jan abram

Jan Abram PhD
Training & Supervising Analyst
Vice-President for the European Psychoanalytic Federation
British Psychoanalytical Society (BPaS incorporating Institute of Psychoanalysis)
Member of the International Psychoanalytical Association


BPClink Instlink EPFlink


Jan Abram is a training and supervising analyst of the British Psychoanalytical Society; Visiting Professor, Psychoanalysis Unit, University College London; Visiting Lecturer, The Tavistock Clinic, London; Member of the International Psychoanalytic Association (IPA); Vice-President for the European Psychoanalytic Federation (EPF). She is in private practice in London.

Jan Abram’s institutional posts have included: Director, The Squiggle Foundation, (1996 – 2000); Honorary Archivist, The Winnicott Trust (2002 – 2011); Chair Scientific Committee, British Psychoanalytical Society (2013 – 2016); Visiting Professor, Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex and the Institute of Psychoanalysis (2013 – 2015); Visiting Professor, Graduate School of Education, University of Kyoto, Japan (2016). Chair of The Specificity of Psychoanalytic Treatment Through Inter-analytic Group Work (a research group of the EPF) (2016 – 2019).

Her current institutional posts include: Chair, Archives Committee, British Psychoanalytical Society; Progress Advisor, Student Progress Committee, British Psychoanalytical Society.

Jan Abram is author of The Language of Winnicott: a dictionary of Winnicott’s use of words Karnac Books (1996 1st edition; 2007 2nd edition) (Awarded Outstanding Academic Book of the Year 1997); editor of André Green at the Squiggle Foundation Winnicott Studies Monogram, Karnac Books (1st edition 2000; 2nd edition 2016); editor of Donald Winnicott Today New Library of Psychoanalysis, Routledge 2013 (Gradiva nominee 2013); co-author with R.D.Hinshelwood The Clinical Paradigms of Melanie Klein and Donald Winnicott: comparisons and dialogues Routledge 2018. She has published numerous articles, in English and French, and is currently preparing a collection of her papers – The surviving object: clinical essays on psychic survival for the New Library of Psychoanalysis, Routledge.


Books (authored and edited including translations)

Abram, J. (1992) Psychotherapy Trainings: a guide Free Association Books,
Abram, J. (1996) The Language of Winnicott: a dictionary of
Winnicott’s use of words (1st edition)
Karnac Books,
Abram, J. (1997) The Language of Winnicott: a dictionary and
guide to understanding his work (1st American edition) (Awarded Outstanding Academic Book of the Year)
Jason Aronson
Abram, J. (2000) Translated into Portuguese Ravinter,
Abram, J. (2001) Translated into French Editions Popesco
Abram, J. (2002) Translated into Italian Franco Angelini,
Abram, J. (2004) Translated into Japanese Seishin Shobo,
Abram, J. (2007) The Language of Winnicott: a dictionary of
Winnicott’s use of words (2nd edition)
Karnac Books,
Abram, J. (2013) Translated into Italian Franco Angelini,
Abram, J. (2014) Translated into Romanian Editura Fundatiei Generatia
Abram, J. Translations into Hebrew and Portuguese in progress
Abram, J.ed (2000) André Green at the Squiggle Foundation Karnac Books, London
Abram, J. (2000) Psycho/analytic psychotherapy trainings: a guide 2nd edition (with Richard Morgan-­‐Jones) Free Association Books,
Abram, J. ed (2013) Donald Winnicott Today New Library of Psycho-­Analysis Routledge, U.K. & U.S.A.
Abram, J. (2016) André Green at the Squiggle Foundation (2nd edition) Karnac Books, London
Abram, J. (2018)
& Hinshelwood, R.D.
The Clinical Paradigms of Melanie Klein and Donald Winnicott: comparisons and dialogues Karnac Books,

