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Absence, Memory and Dwelling within the Historiography of the Therapeutic Community

[ Vol. 13 , Issue. 3 ]


John Gale*   Pages 171 - 175 ( 5 )


Despite its psychoanalytic origins, the author situates the emergence of the therapeutic community within divergent traditions. He theorizes the therapeutic community as both a ‘place’ and a space at the centre of which is an absence (the un-conscious). This absence is the foundation of the Symbolic. The culture of each community is embodied in specific rituals and customs which represent the Law (Oedipus). And the position the subject adopts in relation to the rules and boundaries in the community always refers us back to his or her singular history. It is here, for the subject of psychosis, that the spectre of the fragmented body emerges, within a psychic homelessness. In the therapeutic community, the boundary between the inside and the outside is inscribed not just in the spatial location but also by the relationships between members of the group.


Absence, psychoanalysis, unconscious, desire, therapeutic community, Lacan, place, fragmented body.


International Network of Psychotherapeutic Practice (INPP), London

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