The work of the duel (without interrupting it)

the dual This is an interesting subject that we very frequently discuss in psychoanalytic consultations, and for this reason I am interested in reporting some questions on this subject.

Let’s see how it works to help people who are in great pain when experiencing this loss-related phenomenon.

What is grief and how is it expressed?

The famous Sigmund Freud explains in Duelo y melancolía (1915) that dueling is, as a rule, the reaction of the psyche before the loss of a loved one or an abstraction that happens from time to timelike the fatherland, freedom, an ideal.

It is a complex job that takes time and cannot be done in any way. It is a process that can occur at all stages of life. It is a normal and expected affect, it is not considered a medical condition and it is considered inappropriate to discontinue it.

In the practice we often observe people who consult because they are in distress, it is common to hear the breakdown of an emotional relationship, the death of a loved one, a migration, a change of job which involves taking ‘a new role, the birth of a hijo or a hermanito, which requires new movements in the family configuration.

These are all examples of occasions that they call for the elaboration of what is no longer thereand they require a time which, for psychoanalysis, is logical and not chronological, it depends on the symbolic resources available to the person in question.

How long does the duel last and how does it affect us?

The duel is a painstaking work that is done piece by piece, and it is futile to try to stop or interrupt it. We also generally observe that the relatives of the person who is grieving try to speed up the process, they cannot bear to see this person sad or distressed; there is an imperative to recover quickly, to think of something else, to do tasks to be better, as if overcoming a loss were a matter purely and exclusively of will. However, for those who go through a duel, the world has become poor and empty.

The person in question has lost interest in the outside world and will be able to do something different and new in their life once this process is complete.

We also observe that the patient does not deign to lose like this without more; Freud realizes that one does not voluntarily abandon a libidinal position, even when its substitute looms on the horizon. It is possible and expected that the person will tell us over and over again what they have lost, and the important thing is not to underestimate this form of suffering, but to give it space so that she can process the loss.

How do you work with grief during therapy?

There’s no one way to go through a duel or an exact timeline development to be able to do thiseach case is treated individually.

When in the psychological consultation a person is presented to us going through this process, we invite him to tell his story, we give him the floor so that we can analyze the causes of his suffering, with the aim of achieving, through next, the relief of suffering.

Freud teaches us that “in mourning, the subject has experienced a real loss of the loved object and in the process, taking a long time to process this loss, the subject loses interest in the outside world, withdrawing the libido from any object that does not reference to the lost object.

Thus, the lost object is invested with all the libidinal capacity that the subject can use for this purpose, preventing any new connection. An example of this is when a person dies, and session after session the patient brings, through historization, memories of who that person waswhat he did when he was with her, what he liked, what songs he sang, what words he said, what this person meant in his life.

How to approach a patient who lives a duel in a psychoanalytic consultation? What we do is offer him a place where he can meet to talk about his symptoms, what is hurting him the most, we analyze if what is bothering him has to do with what he has recently lost , or perhaps with previous losses that are now resignifying, although we do not have the goal of eliminating suffering, we have a way to alleviate it, and by respecting the time of the patient in question, we try to make possible a new way of relating to life.

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