Centre for Lacanian Psychoanalysis New Zealand


The Centre for Lacanian Analysis holds regular events including lectures, film screenings, annual conferences and workshops related to the praxis of Lacanian psychoanalysis in Aotearoa, New Zealand. Those available to the public are regularly updated on our website and are available to attend at a discounted rate with a membership with the CLA.


Horse on a carousel

‘Psychoanalysis with children today’ Workshop 

Leonardo S. Rodríguez

10th June 2023



Limited places available. Public Lecture – $100 (CLA members $50) Workshop – $280 (CLA members $140) Both days are available in-person and on Zoom. Please register by emailing: info@lacan.org.nz

Sigmund Freud with his grandson on his knee in a cane chair.

‘Psychoanalysis with children today’ Public Lecture 

Leonardo S. Rodríguez

9th June 2023 



The practice of psychoanalysis with children started with the treatment of little Hans, one hundred and fifteen years ago. That was the clinical and logical consequence of Freud’s creation of psychoanalysis fifteen years earlier. Children, their parents, the structure of the family in which they grow, the problems that bring them to psychoanalytic treatment today in different parts of the world appear not to be the same as those encountered by Freud and by the pioneers of the psychoanalytic work with children: Hermine Hug-Hellmuth, Anna Freud and Melanie Klein.

What is new and what has remained unchanged in the clinical presentations of the children with whom we work today? Based on clinical experience and not only on conceptual categories, our psychoanalytic view of the sufferings and achievements of today’s children and adolescents differs significantly from other contemporary perspectives, with which we maintain a dialogue, as there is much to learn from the practices and research of people who in different capacities devote themselves seriously to the lives of young human beings.

Abstract black and grey computer generated image. Dark clouds.

The Clinical Praxis of Psychoanalysis Conference 2022

11 to 13th November 2022


Meg Ryan and Mark Ruffalo poster for In the Cut. Woman with face turned looking outward and man with blurry face, red toned behind her.

Film Screening ‘In the Cut’

 27th July 2022


Film Screening: In The Cut, a film by Jane Campion 6pm Saturday 23rd July 2022. Limited places are available. Entry is free to CLA members and koha is asked for non-members to cover room hire. Email registration is essential: info@lacan.org.nz

Pen or pencil drawing of a body with arms, legs, a circular head with facial features. Love hearts, a cat-like creature , Stars and words surrounding the drawings. Arrows into the hearts

The Clinical Praxis of Dr Leon Brenner on Narcissism in Psychosis.

15th July 2022


Freud had never provided a fully comprehensive account of psychosis. However, several consistent perspectives of its elaboration can be traced in different papers along the progression of his work. In this talk, Leon Brenner will present Freud’s theory of psychosis as it is presented in his paper “Psycho-Analytic Notes of an Autobiographical Account of a Case of Paranoia” (1911), “On Narcissism: An Introduction” (1914), and “Repression” (1915). These papers analyse psychosis in the terms of Freud’s theory of the drive and libido and particularly in relation to narcissism. Join us for this talk about the old and the new in the psychoanalysis of psychosis, emphasizing the clear distinction one would make between the colloquial use of the term “narcissism” and it’s use in Freud.

Dr. Leon S. Brenner is a philosopher and psychoanalytic theorist from Berlin. His latest book on the subject of the psychoanalysis of autism is called The Autistic Subject: On the Threshold of Language, where he presents a novel account of autistic subjectivity from a Lacanian psychoanalytic perspective.

This is a free event, presented via Zoom on Friday the 15th of July at 8pm (NZST).

Analyst and Analysand in a psychoanalytic session. A woman sits on a couch, with a man in a chair looking toward her.

ADIEU LACAN: Film Screening and Q+A with director Richard C. Ledes

29 & 30 April 2022


With realistic acumen and artistic expertise, ADIEU LACAN portrays the struggles of a young woman, Seriema, who is trying to understand why her path to motherhood has reached an unbearable impasse. Following two miscarriages and the possible loss of her marriage, Seriema travels to Paris in 1972 to undergo psychoanalytic treatment with the maverick French analyst, Jacques Lacan. Her analysis is an attempt to help her to disentangle the enigma of her question: why has motherhood become a seeming impossibility?

Inspired by the story of Betty Milan, a Brazilian psychoanalyst and writer, it follows closely her own actual psychoanalysis with Lacan. Based on her play “Goodbye, Doctor” and her novel “Lacan’s Parrot,” in which Milan recounts her analytic work, ADIEU LACAN offers an insightful and accurate account of an actual psychoanalytic cure.

