mercoledì 31 agosto 2016

Various reflections arising from my practice


In psychoanalisys one should avoid to give explanations. Either they are accepted or rejected (which is different than saying they are "correct" or "wrong") most likely they will only produce more resistance. Explanations operate at the level of the Ego.

To "explain" comes from "to make plain, to level, flatten". Indeed, full explanations (if anything like this exist) clear the question, flatten any doubts, speculations or curiosity. Consequence of a good explanation is that "there is nothing more to say". Conversely, the psychoanalytic experience shows that important is to continue speaking, telling, questioning, coming to new associations.


Imaginary is not where ‪‎neurosis begins. Impossible the life without fantasy. Neurosis is the ‪‎fixation of some specific fantasy


‪‎Anorexic wants one thing: nothing. It is different from not wanting anything.

‪‎Bulimics eat anything, only to see that nothing is valuable. Nothing makes the difference

Why me?

Some say "Why me?" Is a typical jewish question. Asking "why me" has to do not just with one's own representation (e.g. the elected people; the culprit; etc) but most importantly with whom lies in the place of the Other. Often times this is a God, meaning it is to a God this question is frequently addressed to

Christ was the first to ask "Why (have you abandoned) me?". Then, this question has a different nuance and different relevance for Jewish and for Christians.

In the Old Testament, the story of Job beautifully presents some elements of the depressive discourse. To begin with, the search for meaning


It is a common experience that academic learning kills curiosity and creativity. The huge amount of information one has to study rarely provide new clues or ideas or bring to formulate further questions; after studying one easily feels full of knowledge but emptied of creative thinking and unable to make use of that knowledge. Instead, psychoanalysis proceeds by way of association, by combinatorial logic, by following the ambiguity of the signifier; it does not operate by way of explanation or clarification, but still there are effects of understanding. And this brings to new associations, new thoughts, new ideas, new questions.

Gaining ‪‎knowledge is not what support or enhance the ‪‎desire and rarely produce a ‪‎change in ‪‎psychoanalysis


Psychoanalysis is not about factual (or philosophical, or logical) truth. Nevertheless, it is about truth.

How does psychoanalysis work? This question can be approached in many ways. For example, we can say that psychoanalysis works by changing linkers (e.g. whereas, therefore, despite) and connectors (e.g. although, but, because) among sentences

Contrary to psychology and psychotherapy, in psychoanalysis no academic certificates/titles can guarantee the goodness of our practice

Psychoanalysis is not a religion and does not require to be a "believer". Quite on the contrary, an analysis proceeds from uncertainties

I first presented these few considerations on my Facebook/Twitter pages. You are invited to follow me (Diego Busiol)


  • Psychoanalytic training is essential, and virtually never-ending. However, an analyst should develop faith in the speech more than confidence in his/her skills

  • In psychoanalysis we (as analysts) see well that the operator (what makes the analysis possible) is the speech, more than the psychoanalyst.

  • In the psychoanalytic conversation, an analysand talks to an analyst. However, a psychoanalyst should be aware that s/he is not the final addressee of the analysand’s communication, and so the analyst is not simply supposed to answer.

  • A psychoanalyst is called to occupy a position that is not always gratifying (Freud assimilated the figure of the analyst to the surgeon whose only concern is for the operation s/he has to execute), and still is determined to hold that position and carry on the analysis.

  • A person who believes him/herself a psychoanalyst is a fool. A (speech) act is defined as psychoanalytic only by the effects it produces

  • A person who believes him/herself a psychoanalyst is a fool. One can be a psychoanalyst only if there is Other

  • Saying "analyst's discourse" or even "psychoanalytic discourse" is hilarious; in fact, they are both paradoxical. The psychoanalyst should have no discourse at all. Similarly, psychoanalysis functions well as analysis of a discourse, but it is not a discourse itself. Psychoanalysis emphasizes the speech over the discourse.

