Getting to the Heart of life

Getting to the Heart of life: The Mindful Evolution of Psychoanalytic Thought

Fall Semester
Gideon Lev, Ph.D.
Office Hours:


Short Description: 

What is a worthy human life? Why is it often so difficult to realize? And how can the obstacles to psychic freedom and prosperity be removed? In the last century, these immortal questions have been addressed by the newly formed discipline of psychoanalysis, which has thus established itself at the intersection of philosophy, science, art and theology – the areas of thought that have traditionally dealt with such questions. Psychoanalytic language has consequently become deeply ingrained within Western culture, and yet the theory and practice of psychoanalysis remain for many enigmatic and poorly understood. This course situates psychoanalytic thinking in cultural and historical context and traces its evolution – from Freud’s pioneering work to recent revisions such as Relational or Spiritually-sensitive theories. Drawing on seminal texts as well as clinical material, the course examines key psychoanalytic ideas regarding dreams, drives, self and sexuality, which accumulate to comprise one of the most profound attempts ever made to unravel the mystery of human psyche, emotion and behaviour.



Two response papers (20% of final grade)

Final paper, 6 to 8 pages (70%)

Participation (10%)



Attendance is mandatory. Students are permitted a maximum of three unexcused absences without penalty. Any additional absences will affect the final grade and may result in failure of the course.


Academic conduct:

Plagiarism is taken extremely seriously. Any instance of academic misconduct which includes: submitting someone else’s work as your own; failure to accurately cite sources; taking words from another source without using quotation marks; submission of work for which you have previously received credit; working in a group for individual assignments; using unauthorized materials in an exam and sharing your work with other students, will result in failure of the assignment and will likely lead to further disciplinary measures.


Additional requirements:

Phones are to be turned-off while in class.


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