Betty Milan, "Analyzed by Lacan: A Personal Account" (Bloomsbury, 2023)


Analyzed by Lacan: A Personal Account (Bloomsbury, 2023) brings together the first English translations of Why Lacan, Betty Milan's memoir of her analysis with Lacan in the 1970s, and her play, Goodbye Doctor, inspired by her experience.

Why Lacan provides a unique and valuable perspective on how Lacan worked as psychoanalyst as well as his approach to psychoanalytic theory. Milan's testimony shows that Lacan's method of working was based on the idea that the traditional way of interpreting provoked resistance.

Prior to Why Lacan, Milan wrote a play, Goodbye Doctor, based on her experience as Lacan's patient. The play is structured around the sessions of Seriema with the Doctor. Through the analysis, Seriema discovers why she cannot give birth, namely, an unconscious desire to satisfy the will of her father who didn't authorize her to conceive. She ceases to be the victim of her unconscious, grasps the possibility of choosing a father for her child and thus becoming a mother. Goodbye Doctor has been adapted into a film, Adieu Lacan, by the director Richard Ledes.

Analyzed by Lacan features an Introduction by Milan to both works as well as a new interview with Mari Ruti about her writing and Lacan.

Matthew Pieknik, LCSW, MA is a psychoanalyst and clinical supervisor in private practice in Manhattan. He can be reached at

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Matthew Pieknik

Matthew Pieknik is a psychoanalyst in private practice in New York City.

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