To gain ground: the construction of psychic change The draining of the Zuider see is a conquest: to transform the sea into land, to gain ground. Freud thought that the "dictatorship of reason" played a decisive role in this conquest, psychic progress in analytic treatment. How can the analyst conciliate this intellectual demand with free-floating attention and rêverie? The author deals with the analytic treatment of a patient who was desperately clinging to reality in order to avoid loosing his mind. The issue is the fear of psychic change. Instead of dealing with the fear stirred by the anticipation of change, the author examines a situation where the patient realizes that change has occurred, triggering a vivid anxiety related to the feeling of not recognising himself anymore.
Keywords: Psychic change, negative therapeutic reaction, reason, intellectual, cunning, Kafka, Ulysses