Training Seminars 2010 – 2011 London


9 October – 6  November 2010

The Controversial Discussions and its Aftermath – Kirsty Hall (and Angela Kreeger)

The Controversial Discussions took place from 1941-45 and set the direction of British psychoanalysis for the remainder of the twentieth century. Subsequent divisions and developments in British psychoanalysis stem from this time. The main text for these sessions is The Freud-Klein Discussions 1941-5. Despite its length and cost (a fraction under £40), this book is a real page-turner.

Seminar 1
Setting the scene – the arrival of Melanie Klein in Britain in the 1920s; the much later arrival of Anna Freud and her friends; the recent death of Freud; competing claims to inherit the mantle of the founding father of psychoanalysis; the stranglehold of Glover and Jones on the British Psychoanalytical Society.

Seminar 2
A detailed reading of one of the key papers discussed during the Controversies, Susan Isaacs’ “The Nature and Function of Fantasy”. This paper is in the text of The Controversial Discussions but it can also be downloaded from PEPweb. We would also look at the extensive commentaries on this paper in the book and a later paper on the topic by Laplanche and Pontalis.

Seminar 3
A review of the work of one of the key participants, Ella Sharpe, especially her very short statement concerning the relationship between theory and technique in the Controversial Discussions book, and a look at a paper in Mistress of Her Own Thoughts: Ella Freeman Sharpe and the Practice of Psychoanalysis Ed. M. Whelan with Lacan’s commentary on this text in Seminar VI, Desire and its Interpretation.  Her book on dreams, Dream Analysis, 1978 Karnac, is also fascinating.

Seminar  4
The emergence of the middle group (later termed “the independent group”) – partly as a result of the bizarre conclusion of the discussions when a “gentleman’s agreement” was signed by three women (Anna Freud, Melanie Klein and Sylvia Payne) – will be the topic for this seminar. In addition to the main text, we will look at Eric Rayner’s The Independent Mind in British Psychoanalysis.

Seminar 5
I’ll leave this flexible for the moment depending on what trainees would prefer. There are lots of other goodies in the Controversial Discussions book e.g. the connection of ego psychology in the US with the work of Anna Freud, Bowlby’s early links with Winnicott and the former’s clever politicking to unseat Glover and Jones from their complete dominance of the British psychoanalytical scene for the previous 30 years, the way in which Klein and her friends effectively wrote their “position papers” – as much political manifesto as psychoanalysis. Alternatively, the work of Edward Glover on ego nuclei could also form the basis of a fascinating and relevant discussion. We should also make space for discussion of Paula Heimann’s early paper on the use of counter-transference in the clinic and the wide-ranging effects of this idea (presented in a very muted form by Heimann) on contemporary clinical practice.

The Freud-Klein Discussions 1941-5 Eds. Pearl King and Riccardo Steiner, London: Routledge, 1991.
Mistress of Her Own Thoughts: Ella Freeman Sharpe and the Practice of Psychoanalysis Ed. Maurice Whelan, London: Rebus Press, 2000.
The Independent Mind in British Psychoanalysis Eric Rayner, London: FAB, 1991.
On the Early Development of Mind, Edward Glover, New York: IUP, 1956.
“On counter-transference”, Paula Heimann, Int. J. Psycho-Anal. 31: 81-4, 1950.

13 November – 11 December 2010

Narcissism – Theoretical and Clinical Developments –  Anastasios Gaitanidis (and Paul Gurney)

The aim of these seminars is to critically examine the different psychoanalytic approaches to ‘narcissism’, starting with Freud’s introduction of this concept and the subsequent revisions of his initial theory. We will then explore the theoretical and clinical explanations of ‘narcissistic disorders’ that have been advanced by Kohut and Kernberg. Finally, we will examine Lacan’s theory of ‘narcissism’, how it relates to his notion of the ‘mirror stage’, and its implications for clinical practice.

Seminar 1: Freud’s Introduction of the Notion of ‘Narcissism’
1.    Freud, S. (1914c) ‘On Narcissism: An Introduction’, S.E., Vol. XIV.
2.    Cohen, J. (2005). How to Read Freud. London: Granta Books.
3.    Gaitanidis, A. (2007). “Narcissism and the Autonomy of the Ego”. In Gaitanidis, A. (with Curk, P.) Narcissism – A Critical Reader. London: Karnac.

Seminar 2: Freud’s Theoretical Revisions
1.    Freud, S. (1923b) The Ego and the Id, S.E., Vol. XIX.
2.    Freud, S. (1926d) Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety, S.E., Vol. XX.
3.    Gaitanidis, A. (2007). “Narcissism and the Autonomy of the Ego”. In Gaitanidis, A. (with Curk, P.) Narcissism – A Critical Reader. London: Karnac.

Seminar 3: Kohut’s Account of Narcissistic Personality Disorders
1.  Kohut, H. & Wolf, E.S. (1978). “The Disorders of the Self and their Treatment: An Outline’. International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 59, pp. 413-26.
2.  Manakas, E. (2007) “Tracing the Origins, Centring on Selves: Reading Kohut and Kernberg from a Developmental Perspective”. In Gaitanidis, A. (with Curk, P.) Narcissism: A Critical Reader. London: Karnac.

