€52.76 – €89.27

Psychoanalysis & Sexuality Today Clinical Conference

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National Museum of Ireland: Decorative Arts & History

Benburb Street

Collins Barracks



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In our world of seemingly endless sexual freedom, how is this sexual zeitgeist playing out in clinical practice today? What are the attitudes of clinicians? Does the Psychoanalyst’s or Psychotherapist’s relation to their own gender and sexuality impact on the work they do with patients? When a patient talks about sex and desire, what is being enacted in the session? What do we mean when we talk about the erotic, eroticised and perverse transference and countertransference, and how do we work with such processes? How might psychoanalysis help us to reflect on these questions and our transferences to ‘sexuality’ as an object or signifier?

This clinical conference considers a range of issues relating to sexuality, as it exists in our consulting rooms today, from a clinical psychoanalytic perspective. The conference brings together clinical practitioners of psychoanalysis from a number of different traditions (Freudian, Kleinian, Lacanian, Jungian, Relational), who work in a range of settings (private practices, public services, training organisations), and in a variety of ways (with adults and/or children and adolescents, individuals, couples and groups). Many of the speakers also work as clinical supervisors and are involved in the training and further professional development training of practitioners working in the field of clinical psychoanalysis. Speakers come from all the clinical psychoanalytic organisations operating in the South and North of Ireland: the Irish Forum for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IFPP), the Association for Psychoanalysis & Psychotherapy in Ireland (APPI), the Irish Analytical Psychology Association (IAPA), the Irish Forum for Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IFCAPP), the Irish Group Analytic Society (IGAS), the Northern Ireland Institute for Human Relations (NIIHR), the Irish Psycho-Analytic Association (IPAA), the Irish School for Lacanian Psychoanalysis (ISLP), the Irish Circle of the Lacanian Orientation-New Lacanian School (ICLO-NLS), the Northern Ireland Association for the Study of Psychoanalysis (NIASP), and the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC), and from a number of different traditions of psychoanalysis: Julie Brown, Gráinne Casey, José Castilho, Barbara Fitzgerald, Noreen Giffney, Belinda Moller, Ian Miller, Ann Murphy, Pauline O'Callaghan, Barry O'Donnell, Ray O'Neill, Medb Ruane, Florencia Shanahan, David Smith, Julie Sutton, Eve Watson and Rob Weatherill.

Sigmund Freud’s ‘Three Essays on the Theory of Sexuality’, first published in 1905, remain a central reference point for thinking about sexuality in clinical practice and more broadly in societal and cultural contexts. His ideas have been taken up, interpreted, developed, critiqued and rejected by later writers in their attempts to understand how sexuality comes into the consulting room. This conference is organised on the occasion of the publication of Clinical Encounters in Sexuality: Psychoanalytic Practice and Queer Theory (New York: Punctum Books 2017, 494 pp). Edited by Noreen Giffney and Eve Watson, this interdisciplinary book features 30 essays by 32 contributors from the fields of queer theory and clinical psychoanalysis. The collection stages, for the first time, a sustained clinical psychoanalytic engagement with queer theory, a sub-field of sexuality studies, because it is at the forefront of theoretical considerations of sexuality, as well as being both reliant upon and suspicious of psychoanalysis as a clinical practice and discourse. Themes focused on include identity, desire, pleasure, perversion, ethics and discourse. The book invites readers to enter into a self-reflective engagement with the text and their own views on sexuality, paying particular attention to the psychosocial underpinnings of sexuality as it exists and can play out in the consulting room.

The conference will focus on exploring five key questions:

(1) What are the discourses of sexuality underpinning psychoanalysis, and how do they impact on clinical practice?

(2) In what ways does sexuality get played out for and between the psychoanalytic practitioner and the patient?

(3) How do social, cultural and historical attitudes towards sexuality impact on the transference, consciously and unconsciously?

(4) How do social, cultural and historical attitudes towards sexuality impact on the countertransference, consciously and unconsciously?

