4th European psychoanalytic conference for University students (EPCUS)

Fear and anxiety: psychoanalytic perspectives

03/10/2019 › 05/10/2019

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For all students and recent graduates in psychology, medicine and other fields who want to know more about psychoanalytic perspectives on fear and anxiety.

A 3-day trip through many aspects of this theme in development from infanthood to adult life, in individuals, in relations, and in society.

Full of presentations, clinical examples, film and discussion.

In one of the most interesting cities of Europe: Brussels.


FEAR AND ANXIETY: psychoanalytic perspectives

‘Auntie, speak to me! I’m frightened because it’s so dark.’ His aunt answered him: ‘What good would that do? You can’t see me.’ ‘That doesn’t matter,’ replied the child, ‘if anyone speaks, it gets light.’

S. Freud (1905)


This year, the theme of the European psychoanalytic conference for University students (EPCUS) is Fear and Anxiety. It is a classical and central psychoanalytic theme, but also the one so present today in everyday discourse, in notions about our “dark times”, in almost every consideration of the future as well. Speaking about it becomes inevitable.

The EPCUS is already a well-known event. This project of the European Psychoanalytical Federation (EPF) is devoted to students and recent graduates in psychology, medicine, and humanities. It provides the unique opportunity for the participants to approach the psychoanalytic way of thinking by listening to prominent psychoanalysts of today, by meeting colleagues and forming networks, thus gaining perspectives into various aspects of professional development. Three previous conferences were a great success, with a distinct atmosphere of learning, exchange and enthusiasm.

We will deal with the meaning and difference of the concepts of fear and anxiety in the theories of Freud, Melanie Klein, and Winnicott; in clinical work and in socio-political context. Overdetermination and a link to temporality will also be explored, with an attempt to clarify multiple notions from various levels including: ‘automatic anxiety’, ‘signal anxiety’, ‘fear of breakdown’, ‘paranoid-schizoid anxiety and depressive anxiety’, ‘nameless dread’, ‘states of panic’…




Thursday, October 3rd 2019

18:00               Arrival and Registration

18:30               Welcome address

18.45               Introduction to the theme, from Freud to present-day

by Alex Janssen, Jasminka Šuljagić and Martin Teising

20:30               Reception and get-together with drinks and food


Friday, October 4th 2019

09:30-11:00     Lecture – Thoughts on Fear and Love in the theory of Melanie Klein

by Jasminka Šuljagić

11:00-11:15     Coffee break

11:15-12:45     Lecture – Society in the mind. Anxiety in ethnocultural transference and

countertransference by Wouter Gomperts

13:15-14:15     Lunch

14:15-15:45     Discussion in small groups

15:45-17:15     Lecture – Conscious and unconscious fears in the analyst and defences against them by Bernard Reith

17:15-17:30     Coffee break

17:30-20:00     Lecture with filmclips – Between abyss and trap. Hitchcock and anxiety

by Ralf Zwiebel


Saturday, October 5th 2019

09:30-11:00     Lecture – The riddle of anxiety: Between the familiar and the unfamiliar
by Rosine Perelberg

11:00-11.15     Coffee break

11:15-12:45     Lecture – “Out of the Blue….!”, Panic and Panic Attacks
by Christina Gesser-Werning

13:15-14:15     Lunch

14:15-15:45     Lecture – The Frankenstein Complex: on birth terrors
by Jan Abram

15:45-17:00     Discussion in small groups

17:00-18:00     Coffee break, information on training, closing remarks




Jan Abram PhD is a training and supervising psychoanalyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society. She is Visiting Professor at University College London. She is the author of ‘The Language of Winnicott’ (1st edition 1996; 2nd edition 2007), editor of ‘Donald Winnicott Today’. For more details go to Authors and Theorists at psychoanalysis.org.uk

Christina Gesser-Werning, qualified in psychology. She is a member of the Psychoanalytische Arbeitsgemeinschaft Stuttgart/Tübingen, the German Psychoanalytical Association (DPV). She practises as psychoanalyst in private practice in Tübingen.

Wouter Gomperts PhD is a training and supervising psychoanalyst and director of training of the Dutch Psychoanalytical Society and supervisor of the Dutch Society for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. He was assistant professor at the Department of Clinical Psychology at the University of Amsterdam (1979–2016). He works in private practice in Amsterdam.

Alexander Janssen, training and supervising psychoanalyst and past-president of the Dutch Psychoanalytical Society. Works in private practice in Amsterdam and Amersfoort. Executive functions in Psychoanalytic organizations in Europe and worldwide, the IPA.

Rosine Jozef Perelberg PhD is a training Analyst and President Elect of the British Psychoanalytical Society, Visiting Professor in the Psychoanalysis Unit at University College London. Previously she did a PhD in Social Anthropology. She has published widely in journals and has written and edited 11 books. She works in London in private practice.

Jasminka Šuljagić, training and supervising psychoanalyst of the Psychoanalytical Society of Serbia, former president of this Society. Works in private practice in Belgrade. Member and chair of the EPF Ad Hoc Institutional Matters Group. Publications about infantile sexuality, aesthetic concepts, psychoanalytical organisations.

Bernard Reith PhD is Training Analyst and President of the Swiss Psychoanalytical Society. Works in Private practice in Geneva. He is past Chair of the Working Party on Initiating Psychoanalysis (WPIP) of the European Psychoanalytical Federation. He has edited and published two books on Initiating Psychoanalysis.

Martin Teising PhD, MD, training analyst of the German Psychoanalytical Association (DPV), 2010-2012 President of the DPV. 2012-2018 President of the International Psychoanalytic University Berlin. Since 2015 European Representative at the International Psychoanalytical Association-Board. Many publications.

Ralf Zwiebel MD, training psychoanalyst (German Psychoanalytical Association, IPA), former professor of psychoanalytic psychology at University of Kassel. Special interest: clinical theory, film psychoanalysis, buddhism and psychoanalysis. Works in private practice.



This conference is of interest for university students and recent graduates, especially in medicine, psychology and other cultural or language sciences.

All presentations will be held in English.

The conference is held from Thursday October 3rd – till Saturday October 5th, 2019.  Costs Euro 35.

Address: EPF Centre, Rue Gérard 35, Brussels, Belgium

For further information, please contact Frank Goderniaux: frank.goderniaux@epf-fep.eu, Jasminka Šuljagić: jasminkasuljagic@gmail.com, Alex Janssen: a.m.janssen@xs4all.nl, or Martin Teising: teising@t-online.de

This event is published in detail also on the website of the European Psychoanalytical Federation (EPF).