Past events 2017

Talks, conversations, events from the SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis

FRIDAY October 13th 2017
Doors open at 7pm with saxophone performance; event starts at 7.30pm.
Draper Hall: Hampton Street junction with Newington Butts (next to the Santander bike stand) SE17 3AN

Mary Wild

Psychoanalysis of David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive

The neo-noir surrealist thriller Mulholland Drive (2001) begins with an amnesiac woman and an aspiring actress searching for answers across Los Angeles, beyond fantasy and reality. David Lynch’s masterpiece has captivated and mystified audiences worldwide, creating a glorious puzzle for the mind and heart of film fans.

In this lecture, Mary Wild will deconstruct and interpret this unforgettable cinematic riddle from a psychoanalytic perspective, the central thesis being that a psychogenic fugue follows the unconscious trauma of unrequited love in the context of the Hollywood film industry. We will refer to Jacques Lacan’s concept of the mirror stage and his linguistic theory to illuminate Lynch’s iconic dream-logic, which is disturbing and beguiling in equal measure. The evening will include a series of excerpts from the film, and will be followed by a discussion.

Mary Wild is the creator of the PROJECTIONS lecture series (psychoanalysis for film interpretation), which has been running regularly at Freud Museum London since 2012. She teaches in the Humanities department at City Lit and has produced similar events at ICA, BFI, NYU and Central Saint Martins. Her interests include cinematic representations of identity, the unconscious, hysteria, neoliberal economics, mental illness and love.


The Clinical SITE is presenting a series of three interconnected workshops, facilitated by Philip Hill. This introductory series will explore how a Freudian or Lacanian approach differs from others, and will review different and popular clinical techniques and theories in widespread use today, including those of Jung and Klein, and their clinical consequences.

These radically different approaches to clinical work will be compared, looking in particular at their views of diagnosis, interpretation, working with transference and boundaries or limits.

Participants are asked to bring clinical material to share, including direct quotations from clients’ speech. The workshops assume no prior knowledge.


Workshop 1: Saturday 7th October

What are the differences between need, demand and desire, in and out of the clinic?

Why did Lacan distinguish between ‘the real, imaginary and symbolic’ and why are these useful categories?

Why are the differences between demand, love and desire vital to clinic work?

Why do men typically separate love and desire while women tend to conglomerate them, and what are the consequences for relationships and clinical work?

‘Need’, ‘demand’ and ‘desire’ are to some degree ambiguous ordinary language terms, but they take on special values in clinical work. Differentiating these key terms informs different theoretical and clinical techniques and is essential in allowing an ethical position to be taken by the clinician. What does the clinician’s desire have to do with his ‘ethics’?

What are the differences between ‘love’, ‘transference’ and ‘demand’? What is the relation of demand to desire, and how do shifts occur from demand to desire in childhood, and in clinical work?

How can a clinician distinguish his own transference, arising from his private life outside the clinic, from countertransference that is supposed to arise from the client’s transference?


Workshop 2: Saturday 21st October

Plato and Aristotle on sexual identity, popular culture and psychoanalytic theory and technique

What objections would Aristotle have to Kleinian and Jungian theory and clinical technique? Why should we be interested and what difference does theory make to clinical practice?
The view of Heraclitus is that, at best, the cosmos is structured like a rubbish heap. This bothered Plato, who countered with his own highly influential theory that is the prototype of Jung’s and Melanie Klein’s. Plato’s legacy lives on in the theories and clinics of Jungians and Kleinians. How and why do Freudians and Lacanians do things differently, why and what are the consequences for the knowledge of the analyst, and for interpretation?

Transference and Countertransference: Is ‘countertransference’ an idea or phenomenon that is on the same footing as ‘transference’? Is it possible to analyse without relying on countertransference?

Technique and interpretation: What is ‘intuition’, and does it have a privileged role in the clinic? What is the relation of truth to interpretation?


Talks, conversations, events from the SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis

Thursday September 14th 2017

Doors open at 7pm; event starts at 7.30pm

Draper Hall: Hampton Street junction with Newington Butts (next to the Santander bike stand) SE17 3AN


When it was published in 1972, Anti-Oedipus upset nearly everyone. Written by the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze and the psychoanalyst Félix Guattari, the book aimed to transform both traditional Freudian theory and traditional Marxism to create a new form of revolutionary psychotherapy. Despite being attacked as irresponsible and dangerous by psychoanalysts and political militants alike, the book has been wildly popular: the first publishing run sold out almost immediately and, having been translated into English, Spanish, German, Japanese and Korean, the book continues to be read across the world as a vital text in the history of political and psychoanalytic theory.

At this event, Chris Oakley and Ed Thornton will unpack some of the central arguments of the book. They will explore the reasons behind the controversy and ask whether this provocative text has any clinical implications for practicing psychoanalysts today.