(5) Why is sexuality so prone to reification?

This is the first time that people from all the psychoanalytic organisations on the island of Ireland have been invited to enter into dialogue about a topic of central importance to clinical practice.

This conference will be of interest to psychoanalysts, psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists, psychiatrists and psychiatric nurses. This is because adapted forms of psychoanalytic clinical concepts underpin most forms of psychotherapy and counselling, as the ideas of some of the discipline’s formative figures (Sigmund Freud, Carl Jung, Melanie Klein, Wilfred Bion, Jacques Lacan, Donald Winnicott, Anna Freud, Siegmund Heinrich Fuchs) operate as reference points for later developments, innovations, challenges and critiques. The emphasis in this conference will be on the sharing of ideas and discussion.

Registration is open to Psychoanalysts, Psychotherapists, Counsellors, Clinical and Counselling Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurses and General Practitioners (GPs). People must be fully-qualified and practising or retired or in training. Please note: This conference is open to clinical practitioners only.


The conference has been awarded 6.5 continuing professional development (CPD) points by the Psychoanalytic Section of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP).


9.00 am-9.30 am REGISTRATION.

10.0m-10.00 am OPENING REMARKS: Noreen Giffney & Eve Watson.

10.00 am-11.30 am SESSION 1: ‘PSYCHOANALYSIS’ & ‘SEXUALITY’. Facilitators: Noreen Giffney & Eve Watson.

11.30 am-12.00 pm TEA & COFFEE BREAK.

12.00 pm-2.00 pm SESSION 2: PSYCHOSOCIAL INFLUENCES ON PSYCHOANALYTIC PRACTICE. Speakers: Rob Weatherill, Ian Miller, Medb Ruane, Ann Murphy & Pauline O'Callaghan. Chair: Eve Watson. Facilitator: Noreen Giffney.

2.00 pm-3.00 pm LUNCH.

3.00 pm-5.15 pm SESSION 3: CLINICAL APPROACHES TO SEXUALITY. Speakers: Julie Brown, Gráinne Casey, José Castilho, Barbara Fitzgerald, Belinda Moller, Barry O’Donnell, Ray O’Neill, Florencia Shanahan, David Smith & Julie Sutton. Chair: Noreen Giffney. Facilitator: Eve Watson.

5.15 pm THANKS & CLOSE OF CONFERENCE: Noreen Giffney & Eve Watson.

Registration is open to Psychoanalysts, Psychotherapists, Counsellors, Clinical and Counselling Psychologists, Psychiatrists, Psychiatric Nurses and General Practitioners (GPs). People must be fully-qualified and practising or retired or in training. Please note: This conference is open to clinical practitioners only.

Fees: €85 (full fee) OR €50 (reduced fee for people who are retired, unemployed, or in clinical training).

Early registration is advised as tickets are limited.

Julie BROWN is a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist working mainly from an object relations perspective. Julie has worked in the area of sexual violence and trauma for fifteen years. Julie currently works as part of the clinical team and on the Phoenix Programme in One in Four. Julie works with adults who have experienced sexual abuse in childhood, as well as individuals who have sexually offended against children and the families of both. Julie has conducted research into complainants’ experiences of the criminal justice system and is trained in the use of restorative justice conferencing for complex cases.
Web: www.sourcepsychotherapy.ie/

Gráinne CASEY works as a registered Psychologist and Therapist who has specialised in the area of child and adolescent Psychotherapy. She works in private practice in An Cuan, which she co-founded in Dublin in 2003. She has lectured on the MSc in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at Trinity College Dublin and other different Psychotherapy training programmes, and is the Clinical Supervisor Co-ordinator for the Irish Institute for Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IFCAPP). She is very aware of the importance of the parental relationship when working with children and has recently completed training in Emotionally Focussed Therapy for Couples to enhance her skill base.
Web: www.ancuan.ie

