The End of Analysis | Making Nonsense of Our Neurosis

The quote below appears in the essay Dora by Janet Malcolm, which is the first essay in The Purloined Clinic.

The patient leaves analysis older, and wiser about analysis. It is finally borne in on him that the object of analysis not to make sense of his life but to make nonsense of his neurosis (p. 3).

That is so well said.

I do think that there is a time in analysis where a person might go through the process that does make things that don't make sense make sense. That can be helpful and even interesting.

However, an analysis that lasts, and lasts, and lasts, and lasts, and then, after many years, reaches the time to conclude, does run out of things that can be made sense of.

If an analysand sees an analysis through to the end, it can lead them up to the point where they confront something real, which can't be made sense of. An analysis that reaches its end does not get rid of the analysand's neurosis. It does reveal the absurdity of the neurosis. After that, the analysand can see, acknowledge, and experience their neurosis differently.

While this is not a cure, it is useful.


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