Training Seminars 2008 – 2009 London


4 October – 8 November 2008

Psychosis: Haya Oakley

Seminar 1
Fried,Y and Agassi, J (1976) PARANOIA: A STUDY IN DIAGNISIS. Boston Studies in The Philosophy of Science.Vol L.D Reidel publishing Co. Boston-USA.

In this seminar we will consider Paranoia as a way of being in the world and as a structure. We will look at how we can tell if a patient is ‘really’ paranoid and what would be the clinical implications of this. You might have a problem getting hold of the book and I will not expect you to have read it in time for the seminar but you might like to refresh your reading with anything about paranoia. I will present the theory put forward in this book with plenty of clinical examples.

Seminars 2&3

Freud,S (1922b) Some neurotic mechanisms in Jealousy, Paranoia and Homosexuality
Freud. S (1924 b 1923) Neurosis and Psychosis SE XIX 149
Freud, S (1924 e) The loss of reality in neurosis and psychosis SE XIX 183
( If you only have time of one Freud paper, read this one)
Klein, M (1930) The importance of Symbol- formation in the development of the Ego in: Contributions to psychoanalysis. London, Hogarth Press 1932
Anything by Rosenfeld, H.A from : Psychotic States, a Psychoanalytic approach, New York International University Press.

The idea of seminars 2 and 3 is to achieve a theoretical overview of psychoanalytic approaches to psychosis and the implications to clinical practice.

Seminars 4&5

Lacan, J. ‘on a question preliminary to any possible treatment of psychosis’ in : Ecrit, a selection, Tavistock Publications, London 1977 –179-221

Roustang, F. “Towards a Theory of Psychosis” In: Dire Mastery. Discipleship from Freud to Lacan. John Hopkins University Press. Baltimore and London. 1976

I hope that we can map the Freud to Lacan range before we get to seminar 5 as I would like, ideally, to devote it all to Roustang ( please make sure you read him if nothing else!) and to use the time left to illustrate through clinical examples how the 5 seminars come together but we will shall have to see how we progress.

(NB There is no teaching Oct 25th – it’s the ‘Why Winnicott’ conference)

15 November to 13 December 2008

Laplanche & Post Lacanian developments:  Kirsty Hall

Laplanche has good claims to be one of the most original and interesting of psychoanalysts, yet his work is all too frequently passed over in favour of less thoughtful or apparently more charismatic writers and clinicians. He attended Lacan’s seminars in the early years but disagreed with the master in the 1970s. For many years he divided his life between lecturing in academia – only one of a series of five books of his university lectures entitled Problematiques has been translated into English – private practice and viniculture. Until recently he was the owner of Château Pommard. His reading of Freud is just as close, if not closer, (and certainly more faithful to the original text) than Lacan’s. Laplanche’s aim often seems to be an attempt to pick a very narrow path through Freud’s endless contradictions in search of a reading he considers to be especially true to clinical experience.

Maud Mannoni and her husband Octave also attended Lacan’s seminars. For a while Mannoni ran a school for children with severe emotional problems. They too subsequently disagreed with Lacan. Mannoni’s writing is always centred in the clinic rather than in terms of theory. Whereas with Laplanche, the implications for the clinic of his densely argued discussion of Freud’s work have to be teased out, Mannoni offers a wealth of clinical examples which invite dissection of the underlying implied theoretical points.

Both of these writers assume a detailed knowledge of Freud and their debt to, as well as their disagreement with, Lacan’s re-interpretation is evident. You will therefore be expected to follow up as many of the Freud (and other) quotations and references as you have time for since this can only enrich our discussion.

Since you will have just completed a series of seminars with Haya on psychosis, we will start with a chapter from Mannoni, “Mireille’s question”.

Seminar 1
Maud Mannoni, The Child His “Illness” and the Others (1970) London:Maresfield Press. We will start with Appendix II – “Balance Sheet of an Experiment in a Special School” and then discuss Chapter VII “Mireille’s question” in detail. If at all possible, please read the entire book because it is a real pleasure! Appendix III is also of particular interest.

