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Jacques Lacan – Psychoanalysis and the Formation of the Psychiatrist


Issue 47 (Summer 2011)


This talk given by Lacan as a contribution to a program of lectures for trainee psychiatrists deals with the place of psychoanalysis in the formation of the psychiatrist, with the treatment of the psychotic as its central theme. The anxiety experienced by the psychiatrist when confronted by ‗the madman‘ is seen as a factor in the poverty of contemporary psychiatry in the production of new nosological categories of mental illness. Hence a reliance on the 19th century classifications of Kraepelin and de Clérambault and an increasing dependence on pharmacology – this already in 1967. Other aspects of psychoanalysis which Lacan deems as being important to the clinic are discussed with an emphasis on listening to – rather than understanding- the discourse of the psychotic.


Keywords: formation; madman; anxiety; mass effects; o-object; unconscious; language.  


I thank you for having come, like that, in such numbers. I am going to try to make this temporary cohabitation not too disagreeable, given this kind of collective attention that you are good enough to give me. …

Psychoanalysis and the Formation of the Psychiatrist

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