Books in preparation

Abram, J. The surviving object: clinical essays on psychic survival Routledge

Papers, reviews and chapters in books

Abram, J. (1998) Squiggles, clowns and Catherine wheels: violation of the self and its vicissitudes Natureza Humana,
Abram, J. (2003) Squiggles, clowns et soleils: réflexions sur le concept Winnicottien de ‘violoation du self’ Le Coq Heron 173 Eres,
Abram, J. (2005) L’objet qui survit (Alcorn, D. trans.) J de la psychoanal l’enfant
36: 139-­‐74 Paris: Bayard
Abram, J. (2007) L’objet qui ne survit pas: quelques réflexions sur les racines de la terreur (Houzel, D. trans.) J de la psychoanal l’enfant
39: 247-­‐70 Paris: Bayard
Abram, J. (2008) Donald Woods Winnicott (1896 – 1971): A brief introduction Int J Psychoanal
89: 1189-­‐1217
Abram, J. (2010) The squiggle game e publication
Inst of Psychoanalysis
Abram, J. (2010) On desire and female sexuality: some tentative reflections E.P.F. Bulletin 64
Abram, J. (2011) Foreword for Deprivation and Delinquency Routledge Classics
Abram, J. (2012) Review of Marion Milner’s
On not being able to paint & The hands of the living god
Int J Psychoanal
93: 1340-­‐1347
Abram, J. (2012) André Green: une sorte de Winnicott francais:
L’absence et le morceau de chocolat
Revue Belge de
Psychanalyse, 60
Abram, J. (2013) D.W.W.’s notes for the Vienna Congress:
A consideration of Winnicott’s theory of Aggression and an interpretation of the Clinical implications
Chapter 14 in
Donald Winnicott Today
Abram, J. (2013) On Winnicott’s area of formlessness: the pure Female element and the capacity to feel real E.P.F. Bulletin
Abram, J. (2013) On Winnicott’s clinical innovations in the analysis of adults Int J Psychoanal
93: 1461-­‐1473
Abram, J. (2014) De la communication et de la non-­‐communication: recherche d’un objet qui survivra (From communication and non communication: searching for an object who will survive) Revue Belge de
Psychanalyse, 64
Abram, J. (2014) Le mirroir inter-­‐analytique: son role dans la Reconnaissance des traumas trans-­‐générationnels désavoués (The inter-­‐analytic mirror: its role in recognising disavowed trauma) Revue Française
de psychanalyse
Tome LXXVIII-­‐2
Abram, J. (2015) André Green a la Fondation Squiggle: Jouer Avec Winnicott (André Green at the Squiggle Foundation: to play with Winnicott). Revue Française
de psychanalyse
Tome LXXIX – 3
Abram, J. (2015) Further reflections on Winnicott’s last major theoretical achievement: from “Relating through identifications” to “The use of an object” Chapter 7 in Playing and Reality Revisited:
a new look at Winnicott’s classic work
(eds. G. Saragnano and C.Seulin)
I.P.A. Karnac Books
Abram, J. (2015) L’integré paternel et son rôle dans la situation analytique J de la psychoanal l’enfant
No 2 Vol.5/2015
Abram, J. (2015) La Mere tentatrice: réflexions concernant un aspect de la théorie de Winnicott sur le psyché-­‐soma (The tantalizing mother: reflections on an aspect of Winnicott’s theory of psyche-­‐soma) Revue Française de psychosomatique No 47 37-­‐50
Abram, J. (2016) Affects, mediation and countertransference: Some reflections on the contributions of Marjorie Brierley (1893-­‐1984) and their relevance to psychoanalysis today On line article E.P.F. website
Abram, J. (2016) Contemporary Conversations. Creating the object: a response to Béatrice Ithier’s ‘The arms of the chimera’ Int J Psychoanal 97: 489-­‐501
Abram, J. (2016) On Winnicott’s clinical innovations in his work Psychanalyse et Psychose with adults (French translation) Annual Journal No 16
(Editors Clarisse Baruch and Alain Gibeault)
Abram, J. (2017) The paternal integrate and its role in the analysing Situation (German translation) Zeitschirift fur Theorie und Praxis 3/4 (0169 – 3395)
Abram, J. (2018) Angst vor der Verrückthei Psyche 4/2018
Abram, J. (2018) On psychic conception Bulletin of the EPF 72 Panel presentation On primal repression and the origins of life with Jasminka Suljagic and Rudi Vermote EPF Annual Conference
Warsaw, Poland
Abram, J. (2018) The inter-analytic mirror Bulletin of the EPF 72 Panel Presentation IPA Working Parties Panel
Abram, J. (2019) The surviving object in the context of thirdness and the dead mother complex Parts One and Two Conference on A Thought and Its Master Istanbul, Turkey
Abram, J. (2019) On Personalization and the Indwelling Principle EPF Bulletin 73 Panel Presentation with Jasminka Suljagic and Rudi Vermote EPF Annual Conference Madrid, Spain
Abram, J. (2019) Notes on the role of the feminine chez Winnicott Panel Presentation with Kathleen Kelley-Lainé and Roland Havas The role of the feminine in the work of Ferenczi and Winnicott IPA conference London The Feminine QE2 Event Centre 2019