Seminar 4:  Kernberg’s Account of Narcissistic Personality Disorders
1.    Kernberg, O. F. (1984) Severe Personality Disorder: Psychotherapeutic Strategies. New Haven: Yale University Press.
2.    Manakas, E. (2007) “Tracing the Origins, Centring on Selves: Reading Kohut and Kernberg from a Developmental Perspective”. In Gaitanidis, A. (with Curk, P.) Narcissism: A Critical Reader. London: Karnac.

Seminar 5: Lacan’s Account of Narcissism and the Formation of the Ego
1.    Lacan, J. (1949). ‘The Mirror Stage as Formative of the Function of the ‘I’ as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience.’ In Écrits: A Selection. Trans. A. Sheridan. London: Tavistock, 1977, pp. 1 7.
2.    Lacan, J. (1953) ‘Some Reflections on the Ego’. The International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 34, No. 1, pp. 11-17.
3.    Gaitanidis, A. (2007). “Narcissism and the Autonomy of the Ego”. In Gaitanidis, A. (with Curk, P.) Narcissism – A Critical Reader. London: Karnac.


22 January – 19 February 2011

Lacan and the Question of Femininity – Val Parks (and Racheli Azgad)

In these seminars we will work through some key Lacanian papers on femininity from different stages of his teaching. We will ask whether his later, more complex ideas about femininity are merely a re-statement of his earlier formulation of the hysteric’s desire for an unfulfilled desire, or whether they explore new questions. The aim will be to provide avenues to approach the dilemma of how the gendered subject, female and male, organises him/herself in relation to desire, jouissance, love and knowledge.

Basic text : Juliet Mitchell and Jacqueline Rose (eds) Feminine Sexuality: Jacques Lacan and The École Freudienne   Macmillan, London 1982

Seminar 1:  Desire and the hysteric:  desire unfulfilled or impossible “Intervention on the Transference” (from Mitchell and Rose), Does the Woman Exist? Paul Verhaeghe Rebus Press, London 1997 (Chapter 4)

Seminar 2:  The phallus: being it or having it; “The Meaning of the Phallus” and “The Phallic Phase”: (Mitchell and Rose); New Studies of Old Villains  P. Verhaeghe  Other Press, New York 2009

Seminars 3 and 4: Encore: The Woman does not exist, and furthermore, there is no such thing as the sexual relation.  “Feminine Sexuality in Psychoanalytic Doctrine” and “God and the Jouissance of The Woman” (Mitchell and Rose); “Feminine Conditions of Jouissance” Genevieve Morel (Freudian Field Seminar 1993) and “God and the Jouissance of the Woman” Marie-Hélène Brousse (JCFAR 1994)

Seminar 5: Femininity in late Lacan:  the partner as symptom :“Seminar of 21st January 1975” (Mitchell and Rose);  “Weaving a Trans-subjective Tress” Bracha Lichtenburg Ettinger from Re-inventing the Symptom Luke Thurston (ed) Other Press, New York 2002

Other reading:
What Does a Woman Want? Serge André  Other Press, New York 1999
Écrits Jacques Lacan trans. Bruce Fink, Norton, New York and London, 2006

26 February – 28 March 2011

I am who I say I am? – Peter Nevins (and Joanna Ryan)

These seminars will look at various works on the subject of identity. I will approach the subject using a variety of material drawn from Psychoanalysis, psychosocial psychology, cultural theory and philosophy to explore what this notion might mean for us in the consulting room.

Seminar 1
Who needs ‘identity’? Stuart Hall, from Questions of Cultural identity, ed S. Hall and P du Gay, Sage publications 1996
The Negro and Psychopathology, in  Frantz Fanon, black skin white mask, Pluto press, 1956

Seminar 2
“All the things you could be by now, If Sigmund Freud’s wife was your mother”: Psychoanalysis and Race, Hortense J. Spiller in Female Subjects in Female Subjects in Black and White, University of Califorina press 1997.
The Person, the Body and the Other, in Self-Awareness and Alterity, Dan Zahavi, Northwestern University press, 1999

Seminar 3
Repressing an oppressed identity, Freudian Repression,  Michael Billig, Cambridge University press, 1999.
The Biographical illusion, Pierre Bourdieu, working papers and proceedings of the centre for psychosocial studies, ed R. J. Parmentier and G. Urban 1987

Seminar 4
Finding ethnic identity and a place in western society , The Designed Self, Carlo Strenger, the analytic press 2005
Psychoanalysis in the age of the designed self from, the designed self, Carlo Strenger, The Analytic Press 2005

Seminar 5
JOSSELSON, R., 1994. Identity and relatedness in the life cycle. In: H.A. BOSMA, T.L.G GRAAFSMA, H. D. GROTEVANT, & D. J. LEVITA, ed, Identity and development: An interdisciplinary approach. Thousand Oaks: Sage Publication, pp. 81-102.
The Conundrum of Race; Dialogue 1, Neil Altman, Dialogues on difference: Studies of diversity in therapeutic Relationship, ed. C. Muran, 2007

