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Stephanie Metcalfe – What Freud Allowed the Hysteric to Teach him


The Letter Issue 66-67 (Autumn 2017/Spring 2018) Pages 37-45


This paper aims to look at how, through working with hysterical patients, Freud developed the revolutionary technique of psychoanalysis which allowed the patient to both make sense of her symptom and enabled her to find a way of resolving it through speech. The way is paved for a relief through speaking because, as Freud demonstrates, each symptom is constituted symbolically. His humility of approach and willingness to learn from his patients is striking. Lacan follows in Freud’s footsteps and impresses on us the importance of listening to what in the patient is struggling to be heard. In this way, in attempting to deal with the past, we are given the opportunity to approach the future differently, having transformed the Imaginary via the Real through working in the Symbolic. 


Keywords: Symptom; hysteria; psychoanalysis; symbolism; transference; he hustera

What Freud Allowed the Hysteric to Teach him

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