1st Edition

Après-coup in Psychoanalysis The Fulfilment of Desire and Thought

By Bernard Chervet Copyright 2023
    276 Pages
    by Routledge

    276 Pages
    by Routledge

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    This important book argues that après-coup, a concept that has blossomed in French psychoanalytic discourse, not only allows an understanding of how repressed early memories determine adult life, and how human sexuality develops, but also allows for a richer and wider explanation of our mental structures and thinking.

    The book outlines how après-coup has been understood and defined by Freud, Lacan and other authors, considers it in diverse psychoanalytic cultures and explores its resonance in dream-work, sexual drives, thought, and the experience of trauma. Bernard Chervet considers that the totality of human thought can be approached according to the theory of après-coup. It offers a metapsychological approach to the operation of après-coup, bodily erogeneity and the regeneration of libido. Chervet’s compelling work argues that the phenomenon of après-coup allowed for the development of the psychoanalytic theories of causality, sexuality, temporality, memory and trauma.

    Illustrated by clinical vignettes and written by one of the leading theorists on the topic, Après-coup in Psychoanalysis will be an invaluable resource for psychoanalysts in training and in practice.

    1. The emergence of desire and thought

    2. Semantic and semiological vicissitudes of the term Nachträglichkeit

    3. The work of Freud and his followers as a clinical illustration of the operation of après-coup

    4. Evolving clinical situations

    5. Metapsychological approach to the concept of après-coup

    6. A theory of human thought

    7. Saturation in dreams, sessions and sciences

    8. Après-coup and bodily erogeneity

    9. The missing trace and feelings of lack

    10. The foundational murder and the superego


    Bernard Chervet is a Training and Supervising Psychoanalyst of the Paris Psychoanalytic Society and a former SPP President. He is a European Representative on the IPA Board of Representatives and the IPA ExCom and Scientific Director of the Congress of French-Speaking Psychoanalysts (CPLF). His numerous and distinguished publications cover a wide range of clinical and theoretical psychoanalytic topics. He was awarded the Bouvet Prize in 2017 for his work.

    "This book is essential and should be read by all psychoanalysts and students. Chervet’s deep and early interest in the concept of Après-coup (Nachträglichkeit) as an organizer of human thought and therefore of any analytic process is original and enthralling." – Marilia Aisenstein, Paris Psychoanalytical Society; editor, Psychosomatics Today: A Psychoanalytic Perspective (Routledge)

    "Bernard Chervet is one of the most creative contemporary French psychoanalytic thinkers. In this book, he develops original contributions to psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice around the concept of Après-coup. It is a remarkable contribution to psychoanalytic thinking and practice." – Claudio Laks Eizirik, Former President, International Psychoanalytic Association; Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry, Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil.