Program of Studies 2011


Contemporary Issues in Psychoanalysis

This one year course examines key contemporary issues in psychoanalysis which are of relevance for both psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice.

The seminar runs over 4 terms of 8 weeks each. Participants are expected to enrol for the whole year. No previous experience is required.

Term 1: The Evidence for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

Unfortunately this Term 1 course has had to be postponed. We will advise as soon as possible when it will be offered.

Evidence for the effectiveness of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic therapies is growing. However many clinicians struggle to understandthe significance of recent findings or how to interpret them in the context of psychotherapy research in general. If psychoanalytic therapies are to have credibility alongside other therapeutic interventions, clinicians need to understand the evidence base for what we do and appreciate the limits of what we know. This course will examine the current state of evidence with reference to recent key publications.

The coordinator of this seminar is Mrs Mary O’Brien.

Time:Thursday 6.30pm – 8.00pm

For enrolment and further information contact the coordinator:

Mary O’Brien or call 07 3844 5855

Term 2: An update on Borderline Personality

Over the last 10 years there has been a significant change in the technique of managing borderline personality. This has come out of the work on attachment theory, applying knowledge from early mother child interactions, and Peter Fonagy’s concept of mentalization. Alongside that there has also been development in psychoanalytic theory itself namely in conceptualising preverbal pathology. An overview of these 2 approaches will be the basis of the term.

Time:Thursday 6.30pm – 8.00pm

For enrolment and further information contact the seminar leaders:

Dr Thea van Hees or call 07 3832 1096
Trudy Chapman call 0403 614 442

Term 3: Beyond the Pleasure Principle – sexuality in contemporary psychoanalysis

What became of Freud’s theories of sexuality? Infantile sexuality shocked the world at the beginning of last century, while Freud’s ideas about female sexuality (penis envy in particular) threatened to divide the psychoanalytic movement in the 1920s and 30s, only to be revived and embraced in the 1970s and 80s by feminist intellectuals influenced by Lacan. This seminar will examine how sexuality is understood in contemporary psychoanalytic theory and clinical practice.

Time:Thursday 6.30pm – 8.00pm

For enrolment and further information contact the coordinator:

Mary O’Brien or call 07 3844 5855

Term 4: The Analytic Field

Analytic field theory has developed from the work of the South American analysts Madeline and Willy Baranger and has been elaborated on by clinicians in other parts of the world most notably, Thomas Ogden, James Grotstein and Antonino Ferro. It has also incorporated some of the work of Bion. It takes as its premise that the analyst and analysand are unavoidably connected to each other in a dynamic process. As a result the analytic process focuses more on extending thinkability than on recovering past events. I will be mainly using the book ” The Analytic Field” which is an EFPP publication.

Time:Thursday 6.30pm – 8.00pm

For enrolment and further information contact the seminar leader:

Dr Thea van Hees or call 07 3832 1096


Clinical Issues in Contemporary Practice

This course may be taken as a one-year course or in individual terms. As a whole the course provides an overview of some important clinical issues in psychoanalysis which impact on the practice of psychoanalysis today.

There are four terms over the year and each term runs for 8 weeks. No previous experience is required.

Term 1: Further Explorations in Child Psychology

This course is a follow on from the Child Psychotherapy seminar in 2010 but is also open to others with an interest in this area. The course will use the Handbook of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, second edition 2009 as the central text and cover the theory and practice of child psychotherapy. This will include looking at contemporary treatment settings and models of psychotherapy treatment. Areas of special interest such as trauma, children in care, violent children will be explored.

Time:Monday 5.00pm – 6.30pm
Fees:$350 per term

For enrolment and further information contact the seminar leaders:

Sally Young or call 0407162674 Jenny Bache or call 07 3163 1926

Term 2: Working with Difficult Adolescents

These seminars examine the current psychodynamic understanding of adolescent development and its application to issues such as self harm, suicide, eating disorders, bullying and violence, as well as thinking about issues of technique in dealing with the difficulties encountered in the therapeutic relationship. There will be ample opportunity to discuss relevant clinical and work related material.

