School of Applied Human Sciences

Duncan James Cartwright


  • Details

  • Position Coordinator: Clinical & Counselling Psychology
  • Discipline Psychology
  • CampusHoward College Campus
  • Office AddressB28 (MTB Basement)


  • Duncan Cartwright, Ph.D., is head of the Centre for Applied Psychology, Psychology, University of KwaZulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa. He is the author of Murdering Minds: Psychoanalysis, Violence and Rage-Type Murder (Brunner-Routledge,2002) and Containing States of Mind: Exploring Bion’s Container Model in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (Routledge, 2010).

Degrees Held

  • Bachelor of Social Science (B.Soc.Sci. University of Natal, Durban, SA) Majors in psychology and anthropology (1989)
  • Honours  Psychology (Hons.Psych.UND, Durban, SA) Dissertation: Application of Vygotsky’s ‘zone of proximal development’ in psycho-analytic psychotherapy (1990)
  • MA Clinical Psychology (M.A. Clin.Psych.University Durban-Westville, Durban, SA)  Dissertation: Androgyny and the male midlife crisis (1992)
  • Ph.D. (Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy), 1995-2000.(Ph.D. Rhodes University, Grahamstown, SA) Dissertation: Latent Murderousness: An exploration of the quality and nature of object relations in rage-type murderers (2000)

 Research Interests

  • Psychoanalysis, psychodynamic psychotherapy, psychotherapeutic skills, mentalization, psychoanalytic research methods, violence.

Teaching Interests

  • Psychopathology, psychodynamic psychotherapy


  • Cartwright, D (2010). Containing States of Mind. Brunner-Routledge: London
  • Cartwright, D. (2002). Psychoanalysis, Violence and Rage-type Murder: Murdering Minds (Foreword: Peter Fonagy). Brunner-Routledge: London.
  • Cartwright, D. (2017). ‘Reflections on “nonsense” in A Memoir of the Future’. In Civitarese, G. (Ed.). Bion and Contemporary Psychoanalysis: Reading A Memoir of the Future. Taylor & Francis.
  • Cartwright, D. (2017). A Bionian formulation of shame: The terror of becoming one’s self. Psycho-Analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa, 25(2).
  • Hendricks, S., & Cartwright, D. J. (2017). A cross-sectional survey of South African psychology interns’ perceptions of negative supervision events. South African Journal of Psychology, 0081246317698858.
  • Arzul. J-P & Cartwright, D. (2016). OCD and reflective function. Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa (In Press).
  • Cartwright, D & Gardner, M. (2016). Trainee difficulties with therapeutic engagement: a qualitative study of in-session critical incidents. South Africa Journal of Psychology (in press).
  • Bux, W., Cartwright, D. and Collings, S. (2016). The experience of non-offending caregivers following the disclosure of child sexual abuse: Understanding the aftermath, South African Journal of Psychology.
  • Cartwright, D. (2014). ‘Containment systems in the analytic field’, In Civitarese, G. & Levin, H. (eds.), The Bion Tradition, Evolution and Development. Karnac: London.
  • Cartwright, D. (2013). Clinical features of the container function. Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa, 21(2), 73-104.
  • Cartwright, D. (2013). Mentalizing: feeling thoughts and thinking feelings. New Therapist, 86, 11-16.
  • Cartwright, D. (2013). A Catastrophic Solution: Psychoanalytic Perspectives on a Samurai School Attack in South Africa. In School Shootings (pp. 217-243). Springer:  New York.
  • Cartwright, D. (2010). Dreaming to stay alive. New Therapist, 67, 12-17
  • Cartwright, D. (2010). School shooters: victims of unheeded psychological turmoil: Review of Why Kids Kill. PINS, 39, 83-86.
  • Cartwright, D. (2008). Borderline personality disorder : what do we know? Diagnosis, course, co-morbidity, and aetiology, South African Journal of Psychology, 38, 345-360.
  • Cartwright,D. (2006). Why Do You Abandon Me? I Am Your Daughter. Re-presenting Dona Ermelinda. In Selves in Question: Interviews on Southern African Auto/biography, Judith Lutge Coullie, Stephan Meyer, Thengani H. Ngwenya, and Thomas Olver, (Eds.). Uni. Hawaii Press; Hawaii.
  • Cartwright, D. (2006). Autistic defenses in Agoraphobic syndrome: ‘flat objects and the retardation of projective identification’. The Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 54/1, 109-135.
  • Cartwright, D. & Hughson, S. (2005). Exploring Loneliness: the experiences of rural and metropolitan Australia. Auseinetter (Australian network for promotion, prevention and early intervention for mental health), 25, 36-39.
  • Cartwright, D. (2005). Beta-Mentality in The Matrix Trilogy, International Journal of Psychoanalysis, 86, 179-190.
  • Cartwright, D. (2005). Psychopathology. In Psychology: An introduction, L. Swartz & C. de la Rey (Eds.), Oxford University Press: Cape Town.
  • Cartwright, D. (2004). An application of Bion’s theory to violent men. Psychotherapy in Australia, 10(4), 48-59
  • Cartwright, D. (2004). Considering Beta-Mentality in Violent Men. Paper presented at POPIG conference, Brisbane.
  • Cartwright, D. (2004). The Psychoanalytic Research Interview: Preliminary Suggestions, The Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, 52, 1-30.
  • Cartwright,D. (2004). Anticipatory interpretations: Cautionary tales and premature termination. Bulletin Of The Menninger Clinic, 86, 95-114.
  • Cartwright,D. (2002). Seven Intrapsychic Dimensions of Violence. Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa, 20(1), 25-58.
  • Cartwright,D. (2002). The Narcissistic Exoskeleton: Notes on the defensive organization of the rage-type murderer. Bulletin Of The Menninger Clinic, 66, 1-18.
  • Cartwright,D. & Cassidy,M.(2002). Working with HIV/AIDS Sufferers: ‘When good enough is not enough, American Journal of Psychotherapy, 56(2), 149-166.
  • Cartwright, D. (2002). ). Review of ‘Madness: a brief history’ by Roy Porter. South African Journal of Psychology, In Press.
  • Cartwright,D. (2001). The role of psychopathology and personality in rage-type murder. South African Journal of Psychology, 31, 12-19.
  • Cartwright,D. (2001). Review of ‘Cruelty, Violence and Murder’ by Arthur Hyatt-Williams. Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa,9 , 59-64.
  • Cartwright,D. (2000). Aspects of the Mirror in Psychoanalysis. Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa,8,20-42.
  • Cartwright,D. (2000). Rage-type violence, Borderline Personality & the narcissistic exoskeleton,  Paper presented at IV Investigative Psychology conference, Liverpool.
  • Cartwright,D. (1999). Recognizing distress helps stop destruction, Children First, 3, 17-20.
  • Cartwright. D. (1998). The rhythm of the body. Changes: An International Journal of Psychotherapy and Psychology, 19, 118-131.
  • Cartwright, D. (1998). Patient Receptivity and Projective Identification. British Journal of Psychotherapy, 15(1), 3-18.
  • Cartwright,D. (1997). Some aspects of Countertransference disclosure. Psycho-analytic Psychotherapy in South Africa,5, 2-23.
  • Cartwright,D. (1997). The Ideal Container. In South Africa Beyond transition. (ed.) L. Schlebusch. Univ. Natal: Durban.
  • Cartwright,D. & Paruk, Z. (1995). Male Midlife crisis, sexuality and sex roles. Paper presented at IV European Congress of Psychology.
  • Cartwright, D. (2006). Paper 3: Supervisors On Call: Research, Position Description and Range of Knowledge/Skills. Life Line Australia.
  • Cartwright, D. (2005). Paper 1: Literature review and survey of lifeline centres. Life Line Australia.
  • Cartwright, D. (2005). Paper 2: Recommendations for Policy. Life Line Australia.
  • Hughson, S. & Cartwright, D. (2004). Life Line Australia: Report on ‘loneliness’ call data.
  • Swartz, L. Cartwright, D., Brenner, L. (2004). Report for Kids Line on effectiveness in helping children with substance abuse concerns.
  • Hughson, S. & Cartwright, D. (2004). Life Line Australia: Report on domestic violence call data.
  • Cartwright, D. (2004). Life Line Australia: Report on Suicide call data.
  • Hughson, S. & Cartwright, D. (2004). Life Line Australia: Report on Rural/metropolitan call data.
  • Hughson, S. & Cartwright, D. (2004). Life Line Australia: Recommendations for CSMIS (data collection system)
  • Cartwright, D. (2004). Life Line Australia: Summary report on 2003 call data statistics.


