthesis are mine to explain the concept
"Jouissance": Symptom’s satisfaction
"...certain people derive a great deal of pleasure from torturing themselves, from subjecting themselves to painful experiences ... satisfaction in dissatisfaction. It qualifies the kind of "kick" someone may get out of punishment; self-punishment doing something that is so painful it becomes pleasurable."
-Bruce Fink, A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis,
First Harvard University Press, 1999
"The moment at which someone seeks therapy can be understood as one in which a break down occurs in that person’s favorite or habitual way of obtaining jouissance (satisfaction). The juissance –providing symptom is not working anymore or has been jeopardized."
Lacan proposes a different term than "patient": "analisand" which implies that it is the person in therapy who does the work of analysing, not the analyst …the promise of a new approach to things, a new way of dealing with people, a new way of operating in the world"
The technique of applied psychoanalysis
"The analyst requests that the analisand says whatever comes to mind without censoring and paying attention to dreams, fantasies, daydreams, fleeting thoughts, slips of the tongue, bungled actions, and the like..."
"What the therapist offers at the outset is a different substitute satisfaction: the strange sort of satisfaction that comes from the transference relationship and from deciphering the unconscious” (Ibid) Later on, association and interpretation will take place and self-knowledge and desire will occur."
“In favor of the subjectivity”
As a psychoanalyst, I support the declaration of the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis in Spain, submitted by the Board on 2009-2011, that I personally translated and summarized.
Since the beginning, the psychoanalysis was always attentive to the strokes of each era and to the symptomatic particularities of the sufferance. As a discourse and also as a clinical practice, the psychoanalysis has privileged the defense of the subjectivity as something imperative, due to the importance for the human being, including its paradoxes and its contradictions.
Its practice and its theory have been developed during more than a hundred years and was the basement for the knowledge of many generations of professionals: psychoanalysts, psychologists, psychiatrists and psychotherapists, without counting the key function of complementing the education of every professional in social services: medical doctors, nurses, professors, social workers, teachers … On the other hand, the connections of psychoanalysis with the arts and its diverse manifestations (movies, artistic works, literature, music, theater, performances…) have been constant and ended in rich productions.
The applications of therapeutic psychoanalysis explains why it is still present in today public and private institutions that focus on services and prevention, not only on mental health but also in social services, education, substance abuse, early interventions, justice, general health services, and also in institutional research at different organizations.
Although, at present times ‘strong ideological prejudices, while missing in depth knowledge of the method possibilities and the psychoanalytic theory, it doubt about the still actuality of its application on clinical practice at this new XXI century and even pretend its disappearance from public institutions. Those prejudices are not diverse from the compromise and even the enslavement of groups of varied economic interests.
At this moment, we are in the middle of a coming movement toward one clinical practice without much dialogue exchange, more indifferent to the singular manifestations of the psychic pain, a clinic that depend on established protocols and the abuse of universal medication toward fast, easy and “efficient solutions”.
Due to all this developments, we strongly defend a mental health model where the power of speech becomes a value to sustain and develop, where each person needs to be considered in his singularity. To be in favor of the subjective dimension means to trust the personal inventions, the singular resources that each person puts into play to deal with his own particular way to suffer, something strange and intolerable but also so intimate and familiar to himself. To trust his subjectivity is to trust his own possible responses, that although could be discussed and further elaborated, never could be ignored.
We manifest our rejection toward the thinking and the present politics that center its position in the value of the security as a primordial goal, without considering human rights and freedom as top values. We reject the politics that try to convince us over its good will’s for the best to the subject, but ends in assessing his efficiency in numbers of risk factors, or vulnerability to be overcome by imposing behavior modification techniques that end like domestication exercises.
We manifest our commitment to the strength of reflective intelligence, deep and plural, where in a special high vertex is the psychoanalytical observation toward a theory in itself and as a practice which has at it center of attention: the subject.
We offer an open space toward all the people who reject the reduction of the actual subject to a number, a protocol, a curriculum-report and an objective program as a way of functioning.