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Parker, I. (2017). Key concepts of Lacanian psychoanalysis. Psychoanal. Psychother., 31(2):263-265.

(2017). Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, 31(2):263-265

Key concepts of Lacanian psychoanalysis

Review by:
Ian Parker

This book, Key Concepts of Lacanian Psychoanalysis, was first published in 1998 by Rebus Press. At the time I was training to be a psychoanalyst with the Centre for Freudian Analysis and Research (CFAR), after working with a local NHS service as an Honorary Psychotherapist within a broadly Object-Relations framework. The CFAR training was Lacanian, but at that time there were still fairly few of his clinical texts in English, Lacan having been imported into Britain via film and literary theory, and viewed as a notoriously elliptical writer, suited only to those disciplines. His advocates often seemed to revel in the strange terminology and to enjoy the separation it enforced between academics and practitioners. The received wisdom in the psychoanalytic community at the time was that Lacan’s work was too difficult, if it was psychoanalysis at all, and it took writers like Dany Nobus, who had been trained in Belgium, to show us that actually it could be surprisingly accessible if framed in the right way, and then it could be made relevant to our own practice. 

Over the last 20 years, and particularly with the speed and spread of internet communication, it has become clear that Lacan’s work had already, by the 1990s, had an impact around the globe, particularly outside the English-speaking world. Psychoanalysts trained in several franchise organisations of the International Psychoanalytical Association – ranging from Canada to Venezuela – have engaged with Lacanian psychoanalysis, and the approach is used in clinical settings, especially in public welfare services in many countries in Latin America.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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