Seminar 2
Laplanche, J., Pontalis, J.B. (1968). Fantasy and the Origins of Sexuality. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 49:1-18. This will be a revision lesson on trauma and Nachträglichkeit for those of you who attended my seminars last year. If you want to “stretch” your understanding further, you could also look at the classic Kleinian position best summarised in Susan Isaacs’ “The Nature and Function of Phantasy” (also to be found in the International Journal and elsewhere) and the classic Lacanian position, Darian Leader’s paper in The Klein-Lacan Dialogues, (1995) London: Rebus Press.

Seminars 3 & 4
Laplanche, J. Essays on Otherness, (1999) London: Routledge
We will concentrate on two chapters in our discussions, Ch. 1. ‘The Unfinished Copernican Revolution’; and on Ch. 8. ‘Transference: its provocation by the analyst’.

Seminar 5
We will finish the term by looking at Laplanche’s short book Life and Death in Psychoanalysis. I will offer a close reading of chapters 5 and 6 on sado-masochism and the death drive respectively.

I am looking forward to meeting you all again. Most if not all the above should available and sometimes second hand copies will be cheaper. If you experience any problems, please contact me on


17 January -14 February 2009

Trance & transference: Chris Oakley

In these seminars we will be exploring the repressed issue of hypnosis and suggestion that lurks at the heart of the psychoanlystic possibility

Borch Jacobsen, Mikkel (1993), The Emotional Tie Stanford University Press
Roustang, Francois (2000) How to make a paranoid laugh University of Pennsylvania Press

21 February – 21 March 2009

Embodiment: Kati Gray

Human Being is embodied being, yet the body is paid scant attention in psychoanalytic theory and the clinic. Moreover, any theoretical and clinical writings often refer to minds and bodies: symptoms being mental or physical; or more confusingly still ‘psychosomatic illness’.  In these seminars we shall consider a fairly standard psychoanalytic approach to the question of so called psychosomatic illness, via the work of Joyce McDougall, before moving on to a phenomenological consideration of embodiment through the writings of Merleau –Ponty and Boss.  We shall end with a contemporary enquiry into the question of why people become ill by Leader and Corfield.
I will provide copies of the Boss paper as the book is out of print.

Seminar 1

McDougall, J (1990) Plea for a measure of abnormality, Ch 9 The Psychosoma and the Psychoanalytic process Free Association Books: London

Seminar 2

McDougall, J (1989) Theatres of the body Ch 2 The Body-Mind Matrix  Free Association Books: London

Seminar 3

Merleau-Ponty, M (1962) Phenomenology of perception part I The Body Section I The Body as object and mechanistic Physiology Routledge & kegan Paul: London

Seminar 4

Boss, M (1963) Psychoanalysis and Daseinanalysis Part III (8) A patient with functional and structural ‘psychosomatic disturbances Basic Books: New York

Seminar 5

Leader, D & Corfield, D (2007) Why do people get ill Ch’s 1,4,6 & 7 Hamish Hamilton: London

28/29 March 2009 Training Weekend

Affect & Representation:  Ilric Shetland & Sally Sales

In this weekend we will be exploring the influences on psychoanalytic practices of the two structuring concepts affect and representation.  Beginning with Freud’s distinction in the ‘Unconscious’ between ‘thing presentations and ‘word presentations’, we will consider the fundamental and perhaps almost contradictory direction that these concepts have taken different psychoanalytic traditions.  The w/end timetable will cover the following:

A Genealogy of the emergence of the two terms and their deployment within different psychoanalytic traditions

Contemporary psychoanalytic accounts of affect as cure
Deterritorilisation of desire: Delueze and beyond representation
We will also expect the group to work in two smaller groups to prepare two presentations for both Saturday and Sunday. We will circulate detailed reading and the themes of the group presentations nearer to the date of the w/end.


