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Below are the 20 most recent journal entries recorded in Psychoanalysis Forum's LiveJournal:

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Friday, March 7th, 2014
3:16 am
[4inquiries]
Buck-Morss on Anaesthethics
In “Aesthetics and Anaesthetics: Walter Benjamin’s Artwork Essay Reconsidered” (1992) Susan Buck-Morss situates herself as politically aligned with cultural analyst Walter Benjamin and politically opposed to Kant and Freud. Using Benjamin’s claims about the relationship between politics and aesthetics, Buck-Morse understands herself to side with Benjamin against the anaesthetics that characterize the work of Kant and Freud. Buck-Morss believes aesthetic frameworks are politically enfranchising whereas anaesthetic frameworks are politically alienating, it is “alienation of the senses that makes it possible for humanity to view its own destruction with enjoyment” (37). Buck-Morss’ analysis is complicit with the War on Drugs, believing anaesthetic to be fascist. Thus Buck-Morss would say that my analysis of WWI newsreels as formally anaesthetic/traumatic reinforces rather than challenges Whissel’s analysis of WWI films as nationalist, since for Buck-Morss anaesthesia is fascism, or national socialism. However, I argue that such a conclusion is a mistake because Buck-Morss too harshly defines anaesthetics as beyond sensibility altogether rather than as a limit of sensibility, which we can recognize if we take a careful look at Buck-Morss’ analyses of Kant and Freud.

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Friday, December 13th, 2013
7:38 pm
[4inquiries]
Silver on Anaesthetic Analysis
From “Framing the Ruins” (2010):

Often we can forget that realism is a genre, thus we may forget to look at a war documentary representing trauma, for example, in terms of rhetorical conventions. A psychoanalytic framework is implicit here through the reliance on retroactive significations, the uncanny, and repetitions (motifs) of destruction as norms of analysis.



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Sunday, December 8th, 2013
8:50 pm
[4inquiries]
LaCapra on Anaesthetic Analysis
From “Introduction” in Representing the Holocaust: History, Theory, Trauma (1994):

LaCapra helps us understand what is at stake in the analysis of representations of trauma. When we study popular culture, we often want to know whether or not an object has socially “critical, transformative, or legitimately affirmative” potential, which here we consider to be good (7). We might see a picture and ask a question like, is this a subversive use of a stereotype?


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Monday, September 30th, 2013
6:29 pm
[4inquiries]
Plato on the Pharmakon
From the Phaedrus:

This is a quick look at Plato's Phaedrus which may help me to understand better from where Derrida and others are coming.


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Sunday, September 29th, 2013
3:32 am
[4inquiries]
Derrida on Pharmacia
From “Plato’s Pharmacy” (1968):

Piehl and Austin miss several majorly important elements of the structure of the pharmakon as Derrida understands it.


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Saturday, September 28th, 2013
2:35 am
[4inquiries]
Piehl and Austin on Pharmaceutic Therapy
From “Psychoanalytic Interpretation as Pharmakon: Applying Derrida’s ‘Plato’s Pharmacy’ to Psychoanalysis” in Pastoral Psychology (2013):



In “Psychoanalytic Interpretation as Pharmakon: Applying Derrida’s ‘Plato’s Pharmacy’ to Psychoanalysis” (2013) therapists Robert O. Piehl and Maria D. Austin want to know “what causes the curative effects of interpretation” (498).

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Saturday, August 24th, 2013
7:12 pm
[4inquiries]
Ons on Anaesthesia and Therapy
From “Nietzsche, Freud, Lacan” in Lacan the Silent Partners:

Psychoanalysis’ variable denial of its reliance on intoxication has shaped psychoanalysis’ ethics with respect to philosophy.


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Friday, August 16th, 2013
6:52 pm
[4inquiries]
Leys on Drug Therapy
From “Splinting the Mind: William Sargant and Cartharsis in World War II” in Trauma: A Genealogy (2000):

In Trauma: A Genealogy Ruth Leys tells us about “the British psychoanalyst, Victor Horsley, who in the 1930s had invented ‘narcoanalysis’ by substituting barbiturate abreaction for hypnotic catharsis in certain cases of neurosis” (192). Horsley “was the first to combine a chemical approach with the psychodynamic concepts of conflict, repression, and amnesia” (198).


