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Contemporary Psychoanalytic Practice and Applications Seminars

Module titleContemporary Psychoanalytic Practice and Applications Seminars
Module codePYCM062
Academic year2020/1
Module staff

Jo-anne Carlyle (Convenor)

Duration: Term123
Duration: Weeks




Number students taking module (anticipated)


Description - summary of the module content

Module description

You will participate in c. 9 seminars per term during block week and at your Learning Set. You will prepare for these by reading relevant literature beforehand and are expected to participate in discussion of both theoretical and clinical material key to psychoanalytic theory.

All clinical cases presented for assessment must be ones seen in the placement agreed with the programme team. In exceptional circumstances a deviation from this principle may be considered by the programme team but should be requested in writing with clear justification for the deviation.

This module you will extend your understanding of contemporary theory and clinical practise through seminars looking at critical issues regarding current psychoanalytic/psychodynamic practice. This will include matters such as the current standing of psychoanalysis, culturally, scientifically and as a treatment within the public services. It will consider how matters of prejudice (e.g. racism, homophobia and sexism) have been dealt with by analytic theory and analytic institutions and the particular ethical issues which analytic ideas and practice produce. The seminars will explore the relationship between analytic ideas and those of other kinds of psychological therapies; research and psychoanalysis; ‘applied’ psychoanalytic ideas and for example the significance of manualised therapies; short term analytic psychotherapies; the problems of what is and isn’t ‘legitimately’ psychoanalytic; the significance of neuro-scientific perspectives in psychoanalysis and so on. In addition, the application of psychoanalytic ideas to other disciplines and the value of inter-disciplinary studies will be examined.

In this module you will develop your understanding of key psychoanalytic theory and additionally draw upon diverse sources not only from psychoanalysis but also the wider culture to consider how psychoanalytic ideas may inform and offer understanding of social phenomena. You will write an essay on contemporary psychoanalytic theory. In addition, you will choose a particular topic from an applied psychoanalytic perspective and apply analytical techniques to illuminate and understand this through a presentation.

There will be seminars in each of the block events in the second year. Some seminars will be led by visiting speakers, who will present clinical material followed by the opportunity for a group discussion. Other seminars will be led by you, and you will present clinical material and lead the following group discussion. You are required to do this at least once.

This module takes place in stage 2.

Module aims - intentions of the module

The aims of this module are to enable you to

  • link theoretical material from psychoanalysis with general social and cultural phenomena.
  • learn about diverse contemporary approaches to psychodynamic thinking.
  • develop your skills in presenting your own psychoanalytically-informed thinking.

Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs)

ILO: Module-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 1. Make new conceptual links between psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice
  • 2. Discuss the diversity of contemporary psychodynamic clinical practice
  • 3. Critique current clinical research
  • 4. Develop an ethical position in relation to analytic practice and research
  • 5. Demonstrate knowledge of inter- and cross-disciplinary issues and applications of psychoanalytic theory beyond the clinical domain

ILO: Discipline-specific skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 6. Analyse and manipulate complex concepts, including their theoretical antecedents
  • 7. Formulate your own structures for your own thinking regarding analytical understanding

ILO: Personal and key skills

On successfully completing the module you will be able to...

  • 8. Communicate complex material in a clear and engaging way
  • 9. Link theory to personal and professional material
  • 10. Effectively present and communicate your own analytically-informed ideas to a group of your peers

Syllabus plan

Syllabus plan

Term 1: The Development of the Self and Practice of Psychotherapy II

Term 2: Child Development I and the Development of Subjectivity and the Relational Environment

Term 3: Child Development II and Psychic Defences II (Context, Setting and Organisational Dynamics).

Each term there will be presentations from guest speakers and seminars led by individual programme members. The order of your presentations will be discussed at the beginning of the year. Guest speakers are timetabled according to availability, and introduced by the module convenor.

You are required to read material in advance of seminars, when this is supplied. You are also required to undertake two formal presentations of your clinical work, provide a theoretical context for this, supply relevant literature for the group, and lead the group discussion.

You are required to provide theoretical context for your work, a detailed clinical description, and supply relevant literature for the group beforehand. Your presentations should demonstrate an ability to make conceptual links between psychodynamic theory and practice, communicate case material effectively, and identify areas for development within your practice.

