Training Seminars 2016 – 2017 South West

Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis SW


All Seminars take place on alternate Saturdays at Truro Library (small training room 1st floor), Pydar Street, Truro

Time: Morning seminar: 10.00 am – 12.30 pm

Afternoon seminar 1.30 pm – 4.00 pm

Training Weekend – NB this will take place at Epiphany House, Kenwyn, Truro TR1 3DR

17 & 18 September 2016

Astrid Gessert: Lacan

This weekend will focus on the theoretical and clinical work of Lacan from his early and middle periods.  Astrid will introduce the key theoretical concepts on Saturday and move onto a consideration of their clinical place on Sunday.


The following are just suggestions. I will not assume that participants will have read all the texts or that they are particularly familiar with Lacanian concepts.

Lacan, J. (1940). The Mirror Stage as Formative of the I Function as Revealed in Psychoanalytic Experience. In: Lacan, J. (1966). Écrits, pp. 75-81.

Lacan, J. (1953-1954). The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book I, Freud’s Papers On Technique. J.-A. Miller (Ed.), J. Forrester (Trans.). London: Norton, 1991.

Lacan, J. (1963-1964). The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book XI, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis. J.-A. Miller (Ed.), A. Sheridan (Trans.). London: Penguin, 1994.

Lacan, J. (1966). Écrits. B. Fink (Trans.). New York and London: Norton, 2002.

Secondary Literature:

Benevenuto, B. and Kennedy, R. (1986). The Works of Jacques Lacan. An Introduction, London: Free Association Books.

Leader, D. (with Judy Groves). (2005) Introducing Lacan. Icon Books. – A kind of comic, explains well some relevant Lacanian concepts.

Fink, B. (1997). The Lacanian Subject. Between Language and JouissancePrinceton and Chichester: Princeton University Press.

Fink, B. (1997). A Clinical Introduction to Lacanian Psychoanalysis. Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard.

Julien, P. (1994). Jacques Lacan’s Return to Freud. The Real, the Symbolic, and the Imaginary. New York and London: New York University Press.

Please note this w/end is at EPIPHANY HOUSE, not the library. 


15 & 29 October, 12 & 26 November, 10 December 2016


Sally Sales: The turn to affect: A comparative exploration of the work of Laplanche and Roustang

Within psychoanalysis in recent years there has  been a turn towards clinical accounts anchored in affect, even amongst those analysts ‘brought up’ in the lacanian school.   This reflects a shift within the social sciences where there has been a considerable interest in affect as a form of analysis, with a concomitant critique of approaches rooted in narrative and representation. However, there is a noticeable gap between the exciting and radical ways that affect is being reconceptualised in the social sciences and the place it occupies in  the psychoanalytic clinic, where as a concept it is mostly not theorised as a new kind of radical production or possibility. 

In these seminars I want to explore the place of affect within the psychoanalytic clinic, predominantly drawing upon the work of Laplanche and Roustang. 

The distinction between affect and representation has structured and split psychoanalysis almost since its inception, but of course this is a split that is endemic to how western subjects are formed.   We will begin by exploring this founding dualism in Freud,   and via Foucault consider what technology of the subject generated this founding psychoanalytic split.  We will go onto consider how affect is being theorised within critical theory and consider whether such work has anything to offer the clinical encounter.    The major focus will be on the place of affect within the work of Laplanche and Roustang, two thinkers whose work has passed through Lacan, but who have critiqued his overarching emphasis on representation and talking as ‘cure’.  The seminars address the following questions:

What might the turn to affect now signify about contemporary subjectivity?

Has psychoanalysis consigned affect to ‘preodipal repression?

What does founding an analysis in affect, rather than talking, contribute to the clinic?