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Saturday, July 20th, 2013
3:05 pm
[4inquiries]
Grof on LSD Therapy 6
From “Effective Therapeutic Mechanisms of LSD Therapy” in LSD Psychotherapy (1980):

LSD can greatly intensify the therapeutic mechanisms of traditional psychotherapy. “Freudian psychoanalysis is of great help while the LSD sessions concentrate on the biographical level” (294). For example “emotional responses of the subject are dramatically enhanced” which allows “powerful abreaction and catharsis” (276). “Repressed unconscious material, including early childhood memories, becomes easily available” (276). “Suggestibility is usually markedly enhanced” (277). “The transference relationship is typically intensified” and “the transference nature of the phenomena becomes obvious to both the patient and the therapist” (276).


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Friday, July 19th, 2013
1:10 pm
[4inquiries]
Grof on LSD Therapy 5
From “Complications of LSD Psychotherapy” in LSD Psychotherapy (1980):

Pure LSD is biologically safe, though it causes emotions which may require screening out patients with heart problems. Pregnancy is contraindicated for the trip because LSD may cause uterine contractions. Anyone with liver damage will have extended LSD trips, so people with cirrhosis or hepatitis may be screened out.


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Thursday, July 18th, 2013
2:51 am
[4inquiries]
Grof on LSD Therapy 4
From “Principles of LSD Psychotherapy” in LSD Psychotherapy (1980):

There should be “a specifically designed treatment unit or suite” isolated on the ground floor (148). There should be a kitchen and a bathroom. Soft environment for safety. Flowers, fruits, nuts, and art. Music is essential. The patient should be able to shower or bathe. Fast a day before the LSD session if possible. Start the LSD session in the morning or when the patient wakes to minimize stress on the patient’s sleep cycle. Take LSD orally. Do not inject LSD unless the patient has a specific oral issue or a vomiting problem (e.g. cancer patients). Wear comfortable clothes (no bras/belts/watches/jewelry/dentures/glasses/contacts/keys). No knives.


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Wednesday, July 17th, 2013
11:26 am
[4inquiries]
Grof on LSD Therapy 3
From “Principles of LSD Psychotherapy” in LSD Psychotherapy (1980):

LSD “can bring the best therapeutic results in the shortest possible time and with the least risk of complications” 131). There’s no limit to the number of LSD sessions required for therapy. There are three steps to consider: “preparation period,” “drug session,” and “non-drug interviews in the post-session period” (131).


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Tuesday, July 16th, 2013
2:55 am
[4inquiries]
Grof on LSD Therapy 2
From “Psycholytic and Psychedelic Therapies with LSD: Towards and Integration of Approaches” in LSD Psychotherapy (1980):

Grof, professionally trained “as an enthusiastic and convinced psychoanalysts” who “automatically chose the classical Freudian arrangement,” wants to integrate the various techniques of LSD therapy (119). Grof researched “intensifying and accelerating the psychoanalytic process” with LSD (119). Grof’s experience with LSD therapy led to “drastic departures not only from the Freudian therapeutic technique, but also from its conceptual framework and basic philosophy” (120). The use of LSD in therapy demanded a less detached attitude to the patient, less verbal contact, and the addition of direct physical contact by the therapist.


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Monday, July 15th, 2013
2:36 pm
[4inquiries]
Grof on LSD Therapy 1
From “History of LSD Therapy” in LSD Psychotherapy (1980):

Shortly after the discovery of LSD-25 by Albert Hofmann in 1938, Hofmann accidentally exposed himself to the chemical, revealing the chemical’s psychoactive properties. The first popular theory was that an LSD experience was a model of psychosis, “the ‘model psychosis’ hypothesis” (21). This led to LSD research as a subset of research on psychosis. “This reductionistic and oversimplified approach to schizophrenia was repeatedly criticized by psychoanalytically and phenomenologically oriented clinicians and biochemical investigators, and finally abandoned by most researchers” (21). About ten years after the discovery of LSD, the therapeutic potential of LSD was proposed.


