Psychoanalysis Los Angeles California Extension
Schools have their prejudices just as common understanding has them. One side corrects the other. It is important, therefore, to test a cognition with men whose understanding does not depend on any school. (I.Kant)
Beyond the Prejudices of Schools
Though it has become fashionable to claim that schools should be multidisciplinary and inclusive of different theories and forms of treatment, from Freud and Object Relations to Self-psychology and Zen, such an ‘open-minded’ approach does not resolve the problem of the school itself: how do we get beyond the prejudices of schools and begin to work on psychoanalysis as such? Why should and how can a symptom be addressed beyond any one particular school or form of treatment? We call this more universal approach ‘Psychoanalysis in Extension‘ and invite the reader to query this website to learn more.
It is not a question of embracing differences within a totality – a school, a theory, a community, etc. – but a work of pure difference: why does a symptom not respond to the demand of theories and practices for everyone? How to work with what is non-negotiable and singular to a symptom without reducing it to mere pathos or a ‘case’ in a psychiatric or behavioral code book? The question of what constitutes the Difference of differences is not interdisciplinary, but clinical and goes a long way to shifting the ground from a therapeutic to a properly analytic practice.
There are schools and clinics specializing in psychoanalysis in the U.S. and abroad. But what does this really mean ?
To speak of a school is to speak of a place (1) of knowledge, (2) where knowledge is transmissible, (3) that includes specialists in charge of this transmission, (4) that is recognized as an institution having for its function to organize (1), (2), and (3).
To speak of a clinic is to speak of a place (1) where there is an encounter with an individual (2) where there is a knowledge of the individual (3) whose knowledge has an experimental basis (4) where there is a treatment of the individual through applied research or science, (5) that includes specialists in charge of this knowledge, (6) recognized as an institution having at its function to organize (1), (2), (3), (4), and (5).
Most would probably agree that today such an organization of both the school and clinic is standard and could be called the medical model of psychoanalysis. Yet, what is never recognized or never explained precisely is why the standard medical model may work for such diseases as polio or typhus, but NOT for the symptom of psychoanalysis. What is required is a place of analysis, a School + Clinic, that does not trivialize its structure or assimilate its theory to what it is not – psychology, psychotherapy, or modes of applied lit-crit-social theory. It is this more direct approach that we will only outline here.
In what follows we will outline how PLACE has responded to the inadequacy of the standard model and transformed the standard School + Clinic paradigm. The descriptive account you find here establishes its structural basis in an experimental topology first introduced by Lacan. Our description is of a structure that is in process – a Sclinic – and should be judged from this transformation viewpoint.
There is no program at PLACE and those desiring to participate need not do so for academic reasons. This does not mean there is not a structure or a place to construct a knowledge. There is one course-seminar per semester, up to three cartels, and one language class. Though the state academic requirement for the completion of a higher degree level degree varies between 21-28 hours, taking a course for credit is optional. By participating in a course or cartel, one may well aim to address a symptom and suffering and not an intellectual interest or professional objective. It is, therefore, encouraged that each participant determine their own goals for the amount of hours, frequency, and duration they aim to take. The course-seminar may change each year according to the topic. These courses-seminars are constantly revisited and transformed not simply by the directors of the Sclinic, but by those who participate during the semester. To view a sample of past seminars, courses, and cartels of the School-Clinic of PLACE go to the virtual interface at:
II – From School and Session to Analysis in Extension-Intension
One can not venture very far into the question of what counts as psychoanalysis before coming to the place where knowledge and truth intersect in problems of competency, belief, and cultural values. Whatever the outcome of such an interrogation what is certain is that whenever such questions are posed in our modern societies the problem of the mode of transmission is brought to the fore. To attest to the existence of a psychoanalyst and psychoanalysis is, therefore, to say that there exists a specific knowledge and it is transmitted in a specialized place called a psychoanalytic school, clinic, and session. Though what constitutes a ‘school’, ‘clinic’, and ‘session’ is nontrivial, what is important is that in each case it is not possible to speak seriously of either without denying their efficiency or calling for their reform and regulation. And it is precisely at this place that the veracity of the institutional measures are systematically shown to be lacking with regard to knowledge. Indeed, one may well ask if a psychoanalytic school really supports psychoanalytic knowledge or if psychoanalytic knowledge would ever support a school. Better yet, it must be asked if there is not an intrinsic resistance of the psychoanalytic school to knowledge. In itself this resistance is not bad and could be viewed as something not unwanted: a psychoanalytic school like any other maintains its function in excluding all those forms of fantasy and delusion that may be attributed to false knowledge. There must, therefore, be the place for a school that knows nothing about this other type of knowledge or would even deny its existence: there is only true knowledge and the rest is, at best, belief and opinion, at worst, fantasy and hallucination. But to support this scholarly and epistemological framework for knowledge, psychoanalysis must rest upon a division: there must be ‘espirits’ sufficiently strong to support the school beyond the average pedagogue – the notable, the charismatic, the professional, etc. – and ‘espirits’ sufficiently weak to give a concrete instance to the need for a clinic where false knowledge would be turned into the symptoms, fantasies, and hallucinations of the sick. The shameless propositioning of patients by ‘doctors’ on ‘find therapists’ sites is just one example among many of the commercial development of the epistemological division between strong and weak or teacher and student. That such a division can be accomplished in both the horrific and open generosity makes it is hard to say or do anything to oppose it. Yet, without this constant to and fro of the division of student and teacher, patient and doctor, clinic and school, truth and knowledge, there would be neither an institutional resistance to knowledge, the constant call for reform and regulation, nor the Starbuckification of psychoanalysis.