Ed Thornton is a PhD candidate at Royal Holloway working on the political and psychotherapeutic implications of Deleuze and Guattari’s philosophy. He has previously published in this area and has run a number of public events exploring the history and practice of different radical psychotherapeutic practices, including those of Anti-Psychiatry and Institutional Psychotherapy.

Chris Oakley has been a psychoanalyst, supervisor and teacher for over 45 years. He is a founder member of the SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis.


This event launches a new series from the SITE on the theme of:

‘Analysing Analysis: Social, Political, and Philosophical Perspectives on Contemporary Psychoanalysis’

Further events coming up in early 2018 – more info to be announced soon:


July 08, 2017


with Haya Oakley

‘’Marriage resembles a pair of shears, so joined that they cannot be separated, Often moving in opposite directions, yet always punishing anyone who comes between them.’’

Sidney Smith; Lady Holland’s Memoirs (1855. Vol I, Ch. 11)

This workshop will explore the reasons couples come to therapy and how to avoid coming between couples whilst working with that which is between them, the couple’s dynamic. It will be based on my own clinical experience of working with a diversity of couples spanning four decades as well as examples from TV series In Treatment (HBO. Dir Rodrigo Garcia from the Israeli original Betipul) and Scenes from a Marriage (Ingmar Bergman).

Haya Oakley has been practising psychoanalysis in London since 1968. After a brief spell at the David Cooper ‘anti-university’ group she joined the Philadelphia Association where she worked with R.D. Laing and colleagues, training psychotherapists and working in ‘therapeutic households’. In 1997 she set up, with others, The Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. She has been a member of the Guild of Psychotherapists since 1982 and is a founder member of The College of Psychoanalysts UK and Honorary Fellow of UKCP. Haya’s interests include the politics of psychotherapeutic organisations, the issues surrounding State regulation of the ‘impossible profession’, the comparative study of psychoanalytic theories and the question of psychosis.


Working with Psychosis

April 8, 2017

with Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz

This workshop offers an introduction into the psychoanalytic treatment of psychosis and it is suitable for anyone with a theoretical and clinical interest in psychosis, including trainees and practising therapists. Underlying this workshop is a specialist therapy project (Psychosis Therapy Project) which Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz launched at Islington Mind a few years ago, with a view to furthering the development of effective psychotherapeutic interventions in the area of psychosis. Psychosis is a very common and widespread phenomenon and more and more individuals experiencing psychosis rightfully turn to talk therapy for help. Yet, therapists do not always feel equipped to work with psychosis; they often assume that this kind of work is especially challenging, if not impossible. By combining theoretical clarifications and clinical illustrations, this workshop will discuss the challenges, the pitfalls and the undeniable successes of the psychoanalytic treatment of psychosis. Its wish is to promote the accessibility of psychoanalysis in the treatment of psychosis and to contribute to the de-stigmatisation of psychosis as hopeless and untreatable.

Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz is a psychoanalyst and a translator in the field of psychoanalytic theory. She is a member of the SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and one of the editors of Sitegeist: A Journal of Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. She is the founder of the Psychosis Therapy Project, a specialist therapy service for people experiencing psychosis at Islington Mind and she has a special interest in promoting the psychoanalytic treatment of psychosis in theory as well as in practice.


The SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and The Freud Museum present:

Transgender, Gender and Psychoanalysis

A two-day conference

11 – 12 March 2017

9.30am – 5.00pm

The struggles of people of transgender identity have exploded into mainstream consciousness. By crossing the ‘gender divide’, the trans movement has radicalised the question of what it means to be a man or a woman, uncovering a fertile and conflicting arena in which the emancipatory deconstruction of sexual identity flirts with the certainties of essentialism.

Such a reshuffling of binary and non-binary categories confronts psychoanalysis with new clinical, political and theoretical challenges that push it out of its comfort zone. How can contemporary psychoanalysis meet the demands and the needs that such challenges yield? What does psychoanalysis have to lose? And what does it stand to gain?

The 2017 SITE Conference in collaboration with the Freud Museum will approach these questions critically while exploring new horizons from which to address the complex issues of sexual identity and gendered positioning.





Patricia Gherovici

Jaywalking: Is Psychoanalysis Ready for a Transition?

Jo Clifford

Learning to love myself as my neighbour: one individual’s reflection on being transgendered

Domenico di Ceglie

The Use of Metaphors in Understanding Atypical Gender Identity Development and its Psychosocial Impact

Damian McCann

The Couple in Transition

Julie Walsh

Establishing the Lines between Trans-Gender-Feminisms

Clinical Round Table with James Mann, Francesca Joseph and others, chaired by Stephen Gee.


Dina Al-Kassim

Transnational Subjectivities from Tehran to Laplanche

Sheila Cavanagh

Tiresias and the Other Sexual Difference: Bracha L. Ettinger and Jacques Lacan

Juliet Jacques

The Woman in the Portrait

Dany Nobus

Choose Your Gender! Tyrannical Freedom and Trivial Selectivity in 21st Century Sexual Identity Politics

Henry Strick van Linschoten

Ways in which Gender can be Embodied: Psychotherapeutic Considerations

Plenary discussion and thinking time

Click for all Conference abstracts






The Transgender, Gender & Psychoanalysis Conference Fringe will lead up to the SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and Freud Museum Conference which takes place on the 11th & 12th March 2017 at the Freud Museum.

