Six Themes in Psychoanalysis 29 AugustAug 2020 02:00pm - 03 OctoberOct 2020 04:00pm

This unique course offers an introduction to fundamental concepts in psychoanalysis to those new to psychoanalysis and it will also appeal to those seeking a refresher in the various themes. The 6-week course is designed to be accessible in its content, clinical applicability, and also its cost. Participants are encouraged to enroll in all six seminars, although it is possible to enroll for an individual seminar. Each weekly seminar is taught by dynamic tutors who are also highly experienced psychoanalytic practitioners. The seminars will consist of an interactive combination of lectures and facilitated discussion. Readings will be
available in advance for each seminar and will provide a basis for analysis and discussion of the weekly themes. The seminars will take place by Zoom and tutors will use a range of audio- visual aids. Seminar descriptions and full tutor bios are below.

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29 Aug 02:00pm
Eve Watson

This seminar offers an introduction to the history of psychoanalysis with a special emphasis on the contributions of the psychoanalysts Sigmund Freud and Jacques Lacan who emphasized the unconscious as being in speech and expressed in symptoms, dreams and the famous “slips.” The seminar demystifies the unconscious and outlines its importance in our structure and personality, showing its clinical relevance in a variety of applications such as symptoms, dreamwork, parapraxes (mistakes, bungled actions, slips of the tongue) and even jokes. We cannot know ourselves without knowing something of our unconscious motivations and desires!
05 Sep 02:00pm
Marie Walshe

This seminar explores the psychoanalytic approach to identity. Given the explosion of identity politics and gender categories, this seminar considers that far from settling things, identity, while necessary to the ego and a sense of self, is fraught due to its inconclusiveness and does not come close to capturing the entirety of who we are. Identity, which forms during the mirror stage, a concept formulated by Jacques Lacan, is assessed in terms of how history, language and the familial and socio-cultural big Other conspire in a mirroring process to determine selfhood in highly individual and singular ways. Marie Walshe, who has many years of experience in working with children, adolescents, and adults, will explore identity as formative but unfinished, and its significance for the psychoanalytic clinic.
12 Sep 02:00pm
Kevin Murphy

Psychoanalysis since Freud emphasises that sexuality is at the heart of desire, symptoms, human relations, and even reality itself. We don’t even have to be directly sexual for it to find its way into our thinking, our speaking and even our dreaming. When Freud proposed that who we desire is immaterial once there is someone we desire, he revolutionised the popular notion that men desire only women and women desire only men. After Freud, Lacan proposed that gender is based not on biology but on the effects of language, and further revolutionised our understanding of what a man and a woman is. This seminar contextualises these ideas within the enormously varied field of human sexuality and explores how a psychoanalytic approach to sexuality never does so in relation to “normality” but approaches sexuality as unique and determined by an unconscious that is singular to each of us. Kevin Murphy, who is an experienced clinical psychoanalyst and researcher in the field of sexuality, explores the origins of the sex drive, Freud and Lacan’s ideas about how we become desiring beings, how these theories can accommodate gender fluidity and why the human sex drive can often be as problematic as it can be pleasurable.
19 Sep 02:00pm
Harriet Parsons

Diagnosis in psychoanalysis is radically different to that of mainstream psychiatry and psychology which diagnoses in standardized ways using the DSM/ISD manuals. The work of Freud and Lacan advances a small number of general categories of diagnosis which are designed to manage the transference and appropriately direct the treatment. This seminar, under the guidance of Harriet Parsons who has almost two decades of experience working in clinical practice in the public and private sectors, explores hysteria and obsessional neurosis as categories of diagnosis. There will be a special focus on the treatment of eating disorders.
26 Sep 02:00pm
Pauline Twomey

Freud was adamant that when initially agreeing to work with a patient, the clinician should determine if the patient is psychotic or neurotic. While psychoanalytic practitioners might not often work with someone who is psychotic, it is important to have some knowledge of it. This seminar explores what psychosis is, looks at its distinct and unusual symptomatology and how psychoanalysis approaches it as a diagnostic category. Psychoanalysis approaches psychosis differently to how it is approached using the standardised methods of the DSM and ISD. Working with a psychotic client requires careful management so that a therapy can effectively support the client and the transference is managed appropriately.
03 Oct 02:00pm
Maryrose Kiernan

Psychoanalysis, beginning with Freud, has much to say about culture and how the individual psyche is destined to be discontented due to what it sacrifices for the sake of culture and group membership. This seminar explores the history of group work, how groups function, and what their applications are in clinical and non-clinical settings. Everyone, at some stage, invariably finds themselves involved in a group and having knowledge of group dynamics can be important. Drawing upon the work of Freud, Foulkes, Lacan and Bion, experienced group and Lacanian psychoanalyst, Maryrose Kiernan, considers the significance of groups and group work in contemporary settings.