Training Weekend – 2&3 April 2011

Stephen Gee/Liz Guild

The aim of the weekend is to focus on the debates and struggles of the last 30 years or so over gender and (homo/hetero)sexuality; the conflicted role of psychoanalysis within these movements and the productive critiques elaborated by various theorists, especially Butler and Bersani. There will be a close look at certain texts of these authors but trainees will be encouraged to read as widely as they can. The relevant work of Freud and Lacan will also be studied so that trainees will be familiar with the writing referred to by the later theorists. An overview of the feminist turn in psychoanalysis will also be included with reference to Kristeva and Irigaray.

Various questions will be raised: how does this work affect our clinical approach? And related to this, why is it important for contemporary psychoanalysis to persist in bringing this work in from the margins where it tends to be repeatedly consigned?

What does the analysis of power in Butler, Foucault et al imply for the practice of the psychoanalyst?  Are there new forms? New (or no) norms?


7 May  – 11 June 2011 [no teaching second Bank holiday]

Introduction to existentialism and its relation to psychoanalysis –  Peter Wood (and Joanna Swift)

In these five meetings we will look at how existential thinking might contribute to our understanding and practice of psychoanalysis.  This is not to pretend that there are some fundamental differences. Nevertheless we proceed with the will to explore the gaps and aporias which open as we straddle these domains.

The subject is massive and our time is limited. Our  tactic will be to look at subject matter which is apparently common to both; life / death, anxiety, madness / rationality  not to mention, along the way, some thinking on the many collisions around the nature of the de/centred S(s)ubject.
The field can be baffling, vexatious but inspiring too.  Laing of course was much affected by the existential field but could we call him a psychoanalyst?  We start the journey with Binswanger.
For a general, all-round introduction to read Mary Warnock in Existentialism.  I will mention more detailed introductions later.

Seminar 1:  Dialogue between psychoanalysis and existentialism.
We will look at Ludwig Binswanger’s Dream and Existence , dwelling on Foucault’s introduction to this book. Binswanger has been described as a Heideggerian psychiatrist who placed the intersubjective field at its very core. Freud and he had their differences, but remained friends until Freud’s death.

Seminar 2:  Heidegger and anxiety.
(If you want a nice introduction to Heidegger read George Steiner on the same).
Heidegger suggests that our being-in-the-world is haunted by anticipation. In fact Kierkegaard earlier argued that anxiety is a desire which the subject fears.  For Heidegger, anxiety is  both symptomatic and rooted in our existence; desein cares for itself.
We will look at extracts from Time and Being and with one or two clinical vignettes we will explore how anxiety plays itself out in the clinic.

Seminar 3:  Kierkegaard on death
Kierkegaard’s work explains man’s spiritual flight from mortality and inwardness and brings us an awareness of death . We will explore extracts from Unscientific Postscripts (1846) and with it gain an understanding of the idea that it is death that gives us the essential temporality for living a life. Can we accept that it is the inevitability of death that gives life meaning?  What can be gained by the exploration of the subjective experience of death as an idea?  Again, we will use clinical material to bring this to life.
For a more thorough introduction read Patrick Gardiner’s Kierkegaard.

Seminar 4:  R D Laing on The Divided Self.
Read Laing on the same.
We will discuss this work and the implication of an anthologised psychiatry (or is that is psychoanalysis?), which is to say, the insistence that so-called madness can only be understood by appealing to the circumstances which is occurs. Can madness be considered to be a sane response to an insane situation? What is the Subject that Laing describes: fractured, conflicted but demanding resolution?

Seminar 5:  Roundup of the proceeding weeks.
Discussion and clinical implications.

18 June – 17 July 2011

Bakhtin and Psychoanalysis
Under the name of Voloshinov, Bakhtin made a fascinating critique of psychoanalysis from the point of view of his developing account of dialogue and answerability.  This series of 5 seminars will look at the ways in which the central notions of psychoanalysis are reframed by Bakhtin in terms of an embodied subject in constant (and unfinished) discursive relation to a set of others.  So ideas of official and unofficial discourse replace the conscious/unconscious split; the other of address anticipates the Lacanian other of the symptom; the dialogic relations of the session rework the simple model of analyst-client, and so on.  There are also interesting parallels with the notions of ‘care of the self’ and ‘aesthetic self-fashioning’ in Foucault.  Beginning with Freudianism, we will look at the critique of psychoanalysis, and then go on to look at ideas of discourse, speech genre and the Bakhtinian body, looking to find ways in which the Russian’s ideas might usefully produce an expanded account of the speaking subject of analysis.
Initial Bibliography
Voloshinov (Bakhtin), Freudianism, Seminar Press, 1974
M.M. Bakhtin, Speech Genres and Other Essays, University of Texas Press, 1984
“            “           Art and Answerability, University of Texas Press, 1990
“            “           Towards a Philosophy of the Act, University of Texas Press, 1993