Transference and Transmission, by Mariela Vitto


The three states of transference, wild, political and psychoanalytical, lead me to consider the question of how psychoanalysis is transmitted, a question that preoccupied both Freud and Lacan. How can it be transmitted without betraying its fundamental precepts? And what types of institution are necessary?

In “Wild Analysis”2, Freud relates the case of a lady who is extremely critical of a doctor who gives a sexual meaning to her anxiety and refers to analytical theory without having any analytical training himself.

Lacan tells us that, “Psychoanalytical teaching can only be transmitted from one subject to the other via the paths of a work transference”.3 It was Freud who first linked transference and work. Whilst the analyst supports the analytical act, the analysand works.

Lacan tells us that his School, whose role it is to provide training4, needs “determined workers”. In other words, it is not a group effect but a subject effect that is aimed for.

Unlike Freud, Lacan did not create a society. In the founding Act of his School, he did not say “We are founding” but “I am founding, as alone as I have always been in my relation to the psychoanalytical cause”.5 Whomsoever founds is neither a society nor a collective, underlines J.-A. Miller.6

Lacan’s School was created within the Freudian field as a space for its members to enter in the name of work. The title of our congress invites us to extend this work transference to the NLS. And as Lacan says, “there may come a time when we find that being a psychoanalyst means having a place in society”.7

Translated by Beatrice Khiara-Foxton

2 Freud S., “Wild Analysis” (1910), The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud vol. XI, Hogarth Press, London, 1975, pp. 221–7.
3 Lacan J., “Acte de foundation”, Autres écrits, Seuil, Paris, 2001, p. 236.
4 [TN: For want of a better word in English, we have translated “formation” in French as “training”. “Formation” in the field of psychoanalysis excludes any implication of teaching or instruction; it is a consequence of the effects of psychoanalysis.]
5 Ibid., p. 229.
6 Miller J.-A., L’orientation lacanienne, Le banquet des analystes, 1989-90.
7 Lacan J., My Teaching, Verso, London/New York, 2008, p. 49.