To resume again...

Why does a Letter always arrive at its Destination?

Ethics in the Cure

On the Beginning of a Psychoanalysis

Passion in the Cure


Interview with
Donald Baechler

Interview with
Julio Galán



Ethics in the Cure

Colette Soler

Lacan's work is vast: twenty years of seminars, the long and difficult volume Écrits, several other articles and the Television interview we have discussed here. That means weeks, months, years of work and effort for the reader who wants to understand something about it. One could say the same thing about psychoanalytic treatment itself: so many years, so much time, so much money. Is it worth it?
If it is worth dedicating so much libido to psychoanalysis, it's because psychoanalysis is not psychotherapy. If it were only to cure the neurotic symptom, if it were only to put an end to the neurotic complaint, it would be out of all proportion to do so. Psychoanalysis has therapeutic effects, but psychoanalysis is much more than psychotherapy.

[...]   [L]et's turn to
the interpreting of the
analyst. In a certain
sense we can say that
this is what the
analyst owes to the
analysand. To interpret
seems to be something
active, not something
passive, but it is
nevertheless important
to see the extent of
what is excluded by
this duty of
interpretation, the
area of what we can
call the abstention of
the psychoanalyst. To
interpret means not to
evaluate, not to judge,
not to act and even to
leave aside any
feelings. No doubt
there is something else
that the analyst
requires here: he has
to make the rule of
free association apply.
So there is a demand
for speech, but he has
nothing to discuss; he
has nothing to say
about what is said; he
isn't there to agree,
to condemn or to blame;
he neither censors nor
So he does not say
anything, only
interprets. This is a
choice, sometimes a
difficult one which
needs to be repeated
every day with each

To interpret is only to designate what was said in what the subject articulated, and in that sense the desire of the psychoanalyst — you know that Lacan gave a key function to this desire — is first of all a desire for interpretation. We could say that the desire of the analyst emerges in the interpretation.



* The Lacan Conference, April 15, 1990, at Barnard College, Columbia University, New York. back to top

Illustration: Donald Baechler Corbu Chaise, 1982.



Subscribe to Lacanian Ink click here.