Project Description

The analyst’s desire and the experience of the real




The author of this work carries out a theoretical-clinical perspective about the desire of the analyst and about the experience of the real in a psychoanalytical experience. For this, she takes both the Freudian perspective, as well as the developments of Jacques Lacan and the contributions of Jacques-Alain Miller in this regard. 

The work proposes a theoretical-clinical development of the path of an analysis, circumscribing the analyst’s desire as an operator that is extracted from that same experience. At the same time, the author raises the question about the formation of the analyst and the role of the School for it. And also she locates the device of the pass and its effects, based on her own experience.

Freudian clues

every time we try to define the analyst’s desire, it seems that something eludes us, but this difficulty is not only attributable to our ineptitude but also to its own conformation, to that which makes it at some point elusive.

It is also one of the reasons why following their tracks in the teaching of Freud and Lacan becomes an adventure that captivates us so much.

Around the hole in the knowledge regarding what an analyst is, Lacan constituted his School. The analyst’s desire arises from this hole.

Freud taught us that a psychoanalysis is a practice that is not reduced to a technique. Although he took care to communicate his “advice”, he always made it clear that the analyst is “formed” in an incomplete way, there are remains. The analyst has to get rid of the desire and illusion to heal, to get rid of the furor curandis linked to therapeutics.

In Analysis terminable and interminable (Freud, 1937 [1997]) he questions the «aptitude» to occupy the place of the analyst: «Where and how will the poor devil acquire that ideal aptitude that he lacks in his profession?» (p. 250). The German word for «aptitude» is eignung: professional suitability. But then, it is tauglich (Delgado, 2012) that alludes to a know-how referred to its own analysis. He points out that it is in his own analysis that he begins his preparation for his future activity. It is through the firm conviction in the existence of the unconscious, the perception of the repressed, a successful instinctual recomposition and analytical technique, that he acquires the aptitude.

Innsist on that the analyst must be warned about the danger of himself acting as an obstacle in the cure. There will always be insufficient results, incurable «remnants» that can be relaunched and promoted by the same practice and intrude on analytic work.

There is no doubt about the ethical position that Freud had before the problem of the desire of the Other, he shows that he was a “man of desire”.

His recommendation to analysts to resume analysis every five years is based on the conviction that analyzing is one of the “impossible” professions along with governing and educating.

The analyst’s desire as an operator

Lacan insistently took care to separate the desire to «be» a psychoanalyst from the desire of the analyst. There is no «being of the analyst», it is in that place of identification that Lacan locates a void. It is not known what an analyst is.

We can say that psychoanalysis is a “praxis” that tries to “treat the real through the symbolic” (Lacan, 1964 [2007], p. 14), we read in Lacan’s teaching his concern for a formation oriented by an ethics to the height of the psychoanalysis that he proposes, that is, oriented by the real. In this sense, it proposes a leaky formation, with vanishing points, and an analyst that will be mainly the result of its own analysis. It is an analyst who may come. Not as a technician, not as a theoretician. He is someone who participates in the experience he practices. In what capacity? Operator of the same.

«What must the analyst’s desire be for it to operate correctly?» (Lacan, 1964 [2007], pp. 17-18). We can assert that the analyst’s desire is an operator of the experience oriented by the Real. Without your presence, without your participation, there is no analysis. The analyst’s desire involves enunciation but it only works if he comes there in the x position, that is, if he holds an enigma. It is the bet that is played in the transfer.

The analyst penetrates, crushes the meaning. And in the end, the fall of the identifications reveals the de-being. The analyst’s interpretation points to de-identification, to the edge of enjoyment and impacts on the symptom. Those S1 to which the subject identifies are undone. The desire to obtain the reduction of the identifications is opposed to what they proposed in the IPA as a way out of the analysis from the perspective of identifying the patient to some features of his analyst.

“… Psychoanalysis goes against the identifications of the subject, it undoes them one by one, makes them fall like the layers of an onion. For this reason, it restores the subject to its primordial emptiness ” (Laurent, 2003, p. 112). Which, however, does not imply an absolute resignation because some identification is always better to protect us from madness.

Lacan places in 1964 that the desire function of the analyst implies obtaining the maximum distance between the Ideal and the object, the absolute difference, the most singular. It is about making operative the distance between the ideal, that we know can crush the subject when he is running behind him, and the object that, once isolated and extracted, indicates the jouissance that is our own. In this sense Lacan refers to Identification to the symptom, this implies detaching oneself from the Other and extracting the marks of saying in the Un-body. It is the identification to the most singular and opaque of the subject’s enjoyment «with a certain distance». It is an identification without an Other, that is why Miller (2013) calls it sinthomal identity (p. 140).

In the 1967 Proposition, Lacan, when speaking of how the analysand comes to the place of the analyst, refers to the end of analysis when desire passes to know. This is the Pass in the version of the ghost crossing. Desire becomes a being of the know and in this transformation the phantom dissipates.

