Report: Clinical Conversation with Marie-Hélène Brousse – ICLO-NLS, Dublin, December 2010
Report on the ICLO-NLS Clinical Conversation with Marie-Hélène Brousse
Dublin, December 2010
The second of ICLO-NLS Clinical Conversations for 2010/11 took place in Dublin last Saturday 11thDecember with Marie-Hélène Brousseas guest speaker, the topic of the event being “Towards a Clinic of Objects”.
In the morning, Susan Mc Feely from ICLO presented a theoretical paper where she accounted for the notion of the object in Freud's work. Specifying that she was going to look at Freud's “Three essays...”, some of his works on metapsychology and the chapter on identification from “Group Psychology”, Susan approached the question of the object via the Freudian notion of Anlehnung(anaclisis) highlighting some of the impasses encountered by Freud throughout his theorization. Through exploring Freud's ideas on the object of the drive, object choice (narcissistic and anaclitic), object choice in men and women and the object in neuroses and psychoses, Susan interrogated many of the fundamental concepts in psychoanalysis, following their development and the blind alleys brought about by the object/subject dichotomy. The paper “The Object in Freud” will be soon published in the ICLO-NLS website under the rubric 'texts' (www.iclo-nls.org).
Marie-Hélène Brousse proposed to formalise some of the elements introduced by Susan's presentation from a double perspective: a) The problem of the subject/object in terms ofego/other, which Lacan solved by means of his 'mirror stage'; and b) The issue of the topology utilised to respond to the in/out problem, for which it wassuggested that Lacan's solution was to put language (which is both interior and exterior to the subject) back at the centre of the analytic experience.
MHB returned to Freud's definition of the drive object as “the most changeable aspect of the drive [...] originally it was not connected with the drive, but attaches itself only inconsequence of it being particularly adaptable fitted to achieve satisfaction”, in order toemphasize that at the very beginning of psychoanalysis lies the notion of a tendency that is not determined by an (interiorly programmed) object, and therefore radically separated from any (animal) instinct where there is 'no choice, no chance, no history'.
She then elaborated on the 'two pillars in the analytic experience, the formations of the unconscious and the drives (phantasy)” highlighting how they are not 'easily linked' and proposing that it is crucial to isolate those moments in the cure where a connection between speech and satisfaction is produced.
MHB resorted then to Lacan's notions of 'objectality' and 'extimity' to define how 'what we callobject in psychoanalysis has nothing to do with any objectivity', extracting from Lacan's Seminar X several clues to clinically conceive 'anxiety as theperfect detector of real objects'. She suggested that Lacan oriented himself to speak about the object by asking in which symptoms was the object central, and thus she continued with a precious exploration of a) phobia, b) perversion, c) mourning, d) anxiety and e) economy (market), and also commenting on mania.
By means of a reading 'to the letter' of some passages of Seminar X, MHB constructed the logic presented by Lacan to distinguish the object 'cause of desire' from the object desired by the subject'. This was followed by an extremely precise interpretation of Lacan's articulation of the five species of the object a with need, desire, demand, power and jouissance in the Other and a further distinction between the object as transitive, exchangeable, common and lost. The vicissitudes of the speaking being's experience in holding the dimensions of the body and language together were illustrated by many examples from the clinic and its outside, throughout the presentation.
The afternoon session allowed us to interrogate and to test some of the concepts previously worked on through two clinical cases presented by Carmel Dalton and Alan Rowan (ICLO). The first one introduced the question of the object and the symptom in anorexia within a neurotic structure. The second one, a case of psychosis on the schizophrenic pole, allowed for an interesting discussion about the operation of the analyst in psychosis and with regards to the object that the subject'carries in his pocket'.
Both cases demonstrated the paradox articulated by MHB, which moreover defines Lacan's orientation with regards to 'the objects': the object which is lost and from which only by separating the subject may conquer both his signifying 'identity' and a certain access to a 'relationship' remains, as such and by definition, outside of meaning [hors sens].
ICLO-NLS thanks Marie-Hélène Brousse for the invaluable traces already left in Ireland by her transmission of psychoanalysis.
Florencia Fernandez Coria Shanahan
Nouvelle École Lacanienne de Psychanalyse — New Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis
Association Mondiale de Psychanalyse – World Association of Psychoanalysis