2023 | Wolf-Man Reading Seminar


One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Lacanian orientation to psychoanalysis is the injunction that the psychoanalytic clinic needs to meet the subjectivity of the times and places where it is being practiced. To say this in a more commonplace way, the clinical practice of psychoanalysis needs to remain loyal to its principles while also managing to adapt as a response to the unbearable real that is present in the symptoms of people who seek out psychoanalysis in the here and now. To grapple with the tension between the principles of psychoanalysis and the demands of contemporary life, it is important to examine the psychoanalytic clinic as it has constituted itself from Freud through Lacan and Miller. The purpose of this reading seminar will be:
  • To develop an understanding of a particular case that Freud treated.
  • To distinguish the urgency within this case and the ways that Freud responded to this urgency.
  • To extract the principles of psychoanalysis, which this case can demonstrate.
  • And to determine what this case has to offer those of us who are practicing now.


The seminar will meet in person at my home on the first Saturday of the month. (The seminar is invite only! If you need info about getting an invite please email me.) Here is the proposed schedule for the seminar this year.

Each session of the seminar will look at one of the nine chapters of the published case study. If there is still interest in continuing to examine the case after these nine meetings, we can look into some of the other documents that pertain to the case.


Changes to the schedule may need to be made because of weather and life events. I’ll be sure to update the schedule here, and on our slack group anytime a change is made.

  • 1/21 I. Introductory Remarks
  • 2/4 II. General Survey of the Patient’s Environmental and the History of the Case
  • 3/4 III. The Seduction and Its immediate Consequences
  • 4/1 IV The Dream and the Primal Scene
  • 5/6 V. A few Discussions
  • 6/3 VI. The Obsessional Neurosis
  • 7/1 VII. Anal Erotism and the Castration Complex
  • 8/5 VIII. Fresh Material from the Primal Period — Solution
  • 9/2 IV. Recapitulations and Problems


The only essential text is From the History of an Infantile Neurosis (AKA the Wolf-Man case). You can get this many different places, and I don’t think it will matter which version you get.

Some other texts I will refer to during the seminar will be:

I’ve chosen these texts because they are relatively easy to get (all are available on Amazon).