2022-23 seminar programme

October 13, 20, 27

Peter Nevins: Reflections on race, identity and power

We will be looking specifically at black women writers. Session one will be an experiential exercise; session two on Toni Morrison and three on bell hooks.

November 3, 10, 17 

Nick Blackburn: Psychoanalysis and Magic

In the company of Freud, Lacan and Bion, we will be questioning the boundaries and overlaps (doubling and troubling) between psychoanalytic and occult projects of healing and transformation. Session one will focus on words and symbols, session two on ritual, and session three on trance states. 

November 24, December 1, 8 

James O’Neill: The Truth of Suffering

In these sessions James O’Neill will be presenting work from his forthcoming book, which follows Undressing: A Story of Recovery and Renewal (2019). 

January 19, 26, February 2

Chris Oakley: Anti-psychiatry from Laing and Cooper to Deleuze and Guattari

February 9, 16, 23

Duncan Harris: Psychoanalysis and comedy – it’s no laughing matter?

“You pulled yourself together and took the only attitude one can take when confronting one’s unconscious, to wit, one of humour.” If Freud can advocate to Jung to find solace in humour when confronting the unconscious, why is the image of psychoanalysis often so po-faced? In these three sessions we will investigate how philosophers and analysts have approached comedy and the cluster of subjects surrounding it – including wit, jokes, humour and irony; and what bearing they do or do not have on our psychoanalytic conversations.

March 2, 9, 16 

Luisa Bloom and Shireen Noor: Analysis and Exile

These sessions start out from Vivian Heller’s book about her father Peter Heller, one of the first children to be analysed by Anna Freud, who would later spend time in a Canadian internment camp. They work towards a wider consideration of exile and analytic enquiry and of how migration and loss figure in the contemporary clinic. 

April 27, May 4, 11 

Chrysanthi Nigianni: Wild Analysis

May 18, 25, June 1 

Katy Bell: Psychoanalysis and Music 

Freud’s relationship to artists was complex and ambivalent. His famous remark to the Minister of Culture of pre-Nazi Germany in 1928 is emblematic; when the Minister said, “I have come to greet the great discoverer of the unconscious,” Freud replied, “The poets and philosophers discovered the unconscious long before I did; I merely discovered its laws and the methods to study it scientifically”.   

Freud’s theories were worked in the setting of fin de siècle Vienna, a city of two million people characterised by a surge of creative activity in the arts, music, sciences and humanities. For Freud, recognising early on that an investigation of dreams was the ‘royal road to the unconscious’, it was a natural step to consider the possibility that the unconscious might also be revealed in more intentional creative acts, like music, art and poetry. 

These seminars are a contemplation of listening, feeling and dreaming in music and psychoanalysis.  

Suggested readings and listening will be sent at the beginning of May.

June 8, 15, 22 

Anastasios Gaitanidis: Contemporary Intersubjective and Relational Psychoanalysis

These final sessions will incorporate ideas from Robert Stolorow’s book Trauma and Human Existence on how to work with emotional trauma and Jessica Benjamin’s notion of ‘mutual recognition’ and the intersubjective ‘third’. 

An experiential group facilitated by Judith Soal starts promptly at 7pm and runs until 8.15pm, followed by a seminar from 8.30 to 9.45pm. The venue is Westminster Quakers Meeting House in Covent Garden.

Information & applications

Previous academic knowledge of psychoanalysis is not necessary to complete the course but a lively intellectual curiosity certainly is. If you were interested in further training this course would be a good place to start. The cost is £1000 payable when your application is accepted. Fees will not be refunded unless the course is cancelled or cannot go ahead.

We are currently accepting applications, please email Jane Nairne on enquiries@the-site.org.uk if you would like further information or to register.