Working With Trauma (Lessons from Bion and Lacan) – 2012 Marilyn Charles

p. 6  (2012. Plymouth, United Kingdom, Jason Aronson)

“Keeping in mind the importance of the Subject of the inquiry in this way may be Lacan’s fundamental offering to the clinician.   Felman S. (1987. Jacques Lacan and the Adventure of Insight. Cambridge, MA:  Harvard University Press.) notes that at the heart of Lacan is an invitation to recognize our own alienation from ourselves.  From this vantage point, we might be able to become more interested in discovering ourselves so that we can better answer questions about the desires that might guide our way if we can recognize them and take them seriously.  Lacan invites us to notice how easily and treacherously we can become lost while trying to figure out what is wanted from us such that we neglect the more important task of trying to discover what it is that we ourselves, actually desire.  So, at the core of this volume, you will find Lacan’s notion of the Subject caught by the desire of the Other.  We will use this concept as a checkpoint, a reminder to pause and wonder to what extent we are being true to ourselves, our values, and our understanding of human beings in our work.  If we truly believe in a subject-to-subject model of psychotherapy, it is crucial to be able to consider to what extent we are modelling those values or whether we are deferring our own authority to some unnamed or unknown Other.”


How shocking is that?  Think for one instant, about the role of the Big Other in my mind.  What do I really think, feel, believe, value?  What do I do in response to the demands of the Big Other in my mind?  Have I ever had an independent thought?  Or am I constantly scanning, conforming, humouring, impressing, obeying, performing, rejecting, seducing — in my mind of course?  Is it possible to have an Independent Thought?  In A Mind of One’s Own where is the line between Me and The Big Other?  ‘What is wanted from me?’ – not – ‘What is it that ‘I’ want?’  Is What I want? –  only to know what is wanted from me?  Or is there something else?  Do I want more or differently – than merely to anticipate and obey what is wanted from me?  To be or not to be – to think or not to think –  very serious questions.

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