Training Seminars 2016 – 2017

Site Training Programme Seminars 2016/17

LSE. 32 LINCOLN’S INN FIELDS WC2A (South East corner of Lincoln’s Inn Fields) Rooms G.08 G.10 G.11

Autumn Term
October 8th – November 5th 10am – 1.30pm

Joanna Gardener. Clinical: A Kreeger S Gee. Armitage

Melancholia, Mourning and Mania – A case history

“For most of western European history, melancholy was a central cultural idea, focusing, explaining and organising the way people saw the world and one another and framing social, medical, and epistemological norms. Today, in contrast, it is an insignificant category, of little interest to medicine or psychology, and without explanatory or organising vitality.” Radden, J, 2000 “The Nature of Melancholy” OUP

We will look at this long western conversation about melancholic states of mind from Aristotle, through Burton and Shakespeare to Freud and beyond, seeing how it sets the context for the development of more modern debates about the nature of melancholia and for the emergence of newer concepts, the modern categories of anxiety, depression and manic states. We will throughout refer to clinical material and alongside a discussion of the nature of these states of mind, will focus also on the more formal problem of writing about our experiences in the clinic with people suffering such states.

Week 1 Historical antecedents and modern dilemmas

Melancholia, (a much wider and vaguer concept than depression), was always a puzzle to writers throughout history. There was a degree of common agreement about its phenomenology, but less about its aetiology. Was it a response to life events or the result of innate biological (humoral) imbalances? In many ways, modern debates recapitulate these older ones. We will look at these debates, historical and modern.

The following books would be helpful to read but not essential. The first, by J. Radden is an interesting collection of texts on melancholia ranging from Aristotle onwards to the present day with useful commentary on their significance. The second, Darian Leader’s is a very thoughtful exploration of the modern concept “depression”, its treatment, psychological and pharmacological, and its relationship to the traditional term “melancholia”

Radden, J. (2000) “The Nature of Melancholia” New York: OUP Leader, D (2008) “The New Black”, London: Hamish Hamilton

Week 2 The Freudian turn

Freud’s contribution to the understanding of melancholic states of mind was revolutionary. For Freud, loss, both real, material loss, but most especially unconscious, and fantasised loss was at the heart of the suffering of the melancholic subject. We will look at Freud’s work in conjunction with clinical cases from our own practice. Read at least the very least of the first the papers below

Freud,S (1917) “Mourning and Melancholia” in SE 14 pp. 237-58
Freud,S (1923) “The ego and the Id” in SE 19 pp. 1-59
Freud,S (!938) “ The Splitting of the Ego in the Process of Defence” in SE 23 pp. 271-278

Week 3 Klein and Manic States

We will discuss the way Klein builds on yet also reworks Freud’s understanding of the role of hate, aggression and the fear of loss in depressive states. We will then go on to look at how we might understand mania and manic states. Bipolar has become a fashionable and ubiquitous diagnosis in popular consciousness and seems to have both eclipsed and become confused with the older term, manic-depressive psychosis. We will use Darian Leader’s short book to interrogate these terms and to shed light on the relationship between melancholia, mourning and mania, focussing on clinical illustrations.

Klein,M (1940) “Mourning and its relation to Manic-Depressive States” International Journal of Psychoanalysis 21: 125-153 ( can be downloaded from PEP web) Leader,D (2013) “Strictly Bipolar” London: Penguin Books

Week 4 Kristeva and inconsolable sadness

Kristeva, writing from within a French psychoanalytic tradition, influenced by Lacan, yet differing fundamentally from him too, challenges Freud’s emphasis of the role of aggression in melancholia and depressive states. The loss she speaks of is not the loss of the Object but the loss of the “Thing” “ the real that does not lend itself to signification”. We will explore her contribution and discuss relevant case material.

