Throughout their teachings, both Freud and Lacan approached anxiety as a privileged affect in human experience. Freud developed two distinct and apparently contradictory theories on anxiety. From the very beginning, he linked its emergence to the question of sexuality. Lacan, in turn, devoted an entire Seminar to it, in the early 60s. He affirmed, contrary to existing definitions, that anxiety "is not without an object". He added that it is "the only affect which does not deceive".
These different approaches to anxiety allow for different ways of linking it with desire, the symptom, and the real. How to recognize anxiety? How to treat it?
This seminar will introduce the psychoanalytic theorization of anxiety in various moments of Freud's and Lacan's works, and their clinical implications.
Florencia F.C. Shanahan is a Psychoanalyst and Senior Clinical Psychologist in Dublin. Member of ICLO (Irish Circle of the Lacanian Orientation), the NLS (New Lacanian School) and the WAP (World Association of Psychoanalysis), and Analyst of the School One (AS - 2019/2022). She is the current editor of The Lacanian Review Online.
The Freudian unconscious is not defined on the basis of consciousness but on the basis of speech. Freud’s discovery of the unconscious was founded on the fact that the dreams, slips, and symptoms he encountered in his practice meant something, that they were driven by a wanting-to-say. The Freudian unconscious is an unconscious that speaks, that speaks the truth.
Lacan goes a step further by placing the unconscious among the four fundamental concepts of psychoanalysis.
Speaking of the unconscious, Lacan speaks of the subject: the subject of the unconscious.
At this point of his teaching, it is not a question of reality but of truth, of the truth elaborated by the subject. It is not the question of what is there, but of the manner in which what is there is spoken of. This is why Lacan, in speaking of the Unconscious, introduces the word subject; so that it will not be confused with objects and facts.
To speak of the subject of the unconscious implies speaking of a subject confronted with his lack of being. The introduction to the unconscious is also an introduction to the lack of being of the subject: the subject confronted with what escapes from him, with what repeats and what imposes itself despite himself.
This seminar, guided by the teaching of Jacques-Alain Miller, offers three meetings on the introduction to Lacanian psychoanalysis, and to the question of the unconscious in the teaching of Jacques Lacan.
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