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The Psychoanalytic Case History

The Letter, Issue 37, Summer 2006, Pages 25 - 37


THE PSYCHOANALYTIC CASE HISTORY[1]

Andrew J. Lewis


Her mask reveals a hidden sense [2]


The Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis (ACP) has presented the clinical work of its members since its inception in 1986 under the name of the Melbourne Centre for Psychoanalytic Research. In 1987 this seminar became formalised into a fortnightly presentation known as the Clinical Seminar and was delivered at Mont Park Hospital, Melbourne. In 1991 the seminar moved to the Royal Park Psychiatric Hospital which in 1997 was decommissioned. Thus the seminar left the terrain of public psychiatry and was delivered at the Royal Society of Victoria where it continues today.

The seminar has been intrinsic to the development of the ACP as a psychoanalytic institution, serving as the meeting point of new version of psychoanalytic theory and the clinical practice which can be derived from it. Those presenting cases practice in a variety of settings, including practitioners working analytically in child and adult psychiatry, community health, drug rehabilitation services as well as in private practice. The seminar consists of the presentation of a written case history by the treating analyst, student or invited guest in a meeting lasting 90 minutes. The presentations are followed by a collective discussion of the case and the treatment. A slightly different format has been used when members presented cases for discussion by an overseas guest. This was largely the impetus for introducing the function of a designated discussant in 1999. An analyst of the ACP who has completed their training takes the role of discussant.

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