Psychoanalysis Unit


Re-visiting Psychotic Aspects of the Personality

03 December 2021–05 December 2021, 3:30 pm–1:00 pm

Re-visiting Psychotic Aspects of the Personality Conference Image

The annual UCL Psychoanalysis Unit conference, with accompanying clinical seminars, will seek a deeper understanding of psychotic aspects of the personality

Event Information

Open to



Psychoanalysis Unit

This virtual UCL Psychoanalysis Conference will present detailed psychoanalytic work seeking to describe and further understand these fundamental problems in the context of their occurrence in a wide spectrum of psychopathology - from the apparently normal and mildly neurotic to the most overtly and grossly disturbed - and across the life cycle: in children, adolescents, adulthood. The programme will have more space for discussions and dialogues on the main questions with everyone attending able to take part. The aim is an engrossing enjoyable hard-working event.

What do we mean when we speak of a psychotic area or part of the personality? The idea is invoked in relation to so many conditions of such widely different severities and kinds. For example, we can encounter something like it as part of a seemingly otherwise functioning personality: if unaddressed, it seems to maintain a strict limit on the change possible; but to address it seems to risk a total breakdown. As all who work in the mental health services will know, there are other cases in which this relationship is found in reverse: the patient is controlled by psychotic beliefs, but substantial areas of normal functioning can operate alongside - but only as long as the ruling position of the psychosis is not threatened.

It has been said that “Even a little bit of madness goes a long way”. But what precisely is this madness to which we refer? There have been many valuable psychoanalytic contributions that help to understanding these situations and to help with them clinically – but only to a degree. Nearly always, there remains a sense of some purpose – and some level of profound mental pain - that eludes our understanding, our grasp, and therefore our remedy.

Saturday 4, Sunday 5 December

We are pleased to announce the following keynote speakers:

Catalina Bronstein

Catalina Bronstein, MD is a training analyst and Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society and Visiting Professor at the UCL Psychoanalysis Unit. She trained as a medical doctor and psychiatrist in Argentina before training as a child psychotherapist at the Tavistock Clinic and as a psychoanalyst at the Institute of Psychoanalysis in London. Catalina works with adolescents at the Brent Adolescent Centre and with adults and adolescents in private practice. She was London Editor of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis and is now on the Board of IJP. She has written extensively and published many papers and chapters, and has edited Kleinian Theory: A Contemporary Perspective and co-edited Attacks on Linking revisited, The New Klein-Lacan Dialogues and On Freud's The Uncanny. She is a former President of the British Psychoanalytical Society.

Kate Pugh

Dr Kate Pugh is a Fellow of the Institute of Psychoanalysis and a Training and Supervising Analyst.  She has been a Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy for twenty years in Central and North West London Trust and has a private psychoanalytic practice. 

Helga Skogstad

Dr Helga Skogstad is a Psychiatrist and Psychoanalyst. She is a Fellow and Training and Supervising Analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society. She worked as consultant psychiatrist in different inpatient settings and in an outpatient clinic for suicidal patients. For twenty years she worked as a Psychotherapist at the Cassel Hospital, a psychotherapeutic hospital for severe personality disorders, where she became the Lead Psychotherapist. She is now in full-time private praxis. She teaches and supervises regularly in Germany.

A programme will be released nearer to the time of the conference.

Clinical Seminars
Friday 3 December

The afternoon Clinical Seminar, 15.30 - 17.00, will be led by David Tuckett. The evening Clinical Seminar, 18.00 - 19.45, will run concurrently in different groups and leaders will include:

  • David Bell
  • Donald Campbell
  • Fakhry Davids
  • Peter Fonagy
  • Mary Hepworth
  • Francesca Hume*
  • Daniel Pick
  • Irma Brenman Pick*
  • Kate Pugh
  • Vic Sedlak
  • Wilhelm Skogstad
  • Gigliola Fornari Spoto
  • David Taylor

Please note that places on clinical seminars are limited in order to keep group sizes small. Sessions marked with * are now fully booked. As ever, views and opinions expressed by speakers are their own and do not represent those of the Psychoanalysis Unit/UCL, event organisers or other speakers.

Registration & Ticket Pricing

Registration is now open! Please follow the link below to order your ticket.

Register Now

Conference (4th, 5th December)
Standard £120 · Concession £70

Clinical Seminars (3rd December)
Afternoon £50 · Evening £50

In this difficult climate, we want to ensure the price of entry is not a barrier to attending. A limited number of bursaries are available, so please contact the events administrators if your circumstances would otherwise not allow you to attend.

Further Information

For any queries, please contact us at events.psychoanalysis@ucl.ac.uk

With the benefit of public health measures and vaccination programmes, COVID-19 is gradually coming under control in the UK. However, given the uncertainty the pandemic continues to cause for events and international travel, it is unclear whether it will be safe enough to run it in the normal way. Therefore, we are planning that the Re-visiting Psychotic Aspects of the Personality Conference will be an online event.