Learning and teaching

Learning activities and teaching methods (given in hours of study time)

Scheduled Learning and Teaching ActivitiesGuided independent studyPlacement / study abroad

Details of learning activities and teaching methods

CategoryHours of study timeDescription
Scheduled Learning and Teaching31.5Seminars/discussions within the whole group
Guided Independent Study118.5Reading and preparation for assignments


Formative assessment

Form of assessmentSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Seminar participationOngoing throughout moduleAllOral
Formal presentation of clinical work in the Clinical Seminar part of the Learning Sets1 hourAllOral
Write-up of presentationAppropriate to the medium of the presentationAllWritten

Summative assessment (% of credit)

CourseworkWritten examsPractical exams

Details of summative assessment

Form of assessment% of creditSize of the assessment (eg length / duration)ILOs assessedFeedback method
Presentation on psychoanalytic perspectives on everyday life (in a format appropriate to the medium, e.g. PowerPoint) (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module and the programme)5030 minutesAllOral
Essay (this assessment must be passed; failure in this assessment will lead to failure in the module and the programme)502250 wordsAllWritten


Details of re-assessment (where required by referral or deferral)

Original form of assessmentForm of re-assessmentILOs re-assessedTimescale for re-assessment
PresentationPresentationAllFour weeks from the date that feedback was provided
EssayEssayAllFour weeks from the date that feedback was provided

Re-assessment notes

Two assessments are required for this module. In all cases re-assessment will be the same as the original assessment. Where you have been referred/deferred for any form of assessment detailed above you will have the opportunity to retake within four weeks from the date that feedback was provided.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of deferral, your re-assessment will be treated as it would be if it were your first attempt at the assessment and the overall module mark will not be capped.

If you pass re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), the overall module mark will be capped at 50%.

If you fail re-assessments taken as a result of referral (i.e. following initial failure in the assessment), you will be failed in the module and as a consequence you will be failed in the programme and your registration as a student of the University will be terminated.


Indicative learning resources - Basic reading

  • Bateman, A. and Holmes, J. (1995). Introduction to psychoanalysis: a contemporary synthesis. Routledge, London.
  • Davids, F. (2011) ‘Internal Racism: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Race and Difference’.Palgrave-Macmillan, Basingstoke,
  • Fonagy, P & Target, M. (2003) Psychoanalytic Theories. Whurr: London
  • Freud (1915) ‘The Unconscious’ Standard Ed XIV
  • Joseph, B. (1982) ‘Addiction to near death’. International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 63, 449-456.
  • Knox, J. (2003) Archetype, Attachment, Analysis: Jungian psychology and the Emergent Mind. (London: Brunner-Routledge)
  • Lemma. A (2003) Introduction to the Practice of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy London Karnac
  • Lemma, A. et al (2011) Brief Dynamic Interpersonal Therapy: A Clinician's Guide Oxford University Press
  • McFarland Solomon, H.,et al (2003) The Ethical Attitude in Analytic Practice London Karnac
  • Meltzer, D. (1986) ‘The Apprehension of Beauty’ (Strath Tay, Clunie Press)
  • Money-Kyrle, R. (1956) ‘Normal counter-transference and some of its deviations’. International Journal of Psycho-analysis, 24, 285-308.
  • Obholtzer, A., Roberts, V (1994) The Unconscious at Work: Individual and Organisational Stress in the Human Services London Routledge
  • Schore, A. (1994) ‘Affect Regulation and the Origin of the Self. The Neurobiology of Emotional Development.’ (Hilldale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum).
  • Stoller, R.(1985) Observing the Erotic Imagination, Yale University Press, New Haven,
  • Waddell. M. (2003) Inside Lives: Psychoanalysis and the Growth of the Personality London Karnac
  • Welldon, E. (1988 reprinted 2004) ‘Mother, Madonna, Whore; The idealization and denigration of motherhood’ (London; Karnac)
  • Winnicott, D. W. (1947) ‘Hate in the Counter-transference’ in Through Paediatrics to Psychoanalysis pp.194-193 New York: Basic Books.

Indicative learning resources - Web based and electronic resources

  • ELE – (all resources will be made available on ELE. This includes additional material covered in the tutorials, the required readings, information about assessment and additional material (e.g., videos))

Module has an active ELE page

Key words search

Psychodynamic, psychoanalytic, psychotherapy, therapy, clinical analysis

Credit value15
Module ECTS


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Module co-requisites


NQF level (module)


Available as distance learning?


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