Site Training Programme Seminars 2020/21 – Thursday group

Autumn Term      October 8 – December 10

Spring Term         January 14 – March 18

Summer Term      April 15 – July 1

Training weekend May 22/23

‘Keep your friends close…(and your enemies closer!)’ (Michael Corleone, Godfather Pt 2): phenomenology and psychoanalysis: a series of seminars for the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis

 Kati Gray and Paul Gurney October 8 15 22 29, November 5

Philosophers Maurice Merleau-Ponty and Ludwig Wittgenstein were extremely interested in, yet also provoked by, the ‘theory’ and practice of psychoanalysis, offering critiques of its underlying assumptions and claims, contributing to what became a new approach within psychoanalysis (although centuries old in both ‘western’ and ‘eastern’ philosophy), the ‘phenomenological’. In these seminars we will we exploring the toothsome, nourishing dialectic that has informed this debate during the last century, additionally looking at other thinkers whose oeuvre has contributed to the conversation. See below for the reading materials for each seminar (others may follow).

  1. The Child’s Relations With Others (Maurice Merleau-Ponty, trans Cobb, in The Primacy of Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-83433-9, pp209-213 (excerpt supplied).
  2. The Shaking Woman, or a History of my Nerves, Siri Hustvedt, UK: Sceptre, 2010. ISBN 978-0-340-99877-9 (trainees to obtain for themselves);

I am therefore I run, Paul Gurney (PA Newsletter Spring 2018) (supplied);

The Phenomenology of Perception Part Two: The Theory of the Body is Already a Theory of Perception, trans Landes,2012 (1945), Oxford Routledge, ISBN 978-0-415-83433-9, pp209-213 (excerpt supplied).

  • Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus (Wittgenstein) Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus, Ludwig Wittgenstein, (1922), trans. Pears & McGuiness (1961), 2001, Oxford, Routledge ISBN 0-415-25408-6;

  Philosophical Investigations, Ludwig Wittgenstein, trans. Anscombe, Hacker & Schulte, 2009, Oxford, Wiley-Blackwell ISBN 978-1-4051-5929-6;

Zettel, ibid, edited Anscombe & von Wright, trans. Anscombe, 1967, Oxford, Blackwell; (excerpts supplied of these texts); 

  • Ethics and the Face’, pp.194-219, from ‘Totality And Infinity’ by Emmanuel Levinas, trans Lingis, 1969 (1961), Dusquene UP, Pittsburgh, ISBN 978-0-8207-0425-2;   

Useless Suffering 1988 (1982), trans Cohen, from ‘Les Cahiers de la Nuit Surveille, N.3, ed. Jacques Rolland, Paris, Editions Verdief (excerpts supplied);

  • ‘The Sickness Unto Death’ by Soren Kierkegaard 1989 (1849), trans Hannay, London, Penguin ISBN 978-0-141-03665-6 (you will be expected to read the whole text, however an excerpt of pp11-29 will be supplied).

The Sick Body      

Val Parks,  November 12 19 26, Dec 3 10

These seminars will explore issues associated with the experience of having a human body: born prematurely and hence dependent on care givers for an extended time; fragile and vulnerable physically. We have learned to live off our wits, but at great cost. The human body very readily succumbs to illness or pain, and these seminars seek to go beyond a simplistic translation from bodily symptom into mental expression via a psychoanalytic encounter, and posit instead a complex interaction and play of body and mind. More specific references will be given later to the passages we will be concentrating on, and scans of them will be made available to texts not on PEP.

Week 1   The perception of being a body and how it is formed

Piera Aulagnier “The Birth of the Body, Origin of a History” – link here

Elaine Scarry  The Body in Pain: The Making and Unmaking of the World OUP  1985. Link here

Reference will also be made to last term’s seminar on Anzieu and the skin ego.

Week 2      Why do people get ill?

