Training Seminars 2014 – 2015 London



The Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis

Curriculum 2014-5

London Campus

All Seminars take place on Saturday at the LSE.

The seminars will start in room STC.S.78 on the Ground Floor of the St Clements Building, Houghton Street, London WC2A 2AE.

Room OLD.3.24 and OLD 2.22 will be used for the other clinical group.

Map and directions available here:

Time: Seminars: 10.00 am – 1.00 pm



The Site Conference will be on the 16th May 2015. No classes.

Chris Oakley on The Emotional Tie

11, 18, 25 October and 1, 8 November 2014


The questions that we will approach will circulate around the initiatives of the philosopher Mikkel Borch-Jacobsen and the psychoanalyst Francois Roustang…all heading towards the sort of psychoanalysis that we might actually want, might love. A psychoanalysis that has long ago left behind any concern with respectability, any entanglement with certainties and conformities…a psychoanalysis of unceasing doubt, which via the annihilation of all omniscience, without ceding for a moment the call for impeccable tact, will allow all our multiple madnesses their place.

Week One      Chap 3 of Borch-Jacobsen’s ‘The Emotional Tie’ (Stanford University Press 1993) “Hypnosis in Psychoanalysis”

Week Two      Chap 5 of ditto       “Talking Cure”

Week Three    Chap 6 of ditto       “Mimetic Efficacity”

Week Four      Preface and Chap 3 “The Effectiveness of Psychoanalysis” of Francois Roustang’s ‘How to make a paranoid laugh or, what is Psychoanalysis?’ (Univ of Pennsylvania Press 2000)

Week Five      ‘Remembering Anna O. A century of Mystification’ Borch-Jacobsen (Routledge 1996) Don’t be intimidated, it’s a quick read.

Please note that whilst the three principle books will not alter there may be some alteration as the seminars unfold as to what we will actually look at from week to week. As for background reading one could do a lot worse than having a look at ‘A Lover’s Discourse’ by Roland Barthes (Vintage Classic 2002) and Foucault’s preface to Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘Anti-Oedipus Capitalism and Schizophrenia’ (Penguin Books 1977).

Haya Oakley on Psychosis: Part II.

15, 22, 29 November and 6, 13 December 2014

The aim of the course: last year we studied the basic psychoanalytic theories of psychosis paying attention to how they inter relate and what a difference the various approaches make to our work. In part two we will study in greater depth/detail the body of the psychotic, delusion and the symbolic including the concept and practice of symbolic realisation. We will use texts from Philosophy and psychoanalysis as well as detailed clinical texts.

1. November 15th 2014: Embodiment

‘’…Merleau-Ponty locates intentionality in the body. Thus the individual’s perspective is located in the spatial orientation that is necessarily unique to each person…consciousness is perceived as bodily consciousness…in Merleau Ponty’s case, there is no mind/body split to solve because the mind and body are ‘intertwined’ and inseparable…’’ (The Edinburgh International Encyclopaedia of Psychoanalysis)

Reading:  M. Merleau-Ponty (1962) Phenomenology of Perception. Routledge and Kegan Paul pp 67-153

2. November 22nd 2014: The body of the psychotic

‘’…Meanwhile, though Rene was developing an autonomous ego on the oral level, she was still not clearly cognizant of having a body, of being a body…’’ (Marguerite Sechehaye)

What does embodiment mean to the psychotic? What does Roustang mean by the psychotic ‘’has left his body’’? What are we to make of some patient’s claims of extraordinary things being continuously done by ‘others’ to their bodies?

Reading: Please re read the texts from last year with particular attention to the body.

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. Dire Mastery. Discipleship from Freud to Lacan. John Hopkins University Press. Baltimore and London. 1976

3. November 29th 2014: Symbolic realization

‘’…The symbol which originally served as a substitute for the object with which it was associated will change to an image, than into a concept…’’ (Marguerite Sechehaye)

In this seminar we will study a ground breaking approach of its time based on the notion that psychosis can be cured by symbolically making up in analysis for early infantile deprivation.