Abram, J. (2019) The Frankenstein Complex: on birth terrors Annual Conference European Psychoanalytic Conference
for University Students, Brussels, Belgium

Teaching on the MSc in Theoretical Psychoanalytical Studies

Since 2014 I have taught on the MSc. In Theoretical Psychoanalytical Studies, Psychoanalysis Unit, University College London. My seminars have introduced the work of the early psychoanalyst Marjorie Brierley who played a prominent role in initiating the well-­‐known Controversial Discussions. My lectures offer an interpretation of the evolution of psychoanalysis in the British Psychoanalytical Society from the 1930s to the 1960s.

Since 2016 I convene and chair 7 lectures for the Winnicott Unit and 9 lectures for Contemporary Clinical Theory Unit.

My visit to Kyoto University for 3 months in 2016 involved supervising, teaching and lecturing to post graduate psychologists. I prepared two books during this sabbatical from private practice. The 2013 publication of Donald Winnicott Today is currently being translated into Japanese for publication in 2018. In addition to this a translation of André Green at the Squiggle Foundation is also due to be published in 2017.

The Tavistock Centre, M1 Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy.

Since 2012 I have taught Psychoanalytic Theory for 2nd year students over the course of an academic year. I created a course on the ‘Evolution of psychoanalytic paradigms of the British Psychoanalytic Society’ (1920 – 2012). The first term introduces and explores the notion of a paradigm from the work of T.Kuhn and applies this to explore the different evolutions in psychoanalysis from 1926 – 1971. The second term focuses on ‘Early British Analysts and their role in the evolution of theory and technique’. The third term focuses on ‘Concepts within the different paradigm structures of the British Psychoanalytical Society: 1949 – 2012’. There is an emphasis on Winnicott’s paradigm in the 3rd term.

Psychoanalytic training: British Psychoanalytical Society (incorporating the Institute of Psychoanalysis)

I have given several lectures on ‘Early psychic development’ for the Introductory Lectures, which have also been filmed for the series outside of London. Each year I give a lecture on ‘Freud and Dora’ for the Foundation Course.

I teach the ‘Introduction to the work of Winnicott’ for the main training and have recently completed 10 clinical seminars for 3rd and 4th year trainees.

The Squiggle Foundation

Although not an academic institute The Squiggle Foundation was created as an organisation aimed at ‘the dissemination of Winnicott’s work’. From 1989 until 2000 I worked as a teacher, seminar leader, workshop leader, and director.

Foundation Course, Institute of Psychoanalysis

As Deputy Chair of the Foundation Course of the Institute of Psychoanalysis I was involved with a selection of students and led proto-­‐clinical groups. As Deputy I was a tutor to several students for each academic year.

Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex

From 2011 – 2013 as visiting professor I created short courses and set up several workshops with the aim of integrating psychoanalytic theory with psychoanalytic practice. The workshops of how analysts work in the consulting room enlisted some of the methodologies of The Paris Group – for example the participants (most of whom were clinical practitioners) -­‐ were asked to associate to the analytic sessions of an ongoing treatment.


