Pass, The (International Dictionary of Psychoanalysis)
Lacan invented the pass to clarify and formalize the transition between analysand and analyst: "This dark cloud that covers this juncture I am concerned with here, the one at which the psychoanalysand passes to becoming a psychoanalysthat is what our School can work at dissipating" (Lacan, 1995).
Lacan's foundation of theole freudienne de Paris (Freudian School of Paris) on June 21, 1964, was marked by the originality of its membership categories. No longer were there permanent members or didacticians, since an analysis could be recognized as didactic only after the fact by the analysand in question becoming an analyst. There were three categories of membership: analyst of the school (a title initially given to all the former permanent members of the Société psychanalytique de Paris [Paris Psychoanalytic Society] and the Société française de psychanalyse [French Society of Psychoanalysis]), member analysts of the school (who were nominated by a reception committee that guaranteed the "competence" and "regularity" of the candidate's analytic practice), and practicing analysts (who declared their own practice to be analytic, although it was not guaranteed by the school).
Internal conflicts soon developed within the school over training and clinical ability. In an attempt to overcome this crisis, François Perrier proposed, on March 31, 1967, in an address to the analysts of the school, the formation of a college of analysts of the school, which would be devoted to "the clinic as a career and a vocation" (1994). This initiative did not receive any support from Lacan, who wrote up an alternative plan under the title "Proposition of 9 October 1967 on the psychoanalyst of the school" (1995). The procedure that Lacan proposed involved having a candidate give an account of an analysis in which the candidate was the analysand before three "passers," who had been nominated by their own analysts. The passers would then report about their sense of the analysis to an acceptance committee, which could then allow the candidate to pass from analysand to analyst.
This initiative gave rise to a lively debate within the school. As early as 1968, Piera Aulagnier, Maud Mannoni, François Perrier, and Jean-Paul Valabrega made their objections known (later published in Analytica, 7 ). And when Lacan put the proposal to a vote for inclusion in the school's statutes during the Lutetia (Paris) session, Piera Aulagnier, François Perrier, and Jean-Paul Valabrega resigned from the school.
Nevertheless, the pass was put into practice. It seemed that Lacan expected the pass to be not an "experiment in unconscious knowledge," but a "revelation." Thus the pass had nothing to do with analysis. In 1974, in a letter to three of his Italian adherents (Giacomo Contri, Muriel Drazien, and Armando Verdiglione), Lacan recommended that they create an Italian group, "including the principle of the pass for those who apply for it" (1982). In Italy the pass was thus proposed at the outset before the school was functioning.
On January 7 to 8, 1978, during the Deauville session on the pass experiment, Lacan heard much discussion on the value of the pass. He mostly heard objections to the procedure, notably from Ginette Raimbault and Serge Leclaire. So he closed the session with these words: "I had wanted to hear testimonials about how it's working. And obviously I didn't hear any. The pass really is a complete failure" (Lettres de l'école, April 1978).
Lacan's declaration that the pass was a failure seemed to indicate that it is impossible to pinpoint within the analytic situation the passage from analysand to analyst. Thus analysts must resort to the other way of recognizing a psychoanalyst, namely an ability to maintain the analytic position as verified by a supervised analysis. This leads to the hypothesis that one is an analyst only in the analytic situation.
See also: ole de la Cause freudienne; ole freudienne de Paris; France; Quatrième Groupe (O.P.L.F.), Fourth group; Training analysis; "Unconscious, The."
Lacan, Jacques. (1970). Discours prononcé par J. Lacan le 6 décembre 1967 à l'ole Freudienne de Paris. Scilicet, 2-3, 9-29.
. (1977). Sur la passe. Ornicar? 12-13.
. (1982). Note italienne. Ornicar? 25, 7-10.
. (1995). Proposition of 9 October 1967 on the psychoanalyst of the school. (Russell Grigg, Trans.). Analysis, 6, 1-13. (Original work published 1968)
Perrier, François. (1994). La chaussée d'Antin (new ed.). Paris: Albin Michel.