Couple therapy: Do you believe in Love?

In Couple therapy we ask ourselves the following question to make a reflection: Do you believe in love?

The cancel culture would like to erase certain imaginary references that allowed children to be told what cannot be said about horror.

If Prince Charming’s kiss can no longer be inscribed, since Sleeping Beauty or Snow White have been put to sleep by a spell and therefore cannot give their consent, the wicked witch or the stepmother who ravages, are not excluded from cultural transmission.

Goodbye to the dreams of young girls, Prince Charming will no longer be able to wake you up!

Only the mother will be able to continue to ravage you. All you had to do was to leave a contract, signed by you, stipulating your perfect health and your non-vulnerability.

That said, when you agreed to eat the poisoned apple, were you in perfect health? You had trusted the wicked witch, this mother whose apparent goodness moved you.

Did you have all your faculties not to see, behind all this great goodness, the ineffable witch?


Couple theraphy: Reality vs Popular Culture

When the real is no longer veiled by the fictions of popular culture, it is the great plunge into horror.

This is the principle of reality! Why veil what will come together? After the father, what remains is the worst.

So, let’s have some more, let’s take back some culture, and let’s come back to Lacan: let’s go from “cancel culture” to “Lacan is culture”.

For all that, there is no reason to believe in love with Lacan, except to give it back its dignity. That of transference, of course.

In his Seminar Encore, on feminine sexuality, Lacan gives a new dimension to love and indicates that all love tends to make contingency (stop not being written) pass into a necessity (does not stop being written) and this is what makes its drama.

The drama of love is to believe in this illusion that the sexual relationship could cease not to be written, thanks to an encounter.

For a moment, there is the illusion, through the affections that results from the encounter, that the sexual relationship can be written, it is a moment of pure contingency, that of an encounter between two partners.

This, however, can only fail. Love, by taking the place of fiction, makes it possible to avoid the inexistence of the writing of the relationship between the sexes. They are in fact two exiles who meet, by contingency.

And love tries to put a veil over this contingency to transmute it into a necessity. When the veil of love is lifted, its drama emerges: each is exiled from the sexual relationship, and for each, the necessity is that of his or her symptom.

The subject, in fact, carries within himself a native flaw, that of his exile from the sexual relationship.

He fills it by means of identifications: “Sexual identification comes in place of the sexual rapport that does not exist, which comes in place of the flaw marked with the acronym $.” Lacan, in his Seminar “…or Worse,” asks the question “What is a necessity?” to which he replies, “to cobble together […] your day-to-day bricolage, […] by repeating it, by tirelessly repeating this bricolage. This is what is called […] the symptom”.

He goes on to indicate that the inexistence that lies behind the principle of the symptom is that of truth. It is thus in the principle of the “supposition of inexistence”  that a necessity is inscribed.

This supposition of inexistence is that of the sexual rapport that cannot be written, the real that the subject confronts producing the necessity of the symptom as the writing of a jouissance.

The symptom is a necessity, writing that does not stop, a bricolage in the face of the encounter with the inexistence of the relationship between the sexes.

It does not stop being written in the encounter with the other.

This need for the symptom leads the subject to the analyst: “that’s enough… it’s stronger than me”, because the jouissance at stake, does not stop writing itself, propels the search for a piece of knowledge about what takes place in the body.

The necessity of the symptom and knowledge are thus linked; there is an unknown knowledge that does not stop being written in the body through the symptom.

There may not be a need to love your neighbor, but there is a need to analyze yourself and ultimately deal with your own exile from knowledge.

The fictions of fairy tales, just like the novels, soften our exile. They are not knowledge but fictions, a hand extended from the Other to ward off the horror of the non-relationship between the sexes while awaiting the necessary writing of symptomatic bricolage.

To use the words of Jacques-Alain Miller during his recent video conference with Russian colleagues from the Freudian field on the occasion of the release of their international review: “If we erase any difference between the child and the adult, it is the very foundations of democracy that are called into question”.

Christine Maugin Psychoanalist

Psychoanalyst Madrid

2nd Part: COUPLES THERAPY & the invent of the couple


Couples Therapy: As we left it last time with the first part, we said that It can turn out that every time I enjoy something or someone, I enjoy it less.

Each next time, what I have enjoyed is less valuable. And my desire is more diminished.

Therefore, even if my desire is intense, this intensity does not give any permanent guarantee, either to me or to the other, because, as we see so often in Psychoanalysis sessions or in couples therapy, desire can be displaced or fade away or decreased with time.

Furthermore, desire is not just mine. The instinct is. It is supposed to be inscribed in my nature, to function automatically.

But this is not the case of desire. Desire depends on the circumstances, on the situation, and most of all on the Other to whom it is addressed.

My desire is linked to the desire of the Other in many ways.

My desire is linked to the desire of the Other in many ways. My desire can echo the Other’s desire.

Then, it is necessary that the Other desires so that I desire in return. Then I watch for the signs of his desire in order to desire.

This can mean to say kind of a twist-tongue, that I desire to desire what he desires, to confirm to me what he desires.

But this can also mean to say that I have to desire a different thing than the one he desires so that my desire is mine for me so that I am myself.

So that I do not vanish in his desire. This desire for the Other who solicits me, incites me, wants something from me that disturbs (dérange) me in my routine, I can also hate him, desire to exterminate him, to abhor his manifestations, obliterate his signs.

