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Andreé, J. (2011). Laura - or the Sexual Borders of Need. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 92(4):761-771.

(2011). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 92(4):761-771

Laura - or the Sexual Borders of Need Related Papers

Jacques Andreé

Laura comes for analysis four times a week. These are face-to-face sessions; she rejects the couch. It is imperative that she does not lose sight of me; the same vigilance that prevents her from falling asleep at night accompanies every one of our sessions. She knows about being abandoned on a couch and underwent its alternately frightening and infuriating effects with a woman analyst over several years. The same anger is directed at this woman and her mother for the same reasons: coldness, distance, incomprehension and indifference … In the armchair, her body sends messages of discomfort and exhaustion that led me to invite her to use the couch, at least as a bed to rest on. She curtly informed me that I should not imagine she would fall into any trap as crude as that: “I'll move to your couch when the analysis is over”. On the day she has no session she feels the scarcely woven thread of the analysis unwinding and something inside her collapsing; several times a day she can decide to break off the analysis. The sessions themselves often still bear its trace: “I'm not here, I'm out the door” [in French, je me barre also literally means ‘I block myself].

However fundamental, the statement of the analytic rule is not universal; it preserves the trace of its own particular history - the discovery of repression at work in the psychoneuroses. What does the rule (“Say whatever goes through your mind …” [Freud, 1913, p. 135]) mean to the person to whom it is addressed? Abandon the constraints of ordinary conversation, allow room for any secondary thoughts that occur to you, do not hesitate “to go a long way back” [Freud quote here, literally “to go back to the Flood”].

[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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