Kristeva,J (1989) “Psychoanalysis -a Counter-Depressant” and “Life and Death in Speech” in “Black Sun”,New York: Columbia University Press pp. 3-68

Week 5 Clinical writing

The aim of the previous weeks’ teaching has been twofold: to discuss various theories about the nature of melancholic states of mind but also to think through the implications for clinical practice of those theories through discussion of case material. We will use this week to think about writing clinical papers. What are we aiming to do in a clinical paper? How do we evaluate clinical writing? How do we think about the relationship between clinical material and theory? Are there any papers we think are particularly good or bad illustrations of the genre? We will look at some examples as a group to try to tease out answers to such questions.

Val Parks Clinical S Gee, B Cawdron, K Armitage November 12th – December 10th.

Do, Be, Do, Be Do! The place of action in psychoanalysis

“ An act changes the subject of the unconscious and involves the subject’s relation to the object. There are several modalities of the act: acting out, passage a l’acte and … the analytic act. The position of the analyst is the sole guarantee that the act is ethical.” (The Edinburgh International Encyclopaedia of Psychoanalysis)

These seminars will explore questions around the role of action, both the analysand’s and the analyst’s, in analytic work. How can ‘just talking’ change anything? What is the nature of therapeutic action? How do human beings conceive of themselves as agents in their lives? Why do so many of our patients bring a sense of powerlessness and lack of agency, and how can analysis help shift this?

Week 1 Freud, Ferenczi and “Active Intervention”

Ferenczi’s development of “active therapy” was one of the differences between himself and Freud, part of the early debates and dissensions of the early years of psychoanalysis. What can we learn from these debates? A major motivation for Ferenczi’s introduction of innovations and “deviations from standard technique” was to make psychoanalysis more accessible, taking it to a market beyond the affluent middle classes. How does this compare with contemporary efforts to “increase access” to talking therapies?

Ferenczi S. (1930) “The Principle of Relaxation and Neocatharsis” in

IJP 11, 428 -443 (on PEP web)
Freud S. (1912) “Recommendations for Physicians Practising Psychoanalysis” S.E Vol. XII 109 – 120 (on PEP web)

Week 2 Active/passive = male/female?

This seminar turns to Freud’s notions of gender in relation to activity, a vital underlying duality in Freud’s metapsychology. We will trace the way it has been taken up by subsequent theoreticians, for example in the influential notion of ‘activity with a passive aim’ and explore the relation of desire and action as it is played out in both sexes.

Freud. S. (1931) Female Sexuality S.E. Vol. 32 221 – 243 (PEP)

————-(1933) “Femininity” in New Introductory Lectures S.E. Vol. 33 p.112 (PEP)
Riviere J. (1929) “Womanliness as Masquerade” IJP 10 303 -313 (PEP)

Andre S. (1999) What Does a Woman Want? Chapter 11 Other Press Week 3 Acting out and Passage a l’Acte

We will look at Lacan’s differentiation of these two modalities of action and how other orientations use the concept.

Rowan A. (2000) “The Place of Acting out in Psychoanalysis” in Psychoanalytische Perspectiven 41 -42 (available via Google)
Nobus D. “When Acts Speak Louder than Words: On Lacan’s Theory of Action in Psychoanalytic Practice” (to be published in Sitegeist Issue 12, September 2016)
Roughton R. (1993) “Useful Aspects of Acting Out: Repetition, Enactment and Actualization” Journal of the American Association of Psychoanalysis 41 443 – 472 (PEP web)

Week 4 Suicidal acts

This week will look at suicidal acts in the light of the previous weeks’ theorising about acts and their meanings. In other words, we will both address the clinical challenges of working with a suicidal patient, and look at the meanings of suicide. To explore the ideas in a different way, some suicides in fiction will be briefly referred to.

Campbell D. and Hale R. (1992) “Suicidal Acts” in Textbook of Psychotherapy in Psychiatric Practice (now out of print. I will provide a copy)
Bell D. (2001) “Who is Killing What or Whom?” Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy 15 21 -37 (PEP web)

Please read if possible one of the following, or indeed any other of your favourite novels which include a suicide:
Flaubert G. (1856) Madame Bovary Penguin Classics
Toews M. (2014) All My Puny Sorrows Faber and Faber

Eugenides J. (2002) The Virgin Suicides Bloomsbury Week 5 The desire of the analyst

Being effective as an analyst cannot be finally ascribed to questions of technique. What makes anyone want to be an analyst? What do we want in wanting to be an analyst? Freud famously warned against wanting the good of the patient, but if not that, then what? Lacan’s notion of the desire of the analyst allows an exploration of the individual analyst’s relation to the praxis. Jonathon Lear writes on the relation of suggestion to psychoanalysis, and our own allegiances to our psychoanalytic masters. Both challenge us to think about our freedom of action and its limits, as does Neville Symington’s paper.


