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Sessions of Variable Duration

Lacan's practice of sessions of variable duration (French: séances scandées) came to be one of the main reasons that the IPA gave for excluding him when the SFP was negotiating for IPA recognition in the early 1960s. Alternatively, the analyst can also punctuate the analysand's speech by a moment of silence, or by interrupting the analysand, or by terminating the session at an opportune moment.[1]

This last form of punctuation has been a source of controversy throughout the history of Lacanian psychoanalysis, since it contravenes the traditional IPA practice of sessions of fixed duration.

Today, the technique of punctuation, especially as expressed in the practice of sessions of variable duration, continues to be a distinctive feature of Lacanian psychoanalysis.

See Also


  1. Lacan, Jacques. Écrits: A Selection. Trans. Alan Sheridan. London: Tavistock Publications, 1977. p.44