In the late part of the 19th century, Freud began a life long work developing the theory and practice of psychoanalysis. Presented with all kind of mental suffering, inexplicable physical symptoms and relational miseries, Freud decided to listen, to listen in a very particular way to what his patients said. How does a psychoanalyst listen and what for? How do we hear the unconscious speaking? And how do we experience being listened to in this very particular way, when we begin to hear that we are saying something we did not intend to?
Psychoanalysis is both founded in its earliest heritage and also in the moment at hand, the discourse of the day. Psychoanalysis in the Lacanian clinic focuses attention towards speech: it is a clinic integrally consistent with Lacan's theory of the unconscious being structured like a language. Implicit in this is the curiosity of the psychoanalyst. This curiosity born of the analyst's desire can and often does sustain the patient, the analysand, until they themselves develop a curiosity with regards to their symptoms, to that which causes them to suffer so. Psychoanalysis provides no quick solutions, no advice as to how to function in the world. Rather, psychoanalysis is interested in the symptom as a meaningful construction, our suffering means something unique and singular to us, that it has a logic all of its own.