Site training programme seminars 2022/23 – Saturday group


October 8 15 22 29, November 5 Stephen Gee

Countertransference and its Controversies

From the early 1950s a proliferation of theorisations elaborated ‘the Countertransference’ as a key to the analyst’s sense of the patient’s state of mind in the session. With this came an orientation to the ‘hic et nunc’ of the session over and above a tracing back of the symptom in the patient’s history. Lacan started a rearguard battle against this trend as part of his insistent return to Freud. The current situation is complex. Positions that were once calls to arms defending theoretical and clinical turf are no longer held with such conviction. This can make finding one’s own way as an analyst more challenging and possibly more interesting. As the title of these seminars indicates, clinical advances in psychoanalysis are overdetermined but one element is trauma, particularly with regard to the subjectivity of the analyst in her/his own historical time and place.

Alongside specific clinical developments throughout the 20th century there were expansive critiques of psychoanalysis which inevitably had a bearing on the lives of clinicians and the approaches to their work, particularly with regard to the transference. Not least of these critiques were what might be described as feminist returns to Freud. Particularly illuminating are authors Jane Gallop in ‘Feminism and Psychoanalysis’ and Juliet Mitchell in ‘Psychoanalysis and Feminism’ .

Starting with Bion’s attempt to create a basis for the transformations particular to the psychoanalytic situation we will consider what might be implied in a treatment without desire or memory. We will go back to Freud and consider the case of Dora and the subsequent critiques. We will also study a case presented by Meira Likierman and discussed by Jessica Benjamin, Malcolm Slavin and

Stephen Seligman. It vividly describes a creative tension between post Kleinian and relational psychoanalytic practice.

Really good background is Adrienne Harris’s video on pep-web in which she makes interesting links between analytic impasses and the melancholia of the analyst.

Marilynne Robinson’s chapter ‘The Freudian Self’ in her book of essays ‘Absence of Mind’ provokes further questions about psychoanalysis, and what subjective psychosexual theory and hysteria might be trying to do for its author in fin de siècle anti- semitic Vienna.

Reading Week 1

Attention and Interpretation, Chapter 4 ‘Opacity of Memory and Desire’, Bion W R 1965

On Counter-Transference, Heimann P 1950 Playing and Reality,

Chapter 5 (section: Clinical Data), Winnicott D W 1966

Weeks 2 and 3

Fragment of an Analysis of a Case of Hysteria, Freud S 1905 Feminism and Psychoanalysis, Chapter 9 ‘Keys to Dora’ Gallop J 1982

Weeks 4 and 5

Psychoanalytic Dialogues 2006 Issue 4

Unconscious Experience: Relational Perspectives Likierman M Followed by commentaries by Benjamin, Slavin, Seligman and Likierman’s reply to commentaries.


Video ( pep-web) Adrienne Harris on ‘You Must Remember This’

Psychoanalytic Dialogues 2009

‘Absence of Mind’, Chapter 3 ‘The Freudian Self’,

Marilynne Robinson 2010

‘Freud, Dora and Vienna 1900’, Hannah S Decker 1991 ‘Madmen and Medusas’, Juliet Mitchell 2000

November 12 19 26, December 3 10 Angela Kreeger

Of The Farm

This novella by John Updike raises some interesting questions for theory and practice. We will use this book as a starting point to think about family, Oedipus, enigmatic transmission, ‘the unacceptable’, and how we choose to practice. Along the way, other questions may arise. Please come prepared to talk.

Week 1

Of The Farm John Updike

Please note your associations to what you are reading.

Week 2

Family Romances Sigmund Freud

Week 3

Why Oedipus? Christopher Bollas, in ‘Being A Character’.

Week 4

Foundations: Towards a General Theory of Seduction

Jean Laplanche in New Foundations for Psychoanalysis

This book is out of print and the text is not available on PEP. I will provide a scanned copy of the relevant chapter.

Week 5

Discussion of themes and issues raised in Weeks 1 – 4

The above is necessary reading. The following is for interest: however, they are both really pleasurable to read and will add to our conversation.

‘A Mother Always Knows’ Sarah Maitland.

I’ll provide a scanned copy of this as it’s not available.

‘Uneasy Listening’.

Anouchka Grose and Robert Brewer Young. Available from LRB bookshop

Spring term 

Eric Harper 
14, 21, 28 Jan, 4 & 11 Feb 

Experiences of Analysis 

The seminar for our teaching in Jan comes out of our discussion/seminars on thinking about the margins, in which the voice of the patient seemed marginalised.  

The teaching is a response to this question and what you said you wanted to think about.  

