The author takes up the psychoanalytic concept of «as if» developed by Helen Deutsch to describe some clinical cases drawn from his own practice as a psychoanalyst. But more generally, he uses it to describe a type of personality characterized by a lack of courage, and thus the impossibility of truly loving someone or something, since all love implies an act of courage. The «as if» subject loses the notion of his true desire insofar as s/he does not dare to realize it or even express it to himself. Finally, the author questions to what extent most people are «as if» personalities; in particular, he analyzes a certain at¬trac¬tion that the psychoanalytic profession exerts on the «as if», and why the psychoanalyst appears so attractive a figure to them.
Keywords: Helen Deutsch, «As if» personalities, psychoanalytic profession