Darien Leader and David Corfield   Why Do People Get Ill? Penguin Books 2008

Joyce McDougall    Theatres of the Body   Free Association Books    1989

Jamieson Webster    Conversion Disorders: Listening to the Body in Psychoanalysis. Columbia University Press 2019 (for background reading only)

Week 3    The experience of being ill

This week will look at one particular kind of illness: cancer. Lana Lin’s book explores Freud’s jaw cancer and the experiences of Audre Lorde and Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick, who both suffered from breast cancer. As a starter, here is a link to a podcast by the author

Lana Lin     Freuds Jaw and Other Lost Objects: Fractured Subjectivity in the Face of Cancer Fordham University Press 2017

Eve Kosofsky Sedgwick   Dialogue on Love    Beacon Press   2000

Week 4    Sickness as metaphor : individual and society

Albert Camus   The Plague  (for background on Jacqueline Rose. “Pointing the Finger”   an  article on Camus.  London Review of Books.  Volume 42 No. 9, available online  (She relates the plague to the epidemic of violence against women)

Susan Sontag  Illness as Metaphor and AIDS and its Metaphors

 (1977 and 1989)  Penguin Books 1991

Week 5    Covid19  A week to discuss psychoanalytical articles or papers on the topic. Texts made available near the time so they are as topical as possible. Trainees are invited to contribute articles or papers they have found useful



Stephen Gee and Eric Harper.  January 14 21 28

Week 1,

‘We are such stuff as dreams are made on, and our little life is rounded with sleep’

The place of the dream has an inaugural status in psychoanalysis; often leading to a model of the unconscious as a theatre. This was vigorously challenged by Deleuze and Guattarri who, in the spirit of 1968, preferred the factory over the theatre. These seminars will attempt to look at the role of dreams in the analytic space and contemporary approaches.

Essential Reading:

The Interpretation of Dreams. Freud S. Chapters 6 and 7.

Recommended Reading:

The Uncanny. Freud S.

Week 2  Jung and Hillman

In this seminar Jung’s conception of the collective unconscious will be contrasted to Freud’s. Hillman advocates befriending a dream; what is your experience?

Hillman developed and critiqued Jung particularly his Christian assumptions and the notion of the union of opposites.

Essential Reading:

The Dream and the Underworld, Chapters 2 and 4; 5 Hillman J

Dreaming outside of Ourselves; Hillman J in Where Id Was, Ed. Molino A. (scan)


The Dream and the Underworld, Chapters 5 and 6 Hillman J

‘Personifying or imagining Things’ James Hillman (992) chapter 1 in Re-visioning psychology pp. 3-50 Harper press, New York.

‘Therapy, dreams, and the imaginal’ James Hillman (1983) Chapter 4 in Inter-Views pp.48-74 Spring publications Connecticut 

‘Between Bion and Jung: Talk with James Grotstein’ JoAnn Culbert-Koehn (2013) The San Francisco Jung Institute Library Vol. 15(4) pp. 15-32

 ‘Carl Gustav Jung and Analytical Psychology’ Henri Ellenberger (1970) Chapter 9 in The Discovery of the Unconscious pp. 657-738 Basic Books. New York

‘Dreams’ Andrew Samuels Chapter 8 1990 in Jung and the Post-Jungians pp. 230-240 Routledge & Kegan Paul, London.

‘The development of the idea of the collective unconscious and of Archetypes’ and ‘Confrontation with the unconscious in memories’ Carl Jung (1995) in Memories, Dreams and reflections pp. 167-74 and pp. 172-81 Fontana, London.

Dreams; Deleuze and Hillman

Week 3

Moving interpretations

Pontalis and Bion

The use of the senses, narration and passion are the elements that Bion identifies as constituting a uniquely psychoanalytic experience from which learning can evolve.  As Pontalis notes in his landmark paper a dream in analysis is no longer an object but rather an emergent phenomenon of the analytic situation. Both patient and analyst are actors in and subjects of the field in which interpretation moves. For Bion the session itself can be perceived as oneiric. Images, thoughts, links and impasses are all potential for the work of alpha function. The chaos of the mental universe evoked by Klein is the precarious starting point for Bion’s rigorous poetics; his alpha-betisation of the unconscious.

Some key questions arise for the clinician; how do dreams alter the atmosphere of the analytic discourse and what is possible clinically, particularly when certain kinds of trauma or disorders of thinking are prominent.