Lacan J. (1959) Seminar VII The Ethics of Psychoanalysis Chapters 23 -4 pp. 302 – 325
————-(1963) Seminar XI The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis Chapter 20 pp. 263 -277

Lear J. (2003) Therapeutic Action: An Earnest Plea for Irony Karnac Books Chapter 2 (preferably) and 3 (definitely)

Symington, N. (1983) “the Analyst’s Act of Freedom as Agent of Therapeutic Change” International Review of Psychoanalysis Vol. 10 283 -291 (on PEP)

NB I am aware there is a lot of reading recommended here. Where you need to leave some papers out, please try to read some texts with which you are less familiar and/or inclined to view sympathetically, rather than concentrating on your comfort zone!

Spring term

Stephen Gee with E Harper, K Gilbert January 14th – February 11th

The Psychic Life of Power or

What’s got into us?

The themes of power and pathology will animate these seminars

Week 1

Power not only operates from above, through the state, any institution or from one human being dominating another but from deep within bodies. The tropes typical of psychoanalytical discourse of internalisation and interiority are paradoxes inherent to the formation of subjectivity. which according to Butler is inherently melancholic.

Moral sadism and Doubting one’s own Love – Kleinian reflections on melancholia. Butler J. in Reading Melanie Klein Routledge 1998.

Week 2

The Psychoanalytic Frame

What does the frame produce and enable in terms of power? What are its clinical claims in terms of pathology. An important term to grasp in our discussions is ‘interpellation’.

‘Ideology Interpellates Individuals as Subjects’, from ‘Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses‘ Althusser L 1970 (

Psycho-Analysis of the Psychoanalytic Frame. Bleger J 1967 PEP.

Week 3
Freud’s radical anti-radicalism.

Freud’s concepts of the compulsion to repeat and the death drive set an internal limit to what political power might achieve .

Beyond the Pleasure Principle. Freud S. 1920 (PEP)

The Death Drive, Negative narcissism and the disobjectalising function. Green A. The Work of the Negative. Free Association Books 1999.

Invasion and Exile. Discussion led by Eric Harper.

Colonialism and trauma. Nowhere is the psychic life and death of power more vividly evident than in the legacy of colonialism.

Readings from Frantz Fanon and Jean Genet will be sent later. Week 5
No future –

is the title of a book by Lee Edelman (the proposition of which is that reproduction is just an endless spinning out of narcissistic fantasies of optimistic futures) It challenges the centrality of theories of infancy in much psychoanalysis ; queer theory at its bleakest.

Against this I propose you read a riveting clinical study by a relational analyst, Orna Guralnik with a commentary by Haydee Faimberg.

The Dead Baby. Guralnik O. (Psychoanalytic Dialogues 2014) Not on PEP yet. I will get it to you.

Haya Oakley Clinical M Brewer, D Gill

February 18th – March 25th (N.B. Site conference March 11th – no seminar).

The intersubjective relation; from philosophy to psychoanalysis

The seminars will explore the philosophical origins of some central psychoanalytic concepts including the implications to clinical work. The first three seminars will be based on a reading of two short papers by Lacan and following his references to specific philosophical texts. The two papers are:

Lacan J. ‘The Object Relation and the Intersubjective Relation’ in: The Seminar of Jacques Lacan, Book I, Cambridge University Press (1988) pp209-219

Lacan J. ‘The Symbolic Order’ ibid pp 220-233

18th February

The Gaze: exploring the game of intersubjectivity, perversion and shame.

