Each Self is a Unique IKEA Furniture Set

What does simple managerial thinking teach us about the psychoanalytic process? A lot, and nothing at all. On one hand, being a creature of the tripartite utility seeking subpersonal psychisms [id, ego, superego] that is the unconscious, the analysand is always already motivated by a cognitively opaque desire for things that have no existence in the real world. He is a bee living off the flowers of his own rhetoric, the buzzing of his own desire. On the other hand, the very possibility of psychoanalysis, the possibility of the intelligibility of a project that rescues the analysand from his unavoidably deleterious patterns of mental hygiene, and helps cultivate control over his ratiocinative powers posits ‘psychoanalysis’ as a promise of absolute mastery over Pareto Optimal equilubria for the analysand. Thus, the analysand is justified in his pathological inability to think straight because the analyst promises to award the incumbent with a path to self and other mastery.

Coalitions of analysts and analysands thus bind each other in the game of asking for and providing imaginary but reciprocally weighted tokenings of symbolic satisfactions to each other, by participating in the ritual of analysis. However labour leads to optimal equilubria only when the analysand is able to notice nonzero increase in his facility at manipulating the imaginary relations that suture his doings to his sayings. The gap between his desire and his ritual performance of its demands gains traction with real appreciation only when the nonzero therapeutic effect is arbitrarily close to the analysand’s arbitrary judgement of how good he feels about his analysis.

Analysts however cannot approximate that judgement because minds are not transparent, neither analyst’s nor analysand’s, and any modifications in the analysis can only be implemented if the desire of the analysand is stewarded such that its occurent state in analysis maintains the unity of its ego formation. Labour is fruitful only when the analysand is allowed to believe that his efforts at self-modification for the Other are successful. If he doesn’t receive this commendation soon enough then the IKEA furniture set that is his self semblable will deteriorate into symptomatic acting outs which actually only betray the object of his sayings and doings. Analysts must rely on their own symptoms, the level of satisfaction they can read off the acting outs of the analysand in relation to the relevant environing stimuli.

Labor leads to higher valuation only when the labor is fruitful: When people fail to complete an effortful task, the IKEA effect dissipated. Research suggests that consumers may be willing to pay a premium for do-it-yourself projects, but there’s an important caveat: Companies hoping to persuade their customers to assume labor costs – for example, by nudging them toward self-service through internet channels – should be careful to create tasks difficult enough to lead to higher valuation but not so difficult that customers can’t complete them.’

The message is not the messenger, textual transference is imaginary.

Recall that the value of psychoanalytic treatment for the analysand is high only when it leads to a noticeable and nonzero therapeutic effect. If the analysand fails to reach that point, however, the value of the efforts of the analyst is discounted. The analytic process can help per-formatively approximate the analysand’s desire only if the analysand can be persuaded to assume labour costs- for example, by forking good money over to the analyst over however long a period of time it may take for a meaningful picture of therapeutic effects to emerge.

The value of psychoanalytic discourse, analogously, is high only inasmuch as the reader notices a nonzero therapeutic effect. Only, textual discourse cannot capture the environing stimuli relevant to the therapeutic bottom-line of readerly satisfaction, and must approximate infinitely close to a coherent transference of meaning but risk never quite getting there. The reader’s assessment of psychoanalytic discourses passes from discursive entries that in-form neural bindings in real time and propagate ‘feelings’ to affective behavioural exits carrying a desirable positive or negative valence for the reader. The efficacy of psychoanalytic writing is a function from each signifying discourse marker to a corresponding unit of valence propagated through discursive neural entries and affective behavioural exits.

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