The thesis A, to which I think Baldini also subscribes (1), holds that the State cannot regulate psychotherapy, just as it cannot regulate any other process of subjective formation, which has to take place in absolute freedom. The thesis B holds that, for even greater reasons, the State cannot regulate psychoanalysis, which, within psychotherapy, represents an ideal ethical apex.
Your politics descends from this theory, which, simplified to banal limits (still, the banal can help us to clarify), ends up defending psychotherapy in order to defend psychoanalysis. Let me explain why my politics is not yours: because it bases itself neither on A nor on B, both of which I shall now proceed to challenge. The anticipated conclusion is that, as it has dubious basis, I consider your politics for psychoanalysis inefficient. This does not mean that I do not find it interesting, even pleasurable, working with you, also, at a political level (at a theoretical one I think there are no problems).
As far as ‘A’ goes: I hold that the State has the right, perhaps even the duty, to regulate psychotherapy, because it is true that psychotherapy is a process of subjective formation, but it is a very particular process, which, better than formation, one could call ‘conformation’. Psychotherapy, in fact, is a process of conforming the individual to the environment and its tyrants, so that he or she may live within it in the most tranquil and comfortable way, adjusting to the criteria of the dominant morals. Given that psychotherapy is an activity aiming at conforming, the State has every right to intervene, controlling whether it is distributed and applied in a manner that conforms to the parameters of civilised life, which, as State, it has the right and the duty to defend and promote. Let’s suppose that a psychotherapeutic variant would conform those adept to delinquency… it is only a paradox (not so unrealistic!) to demonstrate the necessity for State control.
Our theoretical routes, and therefore our political strategies, begin to diverge from here. This divergence becomes bigger as we move to thesis ‘B’, which is the one I am most interested in. I shall be brief. It is false to say that psychoanalysis represents the ethical apex of psychotherapy, simply because the psychotherapeutic project, being that of conforming, is not ethical. Psychoanalysis is an ethics, on this we are in agreement. However, psychotherapy, at most, is moralistic. I think we also agree that the State cannot intervene on ethics, but if what is at stake is civil coexistence, it can intervene on moralising. This clarification is useful to beat the idea typically held by the great bureaucratic psychoanalytic institutions (millerian École, Italian Psychoanalytic Society), which believe that psychoanalysis is a sub-field (if even more noble) of psychotherapy.
And what happens to the cut of the Freudian subversion? Are we still within the Hippocratic field? No, thank you, I am not keen on being granted nobility, if I have to let myself become infected by what Lacan used to call the Hippocratic pong. And, as it is possible to demonstrate through the texts, psychotherapy is the last avatar of Hippocratis.
Recently, I held a conference in Turin entitled: ‘Healing without therapy’. At this, I argued that in psychoanalysis there could be no therapy, least of all psychotherapy. Indeed, there are only two, and related, forms of therapy known to us: religious salvation and medical restoration to the status quo ante. For different reasons that are easily imaginable, both are not given in psychoanalysis. At this conference, I held that what there is in psychoanalysis is, instead, healing.