Time has been suspended, in any case it is different. It seems to be stretching but also accelerating. However, what time do we speak about here, that of the analytic session or that of confinement?
Our hurried world pauses, it holds its breath. Yet it is jostled like never before. It rocks, it whispers, it howls. An unusual silence has fallen over the city. We don’t know how long the parenthesis will last.
A parenthesis in the whirlwind of the world, isn’t that precisely what we say about the analytic session? In these days of confinement, the session is hence inscribed in the parenthesis of the parenthesis and the mode in which speech takes place is of little importance. Precious moment, in which each analysand, outside of the consulting room, tries to isolate himself in order to be able to speak about the most intimate to his analyst. It is sometimes complicated when one lives in a small apartment with several people. Some try to find a solution when the psychical reality cannot wait. From one session to the other a continuum is heard.
An analysand has dreams galore; the analyst’s scansion makes it possible to isolate one that makes a master-signifier resonate: there, she is surprised. Another discovers that she is less anxious since she has been confined at home, obliged to stop the hyperactivity which she believed to be an antidote to her anxiety. Happy contingency. A window has just opened on a space previously unknown to her. Some, as if nothing had happened, continue their analysis at a fast pace; like this man, caught in the torment of a painful love passion and who feels “drowned in a pool of three centimetres of water”. He suffocates. His analysis allows him to catch his breath.
Sophie wants to take a break from her analysis, to take advantage of this time of confinement in order to “close the doors again.” She knows that she will have to “last over time” in her Parisian apartment and she is in “defence mode”. After the last session (by phone), she felt anxious during dinner when a guilty thought came back. A guilty thought which concerns her husband, to whom she had lied by omission some years ago. She wants to dispel this thought which came back with a bang. She feels capable of putting it at a distance and this is particularly important to her in this moment of confinement during which she needs all her strength. Besides, she had a dream which indicates what she needs this time: she is in a vast apartment overlooking a garden; she feels a bit jealous of the friend to whom this sumptuous place seems to belong to and the view of which delights her. She opens the window, there are many flowers, it is magnificent. This is all she would want, to open a window to a garden. She needed images like this, but not guilty thoughts, nor anxiety.
Lacan advises us: to relieve anxiety but not to take guilt away. “This culpability aims at your mother. Leave the window of your analysis open.”
Sophie remembers her anxiety as a child, when she imagined that her mother knew all her thoughts. “I felt transparent, I was obliged to tell her everything, I could not have a secret garden.”
“This is the dream’s garden!” exclaims the analyst. I hear Sophie laughing. The analysis has resumed. “Next appointment on Tuesday”.
Wherever it takes place, the analytic session is an open window onto the other scene. The unconscious surprises you when it wants, as soon as it can. Behind this window stands the real.
Translated by Peggy Papada