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The English term "[[frustration]]" came into increasing prominence in certain branches of [[psychoanalytic theory]] in the 1950s, together with a shift in emphasis from the [[Oedipus complex|Oedipal]] [[structure|triangle]] to the [[mother]]-[[child]] [[dual relation|relation]].
==Biological Need==
In this context, [[frustration]] was generally understood as the [[act]] whereby the [[mother]] denies the [[child]] the [[object]] which would satisfy one of his [[biology|biological]] [[need]]s.
To [[frustrate]] a [[child]] in this way was thought by some [[analyst]]s to be a major factor in the aetiology of [[neurosis]].
==Sigmund Freud==
"[[Frustration]]" is also the term which the ''[[Standard Edition]]'' uses to translate [[Freud]]'s term ''[[Frustration|Versagung]]''.
While this term is not extremely prominent in [[Freud]]'s work, it does form part of his theoretical vocabulary.
At a first glance, indeed, it may appear that [[Freud]] discusses [[frustration]] in the way described above.
For example he certainly attributes to [[frustration]] an impor­tant place in the aetiology of [[symptom]]s, stating that "it was a frustration that made the patient ill."<ref>{{F}} "[[Works of Sigmund Freud|Lines of Advance in Psycho-Analytic Therapy]]," 1919a [1918]. [[SE]] XVII, 162.</ref>
==Jacques Lacan==
Hence when [[Lacan]] argues that the term "[[frustration]]" is "quite simply [[absent]] from Freud's work,"<ref>{{S3}} p.235</ref> what he means is that the [[Freud]]ian concept of ''[[Frustration|Versagung]]'' does not correspond to the concept of [[frustration]] as described in the above paragraph.
[[Lacan]] argues that those who have theorized the concept of [[frustration]] in this way have, by deviating from [[Freud]]'s work, led [[psychoanalytic theory]] into a series of impasses.<ref>{{S4}} p. 180</ref>
Thus in the [[seminar]] of 1956-7 he seeks a way of reformulating the concept in accordance with the logic of [[Freud]]ian [[psychoanalytic theory|theory]].
=="Lack of Object"==
[[Lacan]] begins by classifying [[frustration]] as one of the three types of "[[lack|lack of object]]," distinct from both [[castration]] and [[privation]].
==Demand for Love==
Although he concedes that [[frustration]] is at the heart of the primary relations between [[mother]] and [[child]],<ref>{{S4}} p. 66</ref> he argues that [[frustration]] does not concern [[biology|biological]] [[need]]s but the [[demand]] for [[love]].
This is not to say that [[frustration]] has nothing to do with a [[real]] [[object]] capable of satisfying a [[need]] (e.g. a breast, or a feeding bottle); on the contrary, such an [[object]] is certainly involved, at least at first.<ref>{{S4}} p.66</ref>
==Symbolic Function==
However, what is important is that the [[real]] function of this [[object]] (to [[satisfaction|satisfy]] a [[need]], such as hunger) is soon completely overshadowed by its [[symbolic]] function, namely, the fact that it functions as a [[symbol]] of the [[mother]]'s [[love]].<ref>{{S4}} p.180-2</ref>
The [[object]] is thus valued more for being a [[symbolic]] [[object|gift]] than for its capacity to [[satisfy]] a [[need]].
==Legal Order==
As a gift, it is inscribed in the [[symbolic order|symbolic network]] of [[law]]s which regulate the circuit of exchanges, and thus seen as something to which the [[subject]] has a legitimate claim.<ref>{{S4}} p. 101</ref>
[[Frustration]], properly speaking, can only occur in the context of this [[law|legal]] [[order]], and thus when the [[object]] which the [[infant]] [[demand]]s is not provided, one can only speak of [[frustration]] when the [[infant]] senses that it has been wronged.<ref>{{S4}} p. 101</ref>
In such a case, when the [[object]] is eventually provided, the sense of wrong (of broken promises, of [[love]] withheld) persists in the [[child]], who then consoles himself for this by [[enjoyment|enjoying]] the sensations which follow the [[satisfaction]] of the original [[need]].
