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.  His theory is relevant to a growing body of contemporary research in neuroscience, the development language, and concepts of self and identity.      


Course Objectives

As a result of this learning activity, the participant will be able to:

  • describe the historical context of Jacques Lacan’s work and the work’s controversy,
  • describe the evolution of Lacan’s Register Theory of the Real, the Imaginary, and the Symbolic,
  • describe Lacan’s Mirror Stage and his distinction between “ego” and “subject,”
  • describe Lacan’s conceptualizations of “otherness,”
  • describe Lacan’s understanding of the Oedipus Complex,
  • describe Lacan’s differentiation between need, demand, and desire, and
  • apply Lacan’s theory to clinical work with psychotherapy clients.


Course Content and Details


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.


Author and Instructor

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).  

The article was selected by Michael J. Gerson, PhD (Instructor).  Dr. Gerson is a licensed psychologist, psychoanalyst, and marriage and family therapist. He is a core faculty member in the Graduate School of Psychology at California Lutheran University and active clinician. He has been training other clinicians for over 30 years, both in his private practice, in community counseling centers, and in graduate programs. His own work with clients has been deepened by his knowledge of Lacan’s theory.


Program Information


Conflicts of Interest or Commercial Support

There is no commercial support or other potential conflicts of interest for this program, presentation, or instructor.


Commitment to Diversity and Accessibility

We are committed to respecting diversity in all of its forms, including age, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race, ethnicity, culture, national origin, language, socioeconomic status, religion, and disability. We also strive to make all of our activities accessible to individuals with special needs or disabilities. Please contact the Director at if you ever have any questions or concerns regarding any of our programs.


Sources and Relevance

Our programs and teaching methods are supported by current, empirically-based scientific literature, and are designed to provide continuing education that is relevant to psychological practice, education, and/or research, so that psychologists may maintain and expand their ability to serve the public and contribute to the profession.


Target Audience

Our courses are designed for postdoctoral-level psychologists; this course is an intermediate-level course. All mental health professionals, educators, and researchers have a variety of educational backgrounds and needs—if you have any questions about whether this course could benefit you and/or would be appropriate for your level of training, please do not hesitate to contact us. You may contact the Director directly at with any questions or concerns.


Course Schedule

This course will be available to you 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so you will be able pace yourself in a manner that is comfortable for you.


Cost and Refund/Cancellation Policy

The cost of the course is noted below. There are no additional fees other than the nominal cost of accessing the journal article (please see below). Your satisfaction is important to us. If you are not satisfied with a course, please let us know immediately—we will cancel your order and gladly offer you a full refund.


Course Format Summary

This course consists of reading an article published about Jacques Lacan and his work.  The article presents an overview of many of Lacan’s basic concepts. His ideas are known to be challenging, so 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.

Intermediate level.  This course may be applied to the Certificate of Advanced Study in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy if desired.  4 CE credits.  $49.


Subscribe to
Our Newsletter

Connect With Us