Seminar One 

How do analysts talk about their analysis, especially when in an analysis with a key figure in the analytic movement.  

Jose Americo Junqueira de Mattos (2016) Impressions of my analysis with Dr. Bion in The WR Bion Tradition. Edited by Howard Levine and Giuseppe Civitarese Karnac. (Copy to be provided)  

Margaret Little Winnicott working in areas where Psychotic Anxieties predominate A personal record (Copy will be provided).  

Seminar Two 

Christine Hill 2010 chapter nine, Drawing together key findings. Page 151 to 174 in What do patients want? Karnac (Copy to be provided) 

Seminar Three  

Irvin Yalom and Ginny Elkin Chapter VI May 10 – Jun 21 and Afterword pages 179 to 244 Basic Books  

Seminar Four  

Paul Roasen How Freud Worked. Any chapter(s) that interest you 

Seminar Five 

Your Presentations on case studies by patients/clients you have found.  

Peter Nevins 
18 & 25 Feb  


Anastasios Gaitanidis 
4, 11 & 18 March 

“The Sublime in Everyday Life: Psychoanalytic and Aesthetic Perspectives” 

Notions of the sublime are most often associated with the extraordinary, and include the intrapsychic, high-cultural, and exceptional occurrences of elation and exaltation as part of its experience.   

In this series of seminars, I will use ordinary encounters and case presentations in order to make a plea that the existing philosophical and psychoanalytical perspectives on the sublime acknowledge their rootedness in the same world that we all engage in our everyday lives. For all their theoretical and clinical refinements, the various philosophical and psychoanalytic explanations of the sublime remain an expression of, and hence must be guided by, the world of our common human experience.  

I will begin by turning to the emergence and development of the notion of the sublime in philosophy and psychoanalysis in order to show how we can take up this legacy and transform it in a manner that could endow us with a particular power and relevance for the personal, interpersonal, therapeutic, cultural and political questions that confront us in the 21st century. By proposing a more ‘grounding’, ‘ordinary’ way of speaking and thinking about the sublime, I hope that we will be able to reinvigorate the sensuous and mysterious ways we experience our everyday encounters with the world, therapy, and each other.  

This lecture will be an opportunity to substantiate the existing psychoanalytic and aesthetic, theoretical and clinical knowledge of the sublime by placing it within the context of everyday life using examples of it in art, film, theatre, literature as well as in work, education, relationships, and the clinic.   

The main resource for this series of seminars will be my co-edited book Gaitanidis, A. and Curk, P. (2021) The Sublime in Everyday Life: Psychoanalytic and Aesthetic Perspectives. London: Routledge. The seminar titles correspond to specific chapters in this book. I recommend that trainees carefully read each chapter and then select relevant references from the extended reading list, if they want to expand their knowledge on a specific aspect/argument in the chapter. 


Seminar 1: Introduction to the Philosophical/Aesthetic Theories of the Sublime 

Adorno, T. W. (1997) Aesthetic Theory. Trans. Robert Hullot-Kentor. London: The Athlone Press. 

Burke, E. (1990) A Philosophical Enquiry Into the Origin of Our Ideas of the Sublime and the Beautiful. Ed. Adam Phillips. Oxford: Oxford University Press. 

Eagleton, T. (1990) The Ideology of the Aesthetic. Oxford: Blackwell. 

Kant, I. (1914) The Critique of Judgement. Trans. J. H. Bernard. London: Macmillan. 

Lyotard, J-F. (1994) Lessons on the Analytic of the Sublime. Trans. Elizabeth Rottenberg. Stanford, CA: Stanford University Press. 


Seminar 2: Psychoanalytic Fictions of the Creative Sublime 

Freud, S. (1928) ‘Dostoyevsky and Parricide’. Standard Edition of Complete Psychological Works, Vol. XXI, Trans. J. Strachey. London: Hogarth Press. 

Freud, S. (1930). “Civilisation and its Discontents”. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Volume XXI (1927–1931), London: Hogarth Press, pp. 57–146. 

Harris Williams, M. and Meltzer, D. (1988) The Apprehension of Beauty: The Role of Aesthetic Conflict in Development, Art and Violence. London: Clunie Press. 

Milner, M. (1987) Suppressed Madness of Sane Men: Forty Years of Exploring Psychoanalysis. London: Routledge. 

Segal, H. (1975) ‘Art and the Inner World’. Times Literary Supplement, No. 3827. 

Stokes, A. (1963) Painting and the Inner World. London: Tavistock. 

Stokes, A. (1973) A Game That Must Be Lost. Cheshire: Carcanet Press Limited. 


