The Italian Connection Part 1

11 ..17

I wanted to stimulate a clarification within Spaziozero of some theoretical terms that to me seem decisive. Naturally, I am not at all in agreement with you, and it seems to me a good thing that it can be so, despite the fact that we collaborate within the same movement. As you rightly say, Spaziozero is not and must not be monolithic. Nevertheless, one thing is for it not to be monolithic, and another is for us not to understand each other on some minimal fundamental points. Were this to be so, all that we are doing would be perfectly pointless. I am not the only one to hold this view: Sergio Erba has called me to ask me to publish my open letter in Ruolo Terapeutico and has told me that he completely agrees with me. Until now I have received no other replies, but I do hope there will be more. Assuming that this will happen, I think it would be useful to publish all the correspondence in our journal. I believe that only an effective public debate may allow us to establish firm opinions about those decisive points I have raised. I am afraid that conferences are not good enough for this. Indeed, all too often, in too many discussions, I have noticed how the opinions of so many of us will completely change within the space of only a few minutes. This seems to me a worrying indication of our lack of clarity, precisely, on those fundamental points. And, often, we seem to be in complete agreement, but it takes little to discover that this agreement is only apparent – for example, a word that for someone signifies something slightly different than for someone else. In reality, the only thing that brings us truly together is that we dislike law 56. But this is really not enough to make the movement function. It would be necessary to have, also, one or two common ideas about how things might be better. From this point of view, I must confess that, at times, there seems to be no clarity at all, not even among us.
But I come to the content of your reply. I will tell you frankly what I think, as you have done with me. I will also be frank about what I think of the positions of other people who are part of the movement. I hope no one will be offended. It would be truly intolerable if some of us could not shoulder the frankness of others, as this would mean that we spend our time defending ourselves from imaginary enemies, rather than trying to understand how we may resolve our problems. In the first instance, I must say that psychotherapy as such has never mattered one bit to me. For me, in psychoanalysis one deals with something completely different than rendering more tolerable the social and moral misery in which we all live. Psychoanalysis is a matter of formation (not less!), that is to say, of the possibility to save at least some crumbs of the moral and social principles that have been transmitted to us, and that in turn we have the duty to transmit to others (at least, I think). If psychoanalysis is not for this, what is it for? Having made these initial remarks, I must say that I do not at all share the distinction you make between psychotherapy as conforming, and psychoanalysis as ethical. This is so for a simple and precise, but absolutely decisive reason: one cannot know in any way what is psychoanalysis and what is psychotherapy. One cannot know this to start off with, because, thank God, the use that someone makes of his or her experience will depend neither on the will, nor on the method, of his therapist or analyst. One cannot know it, because it is in no way possible to demonstrate (although it can be argued) that an analysis has truly occurred (at least, not from what I can deduce from the great failure of the Lacanian programme of the ‘passe’).