Laura’s Dora

22 September 2006 |

Freud's screamI am beginning to have doubts about psychoanalysis as a therapy. As a practice, it is still relevant to the aims of my research but the questions is, how long do I need to commit myself to treatment if I only want to find out how about the context in which treatment occurs.

I simply did not want to talk in today’s session. What does one do in that situation? Spend ¬£40 to lay on a couch and be silent? The fact that I talked non-stop, in a superficial and detached manner points the finger at the heart of my problem: my relationship to the Big Other and the relegation of my own desire. That, of course, is a self-diagnosis by someone that knows very little about psychoanalysis and even less about herself; or so it seems. The second uncomfortable moment came when I tried to make sense of the 11 sessions J‚Äî S‚Äî and I have been through by hinting at the fact that what I may be experiencing could be called hysteric symptoms. Surprisingly, I got an assertive answer, almost followed by a disclaimer. I confessed I had been reading Dora and perhaps, as an impressionable person, I had internalised some of the symptoms in my want for answers. J‚Äî S‚Äî said (kindly and calmly) that Dora was written very early on, very many studies and theories have followed this initial analysis.

What got me, like 10,000 volts electricity, wasthe fact that I am going to have to pick up these pieces in next week’s session. I seem to be opening more wounds than curing them. My symptoms remain the same and I feel I am going round and round in circles. I understand that psychoanalytic treatment requires time and commitment but what dawn on me yesterday was the fact that I may not be able to give precisely that at this stage (let alone the money side).

When my demande d’analyse shifted from the PhD towards my symptoms, I think I held hope for cure. The hope has now faded, leaving an untidy, arduous, rocky road of work to do to get o an unknown destination. Its funny that, knowing what I did about the clinical aspects of psychoanalysis, I thought my case was different… I’ll give treatment a chance, I’ll stop reading Dora, but stopping treatment also appears as one of the possible courses of action.

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