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Almas Thomas, Alma's Flower Garden

Temporality and Causality in Psychoanalysis

In psychoanalysis, temporality has intricate relations with unconscious and subjectivity, and is inextricably linked to immanent logic of psychoanalytic practice. Departing from traditional notions of linear time which are always featured with continuity and coherence, Lacan stresses on the discontinuous moments (of concluding) by annulling the durative time (for understanding) which can only be constituted retroactively- the effect of Nachträglichkeit in Freud. With this radical formulation of time, the causality between analytic effect and reflection, between symptom and traumatic event, and between the history and the symbolic is dialecticalized. As a consequence, the subject’s history, as the materials of psychoanalytic clinic, has nothing to do with so-called individual development in psychology, but is given as what is constituted by the symbolic; and in the level of technique, the framework of treatment takes a variable-length session instead of a clock-determined, fixed-length one.

This is a Chinese- speaking seminar. We will explore the questions on temporality and causality in Freudo-Lacanian thought as well as the topics beyond that. Although the seminar is a reading-based one, it will be opened to other forms like clinical discussion, case presentation, and free talk.


Lacan, J.  “Logical Time and the Assertion of Anticipated Certainty” Écrits, (2001). Trans. Bruce Fink. New York: Norton.

Zizek, S.  “Why Does a Letter Always Arrive at its Destination” Enjoy Your Symptom!, (2012). Trans. Bruce Fink. London and New York: Routledge.

Mather, R. & Marsden, J. " Trauma and Temporality: On the Origins of Post-Traumatic Stress" Theory & Psychology 14.2 (2004): 205-219.

Laplanche, J.  “Time and the Other” Essays On Otherness, (1999). Trans. Luke Thurston. London and New York: Routledge.
Verhaeghe, P. “Causality in Science and Psychoanalysis” Lacan and Science, (2002). London: Routledge.

Faculty: Ruonan Liu, Candidate Analyst at LSP

Dates/Times: 8:30-11:00 am (The Fourth Saturday every month, Beijing Time, From September to April, no sessions in February)

Location: Online via Voov

Contact: Ruonan Liu at or WeChat: Plague_them

Fee: 2000Yuan (RMB)/ 300 USD or LSP Tuition

Note: This seminar will be in Mandarin Chinese

Ruonan Liu is a licensed psychotherapist and counseling psychologist from China, currently working at a university. He earned a master’s degree in therapeutic and counseling psychology and continued with his academic research on Lacanian psychoanalysis and phenomenology for a couple of years. Ruonan’s clinical training includes psychoanalysis, Gestalt psychotherapy, trauma treatment and clinical supervision. Now he is being trained at the Lacanian School of Psychoanalysis where he is currently in formation as a Candidate Analyst. He has a private practice in psychoanalysis located in Shenzhen, China.

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