The symbol first manifests itself as the killing of the thing, and this death results in the endless perpetuation of the subject's desire.
- Jacques Lacan
In our first module, our very own Rie Angeli stated that part of the therapeutic work that happens at The MendCenter is the creation of the patient’s unconscious. But how is an unconscious created and why is it crucial to the treatment of serious mental illness? These are the topics we will address in our second of four modules, Repression-tation.
As clinicians, we take our bearings from the work of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan who once said that the unconscious is structured like a language. Therefore, we believe that the structuring of language and speech are essential elements in the creation of an unconscious because it grants us access to a truly human register. Morten H. Christiansen and Nick Chater (2022) open their recently published book The Language Game stating: “Language is essential to what it means to be human, yet we rarely give it a second thought. We discover just how central it is to every aspect of our lives only when it fails us… (pg. 1).” Our second module will focus on the radically humanizing effect of language, the creation of a subjective unconscious, and explore the stabilizing effects of these interventions.
If you would like to take a deep dive into the subject matter prior to the module, I invite you to visit a dialogue between myself and author Daniel Oppenheimer from 2016. You can find his article here (Too Human) and my response here (Yes We Can All Be Too Much). Fair warning, however, my reply is highly condensed and might be somewhat unaccessible in some aspects. Our upcoming module will be much more “user friendly.”
To learn more about this teaching series please see our page In All Seriousness.