From No Subject - Encyclopedia of Psychoanalysis
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training (formation, didactique) The English word 'training' is used

to translate two French terms used by Lacan: analyse didactique ('training

analysis') and formation ('professional training').

  • .'Training analysis' (Fr. analyse didactique) By the time Lacan began

traming as an analyst, in the 1930s, it had become established practice in the

International Psycho-Analytical Association (IPA) to make a distinction

between 'therapeutic analysis' and 'training analysis' (this distinction is still

maintained by the IPA today). In the context of this distinction, the term

'therapeutic analysis' refers to a course of analytic treatment entered into by

the analysand for the purpose of treating certain symptoms, whereas the terni

'training analysis' refers exclusively to a course of analytic treatment entered

into by the analysand for the purpose of training as an analyst. According to

the rules governing all the societies affiliated to the IPA, all members must first

undergo a training analysis before being allowed to practise as analysts.

However, an analysis is only recognised as a training analysis by these

societies if it is conducted by one of the few senior analysts designated as a

'training analyst', and if it is embarked upon purely for the purpose of training.

     This institutional distinction between training analysis and therapeutic

analysis became one of the main objects of Lacan's criticism. While Lacan

agrees with the IPA that it is absolutely necessary to undergo psychoanalytic

treatment if one wants to become an analyst, he firmly disagrees with the

artificial distinction drawn between therapeutic analysis and training analysis.

For Lacan, there is only one form of the analytic process, irrespective of the

 reason for which the analysand embarks upon treatment, and the culmination

of that process is not the removal of symptoms but the passage from analysand

to analyst (see END OF ANALYSIS).

     All analyses are thus capable of producing an analyst, and all claims by

institutions to say which analyses count as training and which do not are

bogus, for 'the authorisation of an analyst can only come from himself'

(Lacan, 1967: 14). Lacan therefore abolishes the distinction between thera-

peutic analysis and training analysis; all analyses are training analyses, at least

potentially. 'There is only one kind of psychoanalysis, the training analysis'

(S11, 274). Today, many Lacanians have dispensed with both the term

'therapeutic analysis' and the term 'training analysis', preferring to use the

term personal analysis (a term Lacan himself uses occasionally; see S8, 222) to

designate any course of analytic treatment.

 e    The training of analysts (Fr. formation des analystes)          This refers to the

process by which people learn how to conduct psychoanalytic treatment, i.e.

how to be analysts. For Lacan, this is not simply a process that analysts go

through at the beginning of their professional life, but an ongoing process.

There are two sources from which analysts learn how to conduct psycho-

analytic treatment: their own experience of treatment (first as patients, then

 as analysts), and the experience of others which is transmitted to them via

psychoanalytic theory. Lacan insists that the most fundamental of these

 sources is the analyst's       own experience of psychoanalytic treatment as a

patient. However, this does not excuse the analyst from having to learn a lot

 more besides; Lacan's syllabus for the training of analysts is very extensive,

and includes literature, linguistics, mathematics and history (E, 144-5). The

analyst must seek to become, as Freud was, 'an encyclopedia of the arts and

muses' (E, 169). This broad curriculum is evident in Lacan's public seminar

which is filled with incursions into philosophy, topology, logic, literature and

linguistics - all of which Lacan regards as essential to the training of analysts.

     It is worth noting that the English term 'training' is nuanced rather differ-

ently to the French term formation. Whereas the English term carries connota-

tions of a formal programme, or a bureaucratic structure, the French term

(especially in Lacan's work) connotes a process which alters the subject in the

very kernel of his being, and which cannot be regulated by set ritualistic

procedures nor guaranteed by a printed qualification.