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End of analysis
|French: fin d'analyse|
"Is there such a thing as a natural end to an analysis?"
The end of analysis must be distinguished from the aim of psychoanalytic treatment.
The question of the end of analysis is therefore something more than whether a course of analytic treatment has or has not achieved its aim; it is a question of whether or not the treatment has reached its logical end-point.
Lacan conceives of this end-point in various ways.
- 1. In the early 1950s, Lacan describes the end of analysis as "the advent of a true speech and the realization by the subject of his history" -- that is, as coming to terms with one's own mortality.
- 2. In 1960, Lacan describes the end of analysis as a state of anxiety and abandonment -- that is, as a state of helplessness.
- 3. In 1964, Lacan describes the end of analysis as the point when the analysand "traverses the radical fantasy."
- 4. In the final decade of his teaching, Lacan describes the end of analysis as an "identification with the sinthome."
Position of Analysand and Analyst
In general, the end of analysis involves two fundamental changes in the respective subjective positions of
Passage from Analysand to Analyst
For Lacan, the end of analysis is also the passage from analysand to analyst -- for all psychoanalysts must undergo analytic treatment from beginning to end before being allowed to practice as analysts.
"The true termination of an analysis" is therefore no more and no less than that which "prepares you to become an analyst."
Identification with the Analyst
For Lacan, this erroneous view is based on a misunderstanding of transference -- as a kind of illusion which can be transcended -- which overlooks the symbolic nature of transference -- as an essential structure of speech.
The end of analysis does not involve:
- the strengthening the ego
- the adaptation to reality
- the disappearance of the symptom
- the cure of an underlying disease (e.g.neurosis)
- Freud, Sigmund. Analysis Terminable and Interminable, 1937. SE XXIII p.219
- Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p. 88
- Lacan, Jacques. Écrits. Paris: Seuil, 1966. p. 373, n. 1
- Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book XI. The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 1964. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Hogarth Press and Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1977. p. 273
- Lacan, Jacques. The Seminar. Book VII. The Ethics of Psychoanalysis, 1959-60. Trans. Dennis Porter. London: Routledge, 1992. p. 303
- Lacan, Jacques. Le Séminaire. Livre XVII. L'envers de la psychanalyse, 19669-70. Ed. Jacques-Alain Miller. Paris: Seuil, 1991. p. 122