Mr Leslie Chapman

Research project: Traumatic neurosis revisited: drive-jouissance and the accidents of life


My basic thesis is that psychical trauma is brought about by the breakdown of the regulation of drive-jouissance in particular subjects, which in turn is due to the overwhelming impact of specific ‘life-events' (‘accidents of life'). This idea is based upon a Lacanian reading of Freud's theory of the traumatic neuroses, which, I argue, is currently lacking in the mainstream Lacanian literature. The thesis does not contradict the more established Lacanian concept of an ‘inaugural trauma' that constitutes the human subject but rather enhances it by utilising a number of key additional concepts; most notably, Freud's theory of the drive and its Lacanian ‘deconstruction'; Miller's theory of the ‘sutured' subject, which is a ‘stand-in' for the subject of the Real; and Freud's theory of Nachträglichkeit.

  • Research degree: PhD
  • Title of project: Traumatic neurosis revisited: drive-jouissance and the accidents of life
  • Research supervisor: Professor Peter Hallward


My background is in mental health, with particular experience of working with psychosis.  Having worked as a Lacanian analyst in private practice since 2005 I now wish to explore the more theoretical dimensions of Lacan's work using trauma and Nachträglichkeit as the main focus. Throughout my clinical work I have always had a particular interest in trauma, and how it links other Lacanian and Freudian ideas. 

Areas of research interest

  • The 'later' Lacan
  • Freud's concept of Nachträglichkeit
  • Trauma
  • Ideology and discourse
  • Psychosis
  • Politics, culture and psychoanalysis
  • Theories of history
  • Theology and psychoanalysis


  • BA (Hons) Applied Social Science, Kingston Polytechnic
  • MSc Sociology, Southbank University


Chapman, L (2020) 'The Dream of the Great War', Journal for Cultural Studies, 25, 2

Chapman, L. (2012), ‘Evidence Based Practice, Talking Therapies and the New Taylorism'. Psychotherapy and Politics International, 10: 33-44

Chapman, L. (2012, February) 'Stress in the City', Therapy Today, 23, 1  Available at

Chapman, L.  (2008) ‘How does "the State" regulate?'  In Parker, I. (2008). Psychoanalytic Practice and State Regulation. London: Routledge.

Conference papers

Psychoanalysis and State Regulation Conference, London, 2006.  Paper: Psychoanalysis: part of the problem or the solution?

Psychotherapy and Liberation Conference, London, 2008.  Paper: Is the Personal Political?

Psychotherapy and Politics Conference, Glasgow, 2009.  Paper: Rethinking the ‘Political'