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Judith Bowerman . Unknown Matter

Contemporary Lacanian Approaches to Psychosis

After Lacan’s 1955-1956 seminar The Psychoses and “On A Question Prior to Any Possible Treatment of Psychosis,” contemporary Lacanians have continued to work on the question of the treatment of psychosis, grounding their interventions in perspectives both clinical and theoretical. They have produced a body of work worthy of consideration in so far as it continues to pave a path beyond the one Lacan forged. Lacan’s orientation toward the speech of the subject of the unconscious has emboldened contemporary Lacanians’ aims to welcome psychotic subjects into the psychoanalytic clinic. 

By reading a handful of recent Lacanian contributions to the clinic of psychosis, we propose a space where we might offer glimpses into a now-broad body of literature, aiming to collectively clarify, on the one hand, that, across the board, the clinic of psychosis challenges fundamental psychoanalytic conceptions such as the notion of transference, the elaboration of the position of the analyst, the definition of the cure or final term of an analysis, and, for some, even the clinic of structure itself.

On the other hand, we aim to learn about the variance in proposed approaches to better understand the ethical stakes that ground them. Last, in reading these texts, we also aim to offer a space for speculation about how considerations related to the social link (social-cultural rules, norms, circumstances) might be brought to bear on the treatments being proposed, the considerations being emphasized, and the cures considered possible.

N.B. We acknowledge that Freud’s Psychoanalytic Remarks on an Autobiographically Described Case of Paranoia, Lacan’s Seminar III: The Psychoses and “On A Question Prior to Any Possible Treatment of Psychosis,” and even Schreber’s Memoirs of My Nervous Illness comprise a primary body of literature on the question of psychosis and that many of these texts have been taught recently in other seminars at LSP. Our desire to work from contemporary texts comes from a sense that there would be value in considering how people are returning to Lacan and Freud in their clinical work and in a hope that participants in the seminar may have already engaged these primary texts or that they might do so alongside our proposed reading, offering opportunities for connections to arise in discussion.


Apollon, W., Bergeron, D., and Cantin, L. “Problems of femininity in the psychoanalytical treatment of psychotic women,” in Lacan on Psychosis: From Theory to Praxis (2019), Eds. Jon Mills and David L. Downing. New York: Routledge (pp. 132-157).

Fimiani, B. Psychosis and Extreme States: An Ethic for Treatment (2021). Cham: Palgrave.

Miller, J-A. “Ordinary Psychosis Revisited” (2013). Psychoanalytical Notebooks, 26.

Redmond, P. Ordinary Psychosis and the Body: A Contemporary Lacanian Approach (2014). New York: Palgrave.

Vanheule, S. The Subject of Psychosis: A Lacanian Perspective (2011). New York: Palgrave.  

A few other texts will likely be added when the syllabus is distributed.

Faculty: Richard Reinhardt and Shanna Carlson de la Torre
Dates/Times: January – May 2025, 2nd Saturday, 10am-12pm PST
Location: Zoom
Contact: Richard Reinhardt ( and Shanna Carlson de la Torre (
Fee: $200 or LSP School Tuition

Shanna Carlson de la Torre is a Candidate-Analyst of the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis. She has a private practice in Lacanian analysis in Minneapolis, MN. The author of various essays and the book Sex for Structuralists: The Non-Oedipal Logics of Femininity and Psychosis (Palgrave 2018), she is currently working on a manuscript titled Femininity

Richard Reinhardt...

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