  • A person who believes him/herself a psychoanalyst is a fool. One can be a psychoanalyst only if there is Other.

  • A person who believes him/herself a psychoanalyst is a fool. "Psychoanalyst" describes a position in a discourse, not an academic degree or an expertise

I first presented these few considerations on my Facebook/Twitter pages. You are invited to follow me (Diego Busiol)


  • Mourning shows that nothing is dead and that things do not come to an end. Mourning indicates the immortal.

  • Mourning indicates the itinerary, or the process, rather than locations or destinations.

  • Avoidance of mourning leads to see things as dead or perishable: all can be damaged or contamined; all come to an end; places are dead.

  • Mourning shows that the death cannot be represented as the end. Mourning indicates the immortal psychoanalysis

  • In this interesting study, gamblers were described as having "unresolved issues, which in the current sample appeared to be exacerbated by the lack of opportunities for grieving, be it due to self-imposed standards, social expectations, or an overload of responsibilities". In particular, "several participants were found to have an inclination toward dismissing losses and/or minimizing the impact of losses". Even though the common sense would suggest that people gamble for winning, this research showed that "gambling outcomes were often found to be of little if any significance to the respondents, and winnings were frequently of minimal import or their value was short lived" and that "the main issue was not ignorance of gambling odds, but rather emotional struggles". Then, is gambling aiming at losing? Is the gambler repeating a (unresolved) loss?

I first presented these few considerations on my Facebook/Twitter pages. You are invited to follow me (Diego Busiol)


  • Fears of vomiting and seeing other vomiting: fantasy of becoming the subject, or the object of rejection

  • Repression cannot be repressed; not all can be put into places, there is a remainder. Vomiting indicates that the repressed is not the waste.

  • Fear of seeing others vomiting: fantasizing of (having no barriers protecting against) introjecting the other

  • Fear of vomiting: if refusing is (imagined as) impossible, then the refusal (what cannot be digested) comes back in the form of rejection

  • Fear of seeing others vomiting: fear of being invaded by the other. No barriers. The other cannot be refused: it must be introjected

  • Fear of seeing others vomiting: imagining of having no conrol over the rejection from the other.

I first presented these few considerations on my Facebook/Twitter pages. You are invited to follow me (Diego Busiol)


  • Listening in counseling (and psychotherapy): listening to (some)one. Listening in psychoanalysis: listening to the unconscious.

  • The aim of the psychoanalytic conversation is to reflect to the analysand his/her speech

  • Psychoanalytic listening: listening TO (the speech; associations) and listening FOR (lapses, contradictions, formations of the unconscious).

  • Psychoanalysis is not a sum of concepts or theories. Concepts and ideas are not originary; they do not come first. The "essence" of psychoanalysis is a very peculiar kind of listening. And this listening opens to theorization

  • One of my main interests of research concern the psychoanalytic listening: how can we define itor conceptualize it? It is a very broad and complex concept. The practice of the psychoanalytic listening can be extremely difficult (as t may seem, particularly at the beginning of a analysis) or extremely simple (as simple as understanding a Witz, a joke, for example). However, I came up identifying at least three dimensions of the psychoanalytic listening: 1) it aims at the unconscious; 2) it occurs best by the method of 'free floating attention'; 3) it is informed by an understanding of the 'transference'.

  • Psychoanalytic listening: non-comprehending (i.e. to seize/grasp completely) opens to a different understanding (what stands in between)

  • Psychoanalytic listening is not intentional. It grounds on free associations (of the analysand) and free floating attention (of the analyst)

  • While hearing is directed toward what is being said, (psychoanalytic) listening is directed toward what is not being said

I first presented these few considerations on my Facebook/Twitter pages. You are invited to follow me (Diego Busiol)


  • The term “gossip” has few origins. It used to indicate the group of a pregnant woman's female relatives and friends who gathered at her bedroom at the time of childbirth. Thus, it referred to a same-sex event. Same-sex, same-sexuality, meaning that the institution of the gossip does not recognize any difference. Gossip: “you” and “I” are on the same page. Essential for the gossip is that the two (or more) parties involved recognize themselves as similar and like-minded

  • Gossip is a sign of envy. Envy: the vision, the evil-eye. At the base of gossip is the (specular) image, thus the “I”

  • Gossip indicates a lack in the intellectual, cultural and scientific dimension. Gossip is the familiar and closed discourse. It is the common sense or common-place.

