Theoretical and Clinical Seminars

In our seminar series you will undertake an intensive study of psychoanalytic theory and practice.

Our seminars enable each candidate to engage critically with the theories underlying clinical practice, and facilitate the development of therapeutic skills. The seminars take place up to three times a week during term time and are usually spread over a period of three years.

The first year’s theoretical seminars focus on the origins of psychoanalysis, looking at how Freud developed his models of the mind in order to understand his clinical practice. Alongside attending the Freud seminars, you will carry out a weekly infant observation, in which you spend time with a mother and baby in their own home, and take part in a further weekly seminar to discuss your observations.

Many of our candidates find this section of the course deeply fascinating, as such close attention to infant behaviour really brings to life the workings of a young child’s mind. Towards the end of the first year, a course of seminars also gives analysts in training the chance to think about psychic development from infancy to adolescence.

From the second year of training onward, our seminars focus on a wide range of theoretical and technical subjects. You will conclude your first year study of Freud and explore many other topics, including analytic approaches to depression, narcissistic states, borderline disorders and trauma. In addition there is a seminar course on the three main schools of psychoanalytic theory in the British Psychoanalytic Society: Contemporary Freudian, Kleinian and Independent. Until qualification, you will also participate in weekly clinical seminars with your fellow students, in which you each present and discuss clinical material from your training cases with a senior clinician