Reading Marguerite Sechehaye (1951): Autobiography of a Schizophrenic Girl. Grune &Stratton, Medical publishers New York

4. December 6th 2014 : Gina’s court hearing (or: the 15 wishes)

Following the seminar on paranoia last year, we will study a record of an experimental treatment based on Dr Fried’s ideas ‘’…the method is based on an attempt to fulfil the patient’s wishes through making use of the patient’s own language in order to enter his ‘internal world’…technically, we speak of an attempt to build a dictionary of the patient’s language… In the case of the paranoid, the most dramatic wish is to have their day in court and for justice to come out…’’  (A Levi)

Reading: I am in the process of translating the text from Hebrew and will let you have it electronically at the latest in September. If anyone has a problem with electronic copy please let me know.

5. December 13th 2014 : Synthesis

Considering the inherent difficulties in some of the texts and that some of you were not here last year, I would like to keep this session open to finishing whatever needs finishing, clarifying any confusions, filling gaps and using clinical vignettes to demonstrate some of the ideas we worked with this year as well as making the connections to the material covered last year.

However…if, as a group, you want me to go over a particular related text or issue relating to working with psychosis, do let me know and if time permits we will do it

Peter Nevins and James Mann on Psychoanalysis and Morality.

10,17, 24, 31 January and 7 February 2015

Freud writes in the Origins of Psychoanalysis “…the original helplessness of human beings is thus the primal source of all moral motives” As if morality is the byproduct of our need for one another. These five seminars will look at the question of morality through an exploration of race, sexuality and how power impacts upon our understanding of moral motives. And our question will be; how do our moralities affect our psychoanalyses?

1) ‘Civilisation and it’s Discontents’, Freud S.

2)  ‘The Prince’,  Machiavelli N.

3) ‘On the Genealogy of Morals’, Nietzsche F.  Essay 1 ‘Good and Evil’, ‘Good and Bad’ and Essay 2

‘Guilt’,’Bad conscience’,and the Like’.

4) ‘Psychiatric Power’  Michel Foucault: Chapter Two, ’14th November’ and  ‘The Lives of Infamous Men in Power’, The Essential Works Volume 3, Michel Foucault:

5) ‘Black Skin, White Masks’ ‘The Negro and Psychopathology’,  Fanon F

‘Freud and the Non-Europeans’,  Said E.

recommended reading: ‘The Psychic Life of Power’ Butler J.

Stephen Gee on  Forms and Transformations of Love and Truth in Psychoanalysis.

14, 21, 28 February and 7, 14 March 2015

Seminars 1 and 2 start with three major treatises. (Butler, Merleau-Ponty and Bion) These lay the ground work before turning our attention to the clinic and considering how we might arrive at our own individual listening style and voice.

Our initial three authors are, in differing ways. addressing the philosophical and psychoanalytic controversies of the last century. Their thinking also bears the mark of their particular personal struggles  with regard to the claims of truth and the demands for love in times of war and massive social change. A close reading gives us much to think about with regard to the formation of subjectivity and intersubjectivity and its implicit relationship to theory and practice in psychoanalysis.  Weeks 3, 4 and 5 follow with an acute technical focus on the clinic starting with Lacan’s seminal paper given at the Rome Congress of 1953. With her concept of the psychoanalytic field  Argentinian psychoanalyst Madelaine Baranger builds on the work of Bion and Lacan. All these influences contribute to the finely nuanced contemporary practice of psychoanalysts Antonio Ferro and Haydee Faimberg.

  1. ‘Giving an Account of Oneself.‘ Butler J.  Chapter 2: Against Ethical Violence‘   Section on  Psychoanalysis.

2) ‘Phenomenology of Perception.’ Merleau-Ponty M, Chapter 4: The Phenomenal Field.

‘Elements of Psychoanalysis’.  Bion W. R.  Chapters 1, 2 and 3.

3) ‘Function and Field of Speech and Language.