Reading: Sartre J P:’The existence of others’ in Being and Nothingness, Methuen & co LTD

1966 pp252-302

25th February

The love relation: Love, Language and masochism Reading: ibid pp 364-378
4th March

Self-consciousness as acknowledgement by another person, the place of the other and further thoughts on shame, freedom and transcendence in relation to the Master/slave dynamic.

Reading: Hegel F: ‘Lordship and Bondage’ in; The Phenomenology of Mind, London, George Allen & Unwin, 1971 pp228-240

18th March

Living towards our death: Re visiting Obsession
Reading: Heidegger, M. (1967), Being and time. Basil Blackwell, Oxford


25th March

The best interest of the patient
Reading: Foucault M: The birth of the clinic, 1976 Tavistock publications

The latest draft of the UKCP proposed Code of Ethics (email copies available from me on request)

April 1st and 2nd Training Weekend. Keith Armitage, Barbara Cawdron

Femininity, Sexuality & the Maternal

Over the course of the weekend we will examine one of the most complex debates within psychoanalysis on the nature of the feminine, female sexuality and the maternal component.
Working in pairs or small groups, trainees will be invited to write and present on one of a range of classic and contemporary chapters and papers on these subjects, outlining the key arguments and ones own responses to the papers. Papers will be expected to be around 20 minutes each and there will be time for whole group discussion after each presentation.
We will circulate a full reading list well before the start of the autumn term. It will include key contributions by Freud and Klein alongside seminal contributions from a variety of psychoanalytic schools.

Summer Term

Liz Guild Clinical H Swords, V Parks
April 29th – May 27th
Scenes from family life: from tragedy to tragicomedy …

Historically the Oedipus complex has often seemed fundamental to psychoanalytic theory. But we might say, it was an inadequate – hysterical? – solution to more fundamental problems relating to identity and drive, a dream or myth rather than a universal theory, and without more ado, move on to other theories/solutions. Maybe; but the questions of identity and drive and transgenerational issues wrapped up with it don’t go away. Nor does family; and currently the nature of family seems more complex than ever – as our clinical work reminds us. So these seminars explore Oedipus further, together with alternatives that have developed, over time and place.

These seminars combine literary texts – mainly drama – and psychoanalytic readings; not literature as a form of case study, but as a source of insight for our practice that complements or supplements ‘theory’ and clinical material. These literary narratives range from Oresteia and Antigone to Fun Home, via an early modern short story, and dramatize aspects of theories which have grown a bit flat or inadequate in the world(s) in which we practice. The theoretical focuses for the seminars are Oedipus, transgenerational issues, sexual difference and gender, particularly the place of daughters. Feel free to focus on other aspects of the family lives represented in the texts or accompanying

theoretical reading, and, along with your own clinical experiences, to bring other literary texts into the seminars – narratives from other cultures and/or different versions of family are particularly welcome.

The theoretical underpinnings to all the seminars are 1. Freud’s Oedipus and 2. Paul Verhaeghe, New Studies of Old Villains (New York: Other Press, 2009). Please read before we start; these will be a continuing point of reference across the seminars.

Freud – some or all of this material may already be familiar to you (all on PEP):

i. The Interpretation of Dreams (1900) S. E., vol. IV 255-65 and vol. V, 397-9 and 452

ii. ‘Dissolution of the Oedipus Complex’ (1924), S. E. vol. 19, 173-82 iii. ‘The Ego and the Id’(1923), S. E. vol. 19, 12-66

  1. ‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle’ (1920), S. E. vol. 18, 7-64
  2. Female Sexuality’ (1931), S. E. vol. 21, 225-43

Week 1

Freud’s Oedipus + Marguerite de Navarre, short story (Novel XXX):

heptameron.html#N30 (the story ends with the words ‘she withdrew to weep.’), + Verhaeghe, ‘father, ‘mother’ and ‘jouissance’.

