Psychoanalytic Training Program

Founded in 1986 (as the Centre for Psychoanalytic Research) the Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis (ACP) is devoted to the teaching of psychoanalysis, the training of analysts and research in the psychoanalytic field within the Lacanian orientation. The Centre offers a comprehensive program of training in psychoanalysis comprising the three components of psychoanalytic formation (personal analysis, clinical supervision and theoretical and clinical studies) which may lead to registration with the Centre as a Practising Analyst. Applications for candidature as an Analyst-in-Training can be made by members of the ACP who have commenced their formation and are actively participating in the activities of the Centre. Anyone with an interest in the study of psychoanalysis can apply to the relevant convenors to join in the Centre’s activities.

ACP Training document (PDF, 100kB)

For further information contact: Lena Andary, Convenor of the Training Committee, 0417 533 536,

Introductory Course in Psychoanalysis

In this two semester, introductory program, students will be introduced to concepts that lie at the heart of psychoanalysis. The course is
 both theoretical and practical, with an emphasis on the famous case studies that Freud used to introduce his discovery of the unconscious. It also explores the conceptual frame works that different schools of psychoanalysis have used to construct models of intervention. Psychoanalysis is both a body of theory and a clinical praxis. It also has a powerful research function. All these will be touched upon in the course over the duration of the year. In one and a half hour, weekly seminars, the teaching will cover the basic ideas of psychoanalytic practice, and the way they are implemented in the clinic. 
As the source from which all psychotherapies derive, psychoanalysis aims most potently to produce truthful knowledge, and this will be
 theme of the course, which is suitable for both those who intend to practice clinically, and others with a more general interest. Over the many years the course has been running, this seminar format has proved an accessible way to introduce psychoanalysis.

The course consists of 24 seminars over two semesters:

Day: Thursdays
Time: 7.30pm-9.00pm
Semester 1: February 21st to May 30th
Semester 2: August 1st to October 3rd

Venue: Treacy Conference Centre, Parkville
Contact: Dr Peter Ellingsen
T: 0408 125 076

Program of Theoretical and Clinical Studies in Psychoanalysis

The Australian Centre for Psychoanalysis offers a well-established program of theoretical and clinical studies in psychoanalysis. The program is aimed at engaging participants in a systematic study of the key concepts of Freudian and Lacanian psychoanalysis. Particular emphasis is given to psychoanalytic ethics and practice. The program provides a firm theoretical foundation for those wishing to undertake the tripartite formation necessary to train as a psychoanalyst with the ACP. The course is studied over four years, with each year comprising two semesters of 14 weeks duration.

If you are interested in any aspect of the program of studies contact: Dr Serena Smith, 0409 191 404,

First year: 

Semester one: theory of the unconscious

The first year of the program introduces participants to the foundational concepts of Freud’s work, their elaboration by Jacques Lacan and their application in clinical practice. This involves a comprehensive study of the formations of the unconscious and the epistemological, philosophical and clinical questions they give rise to.

Semester two: Theory of the drive and sexuality

In second semester participants are introduced to the concept of the drive and the questions posed by human sexuality in the work of Freud, Lacan, and other authors. The study of the drive is fundamental because it distinguishes sexuality within the field of psychoanalysis from that of instinct and reproduction. This section includes the structure of the drive, Lacan’s unique theory of the object, and the complex topic of sexual identity.

Second year:

Semester one: Transference, repetition, and introduction to psychopatholgy

Repetition and transference are fundamental psychoanalytic concepts studied in the second year of the program, alongside a rigorous study of Freud and Lacan’s theories of psychopathology and clinical structures. The structure of hysteria and anxiety hysteria are considered in more detail.

Semester two: Psychopathology - neuroses, psychosis and perversion

Each clinical structure is studied in depth, beginning with the structure of obsessional neurosis and following with an examination of the structure of the psychoses (paranoia, schizophrenia, melancholia) and autism. Finally, the clinic of perversion is investigated. Current nosological categories are critically examined. Case studies are discussed to ground the participants’ knowledge in the clinical practice of psychoanalysis.

Third year:

Semester one and two: Ethics and praxis

Both semesters of third year are dedicated to the study of fundamental ethical questions posed by the clinical practice of psychoanalysis. This includes an exploration of the Lacanian concept of the analyst’s desire, and investigation of the contributions made by Freud and Lacan to the field of ethics.

Fourth year:

Semester one: Psychoanalysis with children and adolescents

The final year of the program is devoted to the study of the theory and clinical practice of psychoanalysis with children and adolescents. It includes consideration of the typical problems encountered in the work and the many epistemological, ethical and technical questions that arise. The program includes an examination of the contribution made by pioneers in the field: Melanie Klein, Donald Winnicott, Maud Mannoni, Rosine and Robert Lefort and others.  

Semester two: Special clinical problems

In the final semester of the four-year program we allocate time to investigate clinical and conceptual questions that arise in the treatment of special conditions such as addictions, severe depression, psychosomatic phenomena, borderline conditions, atypical psychosis, transgender/sexual identity issues and other problems that arise in contemporary clinical practice.

First year:

Second year:

Third year:

Fourth year:

For further information contact: Dr Serena Smith, Coordinator of the Program of Studies,

ACP Program of studies general outline and enrolment details (PDF, 72kB); ACP Advert 2016 (PDF, 118kB)

The ACP has a number of Cartels that research particular questions in relation to psychoanalytic theory and practice.

    For further information contact: Dr Leonardo Rodriguez,

    ACP Cartels

    The Centre’s Library is open to all ACP members and students.

      For further information contact: Silvia Rodriguez, 9349 3451,


      Register of Practising Analysts

      Inclusion in the ACP’s register of practising analysts is pursued by members applying to the ACP Register Committee, and it is dependent on the committee being satisfied that all the components of a psychoanalytic training have been adequately carried out to the extent that the candidate can be recognised by the Centre as a registered practising analyst.

      Latest Events

      The President of the ACP will launch the ACP’s work for 2019. Seminar Convenors and the Co-ordinators of the Introductory Course and Four Year Program of Studies present their planned activities for the year. The morning provides an orientation to the theme for the year with the opportunity to meet informally over morning tea.

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      P.O. Box 509, Carlton South, VIC 3053 Australia
      0408 225 993