Seminar One: A Genealogy of Affect & Representation

We will begin with Freud’s distinction between word presentation and thing presentation and via Foucault consider what technologies of the subject generated this founding psychoanalytic dualism.  We will go onto briefly look at how this distinction has structured and split the psychoanalytic culture, with the post war emergence of Lacan amidst the ‘pre oedipal’ concerns of Kleinian/British object relations. We will conclude with a discussion of the contemporary ‘return’ of affect within critical theory/social sciences, drawing on some recent feminist work.  I can scan the Riley and the Stewart reading.


Freud, S (1915) ‘Section III unconscious feelings’ and pp. 206-208 in The Unconscious  SE XIV

Foucault, M (2005) pp. 10-19 in The Hermeneutics of the Subject, London: Picador

Butler, J (2015) ‘Introduction’ in Senses of the Subject’, New York: Fordham University Press

Riley, D (2005) ‘Chapter One: Malediction’ in Impersonal Passion: Language as Affect,  London: Duke University press

Stewart, K (2007) ‘Introduction p.1-7’ in Ordinary Affects, London: Duke university press

Seminar Two: The affective field of taste

After Bourdieu’s seminal work, Distinction, taste has become an extremely important concept in research on class, yet psychoanalysis remains largely silent about its own ‘taste’ presuppositions.  In this seminar I am interested in thinking about the unconscious transmission of taste, inside and outside the clinic.  I will draw upon Bourdieu’s work, and also some of the material on working classness from the interviews I conducted earlier this year where taste was an important affective dimension in therapists work.


Bourdieu, P (1984) ‘The Aristocracy of culture’ in Distinction, London: Routledge

Layton, L (2006) ‘That place gives me the heebie jeebies’ in Psychoanalysis, Class and Politics London: Routledge

Extract from interviews to be circulated

Seminar Three: Seduction as the affective field

In these 2 seminars we will critically explore Laplanche’s concept of primal seduction with its privileging of the affective field of earliest infancy. In the first seminar, drawing broadly on the selection of Laplanche’s work below, we will trace out the key theoretical concepts in his reformulation of Freud’s account of seduction and its implications for clinical practice.  In the second seminar, we will critically interrogate the universalism implicit in Laplanche’s account of ‘the fundamental anthropological situation’ of the human being.  Drawing on Butler’s work, can Laplanche offer a radical counter to the normative kinship narratives within psychoanalysis?


Laplanche, J (1999) pp. 14-23 in The Unconscious and the Id, London:Rebus Press

Laplanche, J (1989) pp.124-130 and p.154-162 in  New Foundations for Psychoanalysis, Oxford: Blackwell

Laplanche, J (1999) ‘Interpretation between Determinism and Hermeneutics’, pp. 161-165 , ‘Seduction, Persecution, Revelation’, pp. 167-173, ‘A short treatise on the unconscious’ and ‘The Drive and its Source object’,  all in Essays on Otherness, London: Routledge

Laplanche, J(2014) ‘Exigency and Going-Astray’ and ‘Sublimation and/or inspiration in Fletcher, J & Ray, N (eds), Seductions & Engimas, London: Lawerence & Wishart

Butler, J (2014)  ‘Seduction, Gender and the Drive’ in Fletcher, J & Ray, N (eds), Seductions & Engimas, London: Lawerence & Wishart

Seminar Four: Roustang and affective involvement

In this seminar we will explore Roustang’s break with and critique of Lacan’s emphasis on representation and talking as cure. In ‘Game of the other’ Roustang prioritises the analysts affective involvement as key to patients recovery.  It may be helpful to look at Butlers critique of Lacan’s symbolic in Psychic Life of Power.    


Roustang, J (1982) ‘The game of the other’ in Psychoanalysis Never Lets Go, John Hopkins University press

Butler, J (1997) ‘Between Freud and Foucault’ in The Psychic Life of Power, Stanford: Stanford University press

Seminar Five: Roustang and Affect as cure

This seminar will look at the later work of Roustang and his turn to hypnosis.  We will read a selection of his papers from How to make a paranoid laugh.  It may be helpful as b/g reading to look at Borch Jacobsen’s paper on hypnosis in The Emotional Tie.

