ICLO-NLS Testimony of the Pass by Anne Lysy & Clinical Conversation
Dublin, 16th April 2011
The fourth of the ICLO-NLS Clinical Conversations for 2010/2011 took place in Dublin on Saturday 16th April with Anne Lysy (ECF, NLS, AS) as guest speaker. The topic of the event being“End(s) of Analysis”, it was the occasion to witness the testimony of an Analyst of the School in function for the first time in Ireland.
The morning session began with a brief introduction from Alan Rowan (ICLO, NLS), who introduced the notion that what the subject reaches at the end of an analysis is not the dissolution of his/her symptom but rather a form of impasse, one that evokes the non-rapport of human sexuality - what Freud termed “the bedrock of castration”.
Quoting Jacques-Alain Miller, Alan noted how in considering “ends” one must - somewhat paradoxically – also consider analysis that may be without end – even if such analysis may include breaks/interruptions and thus “endings” in one sense. In such cases the analyst consents to the use that the analysand makes of him/her. For example, for the psychotic, analysis may provide a suppletion to the Name-of-the-Father. For the neurotic, it may be used as a kind of subjective “washing through” of pain, conflict or trauma allowing the individual to make sense of and orient himself in life. For some analysands, analysis may become something enjoyed, a source of jouissance that may come to a point of termination with one analyst only to begin again with another.
Moreover, there is a sense in which analysis is, in any case, never ending. Here a distinction exists between the ending of a cure or treatment and the ending of the analytic process. Usually there is an introjection of this process - something an analysand cannot escape from - even after the treatment finishes.
Alan concluded by noting that for Lacan it was necessary to found a School in order that the concept of training analysis could be proposed and examined - the procedure of the “pass” being introduced to this end. Through the “pass” there is a transmission of, and testimony to, the subject’s singular experience of analysis and the desire it produces. As Lacan pointed out the path of analysis is not to identification but to destitution, to how the subject “makes do with” both the “too much” of jouissance and the identity bearing signifiers of the Other, and their knotting together.
Anne Lysy said that in her paper she wished to speak about what the Pass is and of her own experience of analysis and the pass. She commented that an unveiling takes place when one speaks of one’s own analysis, that it is not a “showing off” but rather a transmission of something that could be valuable to others and to psychoanalysis itself. In the Pass, the analysand arrives at what he/she thinks is the end of analysis, gives a singular account of his/her own journey and testifies to what it has produced. The individual tells this to two people, separately, who then pass it on to a committee who represent, in effect, the Other (the School). The analyst is a product of his/her own analysis, over and above his/her formation, learning, the moment of becoming a practicing analyst, etc. There is a difference between the desire of the analyst and the desire to be/work as an analyst.
The Pass has a retroactive function; it is a speaking about something after it has occurred.
The Pass can be thought of as having a threefold structure. Anne refers here to Jacques-Alain Millers distinction of pass 1, pass 2 and pass 3. Pass 1 is an event in the analysis itself. Pass 2 is the procedure during which the “passant” is speaking about his/her analysis to two “passers”, who themselves transmit to the “jury”, who work on this filtered material and decide to nominate or not the “passant” as Analyst of the School (AS). Pass 3 is the AS speaking about the other two moments, after the nomination. The Pass however is not a metalanguage, a translation; there is always a gap between these three passes, something is lost.
For Lacan analysis is a process of two dimensions - time and changes. An analysis has a beginning and an end, both are knotted and in between there is a duration, it lasts a number of years but cannot be counted just in terms of years, there is a subjective dimension and an investment. What is in question can also be described in terms of logical time: seeing, comprehending, concluding; recognising thereby what does and does not change. It is not just about building the story of one’s analysis. The Pass is a construction, an interpretation by the subject of his/her analysis, the unconscious and transference, and the pass is also an act.
Next, Anne detailed her experience of analysis, with three analysts, over thirty years. In response to her own question as to why it lasted so long, she spoke of particular points of continuing and of discontinuing. She ended her analysis at the point of realising that there is no last word and that she must stop free-associating and face up to the consequences of the end. At her starting point, aged 24, there was suffering at the level of love and sex. Caught in complicated relationships, she questioned how to be a woman. The words of each of her parents had had an effect on her and her attempt to position herself as woman. She chose to begin an analysis with a man, she wanted to “see clearly” and speak well. This first analysis lasted seven years, and though much has been forgotten she constructed, through it, the Oedipal romance. Her parents’ love was long lasting and loyal but also transmitted an enigma to her. A year into this analysis she met the man she would marry.
Anne left this analysis at the time she decided to work as an analyst. The second analysis was with a female analyst. During this analysis, her question about being a girl, a woman and mother was deflated. Anne herself became a mother. This brought her question about the ideal woman to an end and the question of a woman who suffers arose. Her analyst leaving the School she has been a member of was one of the factors that led Anne to, immediately after, begin her third analysis, this time with a man, but this no longer mattered.
As Anne’s paper come to a close, she spoke of how the questions of this last analysis centred around dealing with the remainder, how to support or bear all that this implied alongside the impossibilities of both a bond and a separation. This analyst was very different from the other two, he disturbed all of the previous constructions. In introducing a new element to a screen memory, Anne thus realised, through the analyst’s interpretation, the reverse side of being her father’s favourite. She continued for a couple of years but spoke in a different manner, she experienced another side of language, the language that hurts, that marks the body. This third analysis was a movement towards detachment. Thanks to interpretation, it highlighted her enjoyment, her sacrifices and the effects of a “ravage”. Anne stated she came to a very difficult point here, suspended above an abyss. A solution was found. The name “ runner” was extracted1 and the detachment of the stake made her a liana curling around a void.
Anne’s talk, which lasted for two hours, was extraordinary, passionate and full of details that go well beyond what can indicated in a summary such as this.
In the afternoon session, two clinical cases were presented by Joanne Conway (ICLO) and Rik Loose (ICLO) which afforded us the opportunity to work through some of the concepts presented earlier. The first case, in which the treatment has not yet come to an end, was one of psychosis. It described the subject’s difficulty around the question of inside and outside, the quest for a name to support him and the signifiers chosen to contain jouissance while providing some symbolic positioning. The second case, spoke of the effect of the gaze on a particular subject. It described paranoia, voyeuristic tendencies, sexual failure and a fascination with women. The question arose about the subject’s structure - there appears to be no subjective division, no veil, when he looks he does not exist but he becomes the gaze.
In response to both cases, and in conclusion to the event, Anne spoke of how the analyst becomes a multifunctional object and finds a way to accompany the subject on his/her path. A second aspect of the discussion concerned the importance of differentiating what is a symptom from what is not in relation to determining structure.
Nearly sixty people attended what constituted a true event for Psychoanalysis of the Lacanian Orientation in Ireland.
ICLO-NLS extends its sincere thanks to Anne Lysy for her presence and valued contribution.
Report written by Carmel Dalton (ICLO)1 Cf. Hurly-Burly.