Poster. A pink tinted photograph abstracted. Robes or a rock face with a hand extending. Text says Jouissance_ Sexuality, Suffering and Satisfaction Darian Leader. Centre for Lacanian Analysis

Jouissance: Sexuality, Suffering and Satisfaction, with Darian Leader

12 December 2021


The Centre for Lacanian Analysis warmly invites you to our public lecture Jouissance: Sexuality, Suffering and Satisfaction, with Darian Leader.

Darian will speak to us about his new book, the titular Jouissance, followed by a Q&A.

Although the term ‘jouissance’ is common currency in psychoanalysis today, how much does it really tell us? While often taken to designate a fusion of sexuality, suffering and satisfaction, the term has fallen into a purely descriptive use that closes down more questions than it opens up. Although assumed to explain the coalescence of pleasure and pain, it tends to cover a range of quite different issues that should be distinguished rather than conflated.
By returning to some of the sources of the concept in Freud, and their elaborations in Lacan, Leader hopes to stimulate a debate around the relations of pleasure to pain, autoerotism, the links of satisfaction to arousal, the effects of repression, and the place of the body in psychoanalytic theory, as well as providing context for Lacan’s work and encouraging dialogue with other analytic traditions.

Darian Leader is a psychoanalyst working in London and a member of the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research. His books include What is Madness?, Hands and Why Can’t We Sleep?

Screenshot from the video game 'nights at cube pizzeria'. depicts a robot dog with a green body and purple eyes starting forward and a black shadow of a robot dog walking out the door.

The Child and Adolescent Clinic. Dr Kaye Cederman

22 August 2021


Savoir faire. The term ‘savoir faire’ comes from the 19th century French, meaning ‘know how to do’. This clinical training session focuses on specific practical experiences of psychoanalytic work in the child and adolescent clinic. For example, the case of Liam explores how particular modes of jouissance find satisfaction in fantasies structured by the relationship between children and their careers/parents. Liam was a ten year old with a ‘dominant’ twin sister. He was shown a game at school called ‘Nights at Cube Pizzeria’, which is about powerful angry robots. The animal symbol, the digitised animatronic dog, is definitely a symbol of hyperreality. It also raises the possibility of some kind of phobic construction that Liam is generating to manage his anxiety, an unconscious response to the phobia of the dog whereby, as Lacan (2010) argues, anxiety is the outcome when there is no space between Mother and child. His fright is externalised onto this thing, the dog. He is primed for developing an animal phobia. The dog keeps appearing in his art work and speech, he uses it over and over again as a way into the symbolic.

Film Screening ‘Like an Open Sky’


20 August 2021

Split image on the left is a lightning bolt through the night sky and on the right is a drawing of pencil on paper.

Autism in Lacan, presented by Dr Leon Brenner

9 July 2021


In this talk, Brenner presents a theory of autistic subjectivity from a Lacanian psychoanalytic perspective. Brenner describes autism as a singular mode of being that is fundamentally linked to one’s identity and basic practices of existence. In doing so, the relevance of Lacanian psychoanalysis to the field of autism research is stressed, particularly as an alternative to behavioural frameworks which disregard the unique features of autistic subjectivity.

Dr. Leon Brenner is a scholar and lecturer specializing in the fields of Lacanian psychoanalysis, contemporary French philosophy, and autism research. He is a training analyst, studying member of the APPI, and a founder of Lacanian Affinities Berlin (laLAB) and Unconscious Berlin. His latest book on the subject of the psychoanalysis of autism is called The Autistic Subject: On the Threshold of Language, where he presents a novel account of autistic subjectivity from a Lacanian psychoanalytic perspective.

Etching of a woman flying, back arched upside down in the air. Below her are some stairs and a bird.

The Praxis of Hysteria: Theorization, Clinical Practice, Contemporary Observations. Clinical Workshop with Dr Nicol Thomas

24 April 2021


Our anchoring point is Lacan’s formulation of the hysteric’s discourse. We will follow Freud’s thinking about hysteria to Lacan’s extension of Freud’s psychoanalytic work and the question that Freud left behind, what does the woman want? Taking up with Lacan’s work and consideration of jouissance, sexuation and the discourses, we will investigate the relationship of the hysteric and [her] world via the Symptom and the body, the perverse trait and the position of the hysteric subject to the production of [her] discourse. The implications of this trajectory in the psychoanalytic clinic is vital, culminating in a discussion of clinical vignettes both classical and contemporary, especially in relation to the hysteric’s position to the Symbolic world. What does hysteria look like today?

Boy raises hand to image of adult womans face.