The seminar will conclude with a comparison of Laplanche and Roustang’s related but distinctly different psychoanalytic contributions.


Roustang, F (2000) ‘On Transference Neurosis’, ‘On the end of Analysis and Self-Hypnosis as a cure’, ‘Dream, Imagination, Reality’ in How to make a paranoid laugh, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania press

Borch-Jacobsen, M (1993) ‘Hypnosis in Psychoanalysis’ in The Emotional Tie, Stanford: Stanford University Press.


Ilric Shetland: Freud & the field of seduction

In these seminars we will trace the evolution of Freud’s thinking on sexuality from his initial formulation of actual seduction through to the emergence of the Oedipus complex.  We live in a period where the idea of childhood sexuality is still highly contested, but where historic sexual abuse is a constant headline.  These seminars will consider the radicalness of Freud’s thinking in terms of sexualised family relations and his legacy in thinkers like Laplanche. I have included Jeffrey Masson’s book ‘The assault on truth’ as some b/g reading, because whilst this was written some 30 years ago, Masson’s critique of Freud certainly still circulates today.

Seminar One: The seduction theory


Heredity and the Aetiology of the Neuroses (1896) p. 149-156

The Aetiology of Hysteria (1896) Part II P. 203-214

Further remarks on the Neuro-Psychoses of Defence (1896) P.162-168 including footnotes

All in SE III Early Psycho-Analytic Publications

Seminar Two & Three: Seduction in question: the ‘discovery’ of infantile sexuality


The Three Essays Part I, Part II & Part III P.141-146

In volume XII Penguin edition or SE XII

Masson, J (1985) The Assault on truth: Freud’s suppression of the seduction theory, London: Penguin

Seminar Four: Developing the Oedipus complex


Sexual Theories of Children (1908) in volume XII Penguin edition

Little Hans case history SE X

Seminar Five: The Significance of Castration


The Infantile genital organisation (1923)

The Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex (1924)

Some Psychical Consequences of the Anatomical Distinction between the Sexes (1925)

All in volume XII Penguin edition or SE XIX


21 January, 4 & 18 February, 4 & 18 March 2017


21 January, 4 & 18 February

Linda Buckingham: Empiricism and Perspectives in Philosophy

This series of 3 seminars is a snapshot of 17th and 18th century western philosophy. We will discuss the theories of perception and knowledge of Descartes, Locke, Berkeley and Kant. These are theories which still influence certain philosophical trends such as Idealism, Relativism, Empiricism and Phenomenology.  I hope that discussion of these ideas will help each of us to examine our beliefs and ways of seeing.


Seminar 1: “Cogito ergo sum” – in Discourse on the Method, Rene Descartes, 1637

Seminar 2: a) An Essay on Human Understanding, Vol. 1, Chapters 8 and 23, John Locke, 1690

b) Of the Principles of Human Knowledge, points 1-52 (Not the introduction, unless you feel like reading it.) George Berkeley, 1710

Seminar 3: Critique of Pure Reason, Section on Transcendental Logic, First Division, Ch.1&2: Analytic of Conceptions, Points 1-23, Immanuel Kant, 1781

Additional Reading:

Studies in Empirical Philosophy, Ch. 7: Mind as Feeling, John Anderson, 1962 (New edition, SUP, Print on Demand, 2005),

Anderson’s Social Philosophy, A. J. Baker, Angus and Robertson, 1979

Truth, A Guide for the Perplexed, Simon Blackburn, penguin, 2006

4 & 18 March 2017

Keith Armitage & Barbara Cawdron: “People think I’m Winnie-the-Pooh. But I’m not, I’m Winnicott”

The above remark, supposedly made in conversation with Masud Khan by Winnicott, might show something of Winnicott’s anxiety about his popular reputation. There is something consoling, even cuddly, about the way many think of him. We remember the comforting idea of the good enough mother or the verities of the true self. Instead, we want to look at what might discomfort us in his writings and re-encounter his strangeness and obscurity; meet him as a theorist of aloneness, isolation and the non-communicable.

