In trying to understand the analysand, the analyst is confronted on a daily basis with lying, more through force of resistance to hidden truth than through malice on the part of the speaker. The opinions of Aristotle, Plato, Augustine, Thomas Aquinas, and Rousseau are called to mind. Lying is often seen as a fiction wherein the subject abuses him or herself. But the psychological aspect concerns not only the lies one tells oneself, it may also involve a refusal of the truth, a refusal to know, or a mode of relating where the prime intention is to deceive. Four kinds of lies are described. The plain lie is a mild, furtive lie by someone who normally does not lie. It appears in neurotic patients, a symptom of transference following activation of a source of conflict during treatment. The outrageous lie is pernicious, a sign of character disturbance, associated with psychopathic characteristics. O'Shaughnessy
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describes the case of an aggressive liar who seeks omnipotent control over the object through identification with a nonreliable object. Bollas describes a mystifying liar, who uses the analyst as a public for his lie, the better to captivate the analyst, to create a fantastic object that will satisfy the desires of the subject. The fantasy lie has been described by Deutsch as daydreaming communicated as reality. It is a fiction about oneself (pseudologia fantastica), the lie of the dreamer introverted into fantasy. The intent to deceive is aimed first at oneself, but also at the other, who, it is hoped, will also believe, rather than spoil things by doubting. Finally, the white lie is used to hide a part of oneself from the gaze of the other, to hide the thoughts, mood, body, and emotional state of the subject, to prevent intrusion of the other into the private sphere. Here, suppression and reserve are the issue, rather than fabulation. On a more psychoanalytic level, lying may be defined simply as a symptom, a compromise in the face of opposing forces. As a process, lying is linked to repression and defense mechanisms, especially denial, negation, and disavowal. As a product, lying is linked with fantasy, the desire to deceive, and illusion.
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Bouchard, M. (1994). Canadian Journal of Psychoanalysis/revue Canadienne De Psychanalyse. I, Number 1, 1993. Psychoanal. Q., 63:819-820