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Kennedy, R. (1987). Jacques Lacan: Psychoanalyst and Thinker. Brit. J. Psychother., 3(4):350-358.

(1987). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 3(4):350-358

In Summary

Jacques Lacan: Psychoanalyst and Thinker

Roger Kennedy

[We hope to arrange from time to time for authors of recently published books to give us the chance of a taste of their work, in the form of a short article on their topic. The first is a paper from Kennedy and Benvenuto's introduction to Lacan - Eds.].

I have summarised a few aspects of the work of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan, based on the text of the book The Works of Jacques Lacan, An Introduction. The book describes his work in considerably more detail.

Lacan's main intention as a writer and an analyst was to restore psychoanalysis to life by a radical return to the writings of Freud and by putting psychoanalysis in touch with the latest developments in contemporary thought. He constantly emphasised what was radical, revolutionary and difficult to accept in psychoanalysis, and castigated those who tried to make Freud's insights into the basis of a model of social adjustment, and adaptation to so-called reality. In Lacan's opinion the task of psychoanalysis was to question the nature of this reality, not to feel comfortable with it.

As an analyst Lacan made five important contributions: a revision of our understanding of Freud's texts; a revision of Freudian theory on the basis of linguistic concepts; a constant and fruitful challenging of the limits of psychoanalysis; a serious attempt to examine the status of analytic knowledge in the light of new areas of thought in other disciplines; and an unorthodox approach to analytic training. I can only touch on some of the contributions in the article.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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