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The Real of Lacan in the Treatment of Psychosis

The Letter, Issue 55/56, Spring/Summer 2014, Pages 65 - 73


Christian Fierens[1]

The concept of lack in Lacanian theory leads to the Lacanian Real. How can the Real take the place of a conception of psychosis as a lack in the Symbolic, thought of as foreclosure of the Name-of-the-father? Reality appears in connection with the possible. The Real is in connection with the impossible. The psychoanalytic discourse is the science of the Real in so far as it is touched in the meeting with the impossible. It is possible to focus on this Real in the approach to psychosis.

Keywords: lack; logic of the truth; logic of the way to err; borromean knot; the groove of the real; lack of resources; resilience

In 1908, Bleuler said ‘for the sake of further discussion I wish to emphasise that in Kraepelin’s dementia praecox it is neither a question of an essential dementia nor of necessary precociousness…’. For these two reasons, he introduced the word ‘schizophrenia’, the first of which consists in not taking the problem as a lack of an essential human element. The second reason consists in not placing the problem in a genetical conception.

The question is, how to approach psychosis? First of all, to not think of it in terms of deficiency. And then not in terms of genetics, neither physical nor psychological genetics.

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This double issue of The Letter sees the publication of the proceedings of the conference Treatment Challenges in Psychosis: Voices of


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