Rather than begin by examining his theory, in the first week we can begin by looking at his clinical practise, as revealed in accounts of their analyses with Winnicott by two distinguished writers in the Independent tradition Margaret Little and Harry Guntrip; and particularly from the extraordinary near-verbatim transcripts Winnicott made of part of an analysis of a very disturbed, possibly psychotic, young man, published posthumously as Holding and Interpretation.

I would like seminar members to read this transcript and to pick a favourite session, or group of short sessions, and to give a brief presentation saying something of their own response to it and to give an account of what may be happening in the session behind these rather gnomic exchanges.

In the second week, we can look at some short papers by Winnicott connected to the themes that arise from Holding & Interpretation. We can choose these later and I am very open to taking requests to look at other member’s favourites.

Little, M.I. (1985) Winnicott Working in Areas where Psychotic Anxieties

Predominate Free Associations, 1:9-42

Guntrip, H (1975) My Experience of Analysis with Fairbairn and Winnicott International Review of Psychoanaysis 2 145-156

Winnicott D W (1986) Holding & Interpretation Fragment of an Analysis London: Karnac & The Institute of Psychoanalysis


21 January 2017


4 & 18 February 2017

Richard Mizen: The controversial discussions

March 4 & 18 2017

Angelika Golz: Introduction to Group Analysis

In these two seminars we will discuss the founding principles of group analysis and explore the concepts that underpin this form of therapy.  Group analysis was founded by a German psychoanalyst, S.H Foulkes, who emigrated to England in 1933.  There were 3 key influences on his thinking, Kurt Goldstein (neurobiologist), Norbert Elias (sociologist) and the Frankfurt School.  These seminars will look at Foulkes departure from individual therapy in terms of his belief in the relationality of subjectivity.  There is no individual identity outside the social and as problems are socially constructed, they are best treated in the social context of the group.

These  seminars will also look at the therapeutic basis of group analysis, and this will include a experiential exercise at the beginning.

Suggested Reading

Foulkes, S.H. (1983) Introduction to Group Analytic Psychotherapy, London: Karnac

Foulkes, S.H (1964) Therapeutic Group Analysis. London: George Allen & Unwin.

Foulkes, S.H (1990) Selected Papers. London: Karnac

Foulkes, S.H. and Anthony, E.J. (1957) Group Psychotherapy – the Psychoanalytic Approach, London: Karnac

A modern account of the practice of group analysis, written by two senior group analysts: 

Behr, H. and Hearst, L. (2005) Group-Analytic Psychotherapy: A meeting of minds, London:Whurr

A useful introduction to using group analysis in a variety of settings:

Barnes, B, Ernst, S. & Hyde, K. (1999) An Introduction to Groupwork: A Group analytic perspective  London: Palgrave Macmillan

A theoretical/philosophical critique and extension of group analysis:

Dalal, F. (1998) Taking the Group Seriously London: Jessica Kingsley

Group theory from a Kleinian/Tavistock perspective:

Bion, W.R.  (1961) Experiences in Groups London: Tavistock/Routledge

A group analytic theory of difference; specifically race and racism.

Dalal, F. (2002) Race, Colour and the Processes of Racialization Hove: Brunner-Routledge

Group Analysis This journal is published four times a year by Sage. Membership of the Group Analytic Society (which has an international membership) includes a subscription to the journal.

Training day

25 March 2017

Philip Derbyshire: Freud & Nietzsche

Freud and Nietzsche can be seen as linked thinkers whose post-transcendental investigations of the subject produce novel accounts that move between positive science and critique, often reflecting on similar phenomena but thinking them differently: for example repetition and the return of the same, Machttrieb (and death drive) and Will to Power, consciousness as limited and consciousness as sickness.  Freud himself both engages with Nietzsche’s thought and disavows it, whilst Nietzsche is the basis of much post-structuralist critique of desire as lack, as in the work of Deleuze, Foucault and Lyotard.  And in the work of Butler, the mapping of morality as internalised violence in Nietzsche is juxtaposed with the Freudian model to give an account of the ‘psychic life of power’.