Without denying there is a knowledge of psychoanalysis or those that can instruct it, it is necessary to reconstruct the conditions of a school and clinic without falling into the contemporary commerce and educative measures. Let us not be surprised, therefore, that the reformers and regulators would never go to the end of their logic; or that the habitually encounter with psychoanalysis in the greater public would remain at the level of an educative or commercial stereotype. For if they would, then it would be necessary to bring together the problem of knowledge and truth, school and clinic, in a patent contradiction.
The short introduction that follows aims to respond to such a contradiction in the manner first put forward by the analyst J. Lacan:
We will part from the root of psychoanalytic experience posed in its extension, the only possible base to motivate a school.
I claim to designate in the threshold of a psychoanalysis in intension the possible initiative of a new mode of access of the psychoanalyst to a collective guarantee through a critique in extension.J. Lacan, Propositions of Oct. 9
Psychoanalysis in Extension-Intension
The philosopher I. Kant sought to reformulate the problem of school and knowledge/truth into the logical difference between extension and intension:
Schools have their prejudices just as common understanding has them. One side corrects the other. It is important, therefore, to test a cognition with men whose understanding does not depend on any school. The perfection of cognition by which it qualifies for simple and universal transmission could also be called the external extension or the extensive magnitude of a cognition, so far as it is spread externally. [...]
Now, as concerns the intensive magnitude of cognition, i.e., its contents or its import and logical importance – which as noted above is different from its mere extent – we add the following remarks. 1) A cognition directed towards the large, i,e, the whole in the use of understanding, is to be distinguished from subtlety in small things (micrology). [...]I. Kant, Ein Handbuch zu Vorlesungen (Immanuel Kant’s Logic: A Handbook for Lectures)
Logically, the difference between extension/intension is the difference between showing and telling; for instance, a rock can be defined by showing it to someone or telling someone about its properties; similarly the rock may be explained by showing how it is constructed or described by listing its attributes.
Since Lacan, psychoanalysis may be defined in extension in terms of a topological presentation or in intension through the meanings and culturally accepted applications. If the extension of psychoanalysis is not so well understood, the intension is all too well understood in the sense that psychoanalysis devolves into a series of stereotypes and cultural jargon. Far from being negative, the misunderstanding of the extent of psychoanalysis actually makes room for a work that does not confuse the public presentation of a theory-practice for a ceremony of its popular meanings and intent. More succinctly, psychoanalysis in extension shows and explains what had formerly only been approachable through meaning telling and descriptions
The philosopher Wittgenstein had proposed: “what can not be said must be passed over in silence”. Analysis proposes otherwise: not only that such silence can be shown and written, but that it actually is shown in a savage way through a symptom. Thus, the formation of a school is not the place for the construction of a theory that is then applied or verified in a clinic, but the symptom is itself what teaches in determining the presentation and extent of a knowledge. In beginning to listen to the symptom and determine its extent – and not simply ‘treat’ and suppress it – the normative arrangement of psychoanalysis into the three pillars – 1) education; 2) supervision; 3) a personal analysis – is made obsolete.
Rather than supposing within the normative tradition that psychoanalytic training can be found in schools, then applied in the clinic under supervision, we combine both school and clinic in extension under the rubric Sclinic. Lacan introduced the short session to indicate the reformation of the intensions of the private session. Without denying the importance such a moment in history has had in casting a critical look at the personal session, it does not indicate the demise of the analytic session but a point of elaboration and transformation of its intension.
Leaving until another context to detail this extensive-intensive transformation, we only leave the outlines here:
Normative Tradition –
School ———– Clinic ——– Training ————– Personal Analysis
Analysis in Extension – SCLINIC —–> <—–WORK-GROUPS —–> <—- CONSULTATION – Intension
Written for PLACE by R.T. Groome Summer 2013, Santa Monica, CA
Propositions on the relation between extension and intension
You can observe that any company/society (Societe) organized in this way will be ungovernable. But it is not a question for me of governing. It is a question of a School, and not an ordinary School. If each one of you is not responsible before yourselves, there is no reason to be. And its essential responsibility is to progress analysis, and not to constitute a retirement home for veterans.” (J. Lacan Une procedure pour la passe, p.9 )
There is psychoanalysis and there is a School. To distinguish in this that the School is presented as a moral person, just as any other body: which is supported by persons, being physical and a bit there. Psychoanalysis on the other hand is a function of the order of the subject, which is demonstrated as depending on the object which, this subject, splits. To weigh the persons, a proposition of which one would not dare to hope for the imprudence, is the means the most improper to recruit the psychoanalyst, who functions even with someone of little weight. ( Adresse du jury d’accueil a l’asseblee avant son vote , [le 25 janvier 1969] , p.49 )
Relevant Materials on the School and the Clinic
1) See Re-Orientation to Psychoanalysis at the Virtual Classroom at: http://www.lacanlosangelespsychoanalysis.com/classes/
2) On The Greek Conception Of Education and The Teaching Of Psychoanalysis, By. J. Lacan (1970) The redaction of a conference in 1970 by P. Rapport where Oury, Michaud, and Lacan discuss the problems posed in the teaching of psychoanalysis. What is the task of psychoanalysis? How does its goal and didactic differ from psychiatry or psychotherapy? If psychoanalysis must separate its instruction from university teaching, how does it do so without falling into a religious initiation or therapeutic club? These are a few of the questions that come to bear in this short article. (Download) Greek Education
1) The Classicism of A. Badiou’s Reading of Psychoanalytic Practice, by R. Groome (2004) (Download)A. Badiou’s Classical Reading