Psychoanalytic Theory

The details
Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies
Colchester Campus
Full Year
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 03 October 2019
Friday 26 June 2020
08 October 2019


Requisites for this module



Key module for

DIP C8N209 Management and Organisational Dynamics,
DIP C8N221 Management and Organisational Dynamics,
MA C8N212 Management and Organisational Dynamics,
MA C8N224 Management and Organisational Dynamics,
MA C8N2MO Management and Organisational Dynamics,
MA C89012 Psychoanalytic Studies,
MA C89024 Psychoanalytic Studies,
MA C890MO Psychoanalytic Studies

Module description

This module comprises a systematic exploration of major developments in psychoanalytic thought following Freud. Following Freud's innovations, there have been a number of diverging developments in psychoanalysis, resulting in an array of different schools of thought. The primary focus of the module is on developments that have taken place in Britain, mainly stimulated by the work of Melanie Klein. To foster a strong comparative perspective, we will also consider developments from distinct psychoanalytic traditions, including the work of French psychoanalysts Jacques Lacan and American psychoanalyst Heinz Kohut.
Klein was herself influenced by Sandor Ferenczi and Karl Abraham whose works are a development from Freud. In turn, she was an inspiration to a number of analysts working in Britain, including, Bion, Bowlby, Fairbairn, Rosenfeld, Segal and Winnicott, and a younger generation of analysts who established the 'object relations' tradition in British psychoanalysis. Term I will introduce the work of Ferenczi, Anna Freud, Klein and Bion. Term II will concentrate on some psychoanalysts of the independent group (Bolwby, Balint, Winnicott), as well as Lacan and Kohut.

Module aims

• To present the work of the psychoanalytic theorists considered and set them in relation to Freud’s thinking; • To explain leading themes and concepts in psychoanalysis, including clinical concepts such as instincts, projection, transference / counter-transference, containment, projective identification; • To acquaint students with the problems involved in trying to compare different analytic and psychoanalytic schools; • To put psychoanalysis forward as a cultural and philosophical endeavour as well as a clinical one; • To encourage a comparative understanding of psychoanalytic theories.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of the module students should be able to: • demonstrate an understanding of a range of psychoanalytic concepts, and to use them to explore clinical or non-clinical themes; • discuss, compare and debate the trends and evolution of psychoanalytic thinking, particularly within the British School of Psychoanalysis, with a critical attention to the issues which have led to divergence between schools of psychoanalysis; • discuss, compare and debate theories critically.

Module information

Compulsory for:
MA in Psychoanalytic Studies and MA in Philosophy and Psychoanalysis

Learning and teaching methods

Learning & Teaching Methods: We will have a weekly 2-hour seminar, with set texts to be read in preparation for each session. We will combine small group work, student presentations, and large group discussion over the different weeks and topics. Sometimes you will be asked to prepare some supplementary material, or to connect themes across seminars; on such occasions you might like to do some additional research to prepare for such presentations. Throughout, we will be attentive to the how the theoretical ideas studied find expression in different contexts (clinical, cultural, biographical).


