working with free association – three seminars

( bpf members only)

this course will be re-advertised in 2022

  • New dates to be confirmed
  • The Committee Room, 37 Mapesbury Road, NW2 4HJ

A series of three seminars exploring theoretical and technical aspects of working with free association and how these ideas can be applied to a detailed examination of a clinical session.

who is it for

This course is intended for all qualified bpf members.

course content

In the first part of each seminar we shall explore theoretical and technical aspects of working with free association. We shall then apply these ideas to a detailed examination of a clinical session.

seminar 1

  • Models of the unconscious and their technical implications
  • Freud’s instructions to patient and analyst 
  • Unconscious complexity

seminar 2

  • Facilitating free association
  • Forms of resistance in the patient
  • Analytic pitfalls

seminar 3

  • The nature of unconscious communication
  • Analytic listening
  • The analyst’s associations


seminar leader

Sarah Nettleton is a BPA psychoanalyst in private practice in London. Originally she studied music, working for many years as a piano accompanist, and for her Master's dissertation at the Tavistock Clinic she wrote on the psychodynamics of musical giftedness. Her other writings include papers on Schubert's song cycle Winterreise, the effects of sound and voice in Beckett, and the relationship between voice, creativity and metaphor. For the past 15 years she has specialised in the work of Christopher Bollas, giving lectures and seminars on his work extensively in the UK and in Norway, Israel, France, America, Turkey, Mexico, Germany, Ukraine and India. Her book 'The Metapsychology of Christopher Bollas: An Introduction' was published by Routledge in 2016.


Three Saturdays 2.30pm -  6.00pm


  • 25th January 
  • 1st February 
  • 29th February 


entry requirements

All participants must be qualified bpf members.



Please note that the bpf will not be held responsible for travel/hotel expenses made or incurred in the unlikely event of this course either being cancelled or postponed. See our cancellation and refund policies for more information.

how to apply

this course is now fully booked


Currently there are no resources available for this course.

access information

The building has limited access. Please contact us to find out more and to discuss your needs on 0208 452 9823 or at [email protected]

contact us

If you have any questions about this short course, please contact Cathie Moore at [email protected] or call us on 020 8452 9823.


The bpf is committed to diversity and inclusivity in all the work we deliver. We are fully dedicated to promoting, maintaining and supporting equality of opportunity in all aspects of our organisation and, as such, the bpf welcomes applications from all sections of society.