Seminar 3: Wisdom Through Desire: When Truth Meets Love as a Sublime Event 

Adorno, T.W. (1939). “On Kierkegaard’s Doctrine of Love”. Zeitschrift fur Sozialforschung / Studies in Philosophy and Social Science, Vol. 8, No. 3, pp. 413–429. 

Berger, J. (1984). And our Faces, my Heart, Brief as Photos. London: Bloomsbury, 2005. 

Carson, A. (1998). Autobiography of Red: A Novel in Verse. New York, NY: Alfred A. Knopf. 

Fairbairn, W.R.D. (1944). ‘Endopsychic Structure Considered in Terms of Object-Relationships’. In Psychoanalytic Studies of the Personality. London: Kegan Paul, 1952, pp. 82–132. 

Freud, S. (1920). “Beyond the Pleasure Principle”. The Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud, Vol. XVIII. London: Hogarth Press. 

Goytisolo, J. (2003). The Blind Rider. Trans. Peter Bush. London: Serpent’s Tail, 2005. 

Heidegger, M (1954). “Who is Nietzsche’s Zarathustra?” Trans. Bernd Magnus. The Review of Metaphysics, Vol. 20, No. 3, pp. 411–431, 1967. 

Kierkegaard, S. (1847). Kierkegaard’s Writings, XVI: Works of Love. Ed. Hong Howard V. and Hong Edna H. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2017. 

Maier-Katkin, D. (2010). Stranger from Abroad: Hannah Arendt, Martin Heidegger, Friendship and Forgiveness. New York, NY: W.W. Norton. 

Marquez, G. C. (1994). Of Love and Other Demons. Trans. Edith Grossman. London: Penguin Books, 1996. 

Mitchell, S. A. (2003). Can Love Last?: The Fate of Romance over Time. New York, NY: W.W. Norton. 

Nelson, M. (2009). Bluets. London: Jonathan Cape. 

Ogden, T. H. (2012). Creative Readings: Essays on Seminal Analytic Works. London and New York, NY: Routledge. 

Plato (1989). The Symposium. Greek text with trans. by Tom Griffith. Berkeley, CA: University of California Press, 

Pound, E. (1913). “In a Station of the Metro”. In Selected Poems. Ed. T.S. Eliot. London: Faber and Faber, 1928, p. 113. 

Tennyson, A. L. (1842). The Lady of Shalott. London: Lulu, 2011. 

Wittgenstein, L. (1977). Remarks on Colour. Ed. G. E. M Anscombe and Trans. Linda Schättle. Oxford: Blackwell. 

Training Weekend 
22 & 23 April  

Andie Newman 

With: Dorothee Bonnigal-Katz, Kate Gilbert, Francesca Joseph, Angela Kreeger, Peter Nevins, Adam Phillips, Barry Watt 

“What is it I think I am doing when I’m doing psychoanalysis?” 

For this year’s Training Weekend, we are inviting experienced psychoanalysts, representing a range of different approaches, to speak about their work.  

The conversations will focus around different questions, including: 

  • How do you approach the beginning of the work? 
  • Is there a role for diagnosis in your approach? 
  • Is there a goal or aim to the analysis? 
  • Is there a ‘direction of the treatment’? 
  • Is there any kind of ‘technique’ at play?  
  • What defines a psychoanalytic approach? 
  • How do you hold in mind theory when you are listening to a patient? 
  • Which psychoanalytic concepts, texts or theorists do you most frequently find yourself drawing on in your work? 
  • How does the setting you work in inform the way you work? 

The Site Training Weekend brings together both the Thursday and Saturday training groups. Each day will run from 10.00 – 16.30 at the HCC building in Finsbury Park. 

No reading necessary, bring your questions! 

Keith Armitage 
29 April, 13, 20 & 27 May, 3 June 

Artaud: Writing, Representation and Madness 

Over these five weeks we will look at the inspirational place the French actor, poet and theorist of the stage, Antonin Artaud, occupied for the post-war generation of theorists, philosophers and analysts. We will explore the relationship between his madness and writing and look in detail at how these texts, which speak of and from psychosis, work and communicate. We will explore the diverse responses to this testimony in a range of thinkers drawn to his work, acting as an introduction to “post-structuralist” thought.  

I would recommend that you get hold of this as the primary text for this block of teaching: 

Artaud, A (1976) Antonin Artaud: Selected Writings, trans Helen Weaver, ed. Susan Sontag, Los Angeles: University of California Press 

I can make available copies of other texts if that would be helpful.  