Art Exhibition:

The exhibition will run from Sunday 5th of March 2017 (with a private view that evening) until Sunday 12th March 2017 and will be open to the public at various times during the Fringe Week.

We expect a large turnout from the art, psychoanalytic and transgender communities.

Dates: Sunday 5th – Sunday 12th March 2017

Time: 11.00-18.00

Venue: Draper Hall, Junction of Hampton Street/Newington Butts, London SE17

Free admission

Click here to view flyer: Fringe Exhibition Flyer


Film Screening:

‘Laurence Anyways’, written & directed by Xavier Dolan

Date: 7th March 2017

Time: 19:30

Venue: The Cinema Museum, 2 Dugard Way, London SE11 4TH

Click here to book tickets



Infallible Productions at Draper Hall presents the London premiere of:

The Gospel According to Jesus, Queen of Heaven

Written and performed by legendary trans playwright, performer and poet Jo Clifford, directed by Susan Worsfold, produced by Annabel Cooper

This unique and extraordinary show combines theatre with storytelling, spoken word and ritual. Join Queen Jesus for a revolutionary queer ritual in which bread is shared, wine is drunk and familiar stories are reimagined by a transgender Jesus.




Workshop: Dreaming & Thinking; Dream Processes in our Waking Lives

February 25, 2017

Ilric Shetland

Most of us think that there is a huge gulf that separates our dream worlds from our ordinary life.  In this workshop this distinction between dreaming states and conscious states will be questioned.  We will explore what happens when we dream and whether these processes – condensation, displacement, reversal – are also happening  in our waking lives.  The clinical encounter is a space where these strange ways of being can be most clearly seen and  this workshop will focus on working with these dream like processes.

Ilric Shetland is a psychoanalyst in private practice and involved in the Site SW training.


‘What is it that I think I am doing when I am doing Psychoanalysis’

Friday 24 February 2017


Chris Oakley has been a Psychoanalyst, supervisor and teacher for over 45 years. He is a founder member of the Site, before that he was involved with the Philadelphia Association from his early 20s. He has been heavily involved in the training of students for many years and has much to say on this and other issues relating to analytic work. He has contributed to many articles and journals over the years and his book ‘Football Delerium was shortlisted for the 2008 Football Book of the Year. In the course of this conversation we will be attempting to ask the question what it is that Chris thinks he is doing when he is doing psychoanalysis.

Psychoanalysis & Truth

February 4, 2017

with Angela Kreeger

Sometimes truth trumps accuracy. Reality, facts, lies – what is the truth, and whose truth is it? Elie Wiesel said, “some stories are true that never happened, and some words remain true even if their meaning evolves”.

Angela Kreeger is a founder member of The Site. She has had a number of roles there, including being on the Training Committee.  She trained at the Philadelphia Association, completing that in 1997. For the past 15 years she has been supervising in various organisations, and privately. Since 1997 she has worked mainly in private practice with individuals and couples.


Workshop: Facebook, Texting, Surfing the Net: New Technologies and the Privacy of the Clinic

January 28, 2017

Dr Sally Sales

In the contemporary technological age, the public world has become the stage for what was previously our most private communications. Mobiles now make it possible to conduct intimate conversations anywhere and to be always in touch, all of the time. Exposing our most private selves no longer seems a difficulty; indeed given the popularity of programmes like ‘Naked attraction’ and ‘Dating in the Dark, this exposure is actively sought. This workshop will explore the contribution new technologies have made to redrawing our notion of the private.  Has the privacy and confidentiality of therapy become irrelevant? What are the issues that these new social circumstances produce for people seeking therapy?

Sally Sales is an analyst and supervisor in private practice and chair of the Site SW training



The Responsible Supervisor 

January 21, 2017

with Jim O’Neill

“(T)he responsibility of the supervisor is not to the patient whose case is ‘under’ supervision, nor to the supervisee, but to psychoanalysis itself.” Darian Leader, 2006.

Recently the responsibility of the clinical supervisor has been cast in the role of an inspector monitoring the safety and outcome of their supervisee’s work. She is also called upon or happily assumes the role of an “older and wiser” practitioner, in effect teaching and treating more junior, less experienced, colleagues, whether they have asked or wish for it, or not. What is often lost in the compulsion to comply and to explain is the very practice of psychoanalysis itself. In this workshop we will be trying to re-define and re-claim the role of the supervisor’s responsibility back to the discipline of psychoanalysis and in doing so making ample opportunity to engage in the artful and expressive practice of giving an account.

Jim O’Neill is a member of the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and has a practice in South London.