There is yet another way to find in the Other´s desire a compass for mine, it is that it poses an obstacle, a limit, a law, that prohibits desire. It is that he says this does not have to be desired. 

I know where the desire is. I know then that what is desirable is what makes me guilty, that to which one does not have a right, what is forbidden.

All of these possible impasses are played again, consciously or not, with this new couple in this new part, with the psychoanalyst in your sessions when you seek couples therapy, or because of any couples difficulties, you might be going through.

Of course, I would be able to give examples, but I am not going to give any.

It is you who give them because I think that everyone can find to be recognized in what I say here at one moment or another, on one side or another, but to recognize their neighbors, partners.

But yes, in these descriptions, even if they are allusive, one can recognize oneself as can others, precisely because desire is a bond, an ultra-sensible relation with the sign of the Other.

Desire passes from one to another

Because desire passes from one to another, is communicated, reversed. And it is also the mirror to the skylarks, that is to say, it is deceptive.

But there is also something else than desire.

There is jouissance and at this level, one cannot recognize oneself.

At this level, there is no human partner. At this level, one does not have a human partner who is either of the other sex or of the same sex.

There, there is a relentless demand (exigence) that in Freud’s terms is called the drive.

A demand that does not quench like thirst, which does not satisfy like hunger, an imperative, absolute demand, which cannot be expressed in words, but which is insatiable, always wants more, does not know limits or end of time.

This demand has no face, no head, it is acephalous.

Nor does it cling to the person of the other either, but only seeks self-fulfillment, to buckle its loop on itself by means of something that allows the body to enjoy (jouir) itself.

This something that the drive needs, and which without it there is anxiety, was recognized by Freud first in different pieces of the body but he also noticed that these body pieces of the body were also replaceable by lures, by semblants.

And what is this lure?

It is the small piece of fabric that the child begs for to fall asleep and which mysteriously calms him down, but it is also the most elaborate artistic object or the most recent technological object, and that is for each of us an essential partner.

But it is not human. It is inhuman or rather a-human and it does not lead you directly to the sexual partner, it is not at all the same as the sexual partner.

It is bizarre, no doubt, but that’s what Freud’s discovery and what we do again in psychoanalysis: it is that there is the side of desire and the side of jouissance and that these two sides do not fit naturally.

There is an abyss, a break between the two. Eroticism as they say is not all in one piece. It is divided.

Words taken from Jacque-Alain Miller

1st Part: COUPLES THERAPY & the invent of the couple

1st Part: COUPLES THERAPY & the invent of the couple


Couples Therapy: When you are going to encounter a psychoanalyst, you encounter a partner – a new partner you have not encountered in your life and with whom you are going to play a new part (partie).

So that for this part to take place you must both, you and him or her, be there in person. 

Not necessarily you and your couple have to be there for a couples therapy, the thing is that you will make this new couple with the psychoanalyst.

The part is played solely in speech. But why? Why does one add to one’s life this part to be played and this partner of speech, this supplementary interlocutor who in addition speaks so little as it must be confessed?

One does it when one does not find oneself there with partners in one’s life. Then is when we usually look for couples therapy.

Of course, it would be simpler if there was such a thing as the sexual instinct.

Quite simply, if the sexual instinct existed in human space, there would not be psychoanalysis, and nevertheless couples therapy, because we would not have to ask ourselves any questions.

That’s because there would be a blind, mute force which would guide you and lead you towards the partner that you must have, the type of partner, the standard type, the one who corresponds to you.

Well, that would must likely be the ideal. Besides, it is probably the idea or the ideal that one can have concerning the sexuality of animals.

There is no need to be a psychoanalyst to know that this is not how things happen in the human space.

Human sexuality does not pass through the instinct. Human being does not go straight to his partner.

He has to pass through a whole labyrinth, through mazes, through a true palace of mirages, through impasses and his sexuality is shattered, problematic, contradictory and in the end, we can say, painful.

There is no instinct, there are most complicated functions – there is desire, jouissance, love. And on top of that all these do not agree, do not harmonise, do not converge on the partner who would be the good of which one would have the certainty that it is the good.

That good one with whom no need of couples therapy would have to de taken into account at all.

First desire. Desire is not an instinct because the instinct knows, even if this knowledge remains opaque.

The instinct says silently always the same thing, it is constant. Desire, on the contrary, does not know, is always linked to another question, is itself a question: 

what do I truly desire? Is it my true desire? Is my desire a good or a bad one, is it harmful, is it forbidden? Is what I believe to be my desire not an illusion? And this question about desire can lead to perplexity, to immobilisation.

Therefore, desire does not know. Of course, there is what I demand. What I demand I believe to desire but is it what I truly desire?

Then, in distinction to the instinct, desire is not constant, it is not invariable, but, if one can say so, intermittent, it goes and comes.

It circulates, sometimes it is dispersed, sometimes it is focused, sometimes it is even annulled, vanished. I say then that I am bored or depressed.

Here is something, someone I really desire. Here I get it. And suddenly, at the moment when it is offered to my jouissance, when I would only have to enjoy (jouir) it, here the desire is eclipsed.

But if I enjoy (jouis) it, is it getting better? It can turn out that every time I enjoy something or someone. I enjoy them less. What I have enjoyed is less valuable. And my desire is more diminished.

2nd Part: COUPLES THERAPY & the invent of the couple