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Gallard, M. (2002). Reactions to François Martin-Vallas's paper. J. Anal. Psychol., 47(4):555-561.

(2002). Journal of Analytical Psychology, 47(4):555-561

Reactions to François Martin-Vallas's paper

Martine Gallard

Translated by:
Claire Bruas-Jaquess

I have found reading François's paper very interesting. I felt that I was being introduced to a unique piece of work, the fruit of a relationship between two people. A relationship that proved humanizing, and therefore symbolic, but that was quite alien to my own way of working. And as I value the words and the experience of the masters who preceded us, I will quote Balint as he reflects on:

(…) the analyst's contribution to the creating and maintaining of the psycho-analytic situation [and as he wonders] (…) how much and what kind of satisfaction is needed by the patient on the one hand, and by the analyst on the other, to keep the tension in the psycho-analytical situation at or near the optimal level.

(Balint 1949, p. 231)

Because we must admit that if we were not enjoying this work we would really be masochists! But satisfaction is wider than pleasure and it introduces that which motivates our choosing to become an analyst, which I will not develop here, as it is not our topic. I will nevertheless retain the notion that the analyst's motivation includes the search for meaning and the satisfaction of finding it. Meaning is of course rooted in our personal history and our personality. Each analyst and each case study has its own style and reveals its particular aim. As I read Nymphea's case I ask myself what ‘therapeutic tool’ François is using, and I wonder about his personal relationship with the symbolic, which for me, ultimately, means the way he has found to make life worth living.

And I continue my reflection by asking, following Lacan: ‘Where is he speaking from? Where does he position himself? What is it he is listening to in his patient?’ Which could I translate into Jungian vocabulary by something like: ‘Which archetype is constellated between them? In which position - complementary or compensatory - is he putting himself? What is he trying to activate in her?’

And in order to follow my colleague into his field, as this is the only way one could feed back to him anything relevant, again a word of Lacan comes back to me.

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