Relieve Anxiety? : December 2003 : Éric Laurent

by Julia Evans on December 1, 2003

Translated by Thelma Sowley

Published :  P6 to 14 of Mental Online: International Journal of Mental Health & Applied Psychoanalysis : No 13: December 2003: The Therapeutic Use of Psychoanalysis

Available /éric laurent or authors by date 


Relieve Anxiety?

Anxiety anchored by the symptom

Anxiety fixed by the fantasy

The transference work

Unanchored anxiety

The deposit of letters in abeyance

A new homeostasis


(International Journal of Mental Health and Applied Psychoanalysis), Vol 13 : December 2003 : The Therapeutic Use of Psychoanalysis

Contents , Editorial Marie-Hélène Brousse 3

Clinical Practice and Its Concepts

Eric Laurent – Relieve Anxiety? 

The Politics of the Symptom

Marie-Hélène Brousse – Common Markets and Segregation 16, Jean-Pierre Klotz – Therapeutics of the Symptom or Therapeutic Symptom?, François Leguil – Before and Beyond Therapeutics, Thomas Svolos – The Specificity of Psychoanalysis in Relation to Psychotherapy, Gabriela Van den Hoven – An Objection to Globalization, Anne Lysy-Stevens – From the Act to the Symptom,

The Therapeutic Value of the Father

Hélène Bonnaud – Not without Father, Vlassis Skolidis –  For the Love of the Father, Nassia Linardou-Blanchet – “If I Am Cured, You Will Not Have Imposed It”

The Therapeutics of Psychosis

Marie-Hélène Briole –Towards An “Existence of Discourse”, Pierre Malengreau – The Psychotic’s Partner and the Psychotic’s Secretary, Geert Hoornaert – Psychosis and Freedom, Lieve Billiet – Two Approaches to the Incurable, Réginald Blanchet – The Therapeutic Unconscious, Nathalie Laceur – Making Oneself a Body,

The Locus and the Link

Daniel Roy – The Franco-Bulgarian Laboratory of the CIEN “Growing Up without Parents”, Philippe Lacadée and Thérèse Urruty – A Place to Go for Suffering

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Availability of references


Texts by Anna Freud here

Texts by Melanie Klein here


Quote : Lacan renders clear the evolutions in the Freudian theory of anxiety. From the first studies of anxiety neurosis up to Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety, anxiety is the presence of the desire of the Other as such. : Inhibitions, Symptoms & Anxiety : 1926d : Sigmund Freud : See Sigmund Freud’s texts available electronically  or here  or  Inhibitions, Symptoms & Anxiety : 1926d : Sigmund Freud, SE  XX p75-175 : Download bilingual from at part 1 here,  &  Part 2  here 

Quote : Lacan shows, in his rereading of the cases of Dora and the Rat Man, that Freud interpreted on the spot, especially anxiety. :

– Fragment of an analysis of a case of hysteria (‘Dora’) : 1901 [1905] : Sigmund Freud,  SE VII p7-114,  Published bilingual at See   here 

– Sigmund Freud: Notes upon a case of Obsessional Neurosis (The ‘Rat Man’) :1909d: SE X : p155, Published bilingual at  See  here  

Quote : In this sense, “relieving anxiety” is coherent with the orientation given in the “Direction of the Cure,” a text published at the beginning of the 1960s : See The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of its Power:10th-13th July 1958 : Jacques Lacan or here 


Quote : no more than in the light of the dream “Father, don’t you see that I’m burning?” : From The Interpretation of Dreams: 1st November 1899 (published as 1900): Sigmund Freud : See here


Quote : It is at this point that the transference work [travail de transfert] – since this is how Lacan once translated the Freudian Durcharbeitung : p254 of Bruce Fink’s translation of  The Function and Field of Speech and Language in Psychoanalysis (Rome) : 26th September 1953 : Jacques Lacan or here : (This is the reference on p254 as quoted, and may not be correct. It has not been possible to find this in The Direction of the Treatment, as quoted in Footnote 2, page 10) Quote from p94 of Alan Sheridan’s translation : In fact, this illusion that impels us to seek the reality of the subject beyond the language barrier is the same as that by which the subject believes that his truth is already given in us and that we know it in advance; and it is moreover as a result of this that he is wide open to our objectifying intervention.

But for his part, no doubt, he does not have to answer for this subjective error which, whether it is avowed or not in his discourse, is immanent in the fact that he has entered analysis, and that he has already concluded the original pact involved in it. And the fact that we find in the subjectivity of this moment the reason for what can be called the constituting effects of the transference- in so far as they are distinguished by an index of reality from the constituted effects that succeed them – is all the more ground for not neglecting this subjectivity.

Freud, let it be recalled, in touching on the feelings involved in the transference insisted on the need to distinguish in it a factor of reality. He concluded that it would be an abuse of the subject’s docility to want to persuade him in every case that these sentiments are a mere transferential repetition of the neurosis. Consequently, since these real feelings manifest themselves as primary and since the charm of our own persons remains a doubtful factor, there would seem to be some mystery here.

But this mystery becomes clarified if it is viewed within the phenomenology of the subject, in so far as the subject constitutes himself in the search for truth.

Quote : but rather of playing on what Lacan calls “the margin of exteriorization of the object a.” : J. Lacan, “Discours de clôture aux journées sur l’enfance aliénée,” :

published Autres Écrits: 2001 : Jacques Lacan : See here   :

& see Address on Child Psychosis (Maison de la Chimie, à Paris ) : 22nd October 1967 : Jacques Lacan : See here :

p13 of Anthony Chadwick’s translation :

The value of psychoanalysis is to operate on fantasy. The degree of its success has demonstrated that there is judged the form that subjects one as neurosis, perversion or psychosis.

Whence arises the point, only limiting oneself to that, that fantasy makes of reality its frame: obvious there!

And as impossible to move, were it not for the margin left by the possibility of exteriorization of the object a.

We shall be told that this is what people speak of as a partial object.

But precisely in presenting it under this term, it is already too much talked of to say anything that is admissible.

If it were so easy to talk about it, we would call it something other than the object a.

An object which requires the resumption of the whole discourse on the cause, is not assignable as you wont, even theoretically.

We only touch on these confines here to explain how in psychoanalysis one makes such a brief return to reality, for lack of having a view on its outline.

Let us note that here we do not evoke the real, which in an experience of speech comes only in virtuality, which in the logical edifice is defined as the impossible 


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Julia Evans

Practicing Lacanian Psychoanalyst, Sandwich in Kent & London


Other texts

By Éric Laurent here

Seminar X: The Anxiety (or Dread): 1962-1963: begins 14th November 1962: Jacques Lacan: Text in English & References : See here

Reading Seminar X here

Case histories here

On Lacanian History here

Use of power here

Lacanian Transmission : here

Topology : here

By Sigmund Freud here

Notes on texts by Sigmund Freud : here

By Jacques Lacan here

By Julia Evans here 

Notes on texts by Jacques Lacan here