25 April  – 30 May 2009

RD Laing: Alan Pope

These five seminars will look at the life and work of Ronnie Laing and his place in the therapeutic endeavour today.  It is very difficult to look at Lang’s work without reference to those around him and in particular Joe Berke and David Cooper. Laing can sometimes appear to be the fallen angel of  revolutionary psychiatry and psychoanalysis. Many people now only remember him as the psychiatrist who gave LSD to his patients. In these seminars I aim to examine the contribution he made to thinking about patients in a different way.

Seminar 1

The life and times of R.D. Laing and his associates

There are two biographies of Laing in paperback. You can choose to read either. They both have their strengths and weaknesses

Mullan B,  R.D.Laing A persona l view
Laing, A  RD.Laing  A life

Seminar 2

The Divided Self. This was Laing’s first major work and is still in print today. We will discuss this and it’s contribution to the literature.

Laing, R.D.  The Divided Self

Seminar 3

I will show Ken Loach’s film, Family Life

There will be no clinical this week as we shall discuss the film in the second part of the morning

Seminar 4

Later works and also those of his colleagues and associates

Laing R.D.  The Bird of Paradise and the politics of Experience

Seminar 5

Is there a legacy?
I will send in advance two case studies from ‘Wisdom, Madness and Folly’. I would like you all to prepare a short response to these studies and what interpretations you might make to the material.

Additional Reading (optional)
Foucault, M  Madness and Civilisation
It has an introduction by David Cooper which shows how in sympathy he was to the work.

Berke, J. and Barnes, M   Mary Barnes: A journey through madness )This is out of print but can be purchased through Amazon at £1 a copy plus P&P.)

(NB There is no teaching May 23rd – it’s a bank holiday w/end)

6 June  –  4 July 2009

Researching the unconscious: Peter Wood

We are on the brink of government regulation, it will almost certainly happen. The Health Professions Council appears to be treating psychotherapeutic research  as one of the hallmarks of a profession worth taking seriously. We find ourselves at a crossroads: within the UKCP we meet other sections from the humanistic and more medically oriented paradigms and outside, the psychologists, psychiatrists and traditional psychoanalysts, amongst others.  Each, with their own distinctiveness, thinking about ways, more or less reluctantly, that demonstrate the efficacy of their approach. This has become the accent. Discovering what makes our practices ‘work’ seems less of a concern; a review of the literature seems to suggest this. Lets not fool ourselves, research has always been part of this political game. NICE guidelines have erupted on the rump of body which has been growing over decades. Clinical psychologists and psychiatrists have a firm foothold in this field. These, and some interesting stabs from the traditional psychoanalytical community (constellating around University College) have placed the College of Psychoanalysts and Jungian Analysts at some disadvantage. It seems to me that psychoanalysis is losing ground, beyond recovery if outside commentators are to be believed.

We have been complacent. I wonder if we fear disenchantment, that unconsciously we have already accepted the views of our detractors, so turn in on ourselves and, like Narcissus, choose a perfect and deathly image – but it’s a hall of mirrors. This will be the first time that we, on the training, have considered research. We are not alone, in fact, this state of affairs is the norm. As far as our accrediting body is concerned, understanding psychotherapeutic research is, in fact, mandatory. Yet we withdraw, waving interdictions on mastery, directionality and ‘cure’ in the treatment like fetish objects. But look closely. Lacan allows that we employ ‘tricks of the trade’ which have tactical affects in the psychoanalytical encounter, his followers suggest that a successful outcome is indicated when the patient can ‘traverse the fantasy’, ‘traverse the Moebius strip’ and ‘traverse the oedipal crisis’. The ‘fully analysed’ Kleinian proceeds with familiarity of what their patient’s are unconscious of and the Bionesque struggle to approach each session without memory and desire.

This will not be course in research methodology. Rather we will look a little more closely at the primary object of our concern; the unconscious. We will do this as a way of getting into some of these debates. We will do this by pondering the epistemological question of what it is that stands for the unconscious. Our concerns will not so much accent theory and its many vicissitudes but rather the field that opens once theory is applied. This will very properly take us into the subject of methodology. Here we will look for the link between our theoretical commitments and the objects of our concern. Along the way we will critically review some of the material which has entered this terrain. You will see that much interest is shown to ‘outcome’. We will ask whether such enterprises are inherently teleological and if there can be a commitment to understanding and the development of theory.

