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.



  • 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.



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


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.


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


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


Lacan stated that anxiety is the
standard affect “related to any arising of the real”

La Troisième (1975)

Anxiety has become one of the most prevalent
and apparent complaints in the modern-day
psychoanalytic clinic. Anxiety can appear as
worry, fear, uncertainty, racing thoughts, or
disabling panic. There are also physical
symptoms to consider such as breathlessness,
dizziness, or heart palpitations. It can lead to
complete paralysis of the subject’s life and his
or her desire. Anxiety is also present as an
important feature of various increasingly
common psychiatric diagnoses, such as ADHD,
obsessional compulsive disorder, post-traumatic
stress disorder and even autism. It has become
increasingly difficult today to know what the
subject intends when they say, they are anxious.

Is anxiety a symptom? Does it have an object? If so, what is
it? Does anxiety refer to a phobia, or to an affect, or to a
trauma? Is it a response to castration? For Freud, anxiety,
or more correctly, angst, also referred to something ordinary,
not just pathological, and angst became an experience of
helplessness in the face of something that could not be
symbolised by the subject in language. Following Freud,
Lacan links anxiety to the real, a helplessness when faced
with what cannot be spoken, in the face of the object
par excellence, that is, the objet a. At the same time, for
the subject, the object cause of desire, but an object to
be avoided at all costs. Anxiety then becomes a way of
sustaining desire, and so desire becomes a way to deal
with anxiety. Anxiety according to Lacan, is the only
affect that does not deceive.

In La Troisième Lacan uses the Borromean knot to show
the relationships between Freud’s, famous triad, inhibitions,
symptoms and anxiety (Soler, 2016). And so we return to
Freud and the subject’s helplessness in the face of a real
danger, the danger of sexual excitation.

Our theme for the next two years will be the concept and
the clinic of anxiety. The work of the ACP will address this
theme along with associated concepts organised around
the following sub themes:

– Anxiety, desire, jouissance
– Anxiety, inhibitions, symptoms
– Contemporary clinical presentations of anxiety