Essential Reading:

Dream as an Object; Pontalis J B (IJP 1974 PEP) 

Learning from Experience; Bion W R, Chapters 1- 4,  (PEP)

Ogden, T 2003. ‘On not being able to dream’ in The International Journal of Psychoanalysis Volume 84, Issue 1 (Library has online version – ISSN: 0020-7578)


Ferro, A. 2017. Transformations in dreaming and characters in the psychoanalytic field in The International Journal of Psychoanalysis Volume 90, Issue 2 (Library has online version -ISBN10: 0946439052)

Giuseppe Civitarese 2015 Chapter 9 ‘Between ‘other’ and ‘other’ Merleau-Ponty as a precursor of the analytic field’ in The Analytic Field and its transformations pp. 151-169 Routledge Oxon

Is sado masochism the only model?

Francesca Joseph and Suzanne Adebari  February 4 11 18

What are it’s implications for intimacy, negative capability, emancipation, and for the relationships in the consulting room. From parenting to capitalism, why might we surrender the pleasures that may be derived from pain ?

The seminars will refer to the reading material, and clinical experience.  We will also require the group to watch some films beforehand, the titles of which we will send nearer the time.

‘The Economic Problem of Masochism’. Freud S. SE XIX (On Pep)

‘From Masochism to Psychic Pain’.  Ch. 10. Alienation in Perversions.  Masud Khan

We will send further suggestions for reading later in the year.

The Impossible Profession

Kate Gilbert and Andie Newman.   February 25, March 4 11 18

We will focus on what is so painful and difficult and challenging and inexplicable about clinical work, presenting our own case studies to describe some of the most demanding and excruciating work we have experienced and what, looking back, we now understand about what might have been going on and how we were implicated.

We will discuss the limits of psychoanalysis, our limits as psychoanalysts, but also the possibilities for deep intervention and transformation in which both analyst and analysand are inevitably changed.

We will aim to facilitate a really open and containing space for trainees to explore some of their own confusing and disturbing experiences and the fears they may have in entering this profession. We will use a few key texts as a springboard for discussion.

Suggested reading – more details to follow

Freud, S. 1915 ‘Observations on Transference-Love’ in SE Volume XII (2001) London: Vintage

Roustang, F. (1986) Dire Mastery, Washington DC: American Psychiatric Press

Searles, H. (1999) Countertransference and Related Subjects, Madison CT: International Universities Press

Autism & “Child Psychosis”- Keith Armitage  April 15 22 29 May 6 13

In these seminars we will examine British and French approaches to the treatment of Autism, their differences and their points of contact. We will look at the relationship between psychoanalytic doctrine and developmental research and how psychoanalytic theory can be modified as a result or remain resistant. As a primer ahead of these conversations, I would recommend that people get hold of this book:

Acquarone, Stella (ed.) Signs of Autism in Infants: Recognition and Early Intervention (2007)   London: Karnac

The book helpfully establishes linkages between psychoanalytic theory, developmental psychology and neuroscience in an accessible way and can ground the beginning of our discussions. I found the following papers very useful:

Chapter 6: Aquarone, S: “From a Distance: early intervention as a way to attune and find a channel for communication”

Chapter 1: Massie, H: “The prodomal phase of autism and outcome of early treatment”

Chapter 2: St Clair, C; Danon-Boileau, L; Trevarthen, C: “Signs of autism in infancy: sensitivity for rhythms of expression in communication”

Chapter 3: Muratori, F; Maestro, S: “Early signs of autism in the first year of life”

The reading over the four weeks is rich in clinical description which makes it enjoyable, I hope. I would encourage as wide a reading as possible of the selected texts.

Week One: The Beginnings of a psychoanalytic approach

Klein, M: “The Importance of Symbol Formation in the Development of the Ego” in Love, Guilt & Reparation and other works 1921-1945 (1975)London: The Hogarth Press and The Institute of Psycho-Analysis

Rodrigue, E: “The analysis of a three year-old mute schizophrenic” in Klein, M; Heimann, P; Money-Kyle, RE (eds.) (1955)   New Directions in Psycho-Analysis: The Significance of Infant Conflict in Adult Behaviour London: Tavistock

Week Two: The Tavistock Tradition

Chapters III, V & IX in  Meltzer, D; Bremner, J; Hoxter, S; Wedell, D; Wittenberg, I: Explorations in Autism: A Psycho-Analytical Study London: Karnac