  • Gossip is knowledge about (and not “from”) the Other. Thus, gossip indicates one’s own fantasme

  • Gossip comes from God + sibb "relative" (e.g. sibling); the idea of belonging to the same group, the idea of bonding.

  • The gossip is a way for building a knowledge about the other; thus indicating that the Other is repressed

  • Gossip grounds on the idea that the “rapport sexuel” (see Lacan) is possible, the idea that we can do One with the other

I first presented these few considerations on my Facebook/Twitter pages. You are invited to follow me (Diego Busiol)

venerdì 26 agosto 2016

Interpretation and interpretive work

About a century ago, during its very early stage, psychoanalysis was mainly regarded as an interpretive work. This was probably due to the experience with hysterics, whose symptom can be said a metaphor. However, already the second and third generations of psychoanalysts observed that interpretation was losing its original power. On the one hand this was understood as a consequence of popularizing the psychoanalytical jargon, so that the psychoanalytic interpretation is no longer as "surprising" as it was. On the other hand, new symptoms seem to be structured differently than in "classic" hysteric discourse; more specifically, this shift in the discourse (in its grammar, in the use of its rethorical figures, in the syntax) has the effect that the interpretation (intended as simply a decryption of a language from one language into another) is no longer effective. In some cases interpretation is then useless; in other cases, interpretation might even be counterproductive, as it may lead to more resistances, saturation and/or opposition.

But then, what is the interpretation? How can we understand it? How can it still be useful to the analytical experience?

A few thoughts:

An effective ‪‎interpretation is an interpretation that produces new‪‎ associations.

‪‎Interpretation in ‪‎psychoanalysis is a ‪‎shift in the ‪‎sense or ‪‎meaning, not an addition of meaning.

Interpretation in psychoanalysis shows the paradox or nonsense. It is no decryption or decoding work.

Interpreting is likely the analyst 's desire, more than the analysand 's. This poses a limit to the analysis.

Various discourses (hysteric, obsessive, paranoid...) show different resistances to interpretive work

Hysteria anticipates and sustain the Other's desire, so it can provide unending material to interpret; as long as the other desires

Obsessive and paranoid discourses ground on huge Ego; thus, they are unlikely to accept different interpretation

giovedì 18 agosto 2016

Some thoughts on hysteria and obsessional discourse

There is an extensive psychoanalytic literature on hysteria and obsessional discourse. These are just some considerations arising from my clinical practice. 

  • In obsessional neurosis the father is fantasized as dead; however, as the neurotic cannot take his place, his death is not fully believed

  • Hysteria fantasizes of an ideal father; then, the real father always lacks of something.

  • The obsessional neurotic confounds symbolic and real father; then, s/he often questions and fantasizes about genealogy and heredity

  • Hysteria fantasizes of an ideal father; then, the real father always lacks of something.

  • One’s desire is the Other’s desire; however, as the Other is the dead father (in the obsessional neurosis), then the desire must be mortified

  • The obsessional discourse aims at anticipating and atisfying the Other, so as to prevent the Other from desiring. The Other shall not desire

  • The obsessional discourse represents the desire of the Other and aims at satisfying it completely, so that the Other stop desiring.

  • In the obsessional discourse the desire of the Other is perceived as a threath. Because it may reveal one's own lack.

  • In the obsessional discourse the desire (here perceived as a threat) is represented, with the aim to satisfy it and silence it

I first presented these few considerations on my Facebook/Twitter pages. You are invited to follow me (Diego Busiol)