Teaching psychoanalysis in the university

Conference paper

Henderson, D. and Worthington, A. 2014. Teaching psychoanalysis in the university. Psychotherapy Meets Africa: 7th World Congress for Psychotherapy. Durban, South Africa 25 - 29 Aug 2014
TypeConference paper
TitleTeaching psychoanalysis in the university
AuthorsHenderson, D. and Worthington, A.

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.

Research GroupCentre for Psychoanalysis
ConferencePsychotherapy Meets Africa: 7th World Congress for Psychotherapy
Publication process dates
Deposited12 Sep 2014
Output statusPublished
Web address (URL)http://wcp2014.com
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