For some people going to see a psychoanalyst is the last resort. In fact, I’ve had a couple of people use that very term when they’ve come to see me. I guess there are several ways one could interpret this. Perhaps someone is that desperate they will try anything. Or maybe they’ve already tried everything (else) and psychoanalysis really is the last resort.
What does this say about psychoanalysis? That it is something to be avoided if at all possible? Maybe. In fact, who in their right mind would visit an analyst, let alone come back to see him or her every week, several times a week in fact, for many years? And yet, this is what some people do. Perhaps they are not in their right minds. Or perhaps they have found something within psychoanalysis that makes their life bearable, if not meaningful.
And then again, perhaps desperation is not necessarily such a bad thing. Sometimes it’s only in a time of crisis, a time of desperation, that the truth starts to emerge, bearing in mind that, most of the time, most people go out of their way to avoid the truth. This is not to romanticise crises, be they individual or social: rather it’s simply to point out that at a time of crisis things can change, and new facts can come to light.
And even if psychoanalysis is the last resort for some people, this doesn’t necessarily mean that, had they played their cards differently, things could have been so much better: so much better in fact that they wouldn’t have had to visit an analyst in the first place. It could mean that they have finally realised that they were in the wrong game to start with, one which they could never win.