The Practice of Lacanian Psychoanalysis lays out an Aristotelian framework to account for the different types of knowing and not-knowing operative in the theory and practice of psychoanalysis.
The book proposes a new model for diagnosis, giving preference to fewer over more diagnoses, and seeks to better organize them by distinguishing between structure and surface symptoms. It examines many principles of Lacanian clinical practice, including different types of frames and evidence, the practice of citation and listening, the resistance and desire of the analyst, transference love as a metaphor, the role of negative transference at the end of analysis, and the identification with the sinthome as Lacan’s last formulation regarding the end of analysis. The text also proposes that there are three forms of love and hate based on the works of Lacan and Winnicott.
Underpinned by extensive practical knowledge of the clinic and case examples for clinicians, analysts, and practicing Lacanian analysts, this book should be of interest to academics, scholars, and clinicians alike.
The third annual Days of the Assembly of the Lacanian School met via Zoom this past May, providing a welcome occasion for contact in the early months of the pandemic, as well as an unprecedented gathering of members from far-ranging parts of the world. Extending over three days (May 16, 17, and 24, 2020), the Days featured numerous Palimpsest presentations and one Passage, marking the transitions of eight Pre-Candidates who became Candidates-Analysts of the School and one Candidate-Analyst who became an Analyst of the School. Each presentation brought forth something of the singularity of the desire of the speaking being, as members engaged in individual acts of inscription and were received by the School, its questions and words of welcome. While we regretted that we could not continue our conversations over morning coffee, afternoon hikes, dinner gatherings and outings to nearby jazz clubs, the constraint of gathering virtually facilitated listening that extended across time zones and into as many locations as there were members present, in an experience that recalled that, as Lacan taught, speech itself brings the body. The 2020 Days of the Assembly thus continued the tradition of assembling annually to offer a time and a space for knowledge coming from the unconscious and for the collective exploration of the theoretical and clinical stakes of that knowledge.
“Covering everything from Aristotle to zombies to Breaking Bad, Carol Owens and Stephanie Swales have written a masterpiece unlocking the secrets of ambivalence. In Psychoanalyzing Ambivalence with Freud and Lacan, they demonstrate that ambivalence is perhaps the central category in social relations. The need for this book is especially urgent today, in an era characterized by its various ways of refusing ambivalence, which are, Owens and Swales make clear, ways of refusing the price of interacting with others altogether. Psychoanalyzing Ambivalence with Freud and Lacan speaks to the contemporary political catastrophe better than any book I’ve read.” –Todd McGowan, Professor, University of Vermont, USA
Taking a deep dive into contemporary Western culture, this book suggests we are all fundamentally ambivalent beings. A great deal has been written about how to love—to be kinder, more empathic, a better person, and so on. But trying to love without dealing with our ambivalence, with our hatred, is often a recipe for failure. Any attempt, therefore, to love our neighbour as ourselves—or even, for that matter, to love ourselves—must recognize that we love where we hate and we hate where we love.
Psychoanalysis, beginning with Freud, has claimed that to be in two minds about something or someone is characteristic of human subjectivity. Owens and Swales trace the concept of ambivalence through its various iterations in Freud and Lacan in order to question how the contemporary subject deals with its ambivalence. They argue that experiences of ambivalence are, in present-day cultural life, increasingly excised or foreclosed, and that this foreclosure has symptomatic effects at the individual as well as social levels. Owens and Swales examine ambivalence as it is at work in mourning, in matters of sexuality, in our enjoyment under neo-liberalism and capitalism. Above all, the authors consider how today’s ambivalent subject relates to the racially, religiously, culturally, or sexually different neighbour as a result of the current societal dictate of complete tolerance of the other. In this vein, Owens and Swales argue that ambivalence about one’s own jouissance is at the very roots of xenophobia.
Peppered with relevant and stimulating examples from clinical work, film, television, politics and everyday life, Psychoanalysing Ambivalence breathes new life into an old concept and will appeal to any reader, academic or clinician with an interest in psychoanalytic ideas.
Moncayo’s collection of essays accomplishes what Roland Barthes would call a “bathmology”—a science of degrees—within the field of psychoanalysis. Precisely because he does not separate Lacan from Freud, Freud from Darwin, or Lacan from Winnicott, he multiplies illuminating distinctions. With a curiosity that knows no bounds, he probes boundaries between concepts and offers crucial distinctions, like the opposition between pure and applied psychoanalysis. Here, it seems, we can have both at once, all the while knowing their difference.
Jean-Michel Rabaté, University of Pennsylvania and American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Psychosis, an invasion of mind and body from without, creates an enigma about what is happening and thrusts the individual into radical isolation. What are the subjective details of such experiences? This book explores psychosis as knowledge cut off from history, truth that cannot be articulated in any other form. Delusion is a new language made of ‘incandescent alphabets’ that the psychotic adopts from imposed voices. The psychotic uses language in a singular way to found and explain a strange experience that he or she cannot exit. Through the exegesis of language in psychosis based on first person accounts, the book orients readers to an enigmatic Other, pervasive and inescapable, that will come to inhabit every aspect of the psychotic’s being, thought and bodily experience. Drawing on the author’s own experience of psychosis and psychoanalysis, as well as conversations with analyst colleagues, Dr Rogers offers ways to listen to language in delusion, and argues for the promise of a modified psychoanalytic treatment with psychosis.
‘This extraordinary book about psychosis as an encounter and relationship with language draws the reader in through a narrative that shows us how lacking mainstream psychiatric and psychoanalytic diagnostic categories are. Incandescent Alphabets is an amazing conceptual and poetic alternative that makes of the experience of psychosis an illuminated manuscript from which readers learn about the author, the people she works with, and about themselves.’
–– Ian Parker, psychoanalyst and author of Psychology after Psychoanalysis: Psychosocial Studies and Beyond