3 1 23-38 2014

Fixation and Needle Fixation

Scott Welsh


Terminology is important in psychoanalysis. The words and language used by psychoanalysts and psychoanalytic theorists to describe particular phenomena are governed by the therapeutic or interpretative context in which they are used. The word ‘projection’, for example, means one thing in the ordinary social world and quite another for the psychoanalyst, patient or theorist. The same can be said of fixation and some addiction theorists are beginning to question the use of the term needle fixation because of its implied unconscious content. This paper proposes that needle fixation can be understood and articulated as a bona-fide fixation through the use of contemporary and traditional psychoanalytic theorists. The problem of language and terminology, identified by Fraser et al., (2004) no longer applies and the term ‘needle fixation’ stands both in its psychoanalytic usage as arrested development and the contemporary reference by addicts and addiction theorists to compulsive injection as needle fixation. 

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7565/landp.2014.002


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