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Department of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies

Our Centre is recognised internationally as one of the leading centres for work that focuses on the role of the unconscious mind in mental health, as well as in culture and society generally. We foster creative new ways of looking at these areas and our world-class research is evidence of this.

Located within one of the best faculty of social sciences in the UK, our Centre is surrounded by strong departments that support our work. More than three-quarters of our research is rated 'world leading' or 'internationally excellent' (REF 2014) and in the most recent National Student Survey, we achieved 94% satisfaction.

Drawing on our research excellence, the Centre offers a wide range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses and research opportunities in both psychoanalytic and Jungian thought. At Essex you are taught and supervised by senior clinicians and world-class scholars.

Our students come from a wide variety of professional and educational backgrounds. Many are working professionals who study with us to develop their careers or to gain a better understanding of the subject in order to become better practitioners in areas such as refugee care, organisational dynamics, community, educational and social care, as well as psychotherapy.

Our graduates take their expertise into practically every area of life, not just the psychotherapy professions and continued academic work, but also the worlds of the arts, business, education, journalism, philosophy, politics, religion, and social work - wherever there is need for deeper awareness about the experiencing person and the unconscious mind. Our distinctive courses provide a pluralistic and non-sectarian environment, in which various depth psychological models of the unconscious are critically examined (especially Freudian, Jungian, and British Object Relations).

We have a thriving international community of about 80 students researching for a PhD or Professional Doctorate. In addition we offer experiential days and residential short courses on working with groups. We have strong links with the local National Health Service, care services and professional institutions that allow students to keep up to date with current trends


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Is Neuroscience Saving or Destroying Psychoanalysis?

Join Professor Mark Solms and Professor R.D. Hinshelwood as they debate "Is neuroscience saving or destroying psychoanalysis? " Mark Solms will outline some recent neuroscientific findings that suggest major revisions of psychoanalytic theory are required that might have implications for clinical practice. His outline of these will prepare the way for the afternoon case presentation, in which the usefulness (or otherwise) of the proposed revisions may be tested. R.D. Hinshelwood will comment on scientific subjectivity in psychoanalysis and argue for psychoanalysis as a unique science of subjectivity. The case presentation will be addressed from the point of view of a logic for testing theories about personal experiences.



Freud Memorial Lecture 2019 - Has Freud been falsely scientised?

It is widely claimed that the authorised translation of Freud – the Standard Edition of his complete works – tendentiously distorted his writing to make it sound more scientific. For example, the ordinary German word for ‘I’ becomes ‘ego’ in the official translation, ‘occupation’ becomes ‘cathexis and ‘attachment’ becomes ‘anaclisis’. When the editor of the Revised Standard Edition – which appears this year – confronted this question, he was led to surprising conclusions, which he will report in this lecture.”

Open Days

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