Week 1: To Have Done with the Judgement of God 

For this seminar it would be useful if everyone had read the extraordinary “radio play” To Have Done with the Judgement of God in the Selected Writings.  

I would also recommend that people try to get a taste of the first, banned, radio production which is available on YouTube: 

If, like me, you don’t speak French but want to get to know this broadcast there is a bi-lingual edition of the text which makes it easier to follow: 

Artaud, A (2021) Radio Works 1946-48 trans Clayton Eshleman, ed. Stephen Barber Zurich: Diaphanes 

For those intrigued enough to want to know more, I could recommend: 

“From Schizophrenia to Schizophonica: Artaud’s To Have Done with the Judgement of God” in Weiss, Allen S (1995) Phantasmic Radio Durham, North Carolina: Duke University Press 

Week 2: Foucault, Doubles and Delirium 

The encounter with Artaud’s work made an indelible impression on Foucault and he is a touchstone for him in the History of Madness and beyond. We will look in detail at one recently discovered essay: 

Foucault, M  (2001) “Literature and Madness: Madness in the Baroque Theatre and the Theatre of Artaud” Theory, Culture and Society trans: Nancy Luxon 

I will share this text as it is not easily available to non-subscribers.  

If you want to know more about Artaud’s ideas of theatre that Foucault discusses have a look at Section XX “For The Theatre and its Double” in the Selected Writings. These will also be relevant in Week 4 

It will be interesting to read Foucault and his criticisms of psychiatric knowledge and practice alongside the interviews with Artaud’s psychiatrists at the Asylum at Rodez, Doctors Latremoliere and Ferdiere, in 

Lotringer, S (2015) Mad Like Artaud trans: Joanna Spinks Minneapolis: Univocal Publishing 

These are often grotesque and offer their own grim comedy but give testimony to the practises of the eras of Artaud and Foucault and the extraordinary suffering of Artaud in his eight years of institutionalisation.  

Week 3: Bodies without Organs 

The contributions of Deleuze and Guattari have come to dominate critical writing on Artaud in recent years. We will look, inevitably, at one chapter: 

“November 28, 1947: How do You Make Yourself and Body without Organs?” in Deleuze, G & Guattari F (1988) A Thousand Plateaus: Capitalism & Schizophrenia trans Brian Massumi London: Athlone  

To help us think a bit more about the body and Artaud I would recommend looking at the poem “Here Lies” and what is, perhaps, his most achieved work, the poetic essay “Van Gogh, The Man Suicided by Society”, both in the Selected Writings.  

Week 4: Derrida 

A formidably difficult text but one well worth making an effort with. Leave yourself time to work through this one and to really let the essay work on you: 

“The Theatre of Cruelty and the Closure of Representation” in Derrida, J (1978) Writing and Difference trans. Alan Bass Henley on Thames: Routledge and Keegan Paul  

Week 5: Kristeva and the Semiotic 

Artaud was a frequent point of reference for Kristeva in much of her work in the 1970s, particularly in Revolution in Poetic Language and Powers of Horror. The one essay that is devoted to him alone is formidable and complex. It will disturb those more used to Kristeva’s more clinically focused and explicitly feminist texts but is of importance as being Kristeva’s first sustained engagement with psychoanalysis. 

Kristeva, J “The Subject in Process” in ffrench P and Lack, R-F (eds) (1998) The Tel Quel Reader London: Routledge 

For those seeking more background or a way in: 

“Artaud: Madness and Revolution Interview with Julia Kristeva” in Scheer, E (ed) (2000) 100 Years of Cruelty: Essays on Artaud Sydney: Power Publications/Artspace 

Robert Weiss 
10, 17, 24 June, 1 & 8 July 

Interrogating Oedipus  

In this seminar series we will be looking at the Oedipus Complex, the foundational myth of psychoanalysis, through a critical lens. 
We start with Freud and work our way through by holding the Oedipus Complex to account:  

• Is the Oedipus Complex universal? 
• How can we understand the Oedipus Complex through the prism of race, class, sexuality?  

• Freud used the Oedipus story to think about complex ideas relating to gender, and much has been written about it since: how might we usefully add to these ideas?  

• If this model is seen to be no longer fit for purpose, what might replace it? (How else could we tell our stories of love and hate?)  

• And how would we want to think about the Oedipal drama in relation to psychopathology and clinical diagnosis?  

There will be one main text per week, to be critically and creatively examined by a group of two or three trainees, followed by a contextual discussion when some of these questions will be given a good airing.  

A full reading list will follow.  

In the meanwhile, I’d suggest becoming familiar with the inspiration for the Oedipus drama by reading Sophocles’ play, Oedipus Rex.