The Couch

30 May 2006 |

The couch is decidedly one of the weirdest experiences I have ever had. I do not think I can even begin to explain its strangeness without getting into theoretical frameworks around transference and the blind gaze or just plain clich?©s. I cannot say I liked it wholly, but I felt something intense after the experience and I am curious to continue. The silence of the analyst is one of the things that disturbed me the most. I almost forgot he was there and when he intervened, I kind of startled. Yet, I was not exactly talking to myself. Who was I talking to?

The idea of complete freedom is also quite disconcerting. What do I talk about? How do I start something circular though something linear? I wish I could talk about many things at one time, have many voices, keep various strands going at the same time, make a 3D picture of what I want to say.

A third disturbing element is the fact that there’s no time to wind down. When J— S— told me “this is all our time for today”, I was in a kind of trance and cannot quite picture how I got to the train station. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata and recalling what ballet reverences felt like helped me to let go.

I am beginning to find parallels between the analysis situation and the art gallery. This, of course, is nothing new. Samuels*, Leader** and others have already hinted at this connection. They have done so, however, from the position of the analyst. Indeed, Samuels even goes to the extreme of stating that Art is like Lacan’s discourse of the analyst*** except in the issue of knowledge production, something I definitely want to challenge.


* Samuels, R (1995) Art and the position of the analyst. In Feldstein, R; Fink, B & Jaanus, M. Reading Seminar XI: Lacan’s four fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis. Albany: State University of New York Press.

** Leader D (2002) Stealing the Mona Lisa: what art stops us from seeing. Washington D.C: Shoemaker & Hoard.

*** Discourse of the Analyst:

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