About The ACP

Established in 1986, the Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis is a not-for-profit incorporated association dedicated to the practice, study and teaching of psychoanalysis. It is committed to and facilitates the training of analysts and research in the psychoanalytic field established by Sigmund Freud and extended by Jacques Lacan. Registered practising psychoanalysts of the Centre have undergone a program of rigorous study, supervision and personal psychoanalysis.

What is Psychoanalysis?

Sigmund Freud, the creator of psychoanalysis, defined it as the name:

  • Of a procedure for the investigation of mental processes which are almost inaccessible in any other way;
  • Of a method (based upon that investigation) for the treatment of neurotic disorders and;
  • Of a collection of psychological information obtained along those lines, which is gradually being accumulated into a new scientific discipline [‘Two Encyclopedia Articles’, 1923].
This definition is still appropriate today, although as a treatment psychoanalysis is no longer confined to neurotic disorders. Nowadays, it also includes other disorders that contemporary psychiatric classifications have variously called ‘psychoses’, ‘developmental disorders’, ‘anxiety disorders’, ‘depressive disorders’, ‘sexual perversions’ and other forms of mental disturbance, as well as human conflicts and tragedies that do not fit exactly with psychiatric diagnostic categories. The therapeutic field of psychoanalysis has also been extended to the treatment of human beings of all ages who suffer from the most diverse conditions, including those that are typically associated with particular stages in life: childhood, adolescence, adulthood, advanced age.

Psychoanalytic treatment is a radically different approach to seeing issues based upon diagnostic categories (which remain useful conceptual tools). Instead, treatment is founded upon the work of exploration and analysis of the patient’s unconscious, which contains the representatives of those desires and forms of satisfaction that the patient rejects and of which he or she does not want to know. These often end up ruling the patient’s life in ways which are, as Freud points out in his definition, inaccessible to other forms of treatment and research into mental phenomena. In so far as those desires and modes of satisfaction remain under repression or some other form of psychical rejection, they undermine, and even cripple, the person’s efforts in his or her human relations and work. As such, psychoanalytic treatment is oriented by general principles and concerns problems that can be perceived in a great number of individuals, but it cannot be dispensed as a ‘standard’ clinical practice; the workings and pathological effects of the unconscious are unique.

The treatment respects and preserves the singularity of the patient:

The patient’s situation cannot be reduced to any generalised abstraction or compared with the situation of any other patient. The unconscious is not only the cause of distressing and pathological mental products: it is also the source of creative endeavours and constructive human activities: the arts and scientific work, and all forms of social and cultural life that enrich human existence. A psychoanalytic treatment aims at facilitating the emergence and development of the creative capacity that all human beings have and which is thwarted by pathological processes and their combination with adverse, traumatic life situations. Psychoanalysis has also grown since Freud’s time in its applications to fields other than the clinical (although always retaining conceptual and practical links with the different forms of human suffering and their treatment).
As a conceptual and methodological instrument, psychoanalysis is now firmly established in the work of social sciences, philosophy and the study of artistic creations. The training of psychoanalysts of the ACP involves supervised clinical experience and rigorous studies in psychoanalytic theory and practice and other relevant disciplines. But its most important component is the personal analysis of the psychoanalyst-to-be: a personal, intimate experience that enables the prospective analyst, as analysand, to learn from the unconscious and then work creatively with the unconscious in others.

PURPOSE OF THE ACP

 

  • To regularly hold seminars, conferences and workshops, and promote ongoing research;
  • To publish and distribute psychoanalytic research;
  • To operate a Register of Practising Analysts;
  • To conduct training in psychoanalysis; and
  • To co-operate with similar organisations throughout the world.

THE CURRENT COMMITTEE OF MANAGEMENT IS:

 

  • Carmelo Scuderi (President)
  • Glenn Rutter (Secretary)
  • Barbara Hübl (Treasurer)
  • Julie-Anne Smith
  • Julie Stephens
  • Silvia Rodriguez
  • Rostik Bershadsky
  • Carney Lee (co-opted)

MEMBERSHIP

The ACP invites applications for membership from those who demonstrate, over a period of time, a sustained interest and engaged participation in the Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalysis. While participation through digital conferencing platforms is becoming more common, there is an expectation of in-person attendance at some ACP events in either Melbourne or Sydney. Members of the ACP subscribe to the objects of the ACP Constitution and the Code of Professional Conduct. Applications, supported by two nominations of present members, must be in writing and lodged with the Secretary of the ACP. People applying for membership are interviewed by members of the Committee of Management. Only members of the ACP are eligible to apply for inclusion on the List of Analyst Candidates or for inscription on the ACP Register of Practising Analysts.

PARTICIPATION AND AFFILIATION

Anyone with an interest in the study of psychoanalysis is welcome to participate in the public activities of the Centre.

LIBRARY

The Centre’s Library is open to all ACP members and students.
For further information contact: carmelo.scuderi@psychoanalysis.org.au

THEME FOR 2022:
WHAT IS A LACANIAN PSYCHOANALYTIC TREATMENT?

“What conceptual status must we give to the four of the terms introduced by Freud as fundamental concepts, namely the unconscious, repetition, the transference, and the drive?”

(Seminar XI, The Four Fundamental Concepts of Psychoanalysis, 1964)

This will be our theme for study for the next two years. This question has always been the core of the study of psychoanalysis within the Lacanian conceptual field and it has become increasingly relevant to the psychoanalytic clinic. Along with the precision that he asks of psychoanalysts, in Seminar XXIII Le Sinthome (1976), Lacan gives psychoanalysis an orientation, that psychoanalysis is specifically a treatment of the Real by the Symbolic. The primacy that Lacan affords the treatment of the Real and the clinic of the Real in particular raises many questions that are relevant to the Lacanian psychoanalytic clinic. How is the real drive transformed? What happens to the real unconscious? How is the analyst to approach the symptom and repetition? The Lacanian clinic gives us new ways to consider these important Freudian discoveries. Finally, in the Proposition of 1967, Lacan argues that the “end of psychoanalysis… is the effective passage from psychoanalysand to psychoanalyst”. Suggesting that the experience of a psychoanalytic treatment is essential to the formation of the psychoanalyst. Thus there are also questions for us about what a psychoanalyst is and the training of psychoanalysts. As has been in previous years, the work of the ACP its various seminars and events will be guided by these questions.

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