José CASTILHO is a Psychotherapist and Supervisor, a member of the Irish Analytical Psychology Association (IAPA) and the Psychoanalytic Section of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy. He has a private practice in Dublin 1 and 3, and he also works as Psychotherapist for the Gay Men’s Health Services (GMHS-HSE), a service primarily for men who have sex with men (MSM) and transgender persons. José has taught on different programmes of Counselling and Psychotherapy in Dublin. He is the former chair of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP), and is currently in an advisory role for the Council on issues related to Statutory Registration and standards of training and practice. He is also Co-Chair of the European Training Standards Committee (ETSC) and a member of the executive of the European Association of Psychotherapy (EAP).

Barbara FITZGERALD is a Psychoanalyst, Psychotherapist, and Supervisor with a private practice in Dublin. She is a full member of the Irish Psycho-Analytic Association (IPAA), one of the oldest Psychoanalytic associations in Ireland. Having worked in hospital, clinical and private institutions over a period of thirty five years she has also taught extensively in different educational institutions, has both lectured and presented at conferences internationally, been involved with the design and delivery of many training courses for professionals and has worked as a consultant to organisations and companies. She has a long-term interest in Somatic Psychology and was a Director of Somatic Courses in Eckhart House, for over twenty-seven years. She is a founder member of European Confederation of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists (ECPP) and its recent former President, and is currently a Board member. She is an International expert for Psychoanalysis on the Training Standards Committee of the European Association for Psychotherapy (EAP), a member of the Editorial Board of the International Journal for Psychotherapy, and an international reviewer for this journal. Currently Barbara serves as the Chair of the Psychoanalytic Section of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP).

Dr Noreen GIFFNEY is a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist in private practice, and Lecturer in Counselling in the School of Communication at the University of Ulster. She has published extensively in the fields of Psychoanalysis, gender and sexuality studies, and cultural studies, including the books: Clinical Encounters in Sexuality: Psychoanalytic Practice & Queer Theory (2017); Theory on the Edge: Irish Studies and the Politics of Sexual Difference (2013); The Lesbian Premodern (2011); The Ashgate Research Companion to Queer Theory (2009); Queering the Non/Human (2008); and Twenty-First Century Lesbian Studies (2007). She now publishes on the writings of the Psychoanalyst Wilfred Bion, the impact of psychosocial factors on work in the consulting room, and the clinical usefulness of non-clinical case studies for Psychoanalysts and Psychotherapists becoming more receptive to patients’ transferences and reflective about the countertransference experience. She is the director of the Psychoanalysis + initiative.
Web: www.psychoanalyticpsychotherapyclinic.ie

Dr Ian MILLER is a Clinical Psychologist and Psychoanalyst practicing in Dublin. Over forty years of clinical practice, he has published sixteen articles and three books on psychoanalytic topics including the recent Defining Psychoanalysis: Achieving a Vernacular Expression (Karnac, 2016). His paper, ‘Reading Beckett in the Context of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: A Literary Bridge between One Person and Two Person Psychology’ received a Commendation from the British Journal of Psychotherapy for the 2016 Rozsika Parker Prize on creativity in art and clinical practice. His current project, co-authored with Belfast Psychotherapist Alistair Sweet, titled ‘On the Daily Work of Psychotherapy’ will be published next year by Karnac.
Web: http://iansmiller.com

Dr Belinda MOLLER (PhD, MSc, IGAS, ICP) is a practising Group Psychotherapist, Lecturer, Organisation Consultant and Director of Group Analytic Practice (GAP), Dublin. She runs a weekly therapy group, now in its fifth year. She lectures and facilitates learning for the School of Human Development in Dublin City University’s Institute of Education at post-graduate and executive levels. She runs a range of reflective/process groups for professional development. Belinda’s organisation practice and teaching work is with homogenous groups from frontline social services, teachers and leaders in school education, academics, consultant psychiatrists, professionals in a variety of management roles, and a small group of trainee counsellors from the Irish Defence. She is an Academic Supervisor for Turning Point Institute and Dublin City University’s Institute of Education.
Web: www.groupanalyticpractice.ie

