Monthly Archives: March 2014

Psychoanalysis, group and individual

Psychoanalysis with couples and individuals

After the weekend break, largely spend on CPD 🙂 ,  and today (Monday) doing paperwork. I am back to clinic tomorrow, Tuesday.  As things stand the day will be spent providing couples psychoanalysis in the morning, and individual psychoanalysis in the afternoon.

Couples psychoanalysis

Couples psychoanalysis combines elements of individual psychoanalysis and social psychoanalytic theory, and looks a lot at perception and narrative. It is highly individual to the couple and draws a lot on the work of Klein.

Individual Psychoanalysis

Individual psychoanalysis is a method that looks at the person, not individual conditions.  Depression or anxiety therefore might be seen as outcomes relating to historical or developmental events.

Psychotherapist psychoanalyst Edinburgh

Stuart has been practicing psychoanalysis for many years having completed his 1993-1996 training in analysis, clinical hypnotherapy and stress counselling with ASM (now Society of Stress Managers, a CNHC accreditation route).

Since then he has completed a 2nd Bachelor’s degree, a MSc Psychology and extensive externally accredited CPD training in different psychological therapies and counselling styles.

Stuart practices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Falkirk. He is registered with the CNHC voluntary regulator as a clinical hypnotherapist, and is listed on both the CNHC and FHT AR schemes. AR’s or accredited registers, are maintained by the Professional Standards Agency for healthcare professionals not subject to statutory regulation.

Flame emails

Flame emails from competitors and people in pain

From time to time we have some person attacking us –  not a client, we have never to date had a client complaint, but a stranger, upset on the internet.

Sometimes this is a mischief making competitor thinking wrongly that after a career going back to 1993 that we would be put of by such nonsense.

Sometimes a person in pain misdirects their anger at us, perhaps they are not well, perhaps angry at another service, who knows. We sympathize with their pain.

We understand people can displace and project their pain onto therapists online, this is a known thing to happen. However we do have a policy. We provide two warning emails and attachments, both designed to calm things down, then we make it clear that we are not prepared to take abuse from complete strangers.

We are human beings too, with legal and human rights, and therefore we will protect ourselves legally is defamed, libeled or attacked abusively online.  After the first two warnings, the final third warning is followed by legal action.

This post is being shared since after a nice quiet 12 month period, another disturbed and potentially hurt person has again projected onto us at random. Maybe this is a sign the NHS is failing, maybe it is a malicious competitor, we do not know. But it is important to indicate –  we sympathize, but will defend ourselves legally where needed.

(we do get a lot of annoyed competitors who are not terribly well qualified, can not be bothered with AVR scheme fees or are too out of touch to obey NOS standards. Unfortunately these people plague those of us trying to make a difference!)


Coming to the end of a day seminar on dissassociative disorder. An interesting day and good refreshment of skills. Already an area I (Stuart) work extensively with. Interesting to contrast a cognitive and biomedical model with the psychoanalysis model I use and was trained in.

Lacan and mirrors

Lacan and Psychoanalysis

Several clients have asked for more information on Lacan and his mirror theory. It’s not the easiest thing to summarise since it is a key part of his work which developed over his career. However a few points are outlined here.

Lacan is thought to have developed the idea of the mirror when analysing the case of Aimee, a young woman who stabbed an actress to death. Lacan examined the details of the case and concluded that she committed the murder in an attempt to attack herself. The actress represented the fame, success and prestige craved by Aimee herself. She thus projected her disappointment and self hatred onto the hatred and symbolically attacked her ideal self.

As Lacan developed his theory he concluded that because human babies are born helpless, effectively prematurely, they use mimicry to learn how to master themselves and their bodies.

Mimicry therefore causes the child to identify with an image outside of themselves, maybe a real image, or perhaps the image of another child.

By identifying with an image outside of self, I can do things not possible before. This is an “identification” with the other party.

This however results in a fundamental alienation, the “imaginary” is created where if the other child or image wants something, the child will desire it too, extending to other desires and feelings being shared. Lacan believed that the ego is constituted by this alienating identification, and that this is how narcissism develops in the individual.

This causes negative hallucination, with the ego appearing whole and complete, when actually it is anything but.

