In ‘In therapy’ and its season 2 in the context of Covid, silence is worth more than words

SERIES – The time has come to find Philippe Dayan’s sofa. This Thursday, March 31, in therapyalso known as the most watched series in the history of Arte.tv, is back on the free platform, before the broadcast of first episodes this new season on the Franco-German channel on April 7.

Change of scenery. The psychoanalyst, played by Frédéric Pierrot, has moved on. He is in Les Lilas, on the outskirts of Paris, where he now receives his “patients”. Cast change, too. Mélanie Thierry and Reda Kateb, among others, gave way to four newcomers: Eye Haïdara (Inès), Suzanne Lindon (Lydia), Aliocha Delmotte (Robin) and Jacques Weber (Alain). Charlotte Gainsbourg replaced Carole Bouquet in the role of supervisor.

It is not all. A distinguished guest has arrived. In addition to the Covid-19 epidemic (background of this season), it is silence. Yes, the absence of dialogue, the large blank spaces. And this, while Philippe Dayan, more talkative than many specialists in his field in real life, has quite accustomed us to the conversation in his “cabinet”.

Towards the “full discourse”

“Often we had to reduce the text a bit. Sometimes we remove some until there is nothing left, explained Olivier Nakache, one of the program’s co-creators, during a press conference in February. […] Listening to the silence, we learn more”. She also went on to inscribe in black on white the expression “meaning silence” in the script to insist on the absence of exchanges.

This practice seems to have been difficult for Emmanuelle Bercot, who signs several episodes this season like other renowned French directors, such as Arnaud Desplechin or Agnès Jaoui. The one whose films leave little room for silence confided that she did not know “everything about psychoanalysis” and “had never seen a psychiatrist”.

Because this practice of silence is not insignificant, it is intimately linked to a current of psychoanalysis. “In the analysis sessions, there is silence, remembers Frédéric Pierrot. There are three main ones: anxiety, anguish, pause. All of these qualities of silence feel a bit like music. It allows you to feel what is called ‘whole speech.’”

a revealing silence

We owe this theory to Jacques Lacan, as the psychoanalyst Patricia Dahan explains in the magazine Champ Lacanian. According to the doctoral student at the University of Paris Diderot, observing the place of silence, which Lacan considers empty speech, is fundamental. “This allows us to show that silence is part of the discourse, that it is not separated from it”, she specifies.

Silence is indeed indistinguishable from verbalization, it is the product of the articulation of speech. Inside the seminar, Lacan takes the example of a silence, that of the sexual drive. Here, it is correlative to speech, since it allows expressing a saying without words. “The introduction of language makes silence exist in the same way that the creation of the vase makes emptiness exist”, adds the researcher.

The silence would be revealing of the object of the speech, but also of a speech that cannot be said or that is not meant, an unsaid. Its functions are diverse. Like a gap between two words, we finally imagine it as a gap within ourselves. in therapy take out the beak

See also in The HuffPost: Discover “Nona and her daughters”, the series by Valérie Donzelli for Arte

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