Diagnosis in the Lacanian Clinic

3:30 PM Feb 15 - 12:30 PM Feb 17, 2019

2nd Annual Conference of the California Forum of the Lacanian Field, in co-sponsorship with the New Center for Psychoanalysis

The Second Annual Conference of the California Forum of the Lacanian Field, in co-sponsorship with NCP, addresses Diagnosis in the Lacanian Clinic. Christian Dunker, PhD, presents his innovative research on the topic in three lectures. He examines the diagnostic categories of neurosis, psychosis, and perversion, considered as psychic structures, from the perspective of Lacan’s Borromean knot theory, and how Lacan’s conception of the feminine affects the logic that sustains the categories themselves. With contributions from social theory and philosophy, Dr. Dunker discusses the neurotic-centric, androcentric, and totemic-naturalist aspects of psychoanalytic psychopathology. He proposes that diagnostic practice in Lacanian psychoanalysis is not only an experience of subjective determination, but also one of unexpected encounter in which freedom can take place.

The Conference includes the participation of members of the California Forum of the Lacanian Field in a film presentation and discussion; two clinical case presentations; and a theoretical panel discussion with Dr. Dunker on his book, The Constitution of the Psychoanalytic Clinic.

Learning Objectives
As a result of attending this course, participants should be able to:

  • Assess the clinical value of Lacan’s structural, sexuation, and Borromean models
  • Compare Lacan’s diagnostic conceptions in terms of individual myth to the psychiatric diagnostic model, based on notions of deviation, anomaly, and loss of function
  • Critique “psychoanalytic psychopathology” in terms of its neurotic-centric, androcentric, and totemic-naturalist constructions
  • Discuss how the social-theory conception of “suffering” differs from the philosophical conception of “malaise,” and how they relate to the Lacanian diagnostic
  • Analyze a clinical case from an animistic perspective

Note: Some Lacanian terminology is sui generis, because Lacan created neologisms that do not readily translate. Such terms used in lectures and discussions will be clearly explained.

Christian Dunker, PhD, is a Lacanian psychoanalyst in private practice in São Paulo, Brazil. He is an Analyst Member of the School of Psychoanalysis of the Forums of the Lacanian Field. He teaches at São Paulo University’s Clinical Psychology Department, and is a Member of the International Society for Philosophy and Psychoanalysis. He has published several books and articles on psychoanalysis, politics and philosophy, including The Constitution of the Psychoanalytic Clinic (Karnac Books).

Conference Schedule

Friday, February 15
3:30 – 3:40 – Welcome and Introductions
3:40 – 5:10 - Introductions and Opening Lecture: “Lacanian Not-All Psychopathology versus Psychiatric Concepts of Psychopathology," by Christian Dunker, followed by a Q & A Session
5:10 – 6:00 - Wine and Cheese Reception (No CE/CME credit)
6:00 – 8:00 - Movie Screening: Elena (2012), a film by Petra Costa
8:00- 9:30 - Movie Discussion, with comments by Christian Dunker and Apurva Shah, MD

Saturday, February 16
9:00 - 10: 30 – Lecture: “Social Theory’s Conception of Suffering and the Philosophical Conception of Malaise, as They Apply to the Lacanian Diagnostic," by Christian Dunker, followed by a Q & A Session
10:45 – 12 - Clinical Case Presentation by Bettina Soestwohner, with comments by Christian Dunker
12 - 1:30 – Lunch Break
1:30 – 2:30 –Discussion on “The Global Rise of Right-Wing Populism via Jacques Lacan's Hypothesis of the Periodic Degradation of Democracy,” with Christian Dunker, moderated by Christine Wertheim.
2:30 – 3:30 - Panel Discussion with Gabriela Costardi and Karla Roman, moderated by Michael Nee
3:45 - 4:45 - Clinical Case Presentation by Manar Fawahry, with comments by Christian Dunker
4:45 - 5:45 – Albert Morell, PhD, and Seth Alt, in conversation with Christian Dunker on his book The Constitution of the Psychoanalytic Clinic: A History of its Structure and Power, moderated by Christine Wertheim.
5:45 – 6:00 – Book Launch and Signing by the author (No CE/CME Credit)

Sunday, February 17
9:00 – 11 – Lecture: “Rereading the Lacanian Diagnostic: From Totemic Determination to Animistic Indetermination," by Christian Dunker, followed by a Q & A Session
10:45 – 11:15 – Final Q & A Session, and Closing Remarks
11:15 – 12:30 – Annual Meeting of the California Forum (No CE/CME Credit)

14 CE/CME credits

Friday, 3:30 PM- 9:30 PM
Saturday, 9:00 AM- 6:00 PM
Sunday, 9:00 AM- 12:30 PM 

$160 pre-registration (by February 1) with or without CE Credits
$240 after February 1 with CE Credits
$190 after February 1 without CE Credits
$40 student rate


IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE INFORMATION FOR ALL LEARNERS: None of the planners and presenters of ths CME/CE program have any relevant financial relationships to disclose. 

PHYSICIANS: This activity has been planned and implemented in accordance with the accreditation requirements and policies of the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) through the joint providership of the American Psychoanalytic Association and the New Center for Psychoanalysis. The American Psychoanalytic Association is accredited by the ACCME to provide continuing medical education for physicians. 

The American Psychoanalytic Association designates this Live Activity for the maximum of 14 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.  

PSYCHOLOGISTS: The New Center for Psychoanalysis is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. New Center for Psychoanalysis maintains responsibility for this program and its content. Full attendance is required for psychologists to receive credit; partial credit may not be awarded based on APA guidelines. For the psychologists’ records, certificates of attendance are provided at the completion of the course.  


The New Center for Psychoanalysis is a continuing education provider that has been approved by the American Psychological Association, a California Board of Behavioral Sciences recognized approval agency. 

REGISTERED NURSES: The New Center for Psychoanalysis is an accredited provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing (Provider #CEP1112). Registered Nurses may claim only the actual number of hours spent in the educational activity for credit.