I continue to read from Bruce Fink’s A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis Theory and Technique. Here is another bit of interest:
…Lacanian analysis seeks to keep the analysand off guard and off-balance, so that any manifestation of the unconscious can have its full impact.
When fixed-length sessions are the norm, the analysand becomes accustomed to having a set amount of time to talk, and considers how to fill up that time, how best to make use of it. Analysands are very often aware, for example, that the dream they had the night before about their analyst is what is most important to their analysis, yet they try to fit in plenty of other things they want to talk about before they get to the dream (if they get to the dream). They thus attempt to minimize the importance of the dream in their own eyes, minimize the time that can be devoted to associating to it, or maximize the amount of time the analyst gives them. Analysands’ use of the time allotted to them in the session is part and parcel of their larger neurotic strategy (involving avoidance, neutralization of other people, and so on), and setting session length in advance merely encourages their neurosis.
The variable-length session throws analysands off guard, to some extent, and can be used in such a way as to encourage the analysand to get right to the good stuff.
I know some of you are making fun of me, but this is not the least interesting book I have read this week (though I would not want to base very much on it).