Jacques Lacan





Psychoanalysis has been in existence for more than one hundred years and it is practiced in one form or another throughout the world. Since it's origins with Sigmund Freud it has evolved into multiple schools or traditions which vary theoretically, regionally, and clinically.  Dr. Ysern practices within the Lacanian tradition based on the work of the French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan (1901 - 1981). In the United States this approach differs from the better-known "classical" psychoanalysis  of cartoon fame in that it does not require sessions 4 times a week lasting 45 minutes nor the use of a couch. A Lacanian psychoanalytic treatment adjusts the frequency of visits, length of sessions, and use of the couch to the clinical needs of the analysand. However, a more important distinction is that Lacanian psychoanalysis is based on a return to Freud's original discoveries in terms of language and not as a one-person (ego) nor a two-person (relational) psychology. This difference remains fundamental to this day and defines any Lacanian approach to psychoanalysis.


Lacanian psychoanalytic treatment also differs from objective, brief, solution-focused or problem-solving therapies that seek to change your thinking in order to modify your behavior. These therapies are based on the premise that erroneous beliefs and cognitive distortions lead to maladaptive behaviors. The better ones go under the name of cognitive behavioral therapy or CBT and their use is widespread in psychology and psychiatry. Psychoanalytic therapy, for it's part, operates differently.  It does not teach behavioral strategies or coping skills, nor does it give you homework, try to change your thinking or make you adjust better to others. Instead, it focuses on personal subjectivity and ethical responsibility. It holds that a significant part of human experience happens outside of conscious awareness, that is "unconscious." By becoming aware of our unconscious we are not beholden to patterns acquired in the past and we can assume responsibility for actions we have consciously or unconsciously done or will do.