Psychoanalysis then and now: From Freudian to post-Kleinian thought

Course overview

This lecture series will offer you a systematic introduction and overview of the development of psychoanalytic theory from Freud to the present day. The classes provide a theoretical backbone and sound psychoanalytic grounding for more inspired practice.

This lecture series will offer you a chronological overview of the development of psychoanalytic theory. Throughout the series, original and contemporary psychoanalytical texts will be examined within diverse cultural and epistemological contexts, and the lens of psychoanalysis applied to its self-critique. The first half of the lecture series gives a systematic, in-depth overview of key concepts in the development of Freudian and Kleinian theory. The second half of the course covers contemporary developments, and includes the work of Winnicott, Anna Freud, Bion, Meltzer, Rosenfeld and Steiner.

Senior psychotherapists and analysts will use their clinical experience to bring psychoanalytic ideas and methods to life.  The approach to learning is through the close study of the primary psychoanalytic texts and this will provide you with a substantial first-hand foundation for further psychoanalytic study and its broader applications.  

Part One: Foundations of Psychoanalysis of the lecture series takes place weekly on a Tuesday, from 5pm to 6pm starting on 28th September, and Part Two: Developments in Psychoanalysis runs on Wednesdays 3.30 - 4.30pm starting on 10th November.

Delegates can choose either to study both parts in parallel by attending on Tuesdays and Wednesdays, or just part one by attending Tuesday only.

Part One: Foundations of Psychoanalysis

Terms one and two provide a comprehensive overview of the development of Freudian theory, followed in term three by a systemic overview of Kleinian theory.

Part Two: Developments in Psychoanalysis

Beginning in November with an introduction to Donald Winnicott, the programme moves on in the Spring to consider Anna Freud followed by Bion and concludes in the summer with brief discussions of the work of Meltzer, Rosenfeld and Steiner.

There will be a termly tutorial with a member of the academic staff.

  • A detailed knowledge of a range of psychoanalytic perspectives
  • The ability to contextualise and critically evaluate the development of Freud’s concepts into the contemporary era.
  • The ability to understand the relationship between hypothesis, observation and psychoanalytic theory building
  • A working understanding of psychoanalysis as the study of the development of mind.
  • The capacity to meaningfully apply psychoanalytic theory to a variety of cultural contexts.

In order to undertake this course, we ask that you have an interest in psychoanalytic concepts.

This course is for you if you are interested in gaining a thorough introduction to psychoanalytic concepts. You do not need any prior knowledge of psychoanalysis, though it could be useful. You might be a psychotherapist, a psychologist, a psychiatrist, a social worker, an academic (from the humanities or sciences) or a professional who already has some knowledge of psychoanalytic theory but would like to revisit it in a systematic way.

Chau-Yee Lo

Dexter Benjamin

Susan Baldock

Marija Stoijkovic

This course will be delivered remotely using Zoom. This is very easy and safe to use regardless of your level of IT skill.

You will need a device with a microphone and camera together with a suitably fast internet connection. Although mobile devices and tablets can be used, we recommend the use of laptop or desktop PC for the best experience. Some devices provided by employers may have restrictions in place. Please use this test link ( to check your set up before booking.

You will be sent joining instructions including all the necessary login links, passwords and guidance on how to use the relevant functionality about a week before the course start date.

Should you have any concerns about the accessibility of remote delivery please contact us at to discuss how we can best help you.

THE COURSE HAS NOW CLOSED FOR THE 2021/22 ACADMEIC YEAR. If you are interested in joining a future cohort and would like to be alerted when the next course dates are available, please complete this form.

Part 1: Tuesday, from 5pm to 6pm 

Autumn: 28th September – 7th December with a reading week beginning 25th October.

Spring: 11th January – 1st March with a reading week beginning 14th February.

Summer: 19th April – 14th June with a reading week beginning 30th May.

Part 2: Wednesday, from 3.30 to 4.30pm

Autumn: 10th November – 8th December.

Spring: 12th January – 16th March with a reading week beginning 14th February.

Summer: 20th April – 8th June with a reading week beginning 30th May.

THE COURSE HAS NOW CLOSED FOR THE 2021/22 ACADMEIC YEAR. If you are interested in joining a future cohort and would like to be alerted when the next course dates are available, please complete this form.

You can attend either Part One: Foundations of Psychoanalysis (Tuesday) alone, or Parts One: Foundations of Psychoanalysis and two: Developments in Psychoanalysis in parallel (Tuesday and Wednesday) each week.

Fees: TBC

Included in your course fee, you will receive online membership of the Tavistock’s internationally-renowned library for the duration of your course.

Our friendly and knowledgeable library team will help to support you through your specialist CPD course, whatever your level of professional or academic experience. You will have access to an extensive range of eBooks, online journals, all the relevant key databases and our specialist audio-visual collection, plus reference access to all our print books. Our Information Skills Trainer has made lots of material available on Moodle to help you navigate our comprehensive electronic collections. PCs and photocopiers are also available for your use (charges apply for printing and copying).

Library staff curate various online resources, such as Audio/Video Playlists, and regularly share helpful news and research on Twitter and Facebook. Find out more on the Library website:

Continuing Professional Development
Course length:
1 year
Theoretical approach:
Admission status:
Course lead:
Dexter Benjamin

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