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Flabbi, L. (2019). What Healing Has to Do with Termination: Endings and Interruptions. DIVISION/Rev., 19:45-49.

(2019). DIVISION/Review, 19:45-49

What Healing Has to Do with Termination: Endings and Interruptions

Luca Flabbi, Ph.D.


In this panel discussion, we are proposing that any analysis can lead to three possible outcomes:

1)   Termination: The on-going process constituted by steps forward in the healing process continuing after regular sessions with the analyst have stopped.

2)   Interruptions: The erratic departures and returns expressing an ambivalent stop-and-go.

3)   Departure: The abrupt abandonment of the analysis, stating a disowning of the work done.

Furthermore, by outcomes, we mean that they take place at the end of the analysis: they are the products of an analysis, resulting from the work done jointly by analyst and analysand.

The Fundamental Question

These three definitions raise a fundamental question: why choose (2) or (3) when the convenience of (1) is clear?

But what do I mean by convenience? In what respect do the criteria conclude that termination is more convenient than interruptions or departure?

I propose a criterion based on economic efficiency: (1) is convenient with respect to (2) and (3) because it makes a much better (i.e., a much more efficient) use of the resources invested by the individual (or subject, or, in this particular application, the analyst and the analysand).

Equivalently, we can state that (2) and (3) are a massive waste of resources, whereas the resources invested in an analysis are significant, and they include the financial commitments necessary to finance it, the time allocated to the sessions, and all of the acts and thoughts necessary to its development and elaboration.

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