Psychoanalytic Theory Lectures

This is a programme of public lectures given by members of the Australian Psychoanalytical Society for students in training. It was a three year programme from 1997-1999. Years one and two address theories and techniques from Freud, Klein, Bion, Winnicott and Fairbairn. Year three focus on topics such as infancy, pathological conditions and states of mind and psychoanalysis and culture.

To see the full lecture programme - please click here 

To purchase any of the psychoanalytic theory lectures please click on each semester in the navigation.

  • 1st Semester Year 1 The plan in this first term is to attend to the central goals of psychoanalysis and to pose questions, the answers to which we hope will emerge in the course of the three year programme.
  • 2nd Semester Year 1 (Each one os down laudable and has to be payed for)
In this term we attempt to understand Freud, the Man : his background, his cultural outlook, the problems which he was trying to solve and his first formulations.
  • 3rd Semester Year 1 
In this term we hope to capitalise upon our understanding of that great breakthrough that enabled Freud to see the meaning behind dreams, the symbolic function of the symptoms and infantile sexuality. We believe that if this is understood then the building blocks of his later conceptualisations can be understood.
  • 4th Semester - Year 1 
4th Semester - Year 1
  • 1st Semester - Year 2 
In the first year of lectures we considered psycho-analysis from its beginnings. Freud, who was the founder of psychoanalysis, concentrated his attentions mostly upon neurosis. He thought that psychosis and narcissistic disorders could not be treated by psychoanalysis. However, this outlook changed with some of Freud’s followers. As nearly all patients who seek psycho-analysis today have at least psychotic mechanisms operating we concentrate this year entirely upon psychosis. We believe that if students get a good grasp of psychosis it will help them a great deal in their clinical practice.
  • 2nd Semester - Year 2
  • 3rd Semester - Year 2 
This term will be devoted entirely to Bion who developed a theory of psychotic functioning and of mental functioning which was central to his clinical understanding. Lectures given by Joan and Neville Symington.
  • 4th Semester - Year 2
  • 1st Semester - Year 3 - Infancy 
In this third year of open lectures we are concentrating in the first term on infancy. There is an enormous amount of literature on this subject and we cannot even begin to summarise it. However, the works of Margaret Mahler, Mrs. Bick, John Bowlby and Frances Tustin are being highlighted and therefore any acquaintance with their writings will be valuable.
  •  2nd Semester - Year 3 - Pathological Conditions 
In the second term we are concentrating on pathological conditions. The literature on borderline and schizoid patients is again extensive. The schizoid condition was a special interest of Fairbairn in the fourth term of 1998 but Henri Rey, a contemporary psychoanalyst, has written with penetrating insight and humane understanding of these patients. Herbert Rosenfeld’s papers will be valuable for borderline patients but participants may also want to refer to the works of Otto Kernberg and John Steiner. Edward Glover wrote a book on criminal psychopathy and Hyatt Williams has written papers on the subject more recently.
  • 3rd Semester - Year 3 - Narcissism, Borderline & Schizoid Phenomena 
In the third term we have concentrated on psychoanalysis in the States. Familiarity with the authors being discussed during that term will obviously enrich your understanding.
  • 4th Semester - Year 3 - Psychoanalysis and Culture 
In the last term we consider the wider perspective of psychoanalysis in the context of culture.


    "The Controversial Discussions" was a name given to a series of meetings held in the British Psychoanalytical Society in London in the 1940's.  But discussions of a controversial nature have been a feature of psychoanalysis since it was founded, and our contention is that if psychoanalysis ever ceases to be controversial that it will have ceased to be a viable force in people's lives.

  • Neville Symington:  Mind - Delving into the depths
    These lectures are an attempt to delve deeper into the mind ... how might we understand the ways in which minds communicate with each other and what is it that obstructs such communication? The way we think about these things and the goals which need to be aimed for affects profoundly the way we communicate with our patients.

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