ICLO-NLS 4th Study-Day “Crisis! Moments of SubjectiveDecision”; with Yves Vanderveken

Activités des Sociétés et Groupes de la NLS
Activities of the Societies and Groups of the NLS

Crisis! Moments of Subjective Decision
7th March 2015


The theme of the next congress of the NLS is entitled Moments of Crisis. There are, of course, many aspects to this idea of crisis, as Gil Caroz describes very well in the paper that announces the congress theme.1 Albeit crisis is not a psychoanalytic concept, that does not mean that there are not various important connections to psychoanalysis as a theoretical body of work, including its social, political and cultural references, as well as a clinical practice. In fact, it is possible to say that a crisis is a crucial moment in – and a crucial problem for – psychoanalysis. A crisis can be defined within the Lacanian Orientation as an irruption of the Real into the woven fabric of the experience of one’s life (and indeed the world one lives in). In an interview from 2008, J.-A. Miller said the following regarding the relevance of crisis for psychoanalysis: “A crisis, it is the real unchained, impossible to control. The equivalent, in civilization, of these hurricanes by which nature periodically recalls mankind of its precariousness, of its land frailty.”2 These moments of crises can happen at a political level, an economic/financial level, a cultural level, an individual or social level, but also at the level of a psychoanalysis itself – a crisis implicating both analysand and analyst. Indeed, there are moments of particular confrontations in which our symbolic coordinates are lost and in which we experience something like a fundamental or essential frailty. What psychoanalysis has taught us is that this is not just a moment of upheaval and traumatic experience but that it can also lead to a creative response to the Real; that it can lead to a moment of subjective decision the consequence of which is established retroactively.

Organising Committee: Joanne Conway, Claire Hawkes, Linda Clarke, Tom Ryan and Rik Loose (chair).


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