LCA Seminars

Two seminars per semester on a rolling three-year cycle

In 2018, 2019 and 2020 the Lacan Circle of Australia is commencing a rigorous program of study for anyone interested in the theory and practice of Lacanian psychoanalysis. There will be two Seminars per semester on a rolling three-year cycle that will run in conjunction with Study Days, special lectures, a conference, and Cartels of the Lacan Circle and the New Lacanian School.

These Seminars are taught by analysts with many years of clinical experience and with international reputations as teachers and researchers in the field of Lacanian psychoanalysis.

Emphasis in the Seminars will be on engagement and interactive study that stimulates reflection and discussion of the issues covered week by week.


1. The psychoses: reading Lacan’s Seminar III

Lecturer Russell Grigg

Russell Grigg PhD has been a significant presence in the Lacanian orientation in English since the 1980s. He is a founding member of the Ecole de la Cause Freudienne, the New Lacanian School, the World Association of Psychoanalysis and the Lacan Circle of Australia. He is esteemed as a translator of Lacan’s seminars, The Psychoses (Norton, 1993), The Formations of the Unconscious (Polity, 2017), and The Other Side of Psychoanalysis (Norton, 2007), and he assisted in the translation of the first complete edition of Lacan’s Écrits. He is the author of Lacan, Language and Philosophy (SUNY, 2008). He edited, with Justin Clemens, Lacan and the Other Side of Psychoanalysis (Duke, 2006) and, with Dominique Hecq and Craig Smith, Female Sexuality: The Early Psychoanalytic Controversies (London: Karnac, 2015), now in its second edition.


This seminar takes you through the development of Lacan’s teaching on psychosis, led by the English translator of Lacan’s ground-breaking early seminar on the topic. We start with Seminar III, The Psychoses and work our way through Lacan’s later work some of which has been previously unavailable in translation.


2. The unconscious from Freud to Lacan

Lecturer Kate Briggs

Dr. Kate Briggs is a practicing psychoanalyst with twenty years of experience and a lecturer in the School of Counselling at the Australian College of Applied Psychology. She has published on sublimation and symptom formation and contributed to Notes on the Child: A Collection of Essays on Contemporary Lacanian Child and Adolescent Clinical Practice. Her essays on contemporary art have appeared in catalogues and books such as Radical Revisionism: An Anthology of Writings on Australian Art. Kate is a member of the Lacan Circle of Australia, a clinical member of PACFA and convenor of the Australian College of Counselling and Psychotherapy Educators.


This seminar explores Lacan’s reading of Freud’s work. We examine Freud’s fundamental distinction between representations and drives, drawing on his early work and his later papers on metapsychology and papers on technique. We discuss Lacan’s distinction between the symbolic, imaginary and real in relation to both Freud’s work and Lacan’s later innovations. In the background is the crucial question of the distinction between psychoanalysis and psychotherapy.


3. The Neuroses: Structure and Symptom

Lecturer Russell Grigg

Freud noticed that the more psychoanalytic his case histories became, the more they read like novels. This semester we will plunge headlong into two of these “novels” – arguably the most famous cases in all of the psychoanalytic literature: Dora and the Rat Man. These canonical case studies are so significant because they open out onto the field of the two grand, even classical, forms of neurosis: hysteria and obsessional neurosis.. It is essential for any Lacanian to study these cases closely, as we shall do, just as we shall read them alongside other cases, old and new, from the literature – and read them in the light of Lacan’s teaching.. The focus, then, will be on cases – but always discussed with an eye to the underlying psychopathology – hence, the subtitle of this seminar: structure and symptom.


4. Sexuation

Lecturer Kate Briggs

This seminar explores Lacan’s account of how people align themselves as masculine or feminine in relation to a mode of jouissance rather than anatomy or identification. In the course of Lacan’s teaching, an initial and broadly Freudian account gave way to a second theory of ‘sexuation’ that relies on the supposition of an Other, or ‘feminine’, jouissance that is supplementary to phallic or masculine sexuation. We will consider the concepts of castration, privation, the phallic signifier and the differences between phallic and feminine jouissance, on the assumption that there is no signifier for gender in the unconscious.


5. The Direction of the Treatment

Lecturer Russell Grigg

Lacan’s celebrated article, “The Direction of the Treatment”, is the key text for a discussion of the Lacanian approach to analysis and the theory behind the Lacanian orientation. Issues covered will include subtleties of technique, the aims of the treatment and the nature and place of interpretation. The seminarwill include discussion of transference, the analyst’s desire, the analyst as object a, and the end of analysis.


6. Freud and the Technique of Psychoanalysis

Lecturer Kate Briggs

This seminar will focus on Freud’s Papers on Technique, considering those in Standard Edition vol. XII, along with some of his earlier and later contributions including ‘A Difficulty on the Path of Psychoanalysis’ (1917), ‘Constructions in Analysis’ (1937), and ‘Analysis Terminable and Interminable’ (1937). In Book I of Lacan’s Seminars,  Lacan says of these papers, “The simplicity and frankness of tone are in and of themselves a kind of education” (Sem I, p. 9).



For enquiries, further information about the seminars and enrolments, contact Russell Grigg, the convenor of the program: