Applying a Psychoanalytic Lens to the Mind of…

Book tickets

Organised by:

British Psychotherapy Foundation

01 February 2024

Time: 18:30 - 19:30

Price: Free

Location: online


The speaker will deeply explore the fragmented and unconscious mind of Joe Goldberg, the fictional protagonist from the Netflix series – You. Played by the actor Penn Badgley, Joe is one of the most prolific and romanticised of serial killers in modern culture. He is a conflicted character who grapples with an impulse to kill and an extreme desire to protect those he loves. What makes Joe a particularly riveting character is that he has an exceptional understanding of human behaviour which allows him to objectively perceive the hidden intentions and needs of others. This is contrasted against his profound fears of vulnerability and closeness in truly being seen.

The role of Joe’s early experiences, in constructing the contours of his psyche and shaping his personality, will be examined. In particular, insights surrounding disorganised attachment injuries, inconsistent parenting and emotional deprivation will be highlighted. The speaker will then consider how a chronic desire to control, which stem from intolerable feelings of inadequacy and impotence, sculpts Joe’s internal world and the nature of his intimate relationships.

Following this, the complex defensive structures that Joe employs to manage his intense psychic distress and disturbed emotional states, will be introduced. In an attempt to avoid reality, dissociating, denying and fantasising are pervasive mechanisms operating in Joe’s mind and will be viewed through the lens of a Dissociative Identity Disorder. References will be made to Stern’s theory on unformulated experience and Bromberg and Schore’s influential work on early abuse and the use of pathological dissociation. Lastly, recent work on neuroscience and the effect of trauma on right-brain development will be presented.

About the speaker

Zoe Jackson is a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist in training and she has her own private practice in Surrey. She is currently in her third year, studying a Clinical Doctorate at the University of Exeter and is a student member of the bpf. She also completed the Introductory Lectures at the Institute of Psychoanalysis and the bpf’s Psychotherapy Today course. She holds a First Class Honours from the University of Bristol. Zoe’s interest lie in emotional neglect, addiction, epistemic trust and transgenerational transmission of trauma.

Book tickets



Find out more about upcoming events.
Read more