The teaching day will look at the encounter and dialogue between Freud and Nietzsche; the conceptual similarities and differences between Nietzsche’s psychology and Freud’s psychoanalysis; the question of aggression, violence, ressentiment and morality (and here the Nietzschean motifs within Adorno and Horkheimer’s Dialectic of Enlightenment will be rehearsed); the Deleuzian use of Nietzsche to produce a positive and productive account of the subject later developed in Anti-Oedipus; and Butler’s account of subjectification through violence and attachment to subjection. 

But there are other Nietzschean themes that Foucault, Deleuze and Guattari privilege in their later work that is the question of ‘self-fashioning’ and the idea of aesthetics as based in the literal cultivation of the sensual which point up antinomies and ambivalences within psychoanalysis around therapeutics and the ends of analysis.  Peter Sloterdijk has looked at some of these issues under the headings of ‘anthropotechnics’ and ‘general ascetology’ seeing them as more general cultural imperatives.  So the second part of the day will look at this injunction to ‘change one’s life’. (I’ll send on pdfs of the Sloterdijk chapters).

Suggested bibliography:

Assoun, P., 2000, Freud and Nietzsche, Continuum, London and New York,

Butler, J. The Psychic Life of Power, especially, ‘Nietzsche and Freud’, Stanford University Press, Stanford

Deleuze, G., 1983, Nietzsche and Philosophy, Athlone, London

Freud, S. ‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle’, ‘The Ego and the Id’, ‘Civilisation and its Discontents’

Nietzsche, F. 1990, Beyond Good and Evil, tr. R.J. Hollingdale, London, Penguin

Nietzsche, F. 1969, The Genealogy of Morals, tr. Walter Kaufmann, New York, Vintage.

Sloterdijk, Peter, 2009/2013, You must change your life, tr. Wieland Hoban, Oxford, Polity Press


6 May 2017

Val Parks: Lacan among the feminists

Lacan’s early followers included two of the foremost French feminist thinkers of the 20th century, Julia Kristeva and Luce Irigaray. Like most French psychoanalysts, they found themselves impelled to react to Lacan, and for them this reaction centred on the grounds of gender and sexuality. In their turn, they have influenced many later feminist thinkers. Their approach to Lacan was necessarily based on the early post-Freudian Lacan, and the perceived phallocentrism of Freud and Lacan. Later theoreticians such as Butler and Rose, with better access to the later Lacan, have found his theorising of sexuation an indispensible tool for understanding how the human subject assumes sexuality regardless of gender.

The day will trace this development and consider the uses of Lacan and sexuation in today’s clinic. In addition to the writers mentioned above, we will look at Catherine Clement and Helene Cixous.  A full reading list will be added later.

20 May 2017

Rob Weiss: Wilhelm Reich: Radical Psychoanalysis

This seminar will examine Wilhelm Reich’s contributions to psychoanalysis, focusing in particular on his place within the ‘second generation’ of psychoanalysts of the 1920s, his position in the Freudian canon and on his theories of a social practice of psychoanalysis. The third phase of Reich’s work—once he had been expelled from the IPA in the 1930s and moved to the USA—is perhaps what has sealed his reputation and notoriety. Is this reputation deserved? Is there

anything Reich has to say to contemporary psychoanalytic theory and practice?