My reviewing of publications produced some surprises, not least the conjunction of psychoanalysis and anthropology, the application of psychoanalysis to the field of criminology and, of course, the cries of disappointment from psychologists and psychiatrists. Articles on qualitative methodology and psychoanalytical research are numerous and we will spend the last session looking at some of this material. Time is limited so we must set aside a postmodern critique of psychoanalytical research, temping though this is. Our interest in teleology points us to a field of effects (allusions to Foucault here) in which the operations of power and the production of knowledge are seen to conjoin. Here epistemology falters and politics takes its place, but this for another time perhaps.
Our concerns this time are ethical: we should be under little doubt, unless we can engage in some of these debates we will be overwhelmed and our field rendered alien to us. If our concern and love is for psychoanalysis then we must not shirk our responsibilities. This will mean developing our critical sensibilities to the research published in our field. We might then be in a position to make our own choices.

Nearer to the time of the seminars I will be providing a CD which has full copies of articles which are included in my seminar reading lists.  I would like each of you to choose one of the articles to discuss on the last week.  Please try to avoid setting up a ‘straw man’ simply to be burnt down, tempting though this is! Please try to give us an idea of what the writer is trying to achieve and how well they do this.

Seminar 1

An exploration of the debates from the year 2000 conference on Clinical and Observational Research. Our project will be to understanding the opposing positions and to clearly describe them. We will then attempt to tease out the principles which characterise the positions which underpin the debate. We want to understand what these researchers are trying to ‘do’.

Andre Green and Daniel Stern (eds, Sandler, Fonagy). This can be found on the CD.

Further reading (see synopses below)
See also Infant observation: A range of questions and challenges for contemporary psychoanalysis by de Litvan, Marina Altmann; International Journal of Psychoanalysis, Vol 88(3), Jun 2007. pp. 713-733.

The roots of prejudice: Findings from observational research in Parens, Henri; In: The future of prejudice: Psychoanalysis and the prevention of prejudice. Parens, Henri; Mahfouz, Afaf; Twemlow, Staurt W.; Scharff, David E.; Lanham, MD, US: Jason Aronson, 2007. pp. 81-95.

Seminar 2 & 3

From epistemology to methodology: the psychoanalytical unconscious.
We will look specifically at a Freudian characterisation and ask, in our work with a patient, what is the unconscious ‘there’?  From this to ask, what is it that we would cite as evidence of the unconscious, in the clinic, and finally, where does ‘it’ lie?

We note that the Freudian unconscious is both topographical and dynamic, the contents of which only become available once resistance is overcome.  Freud contended, from clinical observation, that ‘mental life is full of active yet unconscious ideas’. We will use Freud’s ideas for this workshop. Our task is to understand how the idea works.
Freud, S. A Note on the Unconscious in psycho-analysis (1912g)
Freud, S. The Unconscious (1915e)
Freud, S. letter to Fleiss dated December 6, 1896

Further supporting reading (see the synopses)
Freud and Modern Psychoanalysis’: A Summary of André Green’s Presentation.  Bernstein, June; Liebea, Ronald Okuaki; Modern Psychoanalysis, Vol 31(1), 2006. pp. 1-6. (full text available)

The Unsayable, Lacanian Psychoanalysis, and the Art of Narrative Interviewing.  Rogers, Annie G.; In: Handbook of narrative inquiry: Mapping a methodology. Clandinin, D. Jean; Thousand Oaks, CA, US: Sage Publications, Inc, 2007. pp. 99-119

Seminar 4 & 5

Mapping out the debates – what sense can we make and how might we situate ourselves in them?  You will each choose an article and prepare a short paper (which will be circulated) on it.

4 July  2.00 – 5.00 pm

Training review meeting