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A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Theory and Technique
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A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis: Theory and Technique

4.30  ·  Rating details ·  390 ratings  ·  23 reviews
"The goal of my teaching has always been, and remains, to train analysts."
--Jacques Lacan, Seminar XI, 209

Arguably the most profound psychoanalytic thinker since Freud, and deeply influential in many fields, Jacques Lacan often seems opaque to those he most wanted to reach. These are the readers Bruce Fink addresses in this clear and practical account of
Paperback, 297 pages
Published September 15th 1999 by Harvard University Press (first published 1956)
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Jan 05, 2012 rated it it was amazing
After having a go at Lacan's writings directly- I fell back to the common piece of advice: read about Lacanian theory before you read it directly. Fink's Clinical Introduction was the first text I went to, and found it extremely helpful. Notions that are used in various contexts in other author's works, like the 'Real,''object a,' etc., finally came to life through Fink's focus on their clinical application. For this reason, I can see how this book would also suit the psychoanalytically minded c ...more
Ben Loory
Dec 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
surprisingly clear, though at times it did feel like someone dumped a vial of acid on my brain, i could actually feel it in there bubbling and burning, not an altogether unpleasant experience however. gotta say it lost me a little bit with all the "mathemes." couldn't figure out what i was supposed to do with them. multiply? divide? just stare at them?? what? they didn't seem to express anything more than the accompanying descriptions which stated what they supposedly stated. the good thing of c ...more
Alan Scott
Dec 28, 2008 rated it really liked it
So, you are interested in the psychoanalytic theory of Jacques Lacan are you? Then I am happy to tell you that this book-- perhaps more than any other I have found-- will help you to get a grasp on what is sometimes incredibly opaque and a maddingly complex/ convoluted theoretical model. This is brilliant and essential reading.

This book discusses Lacanian theory as a clinical practice-- taking it out of the abstract philsophical realm to explain how it is practically applied in the field, which
Tom Meade
Jun 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
Not quite finished with this yet, but I have to give it props for managing to achieve the seeming impossible and deliver a lucid and easily comprehensible overview of Lacan. I suppose it helps that Fink is dealing with most of Lacan's notions in expressly clinical terms. Unfortunately, this does mean that while the book is great for providing insights into the operations of the human mind, it makes it a bit less useful as a critical tool for a guy who just wants to write a damned essay.
Tom Syverson
Dec 31, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Jacques Lacan is often confusedly lumped in with "post-structuralism", but Fink here presents Lacanian psychoanalysis at its most rigorously structuralist. The author expresses some misgivings on this account, recognizing that he is in sense converting Lacan's "anti-system" into a kind of clean-cut doctrine, arguably contrary to the deliberately obscurantist (more, obstructionist) spririt of Lacan's "elusive/allusive/illusive" work.

But truly, Fink's book is an outstanding accomplishment and an
μια εξαιρετική εισαγωγή πάνω στο έργο του Λακάν..
σαφώς υπάρχει μια επανερμηνεια όπως στις περισσότερες περιπτώσεις τέτοιων βιβλίων αλλά ευτυχώς ο Fink δεν υποπίπτει σε πλήρη παρερμηνεία
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to me as a good place to begin understanding what Lacan's work is about. Bruce Fink emphasizes that this is merely a survey and is intended to be neither exhaustive nor absolutely objective. This doesn't prevent him from being quite dense at moments, but the book is fascinating, informative and easy to grasp for the most part. Without further experience with Lacan's own writings, what stands out to me is how Fink makes clinical sense of the seemingly nebulous life work ...more
Apr 07, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Seeing how Lacanian theory happens in practice makes the finer points of the theory easier to grasp.
Toby Wiggins
Nov 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
An excellent introduction to the lacanian clinic. Well rounded and accessible.
Oct 24, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
Fink manages to make most of Lacan readable, but I'll admit to becoming a bit glassy-eyed by the end.
Stevie Kashkynov
Oct 16, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: philosophy
Really an amazing introduction to Lacan, but certainly not without some of its downsides.

I'm already relatively familiar with Lacanian theory, and it's evident that Fink performs a sort of reduction upon many of the most important concepts in his thought (i.e 'jouissance', 'The Real, the Symbolic, the Imaginary', the Mirror Stage, etc.), but nonetheless, I suppose this can be excused considering that this is, after all, a clinical, not conceptual, introduction to Lacanian psychoanaly
Dec 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychoanalysis
I would say that you really need to read Bruce Fink's book The Lacanian Subject before you can really grasp this, but ultimately it's an incredibly valuable introduction to Lacanian psychoanalysis. My one criticism would be that it doesn't give enough examples from real-life clients. I'd love to see more how psychoanalysis can be practically used to help patients, which we don't see much of. But Fink is really like valuable beyond measure for Lacanianism because of his dual introductions (this and The ...more
Jul 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Couldn't make it past the first thirty pages. I felt no urge to continue. Fink is a decent enough writer, but the Lacanian method he outlines in the book is awful. It seems irritating, egomaniacal, and even misanthropic. I'm usually pretty open to giving a wide berth to authors of very different perspectives than my own. I enjoy learning from such people. But Lacan, it seems, triggers the end of my patience. I'm exceedingly grateful his therapeutic method is so neglected in North America.
Riley Holmes
Jan 29, 2019 rated it really liked it
After reading several books on Lacan's theories, I hoped to tie it all together with something more concrete and prescriptive. This did not disappoint.
Apr 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
This books serves as a great introduction to Lacan from the clinical perspective. It gives a brief rundown of some basic psychoanalytic concepts and then lays out some fundamental features of different subjects (e.g. obsessive neurotics, hysterics, psychotics, perverts, etc.) backed up with some of Fink's case studies.
Dimitris Vasiadis
Mar 12, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Although it does sound as an exaggeration, this is one of the best books ever written. Grasps Lacan excellently and one could posit that the comprehensive reframe even gives birth to some new meanings through a unique point of view.
Jan 18, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I gave this book 5 stars because it is the first book on Lacanian analysis that actually contains some clinical guidelines and considerations. Whether or not I would follow this line of advice is a wholly different matter, but this actually is a book for psychotherapists, not philosophers.
Joe Spencer
Mar 02, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Fink is Lacan's most convincing advocate in the English language. This book is a must, in my strange opinion, for anyone serious about teaching.
May 30, 2009 rated it really liked it
bruce Fink is a Lacanian Psychoanalyst and in this book he elaborates ckearly the process of psychoanalyzing in a lacanian way, I mean the clinical approach
Kate Walsh
Thanks, Colin!
May 03, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychoanalysis
Very lucid account of Lacanian theory. Highly recommended for anyone looking for an entryway into Lacan's labyrinthine works.
Diana Negroiu
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May 25, 2014
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Bruce Fink is a practicing Lacanian psychoanalyst and analytic supervisor. He trained as a psychoanalyst in France for seven years with and is now a member of the psychoanalytic institute Jacques Lacan created shortly before his death, the École de la Cause freudienne in Paris, and obtained his Ph.D. from the Department of Psychoanalysis at the University of Paris VIII (Saint-Denis). He served as ...more
“For once desire is articulated in words it does not sit still, but displaces, drifting metonymically from one thing to the next. Desire is a product of language and cannot be satisfied with an object.” 4 likes
“It is when patients begin to throw such things into question-when the what, why, and who of their utterances become problematic to them-that they are genuinely engaged in analysis.” 0 likes
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