Teaching psychoanalysis in the university

Henderson, David and Worthington, Anne (2014) Teaching psychoanalysis in the university. In: Psychotherapy Meets Africa: 7th World Congress for Psychotherapy, 25-29 August, 2014, Durban, South Africa. . [Conference or Workshop Item]

Official URL: http://wcp2014.com


This paper reflects on pedagogical issues that arise in teaching psychoanalysis in a large research university. Members of the Centre for Psychoanalysis, Middlesex University, London, UK teach psychoanalytic concepts and history at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. 3rd year undergraduate psychology students can undertake an option module entitled Psychoanalysis in Context. Students on the MA Psychoanalysis have modules on the History of the Psychoanalytic Movement; Key Clinical Concepts; Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society; and Clinical Methodologies. In addition they write a 15,000 word dissertation. PhD students have undertaken research on a range of themes, including cultural theory, gender, terrorism, guilt, phobia, visual representation and financial corruption.

Undergraduate psychology students find that the emphasis on reading primary sources and on writing conceptual essays in the psychoanalysis module is significantly different from the process of data collection and qualitative and quantitative analysis that they have become used to in their psychology modules. In seminars at both undergraduate and postgraduate level there is a balance to be struck between a rigorous academic study of psychoanalytic theory and accommodating the emotional turbulence that can be aroused by reading the theory. Few of the students have had any experience of being counselling or psychotherapy clients or patients. This opens the question of how far the psychoanalytic process can be understood or assessed without experiential knowledge. The tension between academic methodologies and clinical experience is present throughout all levels of teaching.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology > Centre for Psychoanalysis
A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 13770
Useful Links:
Depositing User: David Henderson
Date Deposited: 12 Sep 2014 10:46
Last Modified: 13 Oct 2016 14:31
URI: https://eprints.mdx.ac.uk/id/eprint/13770

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item


Activity Overview
6 month trend
6 month trend

Additional statistics are available via IRStats2.