  • Conference organizer: ‘Working in the relationship’, Durban Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association (May 2013)
  • “Thinking about Borderline Personality: a strategic approach”, Durban 2006-2010.
  • “Working with the therapeutic alliance”, Durban 2010.
  • ‘Borderline Personality: Current Dilemmas’, Public Health, ACT, (July, 2005).
  • ‘Psychodynamic Psychotherapy: The work of Wilfred Bion’, Canberra (July, 2005).
  • ‘Working with HIV/AIDS’, based on a publication in The American Journal of Psychotherapy (2002).
  • Host of structured supervision programme: ‘Recognizing and working with transference’ (2002-2003).
  • ‘Assessing dangerousness and psychotherapeutic work with violent offenders’, University of Natal, 2002.
  • ‘Murdering minds: explosive violence in men’, Durban Private Practitioner’s Group, 2002.
  • Editorial Board: Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in South Africa (2004-2014).
  • Chair of the Durban Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Association (1994-2014).
  • Reviewer for book proposals, Routledge: London. 2003-2004.
  • Co-chair Durban Psychotherapy Forum (2007-2011).
  • Chair of the Durban Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Study Group (1994-2003).
  • Accredited (Health Professions Council of South Africa) psychotherapy supervisor.
  • Mentalization-based approached to BPD, Fonagy & Bateman, Frankfurt, Germany (May 2009)
  • Intensive Short-Term Psychoanalytic Workshop/Conference, Oxford, England (July, 2012

Professional Memberships

  • HPCSA (Health Professions Council of South Africa): 1992-2014
  • PsySSA (Psychological Society of South Africa): 1993- 2014
  • APS (Australian Psychological Society): 2003-06
  • SAPC (South African Psychoanalytic Confederation): 2010-2014
  • IARPP(2016)

Community Involvement

  • UKZN psychology Clinic
  • Mentalization-based group for street children
  • Director of the Community Mental Health Programme (1998-2002). Planning and proposal submission for community projects in the Valley of a Thousand Hills, Durban, South Africa. Projects included: (1) An outreach clinical in the community; (2) Community Mental Health worker training Projects (identification and management of mental illness in the community); (3) Management of mental Retardation in Schools in the area; (4) A trauma project (management of high prevalence of PTSD in the community). Responsible for: supervision and Administration of projects (1), (2) and (3), general administrator of funds, clinical Supervision of Community casework.



  • Bullying, vicarious trauma, counselling refugees


  • Psychoanalytic understanding of OCD, clinical supervision, professional identity, mentalization-based treatment of street children