Required reading

The following texts will be provided as pdfs to be discussed in the seminar:

Reich Part 3 of ‘Character Analytic Technique’, in The Function of the Orgasm

‘On Genitality’, in Early Writings: Volume One

Excerpts from:

Dialectical Materialism and Psychoanalysis

The Mass Psychology of Fascism

In addition please read the following:

Freud ‘My View on the Part Played by Sexuality in the Aetiology of the Neuroses’

‘”Civilised” Sexual Morality and Modern Nervous Illness’

Further reading

Wilhelm Reich, Reich Speaks of Freud

Early Writings: Volume One

Dialectical Materialism and Psychoanalysis

The Mass Psychology of Fascism

The Function of the Orgasm

Character Analysis

Passion of Youth: An Autobiography 1897–1922

Christopher Turner (2011), Adventures in the Orgasmatron: Wilhelm Reich and the Invention of Sex, Fourth Estate.

Myron Sharaf (1983), Fury on Earth: A Biography of Wilhelm Reich.

Charles Rycroft (1971), Reich, Fontana.

Janine Chasseguet-Smirgel & Béla Grunberger (1986), Freud or Reich? Psychoanalysis and Illusion, Free Association Books.

Russell Jacoby (1983), The Repression of Psychoanalysis: Otto Fenichel and the Political Freudians, Chicago.

Three very good papers by Elizabeth Ann Danto (available on PEP Web):

‘The Ambulatorium: Freud’s Free Clinic in Vienna’, Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 79:287–300.

‘Sex, Class and Social Work: Wilhelm Reich’s Free Clinics and the Activist History of

Psychoanalysis’, Psychoanal. Soc. Work, 7:55–72

‘An Anxious Attachment: Letters from Sigmund Freud to Wilhelm Reich’, Contemp. Psychoanal.47:155–165

3 June 2017

Anastasios Gaitanidis: Ferenczi

17 June 2017

Keith Armitage: Freud & Phantasy

In this seminar, I want to look at the place of phantasy in Freud’s writings. As well as exploring some complex, but very enjoyable, texts by Freud in some detail I hope the seminars might help those attracted to Laplanche’s thinking to help situate his writings in relation to the Freudian corpus that grounds them.

I would like us all to have read “Two Principles of Mental Functioning”, the Wolf-Man case history and A Child is Being Beaten”.

1 July 2017

Dorothee Bonnigal-Katz: Psychoanalytic approaches to psychosis

The aim of the seminar is to explore the complex status of psychosis within psychoanalytic theory and technique as well as to provide an introduction into the psychoanalytic treatment of psychosis. The day will offer an overview of the various theories of psychosis and a clinical discussion of the challenges, the pitfalls and the successes of the psychoanalytic treatment of psychosis.


Bion, W ( 1967). Second Thoughts (“Development of Schizophrenic Thought” esp., pp. 36-42). London: Karnac, 1984.

Ferenczi, S (1913). Symbolism (“The Ontogenesis of Symbols” [Section III] esp., pp. 276-281) in First Contributions to Psycho-Analysis. London: The Hogarth Press and the Institute of Psycho-Analysis, 1952: 253-281.

Freud, S (1915). The Unconscious (Section VII).  SE XIV: 196-204

Freud, S (1917 [1915]). A Metapsychological Supplement to the Theory of Dreams. SE XIV: 217-235

Freud, S (1924). Neurosis and Psychosis. SE XIX: 147-154

Lacan, J (1958). On a Question Prior to Any Possible Treatment of Psychosis in Ecrits (B. Fink transl.). New York: Norton, 2007: 445-488.

Levi-Strauss, C (1949). The Effectiveness of Symbols in Structural Anthropology. Basic Books, 1963: 186-205.

Pankow, G (1974). The Body Image in Hysterical Psychosis. Int. J. Pycho-Anal., 55: 407-414.

Roustang, F (1976). Towards a Theory of Psychosis in Dire Mastery: Discipleship from Freud to Lacan. Baltimore: John Hopkins UP, 1982: 132-156.

Winnicott, D (1949). Hate in the Counter-Transference. Int. J. Pycho-Anal., 30: 69-74.

Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz is a psychoanalyst and a translator. She is a member of the SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and the founder of the Psychosis Therapy Project at Islington Mind. She has a special interest in promoting the psychoanalytic treatment of psychosis in theory as well as in practice.