The following talks and excerpts are aimed at psychoanalytic education and dissemination

2010 – A contribution on the work of D.W.Winnicott for the film British Psychoanalysis Yesterday and Today funded by the International Psychoanalytic Association

2012 – Interview on the British Psychoanalytical Society’s English Speaking Conference by Transferts Culturels

2015 – Interview on Winnicott’s contribution to the Controversial Discussions (1942-­‐1945)

2016 – A short film ‘On becoming a psychoanalyst’ – a project of the E Learning project for the Institute of Psychoanalysis

2017 – A short film – An introduction to the work of D.W.Winnicott – for the Institute of Psychoanalysis e Learning project


There are two inter-­related strands of my psychoanalytic research. The first constitutes a conceptual research on the writings of D.W.Winnicott. The second strand constitutes a psychoanalytical qualitative research on the case study through inter-analytic group work. Because both strands of my research focus on the psychoanalytic ‘case study’ I consider that my practice as a psychoanalyst – working with patients at high intensity over the course of several years - is integral and essential to both strands of research.

Conceptual Research

Since 1989 I have undertaken conceptual psychoanalytic research focused on the writings of D.W.Winnicott. This trajectory began with becoming a staff member of The Squiggle Foundation, (a charity set up to disseminate and cultivate the tradition of Donald Winnicott) where I was actively engaged in teaching, running workshops and supervising analytic clinicians (counsellors and psychotherapists). This teaching and facilitating activity has always been alongside a full-­time analytic clinical practice in which I have worked with a range of psychopathologies in the consulting room as a psychoanlytic psychotherapist and, since 2003, as a psychoanalyst. The practice of psychoanalysis informs my research activity on psychoanalysis and deepens an appreciation of the fundamental concepts.

My research on Winnicott’s work led to the publication of The Language of Winnicott: a dictionary of Winnicott’s use of words (1st edition 1996; 2nd edition 2007). Two further projects emerged as a consequence of that research. The first was to lead a project to publish all the writings of Winnicott in chronological order – The Collected Works of Donald Winnicott. The second was to edit a collection of papers that highlighted the originality of Winnicott’s ‘scientific revolution’ in psychoanalysis. I worked on the C.W. project from 1998 – 2008 and published Donald Winnicott Today in 2013.

Alongside these projects I have published more than 18 articles all of which have been commissioned or are the publications of an invited talk. In addition I have written over 30 unpublished didactic lectures on Winnicott’s concepts.

The Language of Winnicott illustrates the evolution of Winnicott’s theories with reference to his key writings. In the 2nd edition there are 23 entries, which offer the reader an historical overview of how each concept evolved. The main aim of the book was to facilitate an exploration of his writings and concepts towards a greater understanding of the depth and breadth of his theoretical matrix on emotional development. The 2nd edition of The Language of Winnicott is now one of the Classic Books for Psychoanalytic Electronic Publishing (P.E.P.). Donald Winnicottt Today focuses on the Kuhnian paradigm shift from the Freudian paradigm and includes reference to Winnicott’s dialogue with Melanie Klein and the Kleinian development.

These publications have led on to the preparation of a book with Professor R.D.Hinshelwood – The Clinical Paradigms of Melanie Klein and Donald Winnicott: comparsions and dialogues. I am also preparing a selection of my previous publications – The surviving object: psychoanalytic essays on psychic survival.

Qualitative Psychoanalytic Research
The specificity of psychoanalytic treatment through inter-­analytic group work

Since 2008 I have been a member of ‘The Paris Group’ which was a Working Party of the European Psychoanalytic Federation originally called ‘The Specificity of Psychoanalytic Treatment Today’. The Paris Group is the core group of this research that aims to devise a methodology to study the single case study in order to highlight the ‘specificity’ of psychoanalysis as both a body of knowledge and as a theraepeutic treatment.

The Paris Group is made up of up to 18 analysts who have trained in different countries of Europe and North America. Altogether 7 countries are represented – Holland, France, Italy, Belgium, Switzerland, Great Britain and America.

The research comprises of inter-analytic group work at the pre-­Congress days of international conferences. Up to 5 groups of 12-­17 analysts meet across two days to listen to one analyst present 3 consecutive sessions of a current analysis. The inter-analytic group work aims to apply the principle concepts of technique in psychoanalysis – free association and free-­floating attention. The data collected from each group is recorded and subsequently worked on by The Paris Group who meets over a weekend biennially and in small reading groups 4 x a year. The findings of this research are now being edited for a book.

At the 2016 E.P.F. conference Berlin I was elected as the new chair of The Paris Group and am now leading the continuing research for the forthcoming psychoanalytic congresses.