André Green

Clinical Thought Publication date : February 1, 2002

‘Clinical’ and ‘thought’: these are two words that one rarely associates,” explains André Green . “Thought resides in a variety of fields of activity, but, up to the present, it has not yet entered the clinical domain. It can be philosophical, scientific, religious, etc. But the level of theoretical elaboration, supporting its internal demands, does not seem to allow the ‘clinical’ to aspire to ‘thought’. The term ‘clinical’ is usually defined as pertaining to an expression of a descriptive nature, its goal being recognition so that an appropriate symptomatic or etiologic treatment can be given. The origin of the word ‘clinical’ is closely related to medicine: a clinical description is based on observation and perception. One would be hard put to find the shadow of a thought.”
In this book, André Green shows how it is possible — and even desirable — to introduce the concept of clinical thought into psychoanalysis. This concept should be regarded as an original and specific type of rationality, arising from psychoanalytical practice and likely to activate the though processes at work in the course of the psychoanalytical experience. This has become even more necessary today as the clinical tables on which Freud’s work rests have been modified, resulting in innovations and answers that the father of psychoanalysis could not have imagined.

André Green is a psychoanalyst and a member of the Paris Psychoanalytical Society, of which he is a former president. He is the author of La Causalité psychique and Les Chaînes d’Eros..