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Sunday, July 14th, 2013
3:45 am
[4inquiries]
Fink on Drug Therapy
From A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Theory and Technique (1997):

According to Fink, a Lacanian psychoanalyst, the use of drugs in therapy may be complicit with a theoretical shallowness with respect to diagnosis, since “American psychology and psychiatry... often succumb to the banal simplicity of mainstream American scientific thought: divide and conquer - break every pattern [e.g. neurosis, psychosis, perversion] down into its smallest isolable parts [i.e. symptoms], give those parts new names [e.g. acrophobia, pyromania], and attempt to treat them (with drugs whenever possible, or with specific ‘therapeutic techniques’) as logically separate ‘disorders’” (116).


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Saturday, July 13th, 2013
2:31 am
[4inquiries]
PRDF on Drug Therapy and ECT
From The Psychodynamic Approach to Drug Therapy (1979):

Ostow, with a number of analysts working under the Psychoanalytic Research and Development Fund, presents research on the problems of drug therapy as well as the relationship of electric shock therapy to drug therapy. “Psychoanalysts can no longer afford to ignore organic treatment modalities, especially drug therapy,” because the “efficacy of drug therapy cannot be questioned” (1). Anti-psychotic medication can allow a patient to enter analysis that was otherwise inaccessible, and analytic therapy can stabilize the patient enough to remove dependency on drugs.


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Friday, July 12th, 2013
5:23 am
[4inquiries]
Savage/Zizek/Lacan on the Drugged Subject
From “Variations in Ego Feeling Induced by D-Lysergic Acid Diethylamide (LSD-25)” (1955):

In 1955 we see in the journal Psychoanalytic Review a claim that the effect of anaesthesia or hallucinogens on the ego is something like a psychotic loss of ego-wold boundaries, “If perception is accurate, the differentiation of ego from the outer world is complete; where perception is inaccurate, as in drowsy states, anesthetized states or LSD intoxication, ego boundaries may lose ego feeling and be lost altogether” (Savage 14).


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Thursday, July 11th, 2013
12:27 am
[4inquiries]
Lakoff on Drug Therapy
From “The Lacan Ward: Pharmacology and Subjectivity in Buenos Aires” (2003):

Given that Lacanians are opposed to drug therapy, we might expect never to see a Lacanian analysis on medicated psychotics. However, the development of anti-psychotics in the 1950s proved that drugs could make psychotics accessible to psychoanalytic intervention for the purposes of stabilizing their fictitious worlds. What happens when Lacanians encountered such new candidates for analysis? Lakoff tells us of just such a case during the ‘80s and ‘90s at the public Hospital Romero in Buenos Aires, Argentina.


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Wednesday, July 10th, 2013
5:11 am
[4inquiries]
Lacan on Drug Therapy
From “A Theoretical Introduction to the Functions of Psychoanalysis in Criminology” (1950):

In Lacan’s essay on crime and narcotics, Lacan asks himself about the validity of drug therapy. The very framing of Lacan’s question of drug therapy seems to mock anti-drug enthusiasts, “To overcome these repressions, should we resort to one of those narcosis procedures so oddly brought into the news by the alarms they set off in the virtuous defenders of the inviolability of consciousness?” (117) Consciousness is already violated by the unconscious, so there is no need to protect consciousness from narcotics on account of idealizing consciousness’ inviolability.


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Tuesday, July 9th, 2013
12:16 am
[4inquiries]
Goldbach on Drug Categorization
From “Editorial: Technology in Reverse” (2012):

If we accept Ostow’s categorization of drugs, we then have to ask new questions about psychoanalysis itself as a drug. Goldbach, equating technological gadgets (supplements, prostheses, etc.) with drugs, poses two questions for us - Is psychoanalysis a toxin? What is a toxicology that includes psychoanalysis?


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