The Three Registers of Transference, by Anne Béraud


Transference concerns the three registers. For the imaginary, the lure of love makes it a resistance: “(…) if there is one domain in which, in discourse, deception has some chance of success, it is certainly love that provides its model. What better way of assuring oneself, on the point on which one is mistaken, than to persuade the other of the truth of what one says! Is not this a fundamental structure of the dimension of love that the transference gives us the opportunity of depicting? In persuading the other that he has that which may complement us, we assure ourselves of being able to continue to misunderstand precisely what we lack. The circle of deception, in so far as it highlights the dimension of love at the point named (…)”.1
For the symbolic, Lacan introduces what makes it pivot: the function of the subject supposed to know.” One can see that if psychoanalysis consists in maintaining an agreed-upon situation between two partners, who place themselves there as psychoanalysand and the psychoanalyst, it can only unfold by the third constituent which is the signifier introduced into the discourse that thereby establishes itself, and which has the name : the supposed subject of knowledge (…)”.2For the real, “the transference is the enactment of the reality of the unconscious”, that is to say sexual reality.

  1.  Lacan, J., Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, Norton, New York/London, 1998, p. 133.
  2. Lacan, J., “Proposition of the 9 October 1967 on the Psychoanalyst of the School”, Analysis, No 6, The Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis Inc.,1995.
  3. Lacan, J., Seminar XI: The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, op. cit., p.146.

Translated by Joanne Conway