chapter  3
32 Pages

Affect in clinical structures

In the title of this chapter I speak advisedly of clinical structures. I shall not be dealing here, therefore, with affect in clinical practice, but rather of the place of the affect in various structures. For affect, as it presents itself in the psychical organization of this or that individual, is what is identified most readily with what is most irreducibly particular, most singularly individual about that individual. My approach could have taken the form either of a monograph in which an individual’s affective organization would be studied, but which would produce no general conclusions, or of an attempt to systematize the psychoanalytic field as a whole, considered from the point of view of affect. Since it seemed to me that I should try to elucidate a general problematic, without ignoring the dangers of a superficial examination of the question, I have chosen the second solution.