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COURSE EIGHT – Reading Lacan – Lacan’s Seminar XX: On Feminine Sexuality, the Limits of Love and Knowledge, Encore. 1972-73.

COURSE EIGHT - Reading Lacan - Lacan’s Seminar XX: On Feminine Sexuality, the Limits of Love and Knowledge, Encore. 1972-73.

Course Coordinator: Judith Hamilton

Seminar Leaders: Judith Hamilton, Carlos Rivas, Alireza Taheri

Thursday, 7:30 pm – 10:00 pm: March 12, 19, 26, April 2, 9, 2020 (5 evenings)

Fees: $300

Registration Deadline: March 2, 2020
Preregistration is required.


In this course, the leaders will present topics derived from a reading of Lacan’s Seminar XX. This Seminar is among the most cited and most read of Lacan’s work. It is dense and cryptic and requires much discussion. It concerns femininity, masculinity, the sexual relation, jouissance, love and knowledge. For example, woman would only enter into the sexual relation as “mother” and man depending on castration. Hence “there is no real sexual relation,” and love as well as speech make up for this absence. Whereas both the masculine and the feminine experience phallic jouissance, the feminine has as well a supplementary jouissance about which she can say very little. Love is at once the “ignorance of desire”, the insignia of narcissism, a fundamental passion of the soul, the encounter of two desires as well as a kind of symbolic suicide. Regarding knowledge, “the unconscious is not the fact that being thinks” – though that is what is implied by what is said thereof in traditional science – “the unconscious is the fact that being, by speaking, enjoys, and…wants to know nothing more about it.” Finally it was in this seminar that Lacan first played with pieces of string, developed the concept of the Borromean knot and spoke of Saint Paul, Freud, Aristotle and Christianity.

Reading material will be supplied, although it is recommended that participants obtain a copy of Lacan’s Seminar XX.

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the course:

  1. Participants will be familiar with terms, concepts and their uses that Lacan introduced in Seminar XX.
  2. Participants will have learned about interventions in treatments implied by the material of this seminar.
  3. Participants will have learned about Lacanian techniques as they are used in various clinical settings and populations.
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Judith Hamilton, MD, FRCP

Judith Hamilton, MD, FRCP (Psych) Psychiatrist/Psychoanalyst in Private Practice. She teaches in the ATPPP and in the Extension Program of the TPS. She is a co-founder of Lacan Toronto. Faculty TPS&I.

Carlos Rivas, RP

Carlos Rivas, RP, studied psychology, philosophy and social sciences in Venezuela. He trained in Gestalt Therapy, Hypnotherapy, Motivational Interviewing, Focusing, and EMDR, and in 2005 was the recipient of the Venezuelan National Award for Research in Psychotherapy. He has a private practice in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Member of Lacan Toronto; Guest of the TPS.

Alireza Taheri, PhD, RP

Alireza Taheri, PhD, RP, wrote his dissertation for the University of Cambridge on Nietzsche, Freud and Lacan. He also holds an MA in philosophy from Essex and an MSc in psychoanalytic thought from University College London. He has done psychoanalytic work in London (UK). He works in private practice in Toronto. Candidate at TIP.

The Extension Courses are eligible for Section 1 CME credits (0.5 credits/hour).

Full-time students in universities and colleges, and mental-health trainees are eligible for a 25% reduction in course fees. Proof of 2019/2020 status needs to be provided. Please contact the tps&i directly to register at a discount. Refunds must be requested in writing two weeks prior to the beginning of a course. A handling fee of $30 will be retained. After these two weeks, fees cannot be returned.

** Distance Participation – Priority will be given to those outside Metro Toronto area.

For more information about and for registration in the tps&i Extension Programs, Scientific Meetings, Training Programs, Study and Supervision groups and Special Presentations, please visit our website: or email

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