ABSTRACT

Affects are a high-stakes topic in psychoanalysis. Isn’t it owing to disturbing symptoms that people call upon analysts, so that the latter may help them explore and assuage those symptoms? And who would want to get well if their symptoms – whether hysterical, obsessional, or involving impotence or some more vague malaise – were not accompanied by painful affects such as sorrow, discouragement, dejection, or even a distaste for life? At the root of any request to begin an analysis, there is always affective suffering that is hard to bear and that is looking for a cure.