Section 3; The Resonances of Interpretation and the Time of the Subject in Psychoanalytic Technique.’ Lacan J. Ecrits,  (I will limit this to particular paragraphs)

4&5)   ‘The Mind of The Analyst; From Listening to Interpretation’. Baranger M. Int. J. of Psy. 1993:

‘Some Implications of Bion’s Thought; The Waking Dream and Narrative Derivatives.‘    Ferro A.  Int. J. of Psy. 2002.

‘Listening to Listening’.  Faimberg H. Int. J. of Psy. 1996.

Training Weekend: 21 & 22 March 2015

Peter Nevins, Peter Wood and possibly another.

This weekend will be devoted to an exploration of the effects of the State on psychoanalytical practice.

Darian Leader (2008:2014) is bemused (if not astonished) by Bateman & Fonagy’s definition of a self as “a rational agent with understandable desires and predictable beliefs”.  This definition is more astonishing still when we recall that Professor Fonagy is a senior figure in the Anna Freud Centre and UCL. This definition is straight out of rational economics and supposes a monolithic subject; one who is unconflicted, uncomplicated and not the possessor of an unconscious.  Leader is of the view, one we might share, that this definition reflects more the perspectives of Government and Regulatory bodies and sits very uncomfortably with psychoanalysis. The State’s Subject, in most ways we understand, is not a subject at all. Here psychoanalysis becomes just another form of external intervention, a medicine, with the aim of curing.

The psychoanalytical consulting room becomes the site of these and other overlapping and conflicting forces. In part this is what we shall explore on the weekend. The State’s Subject, light on subjectivity, becomes an instrument for political and administrative tampering.  The Psychoanalytical Subject better reflects the place of the Other and is not made up of knowledge to be understood, rather “putting knowledge and its effects into question” (Leader, op cit). The psychoanalytical practitioner is the bearer of contradiction; our subject is conflicted.

To understand this site of competing forces we must know something of the rules which seek to affect the way we practice our art, so we will look at the UKCP’s rules on conduct.  Along the way we will touch on an ontological dilemma, troubling maybe more to the administrators than psychoanalysts, namely ‘what is real in analytical speech’?  When a patient muses on the possibilities of his/her suicide (for instance) do we hear it as fantasy, imagination or as real? What are the affects of this dilemma in the analytical encounter?  It might seem that here at least we are required to adjudicate, to know and act accordingly. What is the effect of this on the way we practice? What then of a (so-called) psychological ‘fact’? Would the actions of the analyst to ‘protect’ the patient be better understood as acting out of fear or self-preservation?

The consulting room is traversed with interests and demands the most dominant of which is to render it transparent. Perhaps this has always been the case. After all, Freud himself, insists Roustang in ‘Dire Mastery’, could be quite dogmatic on the question as to how analysts should practice their art. Foucault therefore might be helpful in understanding the panoptical effect which forms a particular self-awareness.

Please bring along clinical experiences which you feel will help us understand this subject.

Indicative Reading:

We will be reading papers from the following:

Hilda Doolittle in ‘Tribute To A Friend’ with unpublished letters by Freud.

Reading on the panoptican in Foucault, ‘Discipline and Punish’.

Haney J. in ‘Regulation In Action’.

Parker and Revelli (eds.) ‘Psychoanalytic Practice and the State’.

Postle D. on ‘Regulating The Psychological Therapies; from taxonomy to taxidermy’.

Using Levinas, on the philosophy of liberation in his explorations of Otherness: Dussel E. in ‘Sensibility and Otherness in Emmanuel Levinas’.

Val Parks and Joanna Gardner on Anxiety: to soothe, contain or analyse? 

25 April, 2, 9, 23 May, 6, 13, 20, 27 June and 4, 11 July 2015

1) Towards a definition.