The ego, if allowed to maintain this illusion will create a false narrative based on the fiction.

Later Lacan developed the idea of the “ideal”, a perfect version of self based on internalised identifications, for example the demands or wishes of parents (implied, explicit or through absense). This identification with the “ideal” draws on the realm of the symbolic world, meant to give the person context and structure.

Meanwhile the narcissistic imaginary register Lacan developed earlier is now shown to depend on this symbolic origin. The image that people seek in a narcissistic desire is one to match the “ideal”.

From here develops the two terms “ego ideal”  and “ideal ego”. The second is the person you imagine yourself to be like, the first is the reason you want to be like them. If you fantasise about being a hero, the “ideal hero” is the hero, the “ego ideal” is the source of that desire.

Lacan eventually adds the category of the “real”, the self that “resists symbolism absolutely”.

“reality” therefore is a mixture of symbolic and imagination, and the real is excluded from our situation within imposed narrative, and not dominated by the internalised symbolic.

Lacan therefore comes up with the three registers – the real, the symbolic and the imaginary.

When working with clients I tend to simplify and integrate other models. I find it easier to conceptualise the ideal or desired archetype which represents the perfectionism desired, usually based on judgements from others. The imaginary can be summarised as the mirror we see in the eyes and behaviour of others as we emotionally associate with them, and the real is the core identity, the part of us which is “good enough”. This is not to reject the first two, rather to be self aware and empowered.

A useful text to dip into is “Lacan for beginners” Leader & Groves.

I  (Stuart)  use elements of a number of thinkers in psychoanalysis in my psychoanalysis and psychotherapy practices. Lacan is one such thinker,  often along with Jung and Klein.

Camley’s Cartoon: on ATOS quit | Herald Scotland
The frequently condemned firm carrying out health assessments for health and disability related benefits in parts of the UK lampooned in cartoon. For those who don’t know, their staff were frequently unqualified and a substantial percentage of decisions were successfully appealed. Meanwhile they caused ill and disabled people enormous stress and anxiety.

MedWire Mobile – Psychiatry – Cognitive deficits in bipolar patients ‘not homogenous’
Interesting research showing that although historically bipolar patients have been thought to have cognitive impairment, actually only one of three subgroups identified has significant impairment, and one is actually above average.

This fits generally with anecdotal observations I have made with high functioning clients in my psychoanalysis and psychotherapy practices in Edinburgh and Glasgow in particular.

Contacting us for psychoanalyis, hypnotherapy

Contacting us for psychoanalysis, hypnotherapy, counselling, CBT, Coaching, NLP Edinburgh Falkirk Glasgow

We may take slightly longer to respond to psychoanalysis, hypnotherapy, counselling, coaching, CBT, NLP, mindfulness enquiries from the 28th March to the 30th March.

Today (Friday 28th) I am off to clinic in Edinburgh in a few minutes to provide psychoanalysis and CBT support.

Tomorrow we are both in Glasgow at a seminar for CPD.

Sunday we will start getting back to email and contact form enquiries.

We appreciate your patience in the meantime! 🙂 🙂

Psychoanalysis and mental health topics

Psychoanalysis and Mental Health Topics

Over the coming weeks I intend to add multiple pages to the site, covering a range of mental health conditions and styles of therapy.

What psychoanalysis topics interest you?

If there are any mental health conditions, illnesses or psychological therapy issues you would like featured, please let me know. Either fill out the form, email me or add a comment on the site.

I will only comment on issues I feel qualified to talk about, however in other cases i may be able to suggest or signpost other sites.

What are your favourite therapies?

Currently I provide psychoanalysis, clinical hypnotherapy, integrative psychotherapy, eastern psychology, CBT, NLP, meditation and counselling (mainly couples, grief and stress counselling).  I also teach hypnotherapy and psychotherapy, having written 12 externally accredited level 3 and 4 awards, for which I do the practical training. (the awards are available as distance learning for existing therapists for CPD, or with practical training and supervision for new therapists).  Denise and I also have backgrounds in mental health support work, and Denise has trained in a range of complementary therapies from nutritional therapy and herbalism to crystal healing and Reiki. Therefore we have a fair bit of knowledge to draw on 🙂