In my own experience, it has taken me decades to obtain that «operative distance» that rescued me from the honey of the phantom and made it possible for me to cross that «thick shadow» Lacan mentions in his Proposition when he refers to the phantom.

During analysis there is a transformation from the horror of knowing about the cause, of that which represents us in the most intimate part of jouissance, to the desire to know. The beyond of that moment is called sinthome and alludes to a «knowing how to do there». It is in the Passsynthome that we try to show how knowledge passes into life.

In my case, the analytic operation succeeded in deconstructing that relation to the know in which the «retention» was at stake, what escaped through a sieve, knowing everything or nothing, and it made possible the encounter with the hole in the know, S(Ⱥ).

However, it is not so simple for the analyst to operate correctly. At the end of his teaching, in Seminar 25 The Moment of Concluding (Lacan, 1977-1978, unpublished) he refers again to the analyst’s desire when he asks himself how it is convenient to «operate». It would be excessive to say that the analyst knows how to operate, but it is necessary «that he knows how to operate conveniently, that is to say that he is aware of the slope of the words for his analysand, what he unquestionably ignores» (Lacan, 1977-1978, unpublished). To follow the slope of the analysand’s words it is necessary not to become entangled with one’s own, to have separated ourselves from the jouissance of the phantom and from the identifications that commanded our lives in order to make ourselves the cause of the desire of an analysand. He also states there, a few pages later, that the desire of the analyst is the Subject «supposed-knowing-reading in otherwise» (Lacan, 1977-1978, unpublished) and refers to the illegible. Both reading and writing are articulated to the impossible. In this perspective I think that the desire of the analyst is formed by the experience of the real, by the encounter with those holes.

The hard desire to mourn the object

In his seminar Transference (Lacan, 1960-1961 [2011]) he states that it is around mourning that the desire of the analyst is centered. It is not by chance that he speaks of this in the seminar dedicated to transference since he uses the object a as an agalma of the essence of desire.

Let us recall that Freud proposes transference neurosis as an artifice in which the analyst is inserted in the «psychic series» and occupies the place of object for the analysand. Its resolution sanctions the end of the analysis.

Eric Laurent (2018) took up these issues by posing with respect to the desire of the analyst that, for an AE to occur, there has to be this hard desire to duel the object. On the one hand, the analysand isolates in the analytic work the objects a that he is cropping out in the experience, for example at the level of the phantom. In the construction and the crossing of the phantom, he yields and loses jouissance. The crossing of the phantom is a moment of clinical passage, of rupture of the elements of the phantom $ and the object a. It is a matter of emptying the jouissance of the object that acted as a plug of the castration of the Other. There is a separation of this jouissance-meaning of the phantom and the structure through which the world was seen is shaken. There is also a certain deflation of desire as a symbolic effect, an index of the -fi of castration. Lacan wonders how the drive is experienced once the phantom is crossed. This moment coincides with a de-being, a subjective destitution that he isolates as «emergence of the analyst´s desire».

But this also concerns the analyst as the partenaire of the speaking being in the libidinal aspect of transference. It is the analyst who incarnates this object that at the same time operates as a cause by occupying the place of the object semblant in the analyst’s discourse. More precisely, we say  that in the end he incarnates with his presence in corps that non-elaborable remainder of jouissance.

We speaking beings try by all means to veil, to plug this structural hole and to recover that object  forever lost. That is why in an analysis the analyst´s  desire aims at producing the loss of the lost object.

Some of this passage to the analyst`s position is therefore linked to the mourning of the object.

In order to ascertain the end of the analysis, the analysand must separate from the analyst. There is the fall of the Subject supposed to know, but fundamentally one must consent to lose, to separate oneself from «it».

This movement includes at the same time losing the being, the meaning and the truth, on the way to reach the real of each one. We see the reasons why the desire to mourn the object is both «hard» and «lasts». As Freud already said, the work of mourning takes time.

Finally, something new is produced in the libidinal economy and castration is no longer blocked with the object a. A new satisfaction and a new use are accessed, both at the level of the phantom and the sinthome.

It is with this remainder, what «falls», that we write the analyst’s discourse and consent to occupy the place of cause for another to be analyzed.

It is not only at the end of the analysis that there is something of it, but it is at the end that we can sift its relation to lalangue and separation, «(…) the desire of the analyst in its absolute difference allows us to perceive the scar of separation» (Miller, 1997, p. 31).

This leads us to that question that Miller asks regarding the paradox of the pass: why does someone who knows what the analyst has been reduced to by the analytic operation itself wants to become an analyst? The answer comes from the side of experience read not in terms of fusion or alienation but of separation, that is to say, not in terms of the signifier but of the object. It is about an analyst who consents to «being dropped» (Miller, 2021, p. 16).

The analyst´s desire and the child factor

We can see that Lacan at the end of his teaching does not name the analyst´s desire. Miller (2011) emphasizes that the position of the analyst when confronted with the haiuno is no longer the desire of the analyst but rather another function that needs to be elaborated.

