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The Self-Centeredness of Psychoanalysis: Laplanche’s Critique of Psychoanalysis is a Course

The Self-Centeredness of Psychoanalysis: Laplanche’s Critique of Psychoanalysis

Started Mar 4, 2021

$25 Enroll

Full course description

Thursday, March 4, 2021 | 6-7pm (EST)-- Fully Online Lecture

CEs for LMHC, APA, and LI/LCSW will be submitted for review to respective credentialing bodies.


This event is free to the public, please use the promotional code ETHICSERIES9 to register at no cost.

This event is $25 for practitioners seeking CEs for this lecture. Once you have registered for the class, your CE registration status is fixed and can not be adjusted at a later time. 


Dubbing these competing tendencies “Copernican” (toward sexuality) and “Ptolemaic” (away from sexuality) Laplanche uses a metaphor of “centering” and “decentering” to track the movement of Freud’s thought. Determined to sustain the radicalism of sexuality’s “decentering” as against Freudian theory’s constant “self-centering and self-begetting,” Laplanche insists that the radical innovation of psychoanalysis – the true equivalent to the Copernican breakthrough – is the discovery that we revolve around other people and not the other way around. 

This talk will introduce Laplanche’s critique of the self-centeredness of psychoanalysis by exploring his ideas on the “seduction theory.” While the “seduction theory” has been the object of considerable debate – abandoned by Freud in 1897, and then rehabilitated by contemporary trauma theorists – Laplanche shows why even recent efforts to acknowledge adult-infant seduction fall short of grasping the psychological importance of this event. Drawing on breakthroughs in neurobiology and affect theory, we will see how Laplanche’s reconceptualization of “seduction” firmly secures the role of other people in the constitution of our psychic lives. With” seduction” as the new centerpiece of a radical psychoanalysis, Laplanche facilitates a bold and urgent reversal in how we understand the basic organization of internal life.

Learning Objectives:

At the conclusion of this presentation the participant will be able to:

  1. Describe what Laplanche means by the competing “Ptolemaic” and “Copernican” tendencies of psychoanalysis.
  2. Describe the importance of the “seduction theory” to psychoanalysis, and in particular, how Laplanche’s ideas on this topic differ from existing formulations.
  3. Define Laplanche’s concept of ‘enlarged’ sexuality and describe the meaning of this idea.

Timeline and Requirements:

The course will take place on Thursday, March 4, 2021.  This lecture is presenter-led and is a fully online experience. This will be conducted synchronously online via Zoom from 6:00 pm-7:00 pm (EST). 

CE Sponsorship: 

Application for CEs is being submitted for LMHC, APA, and LI/LCSW. We will update this section as soon as we hear back from the credentialing bodies.

Participants must attend the lecture in full and complete the post event survey to be eligible to receive CEs.

This lecture does not offer CEs for other clinicians not listed above. 

Fees & Policies:

This event is free if you are NOT seeking CEs towards your license. If you plan on seeking CEs for this lecture, the cost is $25. Once you have registered for the class, your CE registration status is fixed and can not be adjusted at a later time.  

Payment is due by credit card at registration. Registration closes March 4 at 5pm. Refunds will be granted only up to the time of the lecture.