chapter  7
11 Pages

Viewing a female condition through a psychoanalytic (male?) lens

WithDanielle Redland

To conclude, analysis for the patient with secondary amenorrhea can be experienced as something transitional. Either the actual analyst or the sessions are the transitional objects and the more attached the patient becomes, the harder it is for her to give them up. In pursuit of a never-ending beginning, her unconscious phantasy is challenged by the realities of life and schisms start to attack the couple’s combined thinking. Like a girl who pulls the eyes off her prized dolly, frenzy ensues. What though are the forces that, as Freud asks, “impel” the patient “to do work and to make changes”? What is it that the patient desires? If it is man’s approval, benevolence, attention, how does this sit with feminism and how can we sensibly use Freudian and early psychoanalytic theory in a new era of female empowerment? Can a woman not seek to possess that which man has, understood by Karl Abraham “not as a privilege of men but of adults in general”? Amenorrhea can provide women with the parthenogenetic phantasy that they can be male and female, mother and father, perhaps even sharing parts of father with mother. It’s an attempt to resolve something, not necessarily to reject but perhaps, more encouragingly, to incorporate that which has been lost, into her being.