Introductory Course

2021-22 seminar programme

October 14, 21, 28

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

November 4, 11, 18

Suzanne Adebari: The trouble with psychoanalysis

What is psychoanalysis –  an explorative craft, a definitive science, the trademark for one of many therapeutic offers? There are lots of ways of answering this question but it is difficult to do so without considering the unconscious. This is an opportunity to think about that unsettling agency that Freud made so significant.

November 25, December 2, 9

Robert Weiss: Why perversion? 

Why is psychoanalysis interested in talking about perversion? Does it have anything interesting to say? Among others we will be thinking about Krafft-Ebing, Havelock Ellis, Freud and Lacan with Bataille, Sally Rooney and Vladimir Nabokov.

January 20, 27, February 3

Joanna Gardner: The paradoxes of delusion

How can Wittgenstein help us to understand psychosis? What do Freud, Klein and other psychoanalysts have to say? I will be looking at the psychotherapy of psychosis with particular focus on one clinical case.

February 10, 17, 24

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 3, 10, 17 

Nick Blackburn: Freud and Shakespeare

Shakespeare interested Freud throughout his life. By looking at the way he stages scenes around change, identity and misunderstandings, these seminars will explore ways (rich and strange for sure) in which Shakespeare as a body of work, a body of words and, in such an absence of biographical material, a missing body, was always already psychoanalytic.

April 28, May 5, 12

Chrysanthi Nigianni: The Other in the room

These three sessions will explore psychoanalysis’ relationship to the Other and Otherness alongside the historical practices of othering in psychoanalytic thinking and practice (racialised, gendered and non-human others). Does psychoanalysis avoid the pitfall of reducing all otherness to itself and its own image? How can we re-imagine a psychoanalysis-to-come that demonstrates a response-ability towards current pressing symptoms, namely that of ecological and human crisis? How can the “third space” potentially work as a place of hospitality for what has been historically disavowed? In other words, does the future of psychoanalysis require an ethical turn of psychoanalysis itself? Each session will introduce and propose some (unnatural) alliances between psychoanalysis and … the other: philosophy, race and gender studies, ecosophy, literature – alliances that will invite us to re-imagine and modify the psychoanalytic setting. 

May 19, 26, June 9

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.

June 16, 23, 30

Katia Houghton: Klein, the subject and their phantasies

To what extent can object relations theory and technique inform and enhance a truly contemporary psychoanalysis?

Seminars start promptly at 7pm and run until 8.15pm, followed by an experiential group from 8.30 to 9.45pm facilitated by Judith Soal. The venue is Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, London WC1R 4RL

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 £950 payable when your application is accepted. Fees will not be refunded unless the course is cancelled or cannot go ahead.

The 2021-22 Intro Year is now full but please email Jane Nairne on if you would like further information or to register your interest for next year.