Let us not forget that the analyst´s desire is a desire that, like the mother´s desire, cannot be anonymous, universal, and pure.

This “impure desire” is hooked on something that Lacan did not hesitate to call filthy, alluding to object a. In this way I understand the function, the body of the analyst and the singularity are tied to. That is to say, “the impurity also remains at the end on the side of the sinthome, of the opaque jouissance of analyst” (Brodsky, 2014, p. 123). The irreducible material of each analysis, that which the analyst´s desire can write, is also articulated to the infantile, it is made up of the most absolute elements of contingent existence discovered and reduced in an analysis.  

The infantile neurosis makes what we call the neurotic foundation of the analyst´s desire, in my case crossed by what I call “the architecture of silence”. Silence that says about what at the end of the analysis, dropped certains identifications, went from the discourse of the unconscious to writing the discourse of the analyst. It was necessary to clear in the analysis and by way of control, the jouissance of the phantom that led to a certain inhibition of the analytical act sustained in the belief in “The analyst”. In my experience, that moment of crossing was located in the passage from being silent to taking the floor and letting go of the voice. First, there was the emptying and extraction of the oral object and then the invocatory, which acted as a cap in the phantom.  “Be the sweetmeat, the candy in the mouth of the Other” (Kuperwajs, 2019) made it possible to sustain the jouissance of the symptom of “discreet silence”. I had to separate myself from the swish of silence and saving silence of the family delirium to incarnate another way of what we call the function desire of the analyst.

It was a long path, for a long time, beyond the window of the phantom, I continued in the prison of my own jouissance. After going through the phantom, we find ourselves face to face with the drive, with what does not change and needs the sinthome to express itself. To get out of the analysis, you have to get out of the transference unconscious. The unconscious passed through the analytic experience had been transformed into a dry unconscious. The analytical operation managed to cut the “thread of voice” that tied me even in the transfer to the analyst after an unbearable transit through the desert. It was necessary to extend that long time one more round to “unvest” (Miller, 2011, p.162), to precipitate with what I called “my last episode”, the moment to conclude.

The analyst´s desire is oriented towards the unspeakable and supports the void with the speaking body. Try to resonate something more than meaning. Lacan spoke of the analyst´s desire as “the one who knows how to cut (tailler)” (Lacan, 1965, unpublished) but also to sew again. As analysts we use it to make a use of silence in practice that lodges a saying. It requires supporting being a scrap and knowing how to read in another way, having met the S(Ⱥ). Access to that desire to know and a “know-how there” is something “unreleased” as Lacan says in his Nota italiana (1974 [2012]). This has to do with that step from analysand to analyst in which a mutation is experienced in the economy of the desire knotted to that nucleus of real so own. Which allows us to understand the scope of what Miller (2012, p. 336) raised: “The analyst´s desire is the desire to achieve the real, to reduce the other to his real and to free him from meaning”.

Each analyst bears the mark of his style. On the trace of the silence cut by the trauma, my “discreet” style remains. There is the imprint of that ex-sistence of silent jouissance in the voice and the mark of that “infantile impurity” with which the analyst´s desire is written.

Authorize of a singular real

The Pass device attempts to verify the emergence of the analyst´s desire. Lacan refers that the analyst authorizes by “himself” (1974 [2012], p. 329). Refers to what comes from the analysis. It is not a question of will or self-perception. The analyst is produced in the end by way of traversing the phantom: “I emphasized that when there is an analyst, when it arises from the side of a, it cannot be authorized by the Other, who always validates in definitive the identification, to which the quod is precisely rebellious” (Miller, 2010, p.141). Miller highlights that quod on the side of a “there is there” that has nothing to do with an essence. It´s about the ex-sistence.

We can also understand this “itself” referred to the sinthome, as Lacan enunciates it at the end of his teaching in his latest version of the pass linked to a new satisfaction and the real unconscious. That one knows, oneself. There is no longer another to ask or from whom to expect that authorization. It is authorized from the own analysis, of one´s own real contingent cut out in experience, of the sinthome. We could say that the analyst´s desire becomes singular. But at the same time, the AE, who has become an analyst, re-knots himself to the Other, to the Escuela, by way of the Pass. In this sense, I want to underline what Miller recently highlight at the Uforca 2021-ACF VLB colloquium, when referring to the importance of formation and transmission, the desire articulated to the School: “we are incautious of the cause and that sometimes allows us to be magicians”.

The desire of the analyst implies a “knowing how to read” that is acquired only in the passage through the analysis. The analyst transfers to the analysand that knowing how to read.

But the analyst´s desire is also strongly tied to the cause and to transmission by way of a transference of work[1]. I understand that is the way that the singular is articulated to the collective in a politics of the sinthome.


[1] Leonardo Gorostiza raised if the job Transfer is also a name of the analyst´s desire at the 3rd open night at the EOL, “Leer y escribir. Puntuaciones millerianas” coord.. S.Salman y M.Tarrab , June 2nd 2021.


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