Eve Watson

Eve Watson (PhD, MICP, RegPract. APPI) is a psychoanalytic practitioner and university lecturer. She has published over two dozen articles on psychoanalysis, sexuality and film. She co-edited the book Clinical Encounters in Sexuality: Psychoanalytic Practice and Queer Theory (2017: Punctum) with Dr. Noreen Giffney. She is the editor of Lacunae, the APPI International Journal for Lacanian Psychoanalysis (, and is course director of the Freud-Lacan Institute. She is currently working on a book project on the drive and in 2021 will take up a residency at the Austen-Riggs Centre in Massachusetts as the Erikson scholar.

Harriet Parsons

Harriet Parsons (MICP, Reg. Pract. APPI) is a fully accredited psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She holds an MSc in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy from St. Vincent’s Hospital School of Psychotherapy, an MA in Addiction Studies from DBS, and a BA (Psychology) from DBS. Harriet joined Bodywhys: The Eating Disorders Association of Ireland in 2005 and as the current Training and Development Manager, works to provide Bodywhys support to the HSE National Clinical Programme for Eating Disorders. In addition, Harriet gives frequent training and lectures on the subject of eating disorders. Harriet is a RegPract. member of APPI, the Irish Council of Psychotherapy, and a member of the Editorial Board for the peer-review APPI journal, Lacunae.

Kevin Murphy

Kevin Murphy (PhD, MICP, RegPract. APPI) is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice in Dublin for nearly twenty years. In his clinical practice, he works, among other things, with sexual issues and his doctoral and ongoing research is in the area of asexuality, defined as the experience of no sexual desire for another person. He completed his doctoral research under the supervision of Russell Grigg at Deakin University in Melbourne. He regularly presents conference papers in Ireland and abroad and is currently working on a monograph of his doctoral thesis.

Marie Walshe

Marie Walshe (MICP, MIECFT, RegPract. APPI) is a psychoanalyst, supervisor and Director of Leeson Analytic Centre, a practice in which she treats adults, children and couples. Marie, who has been in clinical practice for over two decades, has also lectured on undergraduate and post-graduate programmes in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy and has presented clinically-oriented papers in Ireland and the UK. Her articles have been published in the Letter and Lacunae journals ( and she contributed a chapter on her adolescent practice to a textbook on Lacanian perspectives on child and adolescent psychoanalysis, Lacanian Psychoanalysis with Babies, Children, and Adolescents: Further Notes on the Child, edited by Carol Owens and Stephanie Farrelly Quinn (Routledge, 2017).

Maryrose Kiernan

Maryrose Kiernan (MICP, RegPract APPI, IGAS, IGA, Member GASi) is a clinical psychoanalytic psychotherapist, a clinical group analyst and a Clinical Group Supervisor. She has a diploma in Fine Art from NCAD. She has lectured in TCD, DIT and facilitated groups in DBS. She has sat on the executive of APPI and is currently a member of the Psychoanalytic Section of ICP. Maryrose has organized international group seminars with European colleagues. She has many years’ experience of working with individuals and as a group analyst privately and within the Irish Health Service (HSE), in particular with survivors of institutional and childhood abuse. She has also worked in the public and private sectors as a clinical supervisor.

Pauline Twomey

Dr. Pauline Twomey (MB., BCh., BAO, MRCPsych, FRANZCP, MCPsychI, MMedSc Psychotherapy) is a Consultant Psychiatrist trained in Ireland and Australia with long experience of working with patients with psychosis. Specialising first in rehabilitation psychiatry linking in with community services, she specialises in the more acute area of psychiatric intensive care and low secure care. Her experience as a psychiatrist is unusual in that she has predominantly worked with severely mentally ill patients in hospital who have been actively psychotic and commonly are diagnosed with schizophrenia, schizo-affective disorder or bipolar disorder. Many of her patients are detained under the Irish Mental Health Act, 2001, and have complex comorbidities with substance abuse and emotionally unstable personality traits. She has worked as tutor for many years which included a period of chairing the Association of Psychiatric Tutors of Ireland. During her time as tutor, she was involved in developing guidelines for supporting doctors who have experienced suicide of a patient in their care. She has also worked with the Mental Health Commission serving as an Inspector of services. In the past, she has worked as Director of a Brain Trauma Programme in a Psychiatric Service in Australia. She has chaired the Human Rights and Ethics Committee of the College of Psychiatrists of Ireland which recently published the ethical guidelines for psychiatrists. At her suggestion, the theme for the College of Psychiatrists for 2021 is the Right to Treatment.

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