The New Lacanian School (NLS) or Nouvelle École Lacanienne, a non-profit organisation, was founded in 2003. Its headquarters are located at 5 rue de Lille, 75007 Paris.
The NLS is one of seven Schools of Psychoanalysis of the World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAP). With three other European Schools (France, Spain and Italy) it is a member of the EuroFederation of Psychoanlysis (EFP), an association that oversees the development of psychoanalysis in Europe and countries close to it.
Governing Bodies and Their Composition
The governing body of the NLS is its Executive Committee, which can create ad hoc committees for specific tasks. The Executive Committee is in charge of the management of the association during the time of its mandate; it is appointed for two years by the President of the WAP.
The NLS also has an advisory body, the Council, made up of the Presidents of affiliated Societies. It is convened for consultation by the President of the NLS. An Eastern European Secretariat is also in operation.
The General Assembly, comprised of the more than 200 members of the association, has a consultative function. It approves the Treasurer’s Report and decides upon items on the agenda.
Members are admitted after an in-depth study of their application by the NLS Admission Committee, composed of the President of the NLS, the President of the EuroFederation, and the outgoing President of the NLS. Successful applications are then proposed for approval to the Council of the WAP.
The list of members, together with their contact information, appears in a directory that is published every two years. The members are registered either as an analyst practitioner (A.P.), as an analyst member of the school (A.M.E.) whom the school guarantees as part of the training it provides, or as an analyst of the school (A.E.), a title issued for three years at the end of the procedure called “the pass”.1 The directory comprises the statutes and foundational texts of the association and is in the public domain. A regularly updated version is available on the NLS website.
It is the commission of the European-Guarantee that designates the A.M.E.
To achieve its aims, the NLS has adopted French and English as its working languages. It operates in several European countries that practice in other languages but that assemble around this bilingualism. The NLS has established affiliated Societies (in Belgium, Greece, Israel, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom) and also affiliated Groups (in Bulgaria, Denmark, Ireland, and Poland). It hosts other European and non-European groups as associated Groups (in Australia, Canada (Quebec), Germany, Portugal and the U.S.A.). It also includes “Initiatives”, which concern activities initiated by groups in different cities in Europe and beyond, that are not yet associated with the NLS, or are not yet constituted but that wish to have a link with the NLS and its orientation. These “Initiatives” are steered by either one or more members of the NLS, or by non-members registering their work with the NLS (cartels). The “Initiatives” to date are found in Vienna (Austria), Toronto (Canada), Berlin (Germany), and Amsterdam (the Netherlands).
The Eastern European Secretariat’s function is to organise links with members who are without a group for the purpose of teaching psychoanalysis and of forming working-groups (cartels) and workshops in different parts of the globe (Eastern European countries, Ukraine and Russia).
The five affiliated Societies are: the ASREEP-NLS (Switzerland), the GIEP-NLS (Israel), the Hellenic Society (Greece), Kring for Psychoanalysis (Dutch Speaking Circle-Belgium), and the London Society (United Kingdom).
The five affiliated Groups are: the Bulgarian Society of Lacanian Psychoanalysis (Bulgaria), ICLO-NLS (Ireland), the Krakow circle, (Poland), NLS Copenhagen (Denmark), and the Warsaw circle (Poland).
The five associated Groups are: the ACF-Portugal (Portugal), the Köln -Paris Group, the Lacanian circle of Melbourne (Australia), the NLS-Quebec (Quebec-Canada) and the Lacanian Compass (U.S.A).
Each society or group has its own statutes and establishes a specific link to the Lacanian orientation of psychoanalysis. The qualification of membership to a Society or a Group qualifies as membership to the Society or Group only and not to the NLS. The policy and the decision of admission of members to the Societies and the Groups are made according to their statutes, which come under the legislation specific to each country. Admission is also made in relation with the NLS, that is to say with its President, whose opinion is required (cf. The Communiqué of the President of 25 February 2012 concerning “The Links of the Societies and Groups with Their School”, which appears in this directory).
Purpose and Action
The purpose of the NLS is to promote the elaboration and transmission of psychoanalysis, to control its practice, and to establish the terms of qualification of the psychoanalyst within Europe and beyond its borders. It rigourously watches over the expansion of psychoanalytic discourse, conducting its action in the field that Freud opened and according to the orientation given by Lacan when he founded his School in 1964.
In this sense, work for the School is expected from its members, starting from the Societies or Groups to which they belong. This work is carried out electively in small working groups called cartels. An ongoing development is expected of this work, with the aim that the results, specific to each of the participants in these cartels, may lead to a transmission either through a publication or delivered orally in a conference.
This work is to be closely linked to the training provided by the School, which is essentially the psychoanalytic cure and the supervision of its practice, The praxis and the doctrine of psychoanalysis is therefore distinguished from what the University discourse conveys, as well as from a know-how specific to psychotherapeutic methods that aspire to the restoration of a so-called normal state adapted to the world.
For its part, psychoanalysis aims at subjective effects, which has nothing to do with the idea of normality but rather with that of the singularity of each subject – the subject of the unconscious. The analytic discourse engages in this battle when there is a risk that authoritarian regulations and the norm will crack down, reducing the subject to an identifiable individual. The purpose of this struggle is to maintain a distance between the fundamental discourses formalised by Lacan, those of the Master, the Hysteric, the University and the Analyst. It is from this gap that the chances of subjective creation depend, and hence of speech effects. This fight is inherent in the psychoanalytic discourse; as Lacan put it, “It’s not I who will vanquish, it’s the discourse that I serve”.2
In order to demonstrate what the analytic discourse encounters in the clinic and the practice of psychoanalysts, the NLS organises an annual congress. The congress has a different theme each year, taking into account the current issues in which the psychoanalytic discourse operates. This, along with the cultural diversity of the countries of the NLS, makes for a rich and varied clinic.
In addition to the publications under the charge of the Societies and the affiliated or associated Groups, the NLS shares a publication in English with the World Association of Psychoanalysis, The Lacanian Review (TLR). There is also an online journal: Lacanian Review Online.
The NLS maintains close links with the other Schools as well as with other associations. It takes an interest in and participates in their work. This is true of its relations with the activities of the Institute of the Freudian Field, the Clinical Sections and Antennae of UFORCA, the Institute of the Child (Université Populaire of Jacques Lacan), the Centre for Studies and Research on the Child in the Analytic Discourse (CEREDA), the Interdisciplinary Centre on the Child (CIEN), and the Department of Psychoanalysis of the University of Paris 8.
President of the NLS
1 Lacan J., « Discours à l’École freudienne de Paris », Autres écrits, Seuil, Paris, 2001, pp. 276-7.
2 Lacan J., « L’étourdit », Autres écrits, Paris, Seuil, 2001, p. 475.