MA Public Opinion and Political Behaviour
BA Psychodynamic Practice options

Year 2, Component 06

Option(s) from list
Care, Intimacy, Vulnerability: an Introduction to Psychosocial Theory

This second-year undergraduate module provides a grounding in theories of the psychosocial with a special focus on care, dependence, intimacy, and vulnerability. It enables you to critically engage with a range of theoretical approaches from psychoanalysis, sociology, critical theory, postcolonial and decolonial theory. Using ‘care, intimacy and vulnerability’ as its main pillars encourages you to reflect on practices of care, being card for and caring for others, as well as how these phenomena intersect with social and clinical processes. The module encourages you to engage with academic debates in a robust way and strengthen your reflexivity by enabling you to explore your own lived experiences of care. It is suitable for you wishing to work with people in various professional roles such as psychotherapy and mental health, social policy and research, human resources, education, and management. The module tallies with the University’s ongoing commitment to tackling the under-representation of ethnic minority groups and follows the principles of a decolonial curriculum by incorporating scholarship from BAME scholars. Finally, in building a solid, decolonial curriculum, the module also promotes greater visibility and inclusion for BAME students. You may find some of the readings included in this curriculum challenging. Whenever possible readings from non-scholarly sources are included to enable you to engage with ideas written in more accessible ways. The readings will be discussed in the lecture and seminars. You are encouraged to engage with the readings as much as you can manage. Questions considered include: 1. What is care? What is intimacy? Are care and intimacy central to cultivating strong interpersonal relationships? 2. What circumstances and structures – social, political, and personal – enable the emergence of caring relationships? 3. In what ways and to what extent does care play a crucial role in the organisation of socio-cultural and psychic life? 4. At a time of increasing alienation and loneliness, how can we reclaim meaningful, intimate relationships?

Trauma and Recovery: A Psychodynamic Approach

What place does trauma have within psychoanalytic thinking? What impact does loss have on children? Or on adolescents and adults? Explore human development and organisational dynamics by studying themes of child abuse, deprivation, loss and trauma. Understand the implications for organisations working with traumatised people.

Psychoanalysis and Literature

This module explored a wide range of children’s fiction, both written for children and about children. You read and analyse popular children’s literature from ‘Where the Wild Things are’ to ‘Matilda’. You will build your knowledge of how the perceptions of childhood have changed over the last century and the types of ideals being projected onto the world of children through literature.

Developmental Trauma, Autism and ADHD

Study a range of difficulties encountered by some children, such as developmental trauma, autism and ADHD. Learn how these can impact on children’s development and increase your knowledge of the strategies that have been developed to try and improve their situation.

The Social History of Childhood

Consider the ways in which childhood has changed throughout history. In this module you will explore how the concept of childhood has developed particularly from eighteenth century onwards. This module covers a variety of aspects including religion, education, rights and policies, culture, gender and sexuality.

Refugee Voices and Narratives

This module will introduce you to a wide and diverse range of refugee narratives presented through song, poetry, stories, art, drama, film, photography, autobiography, oral history, and charity sector, media and political reports. You will explore the complexity and uniqueness of these narratives, gaining understanding of different factors potentially influencing the construction and interpretation of narratives. People may seek to narrate their own stories, speak for themselves and give their own accounts of personal lived refugee experiences. You will reflect upon the challenges people may encounter in communication personal refugee experiences to others and consider the extent to which first person accounts may be said to belong to those who give them. The terms ‘refugee’ and ‘asylum seeker’ are used in particular ways in legal discourse, but the way they are used in different types of public discourse varies greatly. You will develop critical insight into how and why stereotypical ideas about people seeking refugee arise, and furthermore the ability to question and challenge stereotypical ideas. You will gain an appreciation of the complex, diverse, messy lived experiences of those who seek refuge and come to recognise that whilst there may be elements of suffering and disorientation, not everyone who seeks refuge is traumatised by their experiences. Indeed, whilst those seeking refuge may experience human rights violations, at times they may experience resourcefulness, creativity, liberation, growth and joy. You will reflect on people’s experiences of being labelled an ‘asylum seeker’ or ‘refugee’, deepening their understanding of the complex psychosocial reasons why such labels may sometimes be embraced, at other times rejected and of the dynamic, fluid nature of refugee experience. The module will examine concepts of ‘voice’, ‘representation’ and ‘power’, considering who may secure spaces to present refugee narratives and who may pay these presented narratives any attention.

Dream, Myth, and Magic

In this module, you’ll explore three interrelated phenomena – dream, myth, and magic – that emerge at the intersection of the conscious and unconscious mind. Each was deeply involved, explicitly or implicitly, in the development of depth psychology, and each continues to be a site of reflection and controversy within the field.

Psychoanalytic Theory: Freud and Object Relations

Following your first year modules, this module will build on Freudian theory and introduce more advanced topics. You will explore the work of Melanie Klein and the British Object Relations School of psychoanalysis and learn how they have used and interpreted Freudian concepts.

Psychoanalysis and the Child

In this module we examine some of the developments in psychoanalytic theory with a special focus on the figure of the child. We consider some of the debates surrounding the development of psychoanalysis of children through the work of Melanie Klein, D. W. Winnicott, Anna Freud, amongst others. We pay attention to the importance of play and practices of observation to understand how and why the figure of the child has been central to the development of psychoanalytic thought.

Lacanian psychoanalysis

This module explores the work of French psychoanalyst Jacques Lacan. Lacan made links between psychoanalysis and linguistics, anthropology, literature and philosophy. What we consider to be our most intimate features, such as self-image, desire and phantasy, are in fact constituted by something outside and beyond ourselves – the ‘symbolic’ law of language and society. You will learn about Lacan’s theory of the ‘mirror phase’, our constitution through others, and the importance of being a speaking being.

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