Time:Monday 5.00pm – 6.30pm

For enrolment and further information contact the seminar leader:

Margot Lynch or call 07 3832 1089

Term 3: Psychoanalytic Understanding in Psychiatry: Depression & Psychosis

Psychoanalytic ideas can be of great value when used in the treatment of seriously disturbed patients with psychoses and affective disorders. This series of seminars will serve as an introduction to some of the contemporary psychoanalytic concepts valuable in thinking about the needs of these patients

Time:Tuesday 6.30pm – 8.00pm

For enrolment and further information contact the seminar leaders:

Dr Peter Hengstberger or call 0413 747 061 Dr Janet Rhind or call 07 3832 5599

Term 4: Mentalizing and Reflective Functioning (RF)

Mentalizing has been defined as “a form of mostly preconscious imaginative mental activity, namely, perceiving and interpreting human behaviour in terms of intentional mental states (eg. needs, desires, feelings, beliefs, goals, purposes, and reasons)” (Allen & Fonagy, 2006, p.54). The importance of the capacity to mentalize in human relationships has emerged from both psychoanalytic and attachment theory and is crucial to thinking and theory in both of these fields. This reading and discussion group will explore the development of mentalizing and RF theory and practice.

Time:Wednesday 6.30pm – 8.00pm

For enrolment and further information contact the seminar leaders:

Neil Alcorn or call 07 3163 2178


Infant Observation

This is a one or two year course of weekly seminars where participants bring detailed accounts of their weekly observations of an infant in his or her home environment from birth onwards. The course aims to develop observational skills and an understanding of the infant’s emerging relationships. This course is one of the best ways of learning about the observer’s own involvement in clinical situations.

This is an ongoing weekly seminar of 11/4 hours. Participants are expected to enrol for at least one year. There is no prerequisite for this course. There will be a maximum of 4 participants in this seminar.

Fees:$50 per seminar
Time:To be arranged with the seminar leader.

For enrolment and further information contact the seminar leaders:

Margot or call 07 3832 1089

Janet Rhind or call 3832 559


Terms correspond roughly with school terms and are generally of 8 weeks duration. Term dates for 2011 are as follows but may be subject to change dependent on Public Holidays and Seminar Leaders’ commitments.

Term 121 February – 15 April (Monday courses 7 February – 28 March)
Term 22 May – 24 June (Monday courses 4 April – 20 June excluding 18, 25 April, 2 May, 13 June)
Term 318 July – 9 September
Term 43 October – 25 November

For enrolment and further information contact the Coordinator of the seminar as shown in the program.

Post-Graduate Studies
Students may be eligible for credit towards the Masters in Mental Health – Psychotherapy, University of Queensland upon satisfactory completion of Theoretical seminars offered by the BCPS.

Professional Training Programs
Students may satisfy the theoretical components of psychotherapy training programs offered through the Queensland Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association and the Australian Association of Group Psychotherapists, through satisfactory completion of appropriate Theoretical Seminars and Infant Observation Seminars.

Continuing Professional Education
We are able to supply confirmation of attendance at lectures and seminars for Continuing Professional Education purposes.


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The Brisbane Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies

Psychoanalysis has enormously influenced our understanding of psychological processes and has given birth to many different elaborations of Freud’s original theories and to varied forms of treatment. The clinical practice of treating patients belongs to trained practitioners but, as a theory of the mind, anyone who is interested enough can have access to it. It was in this spirit, at the point of confluence of clinical and theoretical practice, that the Brisbane Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies was established.

The BCPS offers seminars of both a practical and theoretical nature to teachers, social workers, psychiatrists, general practitioners, nurses, psychologists and others in the helping professions. Some of the courses offered are open to others who are interested in the contributions of psychoanalysis to modern thinking.

The BCPS operates independently as a non-profit educational body to promote the development of psychoanalytic thinking and its application in clinical and other disciplines.

The BCPS was founded by Gregorio Kohon and Valli Shaio Kohon in 1988. Since their return to London in December 1994, the BCPS has been run by a small group of psychotherapists from Brisbane.

The Brisbane Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies is currently run by:

Dr Thea van HeesDirector of
Mrs Margot
Mrs Mary O’
Mr Tom O’
Ms Sally


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