Epilogue of the analytic cure

This paper will refer to four additional aspects of the ‘end of analysis’:

(1) Place of <Jouissance> in the end of the analytic cure
(2) Traversing the <Fantasme> and its significance
(3) The problem of the <identification with the analyst> and
(4) The destination of the <post-analytic effects>. Necessary introduction: It is necessary to remember that the end of an analysis may take three different outcomes: (a) the so called interruption (b) a formal termination and (c) the proper end of analyses.

First: The interruption refers to an interruption with or without mutual agreement. This may be due to different reasons: geographical moving of one or another member of the analytic couple, interruption due to economic difficulty. It is frequent the interruption due to ‘acting out’ of the analysand, also due to the analyst’s unilateral decision, sometimes as a analyst enactment, and for other reasons.

Second: the formal termination refers to an acceptable agreement among the parts of the analytic couple. Both members of the couple agreed that the analysis has advanced and that it can end, without necessarily arriving to the ‘analytic end’.

Third: The proper ‘end of analysis’ refers to a theoretical end. It is when the analysand ends up accepting ‘the essence of his being’ as Wilfred Bion used to say. Or ‘to be what the analysand really is’ as Jacques Lacan used to say. Lacan also said this in another way: ‘the analysand insists and doesn’t give up in the essence of his or her desire’ Lacan also told us that at the end, the analysand identifies with his or her symptom. It means that the analysand who is identifying with his or her symptom will say: ‘this is the way I am’. In this consideration that follows I will cover additional aspects of the epilogue of an analysis.

Place of Jouissance in the end of analysis The theory of Jouissance in psychoanalysis constitutes one of Lacan original contributions. To my understanding this new theory offers a way to comprehend additional aspects of human suffering. The word used by Lacan is Jouissance. In English this word does not have an easy and useful translation. So in English, the French original is used. The concept of Jouissance refers to something located beyond Freud ‘pleasure principle’. It is something that denotes suffering, beyond pleasure. It is not a symptom, it is not a Fantasme. Each person as a subject of the unconscious has a necessary amount of Jouissance for the maintenance of his psychic balance.

This necessary amount of Jouissance (suffering) varies for each person. The question is: Why some persons need higher amount of Jouissance to maintain their psychic balance? The answer of Lacan and postLacanian groups to this question is not clear. For me, the necessary amount of Jouissance for each person has multiple causes. One of those reasons is the arbitrary amount of suffering that was present in the infant’s life in the moment of the constitution of their psyche and in the moment of the vicissitudes of their Oedipus complex.

(a) An important difference

I consider useful to clearly differentiate Jouissance from (i) Freudian theory of moral masochism (ii) the theory of the repetition compulsion and (iii) the theory of anxiety. (i) First: Let us remember that Freudian moral masochism refers to a form of defense organization where human suffering is present. However in ‘moral masochism’ the suffering is an effect of the action of the Freudian Superego or an effect of the early cruel Kleinian Superego. It obeys a basic dialectic of the unconscious guilt feelings. The suffering caused by moral masochism produces a relief of these guilt feelings.

During the analytic cure one of the symptoms that improves or disappears, when modifying the subject’s ideals, is precisely the tendency of the subject to ‘moral masochism’ as punishment method, to alleviate the unconscious guilt. It is useful to distinguish this masochistic suffering, from the suffering taken place produced by Jouissance, since this Jouissance is not a symptom and it is not something that called to be cured.

(ii) In second place: I have sometimes observed the tendencies of some patients to repeat certain behaviors that originate suffering. It constitutes their way to guarantee the necessary amount of Jouissance to maintain their psychic balance. To explain this repetition of particular behaviors by means of the theory of ‘repetition compulsion’ seems to me to be a conceptual error. The compulsion to repeat is related to Death Drive and related to Lacan theory of the Automathon (Lacan, 1964). (iii) In third place: It is necessary to distinguish the presence of anxiety from the presence of Jouissance. Anxiety can be seen as a symptom. It is a form of suffering and it is a product of a psychic conflict. Anxiety from the phenomenological point of view is perceived in a different way, as Jouissance is perceived.

The necessary amounts of Jouissance to maintain a mental balance will depend on the infantile history of the patient. It is embedded, structured in the psyche of the individual. It is not a Symptom, it is not a Fantasme and it is not a Symptasme. It is not something that calls for cure. It is something of the order of a ‘particularity’ for each individual and each one has to learn to live with it. §2 Traversing the Fantasme The idea of ‘traversing’ refers to know, to acquire knowledge of something. In this case it means to acquire knowledge about the own fantasme. The theory of the ‘sexual Fantasme’ in the analytic cure has some effect in the way the analyst understands and work the sexual and erotic life of the analysand. A hundred years ago in the historical beginnings of Psychoanalysis, the acceptance of the vicissitudes of the sexual life was not an easy thing. The need to distinguish normal from pathological sexual behavior had created serious discrepancies and problems.

Today despite of all progresses in science and culture, I have seen that inside the practice of psychoanalysis and in relation to sexual life, approaches and attitudes that some colleagues have are marked by moral judgment rather that a scientific attitude. When the logic of the Fantasme arises in clinical presentations, I have seen resistances in the colleagues to accept the legitimate variations of the sexual life, and they hurry to qualify as pathological certain sexual behaviors that fall inside the field of the sexual Fantasme. The concept of the <Fantasme> was introduced in the psychoanalytical theory by Jacques Lacan in 1967. It corresponds approximately to a <sexual fantasy> with images and with a script. Each fantasme is exclusive for each individual. It is created by the individual in early childhood. Lacan said that the Fantasme is always sexual and also always perverse (because it points to veil the subject’s castration, which is the essence of the perverse structure). Frequently it was called by Lacan: <the treasure of sexuality>.