We will look at philosophical and psychological ideas about anxiety. Unlike other affective states of mind like melancholia, it seems not to have been described as an entity until the 19th century. Kierkegaard was one of the first to write about it, relating it to awareness of being in the face of non-being. His work was taken up by the existential philosophers and phenomenologists in the 20th century. Are these writers describing the same phenomena? The seminar will compare philosophical texts and some widely read contemporary psychological material from the web.

S. Kierkegaard  (1844) ‘The Concept of Anxiety’,   Princeton University Press,  1980, Section II pp.52 – 80

2, 3) Other texts to be decided, but will include looking at some of the kind of material patients may have been directed to look at, eg the Royal College of Psychiatrists website.

These two seminars will consider psychoanalytic ideas about how anxiety is generated, by tracing the development of Freud’s thinking about anxiety. Is anxiety a by-product of an internal process – repression –  or does it come first, and in fact precipitate repression? Does the subject perceive it as coming from within or without the self? One of Freud’s concepts sees anxiety as a signal; if so, of  what? How do we differentiate phobia and more generalised anxiety?

Freud S. (1895) Studies on Hysteria, Section IV The Psychotherapy of Hysteria.

Freud  S. (1909) Analysis of a Phobia in a 5 Year Old Boy  Section 2 of the Discussion (  Part III)

Freud S. (1926) Inhibitions, Symptoms and Anxiety Part 4 (developing further his work on Little Hans)

Freud S. (1920) Beyond the Pleasure Principle Sections IV and V

Freud S. (1919) The Uncanny

All texts available on PEP.

4/5) Lacan initially locates anxiety in the helplessness of the human infant and his/her prematurity at birth and to the fragmentation anxieties associated with the mirror stage. But his thinking turned in the later stages to consider anxiety in the Real and it is in Seminar X, parts of which we shall explore in detail, that he develops fully his view that anxiety is not after all without an object, rather that it is about the object appearing in the wrong place, and concerns the lack of a lack.

Lacan J.(1962 -3) The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book X , trans.  Price A., Polity Press 2014 (fuller details of which sections to concentrate on will be advised later)

Background reading:

Harari R.(2001) Lacan’s Seminar on Anxiety,  Other Press

6/7) The second half of the term will look at post-Freudian object relations theories about anxiety, beginning with Melanie Klein. She distinguished paranoid-schizoid and depressive anxiety and we will think about the usefulness of this notion. As Klein and others developed child analysis, psychoanalysts drew widely on developmental models to understand anxiety. What can we learn from child analysis, and how, if at all, does childhood anxiety differ from adult anxiety?

Klein M.(1930) The Importance of Symbol Formation in the Development of the Ego.

Klein M. (1935) A Contribution to the Psychogenesis of Manic Depressive States.

Isaacs S. (1943) An Acute Psychotic anxiety occurring a Boy of 4 Years Old.

All are papers available on PEP.

8) Wilfred Bion developed the now very influential notion of containment. He further extends Klein’s view of the infant, faced with primitive persecutory anxieties, and the mechanisms put in place by the child to deal with these destructive states of mind. These involve, for Bion, violent expulsion of threatening thoughts and associations, and their continued existence in the externality of the psyche as objects threatening to annihilate and destroy. He theorises the ways in which the analyst can restore some more benign way of functioning by means of the containment that failed in the first mother/infant reverie. Discussion in the seminar will approach the idea of containment from two angles: what does it mean to contain anxiety, and is it always clinically desirable to do so?

Bion W. (1954) Notes on the Theory of Schizophrenia Bion W. (1957) Differentiation of the Psychotic from the Non-psychotic Personality

Bion W. (1959) Attacks on Linking

All  are papers from the IJP on PEP

(9, 10) In today’s therapeutic world, there are very many competing treatments on offer for anxiety. The last sessions firstly examine some of these options: EMDR, CBT, mindfulness and body-based therapies, and asks what is their place in relation to psychoanalytic treatment. We will concentrate on clinical practice, and pose the question of how the theories covered can influence what we do in the consulting room.

Details of the reading for Weeks 9 and 10 are still in preparation and will be sent later.