Training in Clinical Psychoanalysis

February 2021–October 2024


Established in 2019, the training in psychoanalysis offered by the Centre for Lacanian Analysis Aotearoa New Zealand comprises the three components of psychoanalytic formation: personal analysis, clinical supervision, both with an analyst in the Lacanian field, and theoretical and clinical studies. The bi-weekly seminars provide the foundation of the theoretical and clinical studies.

Childs face with flames.

Can’t You See I’m Burning? Conference 2020

November 2020


‘Can’t you see I’m burning? Kei te kite koe kei te wera ahau?’

Our work in the field and function of psychoanalysis today requires an engagement with the divided subject at a time when the “pain of existence” is provoked by an encounter with the Real — Covid-19. As we bear witness to this devastation, which is so often met with wilful blindness in the face of the gasping cries of humanity and nature, is there not a sense that the virus adds fuel to global fires already raging? These conflagrations, including soaring inequality, racism, misogyny, starvation, war, trafficking, ecological catastrophe burn with heightened intensity. In new ways the environment, living beings and speaking subjects, burn unheeded. Facing this dire predicament, psychoanalysis can respond by letting language fulfil its true function.

Speakers: Dr Yael Klangwisan, Dr Chantal Degril, Dr Rosemary Overell, Dr Angus Craig, Adriana Gaião & Rodrigo Gonsalves, Dr Clint Burnham, Rawia Inaim, Dr Patricia Gherovici, Alois Seiben, Miguel Riverea, Dr Nicol Thomas, Leo Baldwin-Ramult, Dr Gustavo Restivo.

Northern dutch painting depicts a man 'the fool' pulling a face with his tongue out

The importance of being earnestly stupid

Public lecture by Dr Cindy Zeiher 

23 October 2020


“It seems to me that it is difficult not to speak stupidly about language … stupidity, nevertheless has to be nourished”

For Lacan, the signifier is stupid. But as subjects we are stupid to regard it thus insofar as one function of the signifier is to dupe us. Lacan’s Seminar XXI, Les non-dupes errent (1973-1974) is fascinating because it puts stupidity to work by first asking the question, who is the stupid subject? This seems like an obscure question but it really isn’t, especially when we bring to mind how most of us try to avoid acting stupidly or be seen by others as stupid. Lacan then raises the leading question, who is the subject who calls the other stupid? Here Lacan’s interrogation returns to the function of the Name-of-the-Father, insisting that it is this symbolic authority which provides orientation towards stupidity. Lacan goes further by framing stupidity as an important praxis, a know-how of sorts which is taken up as a specific episteme by Dany Nobus and Malcolm Quinn (2005) and also as an ethic by Gioele Cima (2021). Here we can say that there are two sorts of stupidity, for example stupidity consisting of an absence of cleverness or knowledge, as opposed to stupidity as an underlying presence of the view that there is no such thing as a naïve question. Of course, we as Lacanians vacillate between these different expressions of stupidity, painfully aware that one of functions of psychoanalysis is to hone our subjective stupidity into something which is hopefully earnest and disciplined.


A section of a Hieronymus Bosch painting. A head featuring legs upside down with a spoon and bowl.

What can we understand about perversion?

Online seminar with Dr. Nicol Thomas

11 July 2020


Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis offers three subjective psychic structures: neurosis, psychosis and perversion. Whilst it is easier to understand neurosis and psychosis, perversion is a little more slippery to grasp. The psychic structures operate under three actions: repression, foreclosure and disavowal, perversion’s action being disavowal.

Clinically, perversion presents us with an interesting conundrum. What happens when we are presented with a perverse trait in a neurotic or a psychotic analysis? How do we differentiate the perverse trait from the perverse structure, and how does this appear in the Lacanian clinic?
This presentation aims to investigate the Freudian concept of perversion stemming from the polymorphous perversion of childhood, through the various psychic mechanisms that determine the ‘turning-plate’ of the child’s psyche towards a structure. We cannot rule out perversion, either structurally or as a trait. Lacan too takes up Freud’s work on perversion and primary narcissism and brings a different dimension to the operation of fantasy, jouissance and anxiety in perversion. Whilst not exhaustive, the work today aims to explore how perversion is differentiated from neurosis and psychosis, how Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalytic theory develops this psychic mechanism, and how perversion enters (or not) the clinic and why the perverse trait must be considered when working with analysands of other structures.

Nicol Thomas is a psychoanalyst practicing in Melbourne, Australia. She is a member of the School of the IF-SPFLF, a member of the Forum of Melbourne, and the editor of Analysis: The Journal of the Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis.

Split screen image. A greyscale hand in a fist on the left side and on the right a victorian style woman in bed, arms crossed on her chest eyes closed.