==Refusal of Love==
Thus, far from [[frustration]] involving the failure to [[satisfy]] a [[biological]] [[need]], it often involves precisely the opposite; a [[biological]] [[need]] is [[satisfied]] as a vain attempt to compensate for the true [[frustration]], which is the refusal of [[love]].
==Psychoanalytic Treatment==
[[Frustration]] plays an important role in [[psychoanalytic treatment]].
[[Freud]] noted that, to the extent that distressing [[symptom]]s disappear as the [[treat­ment]] progresses, the [[patient]]'s motivation to continue the [[treatment]] tends to diminish accordingly.
In order, therefore, to avoid the risk of the [[patient]] losing motivation altogether and breaking off the [[treatment]] prematurely, [[Freud]] recommended that the [[analyst]] must "re-instate [the patient's suffer­ing] elsewhere in the form of some appreciable privation."<ref>{{F}} "[[Works of Sigmund Freud|Lines of Advance in Psycho-Analytic Therapy]]," 1919a [1918]. [[SE]] XVII, 163.</ref>
This technical advice is generally known as the rule of [[frustration|abstinence]], and implies that the [[analyst]] must continually [[frustrate]] the [[patient]] by refusing to gratify his [[demand]]s for [[love]].
In this way, "the patient's need and longing should be allowed to persist in her, in order to serve as forces impelling her to do work and to make changes."<ref>{{F}} "[[Works of Sigmund Freud|Observations on Transference Love]]," 1915a. [[SE]] XII, 165</ref>
==Jacques Lacan==
While [[Lacan]] agrees with [[Freud]] that the [[analyst]] must not gratify the [[analysand]]'s [[demand]]s for [[love]], he argues that this [[act]] of [[frustration]] is not to be seen as an end in itself.
Rather, [[frustration]] must be seen simply as a means to enable the [[signifier]]s of previous [[demand]]s to appear.
<blockquote>"The analyst is he who supports the demand, not, as has been said, to frustrate the subject, but in order to allow the signifiers in which his frustration is bound up to reappear."<ref>{{E}} p. 255</ref></blockquote>
The aim of the [[analyst]] is, by supporting the [[analysand]]'s [[demand]]s in a state of [[frustration]], to go beyond [[demand]] and cause the [[analysand]]'s [[desire]] to appear.<ref>{{E}} p. 276</ref>
[[Lacan]] differs from [[Freud]] in the way he theorizes the rule of [[frustration|abstinence]].
For [[Freud]], the rule of [[frustration|abstinence]] primarily concerned the [[analysand]]'s [[frustration|abstinence]] from sexual activity; if a [[patient]] implores the [[analyst]] to make [[love]] to her, the [[analyst]] must [[frustrate]] her by refusing to do so.
While [[Lacan]] agrees with this advice, he stresses that there is a much more common [[demand]] that the [[analyst]] can also [[frustrate]] -- the [[analysand]]'s [[demand]] for a reply.
The [[analysand]] expects the [[analyst]] to follow the rules of everyday [[communication|conversation]].
By refusing to follow these rules -- remaining silent when the [[analysand]] asks a question, or taking the [[analysand]]'s [[word]]s in a way other than that in which they were intended -- the [[analyst]] has a powerful means at his disposal for [[frustrating]] the [[analysand]].
There is another way that the [[analyst]] [[frustrates]] the [[analysand]] which [[Lacan]] mentions in 1961.
This is the [[analyst]]'s refusal to give the [[sign]]al of [[anxiety]] to the [[analysand]] - -the [[absence]] of [[anxiety]] in the [[analyst]] at all times, even when the [[analysand]] [[demand]]s that the [[analyst]] experience [[anxiety]].
[[Lacan]] suggests that this may be the most fruitful of all forms of [[frustration]] in [[psychoanalytic treatment]].
The word frustration, now in common usage, refers to the state of someone who denies himself, or who is denied, drive satisfaction.

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