Online Courses

woman taking online courses
Course Details
Price $49.00

Jacques Lacan: Introductory Overview (4 CE Credits)

Jacques Lacan continues to be a provocative figure in psychoanalysis, particularly in the United States.  His thinking continued to evolve throughout his prolific career, from his first publication in 1932 until his death in 1981.  Learn about his basic concepts.     

Course Objectives

This introductory level course is designed to help the participant:

  • Become familiar with the historical context of Jacques Lacan’s work and the underpinnings of the controversy surrounding his work;
  • Describe Lacan’s Register Theory and the evolution of the theory, as it focused first on the Imaginary, next on the Symbolic, and finally on the Real;
  • Describe his Mirror Stage and his distinction between “ego” and “subject;”
  • Apply his conceptualizations of “otherness,” as “other” applies to the Imaginary ego and as “Other” applies to the Symbolic and the Real;
  • Apply the Imaginary, the Symbolic, and the Real registers to his understanding of the Oedipus Complex; and
  • Describe his conceptualizations of need, demand, and desire.

Product Description

Jacques Lacan: Introductory Overview

Jacques LacanJacques Lacan is an important figure in the history of psychoanalysis and continues to be an influential force in many other fields as well, including philosophy, art, and literature.  Sometimes referred to as the French Freud, Jacques Lacan saw himself as a fierce defender of Sigmund Freud’s work.  He met with controversy throughout his life, as he took issue with the direction of Anglo-American psychoanalysis and with the ways in which Freud’s constructs were interpreted by others.  Despite being ostracized at various times by much of the psychoanalytic community, he developed a strong interdisciplinary following of philosophers, artists, and literary scholars, and remained a prolific writer and lecturer throughout his 50-year career.

Jacques Lacan’s thinking continued to evolve throughout his life, from his first publication in 1932 until his death in 1981.  His concepts and writings are infamous for their complexity and elusiveness.  The foundation of this course is an article that presents an excellent introductory overview of many of his basic concepts, as they evolved through his work.



The article is authored by Adrian Johnston, PhD.  Dr. Johnston is a faculty member at the Emory Psychoanalytic Institute in Atlanta and Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at the University of New Mexico at Albuquerque.  He has authored numerous publications, including a recent book, Irrepressible Truth:  On Lacan’s “The Freudian Thing” (Palgrave Macmillan, 2017).  


Course Format

This course consists of reading an article published about Jacques Lacan and his work.  The article presents an excellent introductory overview of many of Lacan’s basic concepts, and enough time has been allotted to review the article more than once, so as to begin a mastery of the complex concepts.  After reading the article, access an online multiple choice test on this site.  As with all of our courses, the test may be taken an unlimited number of times until mastery (score of 75% or higher).  A Certificate of Completion will immediately follow passage of the test. 

The article is “Jacques Lacan,” by Dr. Adrian Johnston (The Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy [Winter 2016 Edition], Edward N. Zalta (ed.), URL = <>) and is available to members of the Friends of the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy Society (SEPS).  Membership in SEPS is open to everyone and costs a nominal fee of $10 or less per year.  Join the organization to access the article.

Introductory level (although Lacan’s concepts are complex).  This course may be applied to our Certificate in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy if desired.  4 CE credits.  $49.

Subscribe to
Our Newsletter

Connect With Us