  • Robert S. Wallerstein, M.D. (1986) 'How Does Self Psychology Differ in Practice?', in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. vol. 67, pp.505-506
  • Lacan, Jacques; Fink, Bruce. (c2006) Écrits, New York: W.W. Norton.
  • Heinz Kohut. (1979) 'The Two Analyses of Mr Z', in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. vol. 60, pp.3-27
  • Development. (2012) THE ROLE OF ATTACHMENT IN PERSONALITY DEVELOPMENT, London: Routledge.
  • D. W. Winnicott. (1953) 'Transitional Objects and Transitional Phenomena—A Study of the First Not-Me Possession1', in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. vol. 34, pp.89-97
  • (no date) Edgcumbe, Rose. “Anna Freud: A View of Development, Disturbance, and Therapeutic Techniques. London: Routledge, 2000. pp 1-20.,“The Basic Theory,”.
  • Freud, Anna. (1968-c1981) Child analysis as a subspecialty, New York: International Universities Press.
  • W. R. Bion. (1959) 'Bion, Wilfred (1959) Attacks on Linking', in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. vol. 40, pp.308-315
  • W. R. Bion. (1957) 'Bion, Wilfred 1957 Differentiation of the psychotic from the non-psychotic personalities,', in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. vol. 38, pp.266-275
  • Lacan, Jacques. (2005) The mirror stage as formative of the function of the I, London: Routledge.
  • Freud, Anna. (1968-c1981) Freud, A. (1926) “Four Lectures on Child Analysis,” The Writings of Anna Freud, Volume I, 1922–1935: Introduction to Psychoanalysis Lectures for Child Analysts and Teachers, New York: International Universities Press.
  • Michael Balint, M.D., Ph.D., M.SC.Enid Balint. (1979) The various forms of therapeutic regression. In The basic fault: Therapeutic aspects of regression. (pp. 138–148). vol. 1
  • John Bowlby. (2012) THE ORIGINS OF ATTACHMENT THEORY, London: Routledge.
  • (no date) Language and otherness’.
  • D. W. Winnicott. (1960) 'The Theory of the Parent-Infant Relationship1', in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. vol. 41, pp.585-595
  • Lacan, Jacques; Miller, Jacques-Alain. (1988) . Excerpt from J-A Miller, ed, The Seminar of Jacques Lacan. Book II: The Ego in Freud’s Theory and in the Technique of Psychoanalysis 1954-1955, New York: W.W. Norton. vol. bk. 2
  • D. W. Winnicott. (1949) 'Hate in the Counter-Transference', in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. vol. 30, pp.69-74
  • Melanie Klein. (1952) 'Klein, M. (1952) The origins of transference', in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. vol. 33, pp.433-438
  • Kohut, Heinz. (c1977, reprinted 1984) The restoration of the self - Does Psychoanalysis Need a Psychology of the Self?, New York: International Universities Press.
  • Psychoanalysis with children | Reading Anna Freud | Taylor & Francis Group,
  • (no date) Final Contributions to the Problems and Methods of Psycho-analysis.
  • Ferenczi, Sándor; Rickman, John. (1994, c1926) Further contributions to the theory and technique of psycho-analysis, London: Karnac Books.
  • The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence,
  • John Bowlby. (1958) 'Bowlby, J. (1958). The Nature of the Child's Tie to his Mother', in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. vol. 39, pp.350-373
  • Melanie Klein. (1930) 'Klein, M. (1930) The importance of symbol-formation in the development of the ego, International Journal of Psychoanalysis 11: 24-39', in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. vol. 11, pp.24-39
  • Michael Balint, M.D., Ph.D., M.SC.Enid Balint. (1979) Gratifications and object relationships. vol. 1
  • Melanie Klein. (1935) 'Klein, Melanie (1935) A contribution to the psychogenesis of manic-depressive states, International Journal of Psycho-Analysis 16: 145-74', in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. vol. 16, pp.145-174
  • Heinz Kohut, M.D. (1959) 'Introspection, Empathy, and Psychoanalysis—An Examination of the Relationship Between Mode of Observation and Theory1', in Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. vol. 7, pp.459-483
  • Melanie Klein. (1946) 'Klein, Melanie (1946) Notes on some schizoid mechanisms', in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. vol. 27, pp.99-110
  • Ferenczi, Sándor; Balint, Michael. (2002) Final contributions to the problems and methods of psycho-analysis, London: Karnac Books.
  • Nick Midgley. (2012) The Ego and the Mechanisms of Defence | Reading Anna Freud | Taylor & Francis Group, London: Routledge.
  • Holmes, Jeremy. (©2014) John Bowlby and attachment theory, Ch. 5: Attachment Theory and Personality Development, pp. 85-110, Hove: Routledge.
  • D. W. Winnicott, F.R.C.P. (Lond.). (1971) Mirror-role of mother and family in child development. vol. 1
  • Betty Joseph. (1985) 'Joseph, B. (1985). Transference: The Total Situation.', in International Journal of Psycho-Analysis. vol. 66, pp.447-454

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework Essay 05/05/2020

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Julie Walsh
Student Administrator Tel: 01206 873745 Email:



External examiner

Prof Caroline Bainbridge
Roehampton University
Available via Moodle
Of 36 hours, 36 (100%) hours available to students:
0 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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