Ann MURPHY is a Clinical Psychologist, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and Visual Artist. She was a founder and Director of the MSc in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at Trinity College Dublin, and lectures on Psychoanalysis, particularly Melanie Klein and Wilfred Bion, on post-graduate courses at Trinity College Dublin and St Vincent’s University Hospital Dublin. She is a Training Analyst and Clinical Supervisor, and has a private practice in Dublin. She recently published a piece on her solo exhibition, Transitional/Transitive (Dublin Castle, Ireland 2012), in The Winnicott Tradition, edited by Margaret Boyle Spelman and Frances Thomson-Salo (Karnac, 2015).
Web: www.annmurphyartist.com

Pauline O’CALLAGHAN has a private Psychoanalytic practice in Dublin. She is a Training Analyst and Clinical Supervisor. She has lectured on Freudian and Lacanian Psychoanalysis for the past eighteen years in Dublin Business School and, formerly, in Independent College Dublin and St Vincent’s University Hospital, University College Dublin. She is a registered practitioner with the Association for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Ireland (APPI) and a member of its Executive Committee, as well as a member of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP). She is on the Editorial Board of Lacunae, has published several articles in The Letter, and given many papers at APPI’s Annual Congress and at training events, and also in Milan. Her research interests include Psychoanalysis and literature, James Joyce and the sinthome, feminine sexuality, and psychoanalysis and religion.

Dr Barry O’DONNELL is Director of Psychotherapy Programmes in the School of Medicine, University College Dublin and Director of the School of Psychotherapy in St Vincent’s University Hospital (www.tsop.ie). He has been in Psychoanalytic practice over two decades. Included in his work has been provision of Psychoanalytic supervision of clinical practice. He has taught on Psychoanalysis over many years and, since 2006, has provided academic and clinical leadership for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy training programmes. He has a particular concern to articulate what it is that makes a practice Psychoanalytic. He has published papers in The Letter: Irish Journal for Lacanian Psychoanalysis and elsewhere. He is a member of the Irish School for Lacanian Psychoanalysis (ISLP) (www.islp.ie).
Web: www.ucd.ie/medicine/studywithus/graduatestudies/psychotherapy/

Dr Ray O’NEILL is an Irish writer and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist working in private practice in Dublin and Cork, Ireland. He lectures with both Trinity College Dublin and Dublin City University, and is a Research Associate with the Centre for Gender and Women Studies at Trinity College Dublin. As Ireland’s only resident male Agony Aunt, Ray works significantly (and sometimes with significance) with the media in discoursing love, relationships, and desire in the twenty-first century, and co-fronts the RTE television show Then Comes Marriage. Current research explores the inter-relations between desire and contemporary technologies; and trans-generational transmission of trauma, with particular emphasis on the Irish experience.
Web: www.machna.ie

Dr Medb RUANE is a writer and Psychoanalytic Practitioner based in Dublin who works with a range of clients. Her particular research interests are creativity, psychoses and sexuality. She has published and broadcast widely on culture, politics and psychoanalysis, edited various Psychoanalytic publications including Lacunae and The Review, lectured in Dublin Business School, Independent Colleges and guest lectured at third-level and other institutions in Ireland and elsewhere. Her academic works and research have been funded by the Irish Research Council/University College Dublin/GREP, Dublin Business School and The Arts Council. Medb has also worked as a columnist for The Sunday Times, The Irish Times, and The Irish Independent, written essays and think pieces on visual and literary culture, and contributed to TV, radio, online, and print media.