Chapters 9, 10 & 12 in Tustin, F (1992) Autistic States in Children (Revised Edition) London: Routledge

Youell, B “Matthew: From numbers to numeracy; from knowledge to knowing in a ten year-old boy with Asperger’s Syndrome” in Alvarez, A & Reid, S (eds). (1999) Autism and Personality: Findings from the Tavistock Autism Workshop London: Routledge

Edwards, J “Joe: Towards solid ground: an adolescent’s request for a second course of psychotherapy” in Alvarez & Reid (eds.) op cit

Week Three: A French Tradition

Morgan, S: “Childhood Psychosis” in Hall, G, Hivernel, F & Morgan, S (eds.) (2009) Theory and Practise in Child Psychoanalysis: An Introduction to the work of Francoise Dolto London: Karnac

Chapter V “Carole, or the mother’s silence” in Mannoni, M (1973) The Child, his “Illness” and the Others Harmondsworth: Penguin

Chapters 15-17 in Mathelin, C (1999) Lacanian Psychotherapy with Children: The Broken Piano New York: The Other Press

Week Four: A contemporary Lacanian-developmental perspective

Cullere-Crespin, G: “The PREAUT Research: early communication peturbations that could lead to a developmental disorder of the autistic spectrum” in Aquarone, S (ed.) op cit

Freud, S: “Instincts and their Vicissitudes” SE 14

Laznick, MC: “Joint mother-baby treatment with a baby of 3½ months who shows early warning signs of autism” in Aquarone, S (ed.) op cit

Laznick, MC: “The Lacanian Theory of the Drive: An Exploration of Possible gains for Research on Autism” Journal of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research- Vol 19 (2009)

Laznick: MC: “Psychoanalytic Treatment of a Two Month Old Baby with an Autistic Brother, Showing Warning Signs of a Similar Development” Journal of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research- Vol 25 (2014)

(The articles from JCFAR are available to download from their website)

Week Five: Working with a spectrum of autism and neuro-diversity

Chapters 11, 13, 15 & 16 in Tustin, F (1986) Autistic Barriers in Neurotic Patients London: Karnak

TRAINING WEEKEND.  Anastasios Gaitanidis and Christina Moutsou MAY 22/23

The Relational Tradition: From Ferenczi to Contemporary Relational Psychoanalysis”

We would like to facilitate a weekend workshop on relational psychoanalysis. Anastasios Gaitanidis will teach on the legacy of Ferenczi as the predecessor of relational psychoanalysis. He will focus on the themes in Ferenczi’s work that have been developed more fully in the context of the relational school. Christina Moutsou will follow up with an analysis of the cornerstones of contemporary relational psychoanalysis, especially in relation to the work of Jessica Benjamin. She will also refer to her collection of short stories on relational psychoanalysis recently published by Routledge. We will conclude the weekend by offering a joint seminar with a focus on experiential work to encourage the trainees to understand relational work in depth and to help them integrate the theoretical and clinical aspects of the work.

Reading to follow.

James Mann and Peter Nevins June 3 10 17 24, July 1


“Alas,” said the mouse, “the world gets smaller every day. At first it was so wide that I ran along and was happy to see walls appearing to my right and left, but these high walls converged so quickly that I’m already in the last room, and there in the corner is the trap into which I must run.”

“But you’ve only got to run the other way,” said the cat, and ate it.

This short piece was written by Franz Kafka probably in 1920. It is called A Little Fable.In this series of seminars we will be looking closely at the work of several writers who created the idea of The Outsider in existential philosophy.We will be looking at Dostoyevsky, Kafka, Kierkegaard and Nietzsche specifically, with additional readings from both Freud, Deleuze and Guattari. We will explore how these thinkers might have informed the development of both psychoanalytic theory and clinical work. We will be reading these long deceased white men alongside Judith Butler’s 2003 text which is itself an extended meditation on moral philosophy.


Judith Butler: ‘Giving an Account of Oneself’. 

Dostoyevsky: ‘Notes from the Underground’.

Kafka: ‘Selected Short Stories’.

Kierkegaard: ‘Fear and Trembling’ and ‘The Sickness unto Death’.

Nietzsche: ‘Beyond good and Evil’.

Deleuze and Guattari: ‘Kafka, towards a minor Literature’.