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Reading Lacan: The Direction of Psychoanalytic Treatment

Hobrechtstrasse 66 Berlin, 12047


Based on Jacques Lacan’s theory, the desire of the analyst is the driving force of the psychoanalytic treatment. But what does the analyst desire? And, in this sense, how does this desire direct the psychoanalytic treatment? These questions will be tackled in this part of our reading seminar on Lacan's “The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of Its Power”, Écrits, 2006.

Following the death of Sigmund Freud (1939), a growing chasm was already dividing the psychoanalytic community of the mid 20th century. Each faction, with its elected leaders, attested to different perspectives as to the nature of psychoanalysis, its relevance to Freud’s work and the paths one is to follow in the development of the treatment.

In the midst of this heated debate, Jacques Lacan presented his paper, “The Direction of the Treatment and the Principles of Its Power” (1958). Considered to be one of Lacan’s most straightforwardly written pieces, “The Direction of the Treatment” is a self-contained text that clarifies many of the themes presented in his seminars at the time (4-6). It is delivered as an intervention which defines Lacan’s position on the practicalities of psychoanalysis and explores several themes such as the function of interpretation, the power of transference, and the role of language, setting the bar for his ethics of psychoanalysis, that adheres to Freud’s edifice.

Together we will try to understand what the analyst does with their being and why it is so important to preserve their desire on the level of the "lack-of-being."


The reading of Lacan is done together as a group and is facilitated by Leon Brenner. No prior reading is required before our gatherings. We read the text slowly, trying to delve into each paragraph, deciphering Lacan's unique style and extracting very straightforward and non-metaphorical ideas. Other than learning about the psychoanalysis of Lacan, we will also be learning how to read Lacan—a challenge in itself. Make sure to come with a receptive and light-hearted mood—the goal is to enjoy this reading together (if we want to). Reading material will be provided in each session.

Guided reading sessions will be held every Tuesday, 19:00 – 20:30h. Tuesday, March 3, will be skipped and March 10 added instead. 



Leon Brenner, PhD, is a teacher and a scholar specializing in the fields of Lacanian psychoanalysis, contemporary French philosophy and autism theory. Brenner has graduated with the highest honour a B.A and M.A in Psychology and Philosophy. His doctoral dissertation concerns the subject of autism in philosophy and is entitled, The Autistic Subject: On the Threshold of Language. Brenner has received two excellence awards as a junior university teacher. He is currently engaged in several scholarly and artistic projects in Berlin and is a resident instructor at Stillpoint Spaces Berlin.

More of Leon Brenner in his blog:


Free for Lab Members

The Lacan Guided Reading Group is free or Lab Members of Stillpoint Spaces Berlin. To become a Member, please send us an e-mail at, and read more about benefits on our website, as well as follow our social media for announcements.

Payment Options for Non-Members

There are two options for ticket purchasing:

- A ticket for four sessions - 20€ (5€ each, for students and non-students). These can be used at any time.

- A single attendance - 7€ (for students and non-students).


The entrance to The Lab of Stillpoint Spaces Berlin is directly from the street Hobrechtstraße 66 - front building, ground floor (Vorderhaus, EG). We kindly ask you to arrive at least 15 minutes before the official beginning of the reading group. Please, do not ring on any of the doorbells, as our colleagues might be having counselling sessions.



Please note that the views, opinions, and values expressed by presenters, participants, or any other individual in relation to this lecture are not necessarily those of Stillpoint Spaces Berlin. Our aim is to provide a respectful space for open dialogue between our presenters, facilitators, or workshop leaders and those who attend. If you would like to ask specific questions or provide feedback for any presenters please contact us at

Collage Artwork by Jorge Chamorro

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