Week 2

Aeschylus, Oresteia: Agamemnon and The Libation Bearers (I. Johnston’s translation: The_Orestia.pdf , or Ted Hughes’ or Robert Fagles’ translation, both available online via subscriptions) + Ogden ‘Reading Loewald: Oedipus

reconceived’, International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 87(2006), 651-666 (PEP), + ‘Beyond the Pleasure Principle’.
Week 3
Sophocles, Oedipus at Colonus : colonus.html and Antigone : + Verhaeghe, ‘jouissance’ and ‘identity’ + Judith Mitchell, Sibling: Sex and Violence (Polity Press, 2003)18-30 and 119-128 + Judith Butler, Antigone’s Claim (Columbia University Press, 2001), chapter 3, ‘Promiscuous Obedience’ (57-82) – which might, if you have time, lead you towards Laplanche’s enigmatic signifiers ( see e.g. New Foundations for Psychoanalysis, tr. David Macey (1989) or ‘The Theory Of Seduction And The Problem Of The Other’, International Journal of Psycho- Analysis, 78 (1997) 653-666 (PEP))

Week 4

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home + Julia Kristeva, ‘Some Observations on Female Sexuality’, Annual of Psychoanalysis, 32 (2004), 59-68 (PEP), Jessica Benjamin, ‘Father and Daughter: Identification with a Difference – A Contribution to Gender Heterodoxy’, Psychoanalytic Dialogues, 1 (1991), 277-299 (PEP) and ‘Deconstructing Femininity: Understanding “Passivity” and the Daughter Position’, The Annual of Psychoanalysis , 32 (2004), 45- 57(PEP) + Verhaeghe, ‘father’, ‘jouissance’ and ‘identity’.

Week 5

Alison Bechdel, Fun Home + Judith Butler, ‘Ideologies of the super-ego: Psychoanalysis and Feminism revisited’, and Juliet Mitchell with Jacqueline Rose, ‘Debating sexual difference, politics and the unconscious’, in R. Duschinsky and S. Walker (eds), Juliet Mitchell and the Lateral Axis (Palgrave, 2015), 57-99 + Verhaeghe (as for Week 4.)

P Nevins and J Mann . Clinical R Weiss June 3rd – July 1st

The Existential Outsider in Psychoanalysis:
A look at the work of R D Laing and some of the people that influenced him.

An ex psychiatric patient once said to me “before Ronnie I was just a number (in the psychiatric system) after Ronnie I had a name”. Such was Ronnie Laing’s influence on psychiatry in his day.

These seminars will look at some of the early influences on Ronnie Laing and one of his early collaborators to put his work in the wider cultural context of the time.

In 1956 Laing read The Outsider by Colin Wilson and vowed to emulate it. In the same year he began writing the divided self. The Outsider is structured in such a way as to mirror the Outsider’s experience: a sense of dislocation, or of being at odds with society. Laing made use of Gregory Bateson’s concept of the Double bind, in which anything a person does leads to one or another kind of punishing consequence to demonstrate his idea that madness is a sane response to an insane situation.

Week 1

The Outsider by Colin Wilson 1956 – published by Phoenix, New Ed edition (6 Dec. 2001) ISBN-10: 0753814323

Week 2

Gregory Bateson – Towards a Theory of Schizophrenia in Steps to an Ecology of Mind:
a Revolutionary Approach to Man’s
Understanding of Himself. 1972 (PDF available)

And chapter 9 “psychiatric thinking from “The social Matrix of Psychiatry” (PDF available)

Week 3

A close look at “The Divided Self” Part 1, Penguin Classics; Reprint

edition (28 Jan. 2010)

This watershed work aimed to make madness comprehensible, and in doing so revolutionized the way we perceive mental illness. Using case studies of patients he had worked with R. D. Laing argued that psychosis is not a medical condition, but an outcome of the ‘divided self’, or the tension between the two personas within us: one our authentic, private identity, and the other the false, ‘sane’ self that we present to the world.

Week 4

The Divided Self Parts 2 and 3

Week 5

“Politics of Experience” in Politics of Experience and the Bird of Paradise, Penguin; New Ed edition (26 April 1990)
R.D. Laing shows how the straitjacket of conformity imposed on us all leads to intense feelings of alienation and a tragic waste of human potential. He throws into question the notion of normality, examines schizophrenia and psychotherapy, transcendence and ‘us and them’ thinking, and illustrates his ideas with a remarkable case history of a ten- day psychosis.