Personal Agency in Development and Treatment: Freud's Consultation with ML

Course summary

Personal Agency in Development and Treatment: Freud's Consultation with ML


What can 21st Century therapists learn from Freud’s consultation with Margarethe Lutz (ML)?

We will look at how to work psychodynamically, drawing on the past and the present. Part one of our day looks at how therapists can develop personal agency in their work, when working with trauma.  Part two looks back to a recently discovered account of a one-session consultation between Freud and Margarethe Lutz. The workshop will include in vivo demonstrations and case material from recorded sessions.

Programme details

Personal Agency in Development and Treatment: Freud’s consultation with ML and what Twenty-first Century Therapists can learn from it.


9.45am        Registration
10.00am     Morning programme
11.15am       Break for coffee / tea
11.45am      Morning programme contd
1.00pm       Lunch
2.00pm      Afternoon programme
3.15pm       Break for tea / coffee
3.45pm      Afternoon programme contd
5.00pm     Course disperses


Morning Programme:


The Resurrection of Agency from the Ashes of War: A Son as Therapist to his Father


The case:

“I've always felt that a crisis was necessary,” Kurt told his therapist. And he was having a crisis. Thirty-one years old, the ruins of failed relationships strewn about him, Kurt was drowning in an existential morass. Kurt had no idea what ailed him, nor how to rescue himself.


The Therapy:

Kurt’s treatment, and the dramatic discovery Kurt made, will be presented through audio excerpts from recorded sessions, used with permission.


The Workshop:

In this workshop we will examine how agency is created in moment to moment interactions during development; the impact of trauma in stifling agency; and the way frozen pathways to agency may be unlocked in psychotherapy.


Afternoon Programme: 


“Those 45 minutes completely changed my life!” Freud’s consultation with ML (and what Twenty-first Century therapists can learn from it

“Those 45 minutes completely changed my life!” So said 88 year old Margarethe Lutz, an Austrian artist and sculptress. She was talking about her single session with Sigmund Freud 70 years before, in 1936, when she was just 18 years old. The astonishing account of one session with Freud had never been previously published or discussed in the psychoanalytic literature.


Margarethe’s description of her meeting shows us a Freud working in a way that we almost never hear about, far different than the common idea of how psychoanalysis or psychotherapy is supposed to happen. Most important, this case shows us in a powerful way what can happen in even one meeting when two minds meet and touch, and create an experience of agency.


Case by Prof. Sigmund Freud and Margarethe Lutz

Discussion with Jonathan H. Slavin, Ph.D., ABPP, Alistair Ross PhD, MBACP, Miki Rahmani, M.A. and Workshop Participants





Accommodation is not included in the price, but depending on availability it may be possible to stay at Rewley House on Friday and / or Saturday night.  Please contact our Residential Centre on +44 (0) 1865 270362 or email  for details of availability and prices.


Accommodation in Rewley House - all bedrooms are modern, comfortably furnished and each room has tea and coffee making facilities, Freeview television, and Free WiFi and private bath or shower rooms.




Alumni 10% Discount: £0.00
Friends of RH 10% Discount: £0.00
Student 50% Discount: £0.00
Summer school 10% discount: £0.00
Tuition (includes coffee/tea): £66.50


If you are in receipt of a state benefit you may be eligible for a reduction of 50% of tuition fees.

If you do not qualify for the concessionary fee but are experiencing financial hardship, you may still be eligible for financial assistance.

Concessionary fees for short courses


Dr Jonathan Slavin

Course Tutor

Jonathan H. Slavin, Ph.D., ABPP, is Clinical Instructor in Psychology, Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School; Adjunct Clinical Professor, Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy & Psychoanalysis, New York University; Founding Director, Tufts University Counseling Center (1970–2006); Former President of the Division of Psychoanalysis (39), American Psychological Association; and Founding President, Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis. Dr. Slavin's published work has focused on fundamental experiential elements in the therapy relationship including love, sexuality, desire, truthfulness, and personal agency, and their role in the repair of the mind.

Miriam Yerushalmy

Course Tutor

Miki Rahmani, M.A., is Chief Psychologist, South Jerusalem Mental Health Center, and Faculty Emerita, School of Education, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel. In more than 35 years of clinical teaching and consulting she has taught annual courses, seminars, and workshops on the supervisory relationship, the supervisory process in clinical work and in education, and on the treatment process.

Dr Alistair Ross

Director of Studies

Alistair Ross is a BACP senior accredited counsellor and supervisor and was Chair of BACP’s Professional, Ethics and Quality Standards Committee.  He is an accredited Baptist minister, on the editorial board of Practical Theology and an international board member of the Society for the Exploration of Psychoanalytic Therapies and Theology (SEPTT).  He is Dean and Fellow of Kellogg College, Oxford and an associate member of the theology faculty in Oxford.