CONFERENCE: Psychosis and Psychoanalysis - 20 March 2016, Freud Museum London

History - Politics - Theory - Technique

Giotto di Bondone, detail from The Last Judgement, 1304-05

Organised in collaboration with the Psychosis Therapy Project, a therapy service for people experiencing psychosis.

The relation between psychosis and psychoanalysis is a paradoxical one. Psychosis is a core term in the theory of psychoanalysis, a site of clinical challenges and radical questioning. Yet it has no place in classic psychoanalytic technique.

Is there a place for psychosis in psychoanalysis? Is there a place for psychoanalysis in psychosis?

This one-day conference brings together eminent practitioners of psychoanalysis from a variety of theoretical perspectives to discuss these complex and topical questions. Drawing on their important contributions to the area of psychosis, the speakers will reflect on the political, theoretical and technical implications of their work.

More info here. 


Haya Oakley: Life in the “Anti-Psychiatry” Fast Lane

Brian Martindale: Family and Psychosis (Past & Present)

Jay Watts: Navigating Language Games around Psychosis

Barry Watt: The Politics of Kleinian Technique in Post-war UK (TBC)

Kate Brown: Attachment Theory and Psychosis

Stijn Vanheule: Conceptualising and Treating Psychosis: A Lacanian Perspective

Clinical Rountable moderated by Gwion Jones:
Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz (Presenter)
Christos Tombras and Tomasz Fortuna (Respondents)


Dorothée Bonnigal-Katz is a psychoanalyst and a translator. She is a member of the SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis and one of the editors of Sitegeist: A Journal of Psychoanalysis and Philosophy. She is the founder of the Psychosis Therapy Project. She has translated a number of psychoanalytic works including Dominique Scarfone’s Laplanche: An Introduction (2015) and she translates for the International Journal of Psychoanalysis on a regular basis.

Kate Brown is a Bowlby Centre trained UKCP registered attachment based psychoanalytic psychotherapist who started her career in therapeutic communities working with adults with a variety of mental health difficulties, and with adolescents individually and in groups. She has worked with young mothers and in mainstream community psychiatric services with patients’ families. She has also provided time limited therapy with former servicemen who had experienced complex trauma. She teaches at The Bowlby Centre and has also delivered freelance training. Kate completed an MSc in psychotherapeutic approaches in mental health in 2012. She is a member of the Attachment Journal editorial group, former chair of the clinical forum at The Bowlby Centre. Kate has recently begun a PhD in the psychoanalysis department at Middlesex University in the history of the therapeutic community movement and the treatment of trauma. Kate has recently moved to Bournemouth where she will be developing a private practice.

Dr Brian Martindale is a psychoanalyst and psychiatrist. He was founder (with colleagues) of the EFPP, the European Federation of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in the Public Sector, its first chairperson and is now Honorary President. He was chair of the ISPS, International Society for the Psychological and Social Approaches to Psychosis from 2010-2015 and past editor of the ISPS book series. He is now an Honorary Lifetime Member. He represented psychiatry for Western Europe to the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) for six years. After many years as a Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy, he worked in a NHS early intervention in psychosis service for 7 years before retiring in 2012 and now works in private practice outside Newcastle.

Haya Oakley has been practising psychoanalysis in London since 1968. After a brief spell at the David Cooper 'anti-university' group she joined the Philadelphia Association where she worked for many years with R.D. Laing and colleagues training psychotherapists and working in 'therapeutic households'. In 1997 she left the Philadelphia Association and set up, with others The Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. She has been a member of the Guild of Psychotherapists since 1982 and is a founder member of The College of Psychoanalysis UK. Honorary Fellow of UKCP. Haya’s interests include the politics of psychotherapeutic organisations, the issues surrounding State regulation of the 'impossible profession', the comparative study of psychoanalytic theories and the question of psychosis. Haya is involved in teaching, supervising and analysing and has contributed to a number of publications as well as TV and radio programmes.

Christos Tombras trained as a psychoanalyst with the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research. He is a member of CFAR and of the College of Psychoanalysts - UK, and has his private practice in North West London. His research interests include the relationships between psychoanalysis and continental philosophy.

Stijn Vanheule is professor of psychoanalysis and chair of the Department of Psychoanalysis and Clinical Consulting at Ghent University (Belgium), and a psychoanalyst in private practice (member of the New Lacanian School for Psychoanalysis and World Association of Psychoanalyse). He is the author of The Subject of Psychosis – A Lacanian Perspective (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011) and Diagnosis and the DSM – A Critical Review (Palgrave Macmillan, 2014), and of multiple papers on Lacanian and Freudian psychoanalysis, psychoanalytic research into psychopathology, and clinical psychodiagnostics.

Barry Watt is a psychoanalyst in private practice and a member of the SITE for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. He is one of the senior practitioners at the Psychosis Therapy Project as well as a housing advocate and community activist.

Dr Jay Watts is a Clinical Psychologist and Psychotherapist working from Systemic and Lacanian orientations. She is Honorary Senior Research Fellow at Queen Mary, University of London, as well as being in full time private practice. Jay has held a number of senior academic and NHS posts, including leading Early Intervention in Psychosis and Integrative Psychotherapy Teams, heading research for a NHS trust, and developing teaching modules as Senior Lecturer in Counselling Psychology at City University. Jay continues to teach on a number of Clinical and Counselling Psychology trainings, and has published widely. She is Practice Editor for the European Journal for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and is Foreign Correspondent for ‘Mad in America’.

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