When Seduction Inevitably Fails

On the Therapeutic Urgency of Jean Laplanche

Nathan Smith
Interfaith Now

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Rather than simply accord with the work of Sigmund Freud, Jean Laplanche insisted that contemporary psychoanalysis should instead seek the same exigency or urgency Freud sought. Rather than hold to the work of someone who was revolutionary for his time, much less to allow him to become a blockade to equally revolutionary insights in our own, Laplanche instead undertook a bold rereading of Freud. In so doing, Laplanche observed what he described as the fundamental anthropological situation — a theory of general seduction — just as pressing today as it was in Freud’s era or any other, just as in need of urgent analysis.

Sexuality

As with Freud, so too with Laplanche: sexuality is not simply the interaction of genitals, but interaction — connection — as such. Here, when we speak of sexuality, we are not simply speaking of sex as such, but of something far broader, more expansive, more general.

Human beings are not neatly isolated monads who occasionally bump into one another; we are webs, and we cannot help but become entangled with the world around us, including other people, in new, interesting, often challenging ways. The unconscious is not simply a vault, but an interface, one that would hold no meaning were it not interfaced with…

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Nathan Smith
Interfaith Now

Writer, therapy student, queer; interested in psychology, philosophy, literature, religion/spirituality. YouTube.com/@MindMakesThisWorld @NateSmithSNF