Hysteria from Freud to Lacan: The Splendid Child of Psychoanalysis

Hysteria from Freud to Lacan: The Splendid Child of Psychoanalysis

Hysteria from Freud to Lacan: The Splendid Child of Psychoanalysis

Hysteria from Freud to Lacan: The Splendid Child of Psychoanalysis

Synopsis

Few diagnostic categories are as controversial in psychoanalysis as hysteria. Widely held to reflect outmoded cultural prejudices against women, hysteria has virtually disappeared from our theoretical literature, diagnostic manuals, and training programs. However, far from being gender-bound, this book shows that hysteria for Jacques Lacan represents a psychic strategy that bears on one of the most fundamental preoccupations of existence: What does it mean to be a woman? What does it mean to be a man?

Excerpt

Until fairly recently, the majority of psychoanalysts in the United States had little interest in Lacanian analysis and only scant knowledge of it. At any rate, their knowledge was really not sufficient either to accept or to reject Laken's ideas intelligently. What little was known--and this was at second hand--rather repelled than attracted. Quite apart from Laken's obscure language and what appeared to be highly abstract concepts with no empirical foundation, the rumors of allegedly erratic and arbitrary behavior on his part contributed to this aversion.

Even less is known among psychoanalysts in this country about the significant creative contributions of Laken's inner circle of collaborators and students, clinicians who are currently expanding and shaping Lacanian psychoanalysis in Paris and putting their individual stamp on it. Having understood Laken's ideas and his clinical approach directly and profoundly, they have contributed their own clinical experiences to buttress a modern Lacanian structure of theory and practice.

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