Corcos Maurice – Treatment contract : fool’s bargain or partner’s bargain ?

The word “ contract ” in the title gives one to understand that there is a clear prior agreement, or at least a mutually accepted restriction; in other words, it suggests something definitive and under control. Attaching the qualifier “ treatment ” to it opens the way to the notion of therapeutic process with all that it connotes of psychical movement towards a future subject to ambivalence, to the pairing of idealization and de-idealization, to the contingent. The working process that has been engaged offers a therapeutic setting at once spatial and temporal which creates the conditions for the emergence of a transitional space. There is a fool’s bargain when the immediate normative aim takes precedence : – treatment by medicine alone- imposture of effective symptomatic treatment without any work of elaboration (which can lead to relapses and defensive psychical readjustments that allow the problem to evolve quietly with increasing risk) ; verification ; openness in information.

Adolescence, septembre 2002, 20, 3, 555-570