Fundamentals of Psychoanalysis: Reading Freud

February-October, 2020


Without Freud, there would be no psychoanalysis in the Lacanian field. Familiarity with Freudian texts is vital to reading Lacan. The Centre for Lacanian Analysis is offering this one year introductory course in the fundamentals of psychoanalysis to all those who hold an interest in psychoanalysis. The course is also an important introduction to those whose desire is towards applying as a candidate in the clinical training in psychoanalysis offered by the CLA in the 2021 intake. The 8 evenings will employ a close reading of a specific Freudian text with the aim of developing an understanding of key Freudian concepts. 

 The first evening, titled ‘Finding the Talking Cure’, will take place on Friday 28 February from 7–9.30 pm at the Ellen Melville Centre. 

 28 February – Finding the Talking Cure
20 March – The Drives and Repression
17 April – The Unconscious
15 May – The Return of the Repressed
19 June – Repetition and Transference
28 August – Freud’s Structures of the Mind
25 September – Sexuality
30 October – Beyond the Pleasure Principle

Split image on the left is graph paper with a childrens drawing of a flower and handwritten lettering. On the right is a child in school uniform, a jumper and tartan skirt.

Synthesis and Creativity: Donna Redmond on La Maison Verte

22 November 2019


“Great maturity is needed to be a father [mother], because it is about being aware that this is not a position of power, but a position of having, and we have no right to expect exchange.” Francoise Dolto

An encounter between Maud Mannoni and Francoise Dolto resulted in the blossoming of creative applications of psychoanalytic theory. Mannoni’s development of Freudian/Lacanian theory contributed to psychoanalysts working in residential institutions and hospitals and from Bonneuil sur Marne to Saint Denis Hospital began the rise of what can be described as, applied psychoanalysis.
My talk will highlight the key contributions made by some followers of Jacques Lacan and show how their endeavours paved the way for some of the practices and organisations that exist today and facilitate psychoanalytic interventions with children.

Donna Redmond is a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, registered with and Chair of the Irish Forum of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (IFPP) and a member of the Irish School of Lacanian Psychoanalysis (ISLP). She is a director/practitioner of a psychoanalytic practice in Dublin.
Donna has almost 20 years experience working with adults, children and adolescents as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist with state funded organisations and in primary and post primary schools as well as in private practice.

She was awarded a degree in psychoanalysis and pursued post graduate qualification in psychoanalytic training at St. Vincents University Hospital, Dublin and with Espace Analytic, Paris. Her interest in Irish Literature, led her to complete two further Master qualifications in Irish Literature at N.U.I. Maynooth and in Irish Theatre and Culture at Q.U. Belfast.

She has contributed a chapter, “Sex and Terror”, in the publication, Further Notes on the Child. Owens & Quinn. London: Karnac, 2017 and has had articles published in Analyse Freudienne Journal, Paris 2016 and The Letter, Dublin 2002. 

Split image with 1 year old baby on the left and greyscale children's drawing on the right

Lacan to the Letter – July 2019

20 July 2019


The Centre for Lacanian Analysis Aotearoa New Zealand warmly invites you to Lacan to the Letter -July 2019, a reading with Dr Kaye Cederman.

The reading for this seminar is “Note on the Child” (Lacan, 1969), which is regarded by Lacanian psychoanalysts as highly relevant to our analytic work with all subjects, children, adolescents and adults alike.

Lacan’s theorising that the child’s symptom reflects what is
symptomatic in the family structure is however especially important as a guiding principle in our work with children. He wrote that “the child’s symptom … can represent the truth of the parental couple” ( 1969, p.373). This reading is basic to our clinical work, for example the importance of finding out about the parents as individuals, determining the fantasy of each parent, that of the child and the links between them.

Further reading if you have an interest-
“The mirror stage as formative of the I function as revealed in psychoanalytic experience” (Ecrits, 2006/1966, translator Bruce Fink, pp 75-82).

Image with a large blob and clouds. Words in french across sky. Village, nuage.

Reading Lacan

01 June 2019


Lacan states that “… the dream is a rebus. And Freud stipulates that it must be understood quite literally [à la letter], as I said earlier. This is related to the instance in the dream of the same “literating” (in other words, phonemic) structure in which the signifier is articulated and analysed in discourse. Like the unnatural figures of the boat on the roof, or the man with a comma for a head, which are expressly mentioned by Freud, dream images are to be taken up only on the basis of their value as signifiers, that is, only insofar as they allow us to spell out the “proverb” presented by the oneiric rebus. The linguistic structure that enables us to read dreams is at the crux of the “signifierness of dreams” at the crux of the Trauamdeutung.” (Ecrits, 2006/1966, pp 424).