(a) Fantasme and the analytic cure

With the intention to veil castration each individual builds in his early childhood his own ‘Sexual Fantasme’. Do to its perverse nature, which produces inner censorship, it is many times repressed, and so we find it repressed in the beginning of the analysis. During the analysis when ‘ego ideals’ are progressively modified, and the analysand censorship is modify as an effect of it, the Fantasme may become known and begin to be part of the sexual live of the analysand. If the analyst considers pathological these ‘perverse sexual fantasies’ (Fantasme), then the analyst will treat them as a neurotic symptom, and will tried to interpret them with the hope that this will disappear.

If the analyst on the contrary considered this ‘perverse sexual fantasy’ as fantasme and as a <treasure of sexuality>, then this analyst will not tried this fantasme as a sexual symptom and it doesn’t require any interpretation. The analysand learns the nature of his or her fantasme and learns the right to enjoy it. These are two very different forms of treating this aspect of the analysand sexual life. As you see according to the analyst’s theory there are two ways to approach these perverse sexual fantasies so called <fantasme> with different effect and consequences. §3 The problem of the ‘identification with the analyst’ Is the identification with the analyst a curative factor in the process? Can we distinguish identification with the analyst from identification with the analytic function? The thesis of the identification with the ‘analytic function’ considers that this identification with the function facilitates the insight capacity of the analysand.

I coincide with this idea and I am of the opinion that it is unavoidable during the analytic cure that the analysand will identified with diverse signifiers of the analyst. Let us don’t forget that the patient stop been a patient and becomes an analysand when he or she stops the demand for a cure from the analyst and discovers that they want to know more of themselves. It is when the analysand opens up to the possibility of discovering those ignored unconscious contents. In the beginning of the analytic process that knowledge is deceptively located in the analyst’s place. For that reason the patient initially looks for it in some one and chooses that particular analyst. It is the transference place that Lacan called the <subject supposes to know> (SSK), in French: (SSS). It is an unavoidable phenomenon of the imaginary order (also called narcissistic phenomenon). At the theoretical end of the analysis, the idea of the analyst as a wise and intelligent (phallic) analyst falls and the analyst appears in transference like a mediocre or dumb (castrated) analyst. Wilfred Bion said that the analyst’s destination at the end of the analysis is to become as trash, as a disposable artifact. That is to say, in this topic of the analytic end, Bion and Lacan coincide in their proposals.

None of both considers that the analytic end, occurred when the analysand finally identified with the idealized analyst. In this way during the analytic cure the analysand will identify with some signifiers. For example: identifying with the signifiers of the analyst’s ideals. These secret ideals of the analyst are deciphered from reading between lines in the analyst interpretations and sayings. These identifications will produce certain changes in the operation of the Superego of the analysand. These changes in the Superego functioning will open the road to acquire or to increase the insight capacity of the analysand. This phenomenon of the analyst ending up as trash would be very near to the idea proposed by the Kleinian analysts on the identification with <the analytic function>.

Something very different happens with the mechanism of <the identification with the analyst> where the concept of a separated other is lost and the capacity for discrimination and the asymmetric relationship is equally lost. This is a cure’s mechanism that is fragile and without sustentation. We may consider it to be like a <transferencial cure>. However the changes in the patient and the so called improvements coming from a <identification with the analyst>, are surprising and dramatic. They are similar to those taken place with the phenomenon of hypnosis. But I repeat they will not be sustained in time and are artificial and they don’t arise from a self discovery process that leads to an interior change.

Lacan outlines that the analyst and the analysand establish a <asymmetric> relationship, giving way to the analytic act. This doesn’t mean that during the cure (during the analytic process) other non analytic moments could exist (symmetrical moments). These moments correspond with the pedagogic act or the support moment of the orthopedic act. §4 Destiny of the post-analytic effects The ‘post-analytic effects’ in the cure will be considered important or irrelevant depending on the analyst’s theory. The concept of the post-analytic effects gets complicated on the basis of the difference that exists between an interrupted and a terminated analysis. These differences will force to specify the theoretical concept of ‘end of analysis’.

We all know in relation to termination that it is not possible to be guided by the simple symptomatic cure. Shortly: today the theory of structural psychoanalysis outlines that the ‘theoretical end of analysis’ occurred when the analysand: first accepts <to be what he or she is>, second had <traverse his or her sexual fantasme>, and third accepts his or her <limitation and incompleteness>. The post-analytic effects are related with the destiny of transference. In transference at the end of the analysis, the analyst stops to occupy the place of the <subject-suppose-to-know> (SSK), and the analyst appears as a limited and incomplete individual. We say that at the end of the analysis the analysand has accepted his or her own castration (symbolic and imaginary) as been incomplete and imperfect. Also the analysand had identified with their own original symptom or so called <Sinthome> (Lacan, 1976). This means that accepts (without conflicts, neither guilt feelings) the indelible marks of childhood that have passed to the <formation of character>.

This is possible when during the course of the analysis the analysand has modified his or her system of ideals. These theoretical proposals of the ‘end of analysis’ are settle with the variations of the case by case as a post-analytic effect.

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