NLS Minute – 13


– 13 –

Ordinary psychosis : A creation of language for our times
Véronique Voruz 

Great Britain


“I choose this approach, the ‘mapping’ approach, because it is well-suited to preventing a signifier, a creation of language thus, from taking on the consistency of an objective category. How do we use signifiers? What for? With what effects? These are questions that should never be absent from our practice, given that we are well acquainted with the segregative effects of the signifier. “ […]

“In fact, the concept of ordinary psychosis is to be understood precisely as a quilting point – Foucault would have called it a principle of intelligibility: a concept extracted from a field ex post facto, which can then be used to order that field.” […]

“The invention of the name ‘ordinary psychosis’ was very important: it gave new impetus to our clinical research for a while and provided an alternative to the ‘borderline’ impasse in psychoanalytical  theory. The fact that the word ‘psychosis’ was retained – as it is for the title of the NLS Congress, though it is pluralized – meant that what had been acquired in the psychoanalytic treatment of the psychoses could be retained, while the adjective ‘ordinary’ came to tone down the reactions that can be caused by the word ‘psychosis’.” […]

“Most importantly, it allowed clinicians to let go of their safety net, our entrenched belief in the objectivity of the categories of neurosis and psychosis. It forced us to re-learn how to think starting from the phenomena rather than from the category: what is happening instead of what does it mean? And this is what Jacques-Alain Miller, together with the executive committee of the NLS, have set as an objective for the NLS Congress in Dublin: discreet signs. The title of the Dublin Congress echoes the determined orientation of the World Association of Psychoanalysis: a resistance to reducing clinical practice to an ordering of speaking beings under signifiers.”

“And of course, ordinary psychosis is a signifier, i.e. a creation of language. So its introduction had effects in our community…” […]

“Why does Lacan renounce ontology, and Miller after him? If Lacan started his teaching by arguing that the particular of a subject’s identifications should be subsumed under the universal of the signifier (when his idea was that psychical causality pertained to the imaginary register), in the ‘later teaching’ the universalization of the signifier is what precludes the singularity of a subject from being circumscribed in speech.” […]

Finally, in his 2014 presentation, Miller delivers his “declaration of fundamental clinical equality between parlêtres”, asserting that we are all affected by debility (imaginary), delusion (symbolic) and dupery (real). In the de-sublimated world of our contemporary practice, our compass is the sinthome, which will lead to what Miller calls an “existential conclusion” for an analysis: “there is a jouissance which does not let itself be negativised [by being]. There is a jouissance that is not in the ontological register, which is a register of fiction.” In this perspective, the orientation of our analytic practice is to circumscribe [serrer] the real of the symptom, irrespective of the structure we hypothesize as correlate to the creations of language we use.” […]





NLS Congress 2016
Dublin, 2nd and 3rd July 2016

  Congress: 180 euro

Students (- 26 years old): 90 euro 


  Party/Dinner on Saturday evening: 50 euro

Congress Time: Saturday 9am – 6pm / Sunday 9am – 3pm.


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