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Thinking in cases: Interdisciplinary use of the case study method

3rd December 2018

Organised by University of Essex
Presenter Dr Jochem Willemsen is lecturer at the Department for Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies. His research on psychoanalysis, psychotherapy and forensic topics is published in international scientific journals. Additionally, he is the co-founder of the Single Case Archive (www.singlecasearchive.com). He has been working for years as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice.

Dr Julie Walsh is a Lecturer in Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies at the University of Essex, and a psychoanalyst in private practice. She is the author of Narcissism and Its Discontents (Palgrave, 2014), and co-editor of Narcissism, Melancholia and the Subject of Community (Palgrave, 2017), and Shame and Modern Writing (Routledge, 2018).

Date 03/12/2018
Venue Studio A, 2nd Floor, The Tavistock Centre,120 Belsize Lane, London
Map View in Google Maps  (NW3 5BA)
Contact [email protected]
01206 873077
Description John Forrester proposed a new reasoning style for the sciences: thinking in cases. As science proceeds by making particular observations, he argues, when and why are we allowed to derive knowledge from these observations? In this one-day course, experienced clinician/researchers will teach you a number of interdisciplinary approaches to psychoanalytic single cases.

Morning seminar by Jochem Willemsen: Thinking in cases as a reasoning style

In this seminar we will explore the case study as a unique way to produce and disseminate knowledge. We will review definitions of the case study from a social science, philosophy and psychoanalytic perspective, and we will differentiate thinking in cases from other epistemic genres. We will discover that there are different ways to think in cases, depending on whether one considers the case as a (proto)type, as an example, or as part of a population.

Afternoon seminar by Julie Walsh: Making the Literary Case for the Psychoanalytic Case-Study

In this seminar we will be considering some of the more literary and dramaturgical aspects of case-study reading and writing. We will pose a series of critical questions regarding the creation of a narrative account of a single case. We will also examine an extract from a case-study published in 1973 by Robert J Stoller (Splitting: A Case of Female Masculinity) to focus our attention on how we define the subject of the psychoanalytic case studyor, putting it differently, to pose the question who or what is the so-called ‘case’? 

This is the first of three day-long seminars in a series run by the Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic studies Department of the University of Essex. The course takes place at the Tavistock Centre in London.


Level Intermediate (some prior knowledge)
Cost £100 per participant
Website and registration
Region East of England


3rd December 2018
Event Category:
NINE DTP - a collaborative partnership funded by the ESRC