Florencia SHANAHAN is a Clinical Psychologist and practising Psychoanalyst in Dublin. She is current Chair of the Irish Circle of the Lacanian Orientation (ICLO-NLS), member of the New Lacanian School (NLS) and of the World Association of Psychoanalysis (WAP). She is also a member of the Association for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Ireland (APPI) and of the Editorial Board of its international journal, Lacunae.
Web: http://iclo-nls.org/

David SMITH is a graduate of the Kleinian object relations training programme at Queen's University, Belfast. He is a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and Clinical Supervisor with over twenty-five years of experience working with severe mental and emotional disturbance, across a diverse range of clinical settings – including residential therapeutic communities, primary care, a specialist NHS Department of Psychotherapy, and private practice in Belfast. A member of the Squiggle Foundation and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, David is a former Chair of both the Northern Ireland Institute of Human Relations (NIIHR) and the Psychoanalytic Section of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP).
Web: www.belfastpsychotherapists.co.uk

Dr Julie SUTTON is dual-trained in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Music Psychotherapy (BPC- and HCPC-registered). She is past Editor-in-Chief of the British Journal of Music Therapy and VP of the European Confederation of Music Therapy, the author of two books along with many chapters and articles, and an examiner, Lecturer and presenter internationally. A member of the Northern Ireland Association for the Study of Psychoanalysis (NIASP), she works in a specialist NHS service for adults with severe, complex disturbance and has a private Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Supervision practice.
Web: www.bpc.org.uk/, http://niasp.org.uk/

Dr Eve WATSON is a Psychoanalytic Practitioner working in Dublin, Ireland. She also teaches on graduate programmes at Dublin universities and was Director of the clinical MA in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy at Independent College Dublin (2008–2015). Trained in the Lacanian Psychoanalytic tradition, areas of special interest include theories of sexuality and gender, critical theory, film and cultural studies. She has published in journals including Lacunae (2015, 2013, 2012, 2010); Psychoanalytische Perspectieven (2015); (Re)-Turn (2013); Open Letter: Negotiating the Bond of Social Poetics (2012); the Annual Review of Critical Psychology (2009); The Letter: Perspectives on Psychoanalysis (2004, 2005, 2006). She has book chapters in congress proceedings of the Paris Ecole de Psychanalyse des Forums du Champ Lacanian (2011, 2009). She is currently writing on the discourse of transsexuality, and on psychoanalysis and the feminine. She is a registered practitioner member of the Association for Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy in Ireland (APPI) and is the Editor of Lacunae, the APPI International Journal of Lacanian Psychoanalysis.
Web: http://appipsychotherapy.com/publications

Rob WEATHERILL is a practicing and supervisory Analyst in Dublin for more than three decades. He is a member of the two Psychoanalytic organisations in Dublin and holds the European Certificate in Psychotherapy. He has taught Psychoanalytic theory and practice at University College Dublin, Trinity College Dublin, and the Milltown Institute of Philosophy and Theology. He has written several books: Cultural Collapse (Free Association Books, 1994); The Sovereignty of Death (Rebus Press, 1998); The Death Drive: New Life for a Dead Subject (ed., Rebus Press, 1999); Our Last Great Illusion (Inprint Academic, 2004); Forgetting Freud: Is Psychoanalysis in Retreat? (Academica Press, 2011); The Anti-Oedipus Complex: Lacan, Cultural Theory and Postmodernism (Routledge, 2017). He contributed a chapter to Living Together (eds. David Kennard and Neil Small, Quartet Books, 1997). He has written over thirty papers and articles in journals and other media, in Ireland and abroad.
Web: www.routledge.com/The-Anti-Oedipus-Complex-Lacan-Critical-Theory-and-Postmodernism/Weatherill/p/book/9781138692350

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The conference is sponsored by:


How can I contact the organiser with any questions?

Dr Noreen Giffney
Email: info@psychoanalyticpsychotherapyclinic.ie
Web: www.psychoanalyticpsychotherapyclinic.ie

Dr Eve Watson
Email: eve.watson@leesonanalytic.com
Web: www.leesonanalytic.com

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National Museum of Ireland: Decorative Arts & History

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