The Seminar of the Freudian Field in Saint-Petersburg withSonia Chiriaco

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The Seminar of Saint-Petersburg



The next Seminar of the Freudian Field in Russia takes place on 15th and 16th June 2013 in Saint-Petersburg


Sonia Chiriaco, AE Analyst of the School One, will be teaching under the title


From the symptom to the sinthome



Here is the argument:


“This road from the symptom to the sinthome is foremost about Lacan’s teaching. It is also the road walked by the analysand when his analysis is coming to an end. The analyst of today aims at the sinthome, namely, the singular mode of jouissance by each and everyone. This orientation towards the sinthome indicates there is no such thing as one answer for all, contrary to what the proponents of behaviorism and merchants of happiness make believe. There is indeed a tendency to classify populations according to their symptoms, each of which can find its place in one of the sections of the Great DSM cabinet. On the other hand, our psychoanalytic clinic proves the symptom stays rebellious when it comes to being put into the small boxes prepared for it, because the encounter between the signifier and the body is always singular: what is alive resists.


If this clinic of the sinthome belonging to the very latest teaching of Lacan, requires the analyst to invent, it however does not make the conceptual tools forged earlier disappear; it rather allows us to update them and make an even better use of them. In his “On a question prior to any possible treatment of Psychosis”, we have seen that Lacan drew a clear line between neurosis and psychosis derived from the metaphor of the Name –of-the-Father: he could see exactly where the Name of the Father is, and where it is not, where the phallic signification operated and where it did not. It was a clinic of “discontinuity”, founded on the notion of structure.


His latest teachings paved the way to a clinic of continuity, where it is more important to value each one’s symptomatic solution, his sinthome, his way of handling the real which is imposed on him. This clinic of the sinthome goes beyond the question of structure, without, however, questioning the boundary established in the first teaching of Lacan. We will see why the clinic of discontinuity and the clinic of continuity are complementary rather than opposite to each other. We will see how useful it is to read the first Lacan in our reading of the later Lacan and to draw from this the consequences for our practice. We will comment on “Note on the child”, which has been translated into Russian.


This note, short, very dense, plunges itself into the “preliminary question” that clearly separates neurosis and psychosis, but also opens up a post-Oedipal clinic. As usual, Lacan precursor of himself, introduces issues that will only be resolved much later. This text is located at the intersection of Lacan’s teaching, and goes far beyond the simple clinic of the child, being of interest to all practitioners. It makes us examine particularly the difference between mother and woman and opens up to a clinic of femininity, of the “not-all”, of “ the Other enjoyment”.


We will see how the “symptom of the child” discussed in this paper, will resonate in the sinthome of each. This note illuminates many of the questions raised in the debates on the family changes that stir society these days.  Single parent families, step-families, same-sex couples, LGBT, invite us in fact to think – with Lacan-, beyond the Oedipus complex. What has changed and what does not change? This “Note…” will allow us to examine in a sensitive way how the contemporary clinic of the sinthome is linked to the clinic of structure and in what way it is withdrawing from it.


Advanced participants of the Seminar are invited to comment on the following extracts from the “Note…”:


1. “The function of residue that the conjugal family sustains (and by the same stroke maintains) in the evolution of societies emphasises what is irreducible in a transmission – which is of another order than that of life according to the satisfaction of needs – but which is of a subjective constitution, implicating the relation with a desire that is not anonymous.

                It is according to such a necessity that the functions of the mother and of the father are to be judged. That of the mother: in so far as her needs bear the mark of a particularised interest, even should this be so by the path of her own lacks. That of the father: in so far as his name is the vector of an incarnation of the Law in desire”.  (Translated by Russell Grigg, Analysis No.2, 1990, p.8)

2.  “The symptom may represent the truth of the family couple. This is the most complex case, but also the one what is most open to our intervention.

                The articulation is much reduced when the symptom that comes to dominate stems from the subjectivity of the mother. In this case the child is concerned directly as the correlative of a fantasy. … The child realizes the presence of what Jacques Lacan designates as the object a in the fantasy”. (Ibid, p. 7)


The clinical papers from the participants’ practices will be the opportunity, as always, to have a clinical conversation. Sonia Chiriaco will conduct a patient presentation, for clinicians only, on June 15th. She will give a conference on “repetition” on the evening of June 16th, open to the public.



(From the Secretariat of the NLS for Eastern Europe)

Published in “Ten line news” N° 674 – 10th June 2013


Translated by Francine Danniau




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