TIDBITS – Gabriel Dahan – Towards the NLSCongress 2019

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The Clinic of Adolescence Is a Clinic of Urgency

Gabriel Dahan


TAFSAN, the Psychoanalytic Center for Adolescents, aims to reach out towards young people in order for them to have an encounter with psychoanalysis, an encounter with this praxis of educating in the scholastic framework.
We meet with this adolescent – another name of a social impossible and the incarnation of urgency – with the hope that Lacan expressed in his Milan discourse: “We haven’t done it yet, but perhaps one day there will be a discourse called, ‘the ill of youth’”.[1]
With traits of urgency, this ill is manifested in diverse phenomena of “disinsertion” – a term borrowed from the administrative system of education that Jacques-Alain Miller used to announce PIPOL 4, under the title, “The Clinic and Pragmatism of Disinsertion in Psychoanalysis.”
The intervention of psychoanalysis consists in transforming disinsertion from being read as a behavioral or bureaucratic phenomenon to being read as a psychical operation confronting a real that bears on the traits of triggering, precipitation, and “being dropped” in the world – “the place where the real bears down” as Lacan tells us.[2]
Supporting an impossible position such as educator or psychoanalyst – and even more so in the classroom – means that it is always a question of permanent, urgent pragmatism.
Psychoanalysts are at the stage of waking up, Lacan tells us, but would this awakening not be related to the Spring Awakening of Wedekind’s children? In this sense, could we not, in a certain way, place the psychoanalyst and the adolescent in a surprising proximity? But whereas psychoanalysts “reinforce the impossible nature”[3] of educating, the adolescent effectively does not cease to embody this impossible, this real, this urgency.
“The Lacanian concepts of the analytic act, the analytic discourse, and the conclusion of an analysis as a pass to the analyst have permitted us to conceive of the psychoanalyst as a nomad object, and psychoanalysis as a portable installation, capable of moving into new contexts, and, in particular, into institutions”[4] – this is what J.-A. Miller indicates to us with his invention of the Alpha Place.
TAFSAN is this nomad object that goes into scholastic institutions towards an encounter between the educator and the adolescent at these “radical points in the real” that Lacan calls “encounters”,[5] where both are seized with anxiety when one of them thinks of what an educator is, and the other of what it is to be the object of this impossible operation.



1 Lacan, J., Lacan en Italie 1953-1978, discours à l’Université de Milan le 12 mai 1972, La Salamandra, Milan, 1978, p. 32-55.

2 Lacan, J., Anxiety, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book X, Polity, Cambridge, 2014, pp. 115-6.

3 Lacan, J., The Triumph of Religion, Polity, Cambridge, 2013, p. 57.

4 Miller, J.-A., « Vers PIPOL 4 », https://ampblog2006.blogspot.com/2007/12/vers-pipol-4-par-jacques-alain-miller.html
5 Lacan, J., The Other Side of Psychoanalysis, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XVII, W.W. Norton NY/London, 2007, p. 173.


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