The reading for the seminar is “The instance of the letter in the Unconscious, or Reason since Freud” (1957) in Écrits (translated by Bruce Fink, 2007).

You may wish to read, if you are not already familiar with it, Freud’s The interpretation of dreams (first part) Chapter 6 ‘The dream work’, pp 277-338 (Standard Edition).

Cottage stone house

The Analyst’s Desire

Presented by Dr Gustavo Restivo

27 April 2019


“If the transference is that which separates demand from the drive, the analyst’s desire is that which brings it back. And in this way, it isolates the [object] a, places it at the greatest possible distance from the I the ideal point in the Other from which the analysand would like to be seen that he, the analyst, is called upon by the subject to embody. It is from this idealisation that the analyst has to fall in order to be the support of the separating a, in so far as his desire allows him, in an upside-down hypnosis, to embody the hypnotised patient.” (Seminar XI, p.273.)

This half day seminar is an open event and is free. 

Image of dissected dolls on a table with cords and cables, scissors and various art supplies.

Père-version – October 2018 Seminar Series

27 October 2018


“The structure of perversion, strictly speaking, is an inverted effect of fantasy. It is the subject who determines himself as an object, in his encounter with subjective division” Lacan (1973). In coming to an understanding of neurotic fantasy, the perverse act remains a point of reference, a reference to the name-of-the-father and what it is that the subject does with this. In this seminar, we will engage in a close reading of chapter 4 of “Jouissance & the sexual reality of the (two) unconscious” (Restivo, 2013).

Figure on boardwalk, hands to ghostly face and expression in hrrified scream. Edvard Munch.

Anxiety – August Seminar 2018 Seminar Series

25 August 2018


In Seminar X, Anxiety, Lacan tells us that anxiety/anguish is the affect that does not lie, “ne trompe pas” making anguish as Colette Soler calls it “an exceptional affect” . For the purposes of our August seminar, we will engage a close reading of “Anguish reconsidered from the other side” (chapter 2 of Lacanian Affects, Colette Soler).

Psychoanalytic Writer Dr Mari Ruti stands with arms crossed outside a building

Socrate’s Mistake: Lacan on Love, Presented by Dr Mari Ruti

24 July 2018


This presentation outlines the ways in which Lacanian theorists—in this case Slavoj Žižek, Alain Badiou, and Todd McGowan—conceptualize the event of love (one of Badiou’s four truth events) as an experience in which transcendence meets with utter subjective derailment. In other words, Lacanian theorists recognize the traumatizing aspects of love even as they acknowledge its inspiring dimensions. While they shun romance as a capitalist plot that inducts the subject into a cycle of greedy commodification that extends to the desired other, they valorize love as the kind of rupture in the ordinary flow of life that forces the subject to reconfigure its entire existence. The talk also interprets Lacan’s seminar on transference (Seminar VIII), particularly the role of the agálmata—the gleaming gems—that Alcibiades locates in Socrates in Plato’s Symposium.

Drawing on Lacan, Ruti argues that the fantasmatic nature of the agálmata does not preclude their “real” impact, that they are why Alcibiades’s desire for Socrates is nonnegotiable.

Mari Ruti is Distinguished Professor of Critical Theory and of Gender and Sexuality Studies at the University of Toronto, where she teaches contemporary theory, psychoanalysis, continental philosophy, and feminist and queer theory. She is the author of twelve books, most recently “Penis Envy and Other Bad Feelings: The Emotional Costs of Everyday Life” (2018) and “Distillations: Theory, Ethics, Affect” (2018)

Neon sign with pink letters spelling Desire

Desire: CLA, NZ Forum and NZIPP Conference, 2018

23–25 February 2018


Castration means that jouissance has to be refused in order to be attained on the inverse scale of the Law of desire- Ecrits, p. 827 

Conference presented in collaboration by the Centre for Lacanian Analysis (CLA) and the New Zealand Forum of the Lacanian Field (NZF). Public Lecture and Workshop presented in collaboration with the CLA, NZF and New Zealand Institute of Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (NZIPP).

Speakers: Dr Ciara Cremin, Dr. Patricia Gherovici, Dr. Dany Nobus, Dr. Mark Jackson, Dr. Gustavo Restivo, Dr. Kaye Cederman, Jenny Woods, Dr. Nicol Thomas, Dr. Cindy Zeiher, Rosemary Overell

‘Noting the Child in Aotearoa’ Dr Kaye Cederman


16 September 2016



‘Lost in Behaviour’ Dr. Gustavo Restivo 

19 August 2016