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Kleinians since Klein Study Group 2020-2021

All participants will receive a Certificate of Attendance at the end of the series detailing their relevant hours, for Continuing Professional Development purposes.

Course dates

11 session course
Session 1: The development of the mind and the inner world: primitive mechanisms, 25 September 2020
Session 2: The development of the mind and the inner world: separation and integration, 30 October 2020
Session 3:Pathological organisations of the personality, 27 November 2020
Session 4: The development of the capacity to think, 18 December 2020
Session 5: The facts of life and the Oedipal triangle , 29 January 2021
Session 6:The central importance of transference/countertransference , 26 February 2021
Session 7:Envy and the death instinct, 26 March 2021
Session 8:The blocking of insight, learning and growth, 30 April 2021
Session 9:Sexuality, 28 May 2021
Session 10: Difference, 25 June 2021
Session 11:What is distinctive about Kleinian work?, 23 July 2021
Time 7pm - 8.30pm
Delivered online via Zoom

Study group leader

David Smart


Online from WPF Therapy


10 sessions in total: £275
Per individual session: £25
More about our fees

More information

Training Administration
020 7378 2050

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This study group will be delivered via Zoom online.

How could Kleinian perspectives help you in your practice? Perhaps you’ve looked at the work of people like Hanna Segal, Wilfred Bion, Betty Joseph, John Steiner and Ron Britton in training. Coming back to these with greater clinical experience allows you to explore what they offer in more depth – to get hold of connections and understand better what goes on in and beyond the consulting room.

This study group is concerned with developments in Kleinian theory and practice over the past seventy years – what has remained central, what has been discarded, what has become better understood and what is contentious today. It is designed to work at different levels, offering food for thought to those unfamiliar with psychoanalytic thinking as well as to those who wish to extend and enrich their understanding and use of Kleinian approaches.

The group has been popular and successful in previous years and is generally fully subscribed. The 2020-2021 course will be entirely online, allowing those who live outside London to take part.

2021 marks the centenary of Melanie Klein’s first psychoanalytic publication, ‘The development of a child’, in which she argued for the liberating effect of responding honestly to children’s questions. Since then, Klein and her associates have played a major role in the development of psychoanalytic thinking and practice. Much that was once considered innovative and controversial in her approach has been taken up by those with reservations about her basic tenets. Lively debate continues among those more sympathetic to Kleinian ways of seeing and working.

It is possible to attend individual sessions, but there is much to be gained by revisiting material that may seem familiar and through involvement in an ongoing process. In previous years there has been a lively dynamism in the group. Members have found a space to share impressions, responses, puzzlement, realisations and insights, with an emphasis on clinical issues.

The readings include earlier and later practitioners, clinical and theoretical considerations. We refer back to Freud and Klein as we consider how thinking and technique have developed, aiming to replicate the analytic cycle of learning and working-through. Detailed notes are provided to help contextualise the readings and support engagement with them.

By participating in this study group, you can expect to gain:

  1. A deeper understanding of projective and identificatory processes in work with clients.
  2. A broader conception of how internal and external worlds interact and affect each other.
  3. Greater clarity about where you stand in relation to key theoretical and ethical issues.
  4. An overview of what the Kleinian tradition has contributed to British Object Relations.

There will be a different paper for each session. The programme centres on readings from key figures in the Kleinian tradition – Freud, Segal, Rosenfeld, Bion, Money-Kyrle, Meltzer, Joseph, Steiner, Britton. We will think about the issues raised in the readings in relation to participants’ clinical experiences and dilemmas.

Comments from Previous Participants

  • “This once monthly format is really good value, as I have learnt so much more compared to the equivalent amount of hours in an average 2 days CPD course.”
  • “I’m finding the papers enriching whilst at the same time challenging as well as questions and views raised by the group.  This is good as its stirring me up out of lazy thinking.  I have found the relevance/benefit of theories has been demonstrated in the group on several occasions and also it’s helping me with often confusing work.”
  • “Linking the reading to our clinical work is most valuable.”
  • “The things I found most useful and enjoyable were the readings suggested, the session notes sent in advance and the clinical examples in the sessions.”

Course Reading

Detailed reading lists will be sent on booking. WPF gives participants electronic access to texts.

David Smart’s first career was in multi-disciplinary work in mainstream educational and off-site settings with secondary-age pupils experiencing difficulties. He trained with WPF Therapy to practice as a school counsellor and work privately as a psychotherapist with adults. He is committed to collaborative learning and understands development as a life-long, spiral process. Publications include “Play’ in practice in psychotherapy and education’, European Journal of Psychotherapy & Counselling, Volume 10, Issue 2, 2008, pp. 147 – 158 (with L. Gomez).

This course will be relevant to practising counsellors/psychotherapists and trainees engaged in clinical work and to those engaged in academic study in the field. There will be a focus on working with the ideas and issues clinically. Priority will be given to applicants who can attend the whole course.

If you experience any problems during the application process then please