Barry O’Donnell – The Appeal of Psychoanalysis

THE LETTER 50 Summer 2012, pages 47-59

This paper gathers remarks made by Freud which differentiate the practice of psychoanalysis from psychotherapy. It will also draw from Lacan’s Seminar 24, L’insu qui sait de l’une bévue, s’aile à mourre, for its consideration of the concept of the unconscious in 1976.

Keywords: psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, object of practice, training

First of all I would like to thank Ros McCarthy for her words of introduction, which are generously brief. The truth is much more problematic in light of the topic of today’s study-day. As well as the practice Ros mentions I am employed in a number of roles, the titles of which combine the terms psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.  Currently, still, I carry the titles of Head of a Department of Psychotherapy, Course Director of a MA in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (a training in psychotherapy), Director of a SpecificModality training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and tutor on a MSc in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. More worryingly, I have at times announced that I practice psychoanalysis and psychotherapy. I am uneasy. I am concerned that the officersof the Trade Descriptions Board may one day come knocking on my door. I believe I need to clarify my position. Today’s study-day has given me an opportunity to address this question of mine because I also believe that I am not alone in having such a question to address.

Comments are closed.