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Psychoanalysis and that Thing: The Psychoanalytic Symptom and the Human Quest in the post-Lacanian work of the Freudian School of Quebec (EFQ)  |  View Full Calendar

Presented by Apurva Shah, M.D. & Bettina Soestwohner, PhD.



Psychiatry and Psychology are increasingly becoming empirical sciences. Developmental approaches that work in the field of perception and consciousness construct a continuum from a supposed normal to the pathological (neurotic-- or worse--psychotic).  The trend is to see a symptom as a part of a disease, a bodily dysfunction that can be fully understood using purely objective terms.  By implication, the work of therapy in turn tries to return the patient from a path towards pathology to a hypothesized normalcy.  This ignores and excludes the Subjectivity, the uniqueness of human experience. The EFQ has a very different formulation of what symptoms represent.  They are seen as that Thing at work in everybody that can’t find a space in the social link. Various bodily or relational symptoms are a witness of these difficulties. Psychoanalysis is then helping people find a place for this. The post-Lacanian approach looks at the difficulties (“symptoms”) in a structural way using bodily as well as language manifestations to start the deciphering of a logic. 

We introduce the idea that normalcy is not a psychoanalytic category, and even less a treatment goal.  Rather, analytic treatment interrogates the manifestations of a symptom in a specific structure in order to find out what is irreducible about its expression.  Something in the life of any human resists being reduced to “normal”. This precious element needs to be interrogated in order to find out about its relation to an enjoyment , jouissance,  that never ceases to infiltrate the life of the human.

  Learning Objectives

As a result of attending this course, participants should be able to

  • Recognize how symptoms, both mental and physical, may be working in the body of the Subject as something that cannot find a place in the social link, something that is uniquely human and an expression of that Subject’s Desire
  • Examine the various manifestations of Jouissance, in the broader culture and trace them to the clinical manifestations of their patients
  • Explore the therapeutic technique necessary to interrogate and “side with the symptom”, and support the Subject in sustaining their Desire


Apurva Shah, M.D., is a child and adolescent psychiatrist working for Kaiser Permanente in Palmdale.  An Associate Member of the New Center for Psychoanalysis, he is the Co-Coordinator of the Film and Mind Series.  He is also the Founding Director and Faculty at the Antarnad Foundation, a non-for-profit psychoanalytic psychotherapy training program in Ahmedadab, India.

Bettina Soestwohner, PhD., is a Research Psychoanalyst with a private practice in Los Angeles.  She holds a Doctorate in Comparative Literature from UC Irvine and has taught courses in the fields of literature and language, film, psychology and psychoanalysis. She is a Senior Faculty Member of the New Center for Psychoanalysis, a member of the Freudian School of Quebec (EFQ), and co-responsible for the activities of the California Circle of the EFQ.

Saturday, October 7, 2017, 9:30 AM – 12:30 PM – 3 CE/CME Credits

$55 Pre-registration, $65 at the door, $30 student rate 





IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of these CME/CE programs have any relevant financial relationships to disclose.


PHYSICIANS: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the New Center for Psychoanalysis. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians.


The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for the maximum number of 3 hours of AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.


PSYCHOLOGISTS: The New Center for Psychoanalysis is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. New Center for Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Full attendance is required for psychologists to receive credit; partial credit may not be awarded based on APA guidelines. For the psychologists’ records, certificates of attendance are provided at the completion of the course.



The New Center for Psychoanalysis is a continuing education provider that has been approved by the American Psychological Association, a California Board of Behavioral Sciences recognized approval agency.



REGISTERED NURSES: The New Center for Psychoanalysis is an accredited provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider #CEP1112). Registered Nurses may claim only the actual number of hours spent in the educational activity for credit.