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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
Events Archive
2018


Hate, Threat and Unease in the Consulting Room
Working creatively with rupture in the therapeutic relationship

Saturday 20 January 2018 - Dublin
With Dr Noreen Giffney, Dr Ian Miller, Ann Murphy, Berna O'Brien

What do we do when our client feels hate towards us, or we feel threatened by them? The therapeutic encounter provides a landscape for all human experience to be felt and known about, including experiences of hate and anger. This conference seeks to explore the dynamics at play when these challenging encounters threaten the stability of the therapeutic relationship. There are a number of reasons why a therapy relationship might run into trouble, for example, therapeutic incompetence or the patient's unreadiness for the process.
Infidelity
Working with threats to the couple relationship

Saturday 20 January 2018 - London
With Susanna Abse, Jane Haberlin and Dr Amita Sehgal

Infidelities come in many forms, but it is sexual infidelity that arguably cuts deepest. An affair involving one member of the couple usually also involves breaching an understanding they have with the other, although that contract may not be explicitly expressed. Affairs often bring couples to therapy.

Animal Assisted Psychotherapy with Traumatised People
Saturday 27 January 2018 - London
With Dr Kim Brown, Kelvin Hall, Ella Jones, Mike Delaney

The human and animal bond is a universally accepted dimension of emotional life. Indeed, therapeutic use of the animal-human attachment system, which includes safety, comfort, play and social engagement, has been documented since the 18th century.

Core Emotional Processes in the Mammalian Mind
With implications for effective psychotherapy

Saturday 3 February 2018 - London
With Lucy Biven and Professor Mark Solms

The long-held idea that humans are fundamentally emotionally different from animals has been profoundly challenged by the research findings of the late Professor Jaak Panksepp and colleagues. This has irrefutably demonstrated that all mammals share what he described as 'core emotional processes' - namely SEEKING, RAGE, FEAR, LUST, CARE, PANIC/GRIEF, and PLAY.

The Seductive Allure of the Bad Object: The Childhood Origins of Attachments in Abusive Relationships
Friday 23 February 2018 - London
A 1-day seminar led by Dr David Celani
SOLD OUT

W. R. D. Fairbairn (1889-1964) assumed that the unconscious develops in childhood and contains dissociated memories of parental neglect, insensitivity, and outright abuse that are impossible the children to tolerate consciously. In Fairbairn's model, these dissociated memories protect developing children from recognising how badly they are being treated and allow them to remain attached to abusive parents.

Exciting Bad-Objects?
Saturday 24 February 2018 - London
With speakers Dr David Celani, David Millar, Anna Santamouris, Dr Estela Welldon
SOLD OUT

The perception of goodness or badness in the self-and-other is the product of early-developmental experiences, resulting in inner representations in which people are perceived as more or less 'good', 'bad' or an intergrated whole which includes a wide range of emotional resources.

Aspergers and Psychoanalysis
Meeting the patient where they are

Saturday 3 March 2018 - London
With Louise Allnutt, Dr Anne Alvarez and Graham Shulman

At times we are faced with patients who seem disconnected from us and from other people, and from themselves and within themselves. Or are they really so unconnected? Do we address this condition via psychoanalytic psychotherapy by sometimes forcing connections or reading in connections where there are none?
Dissociative Identities
Are multiple selves the greatest therapeutic challenge?

Saturday 10 March 2018 - London
With Rémy Aquarone and Dr Valerie Sinason

The capacity of the mind to create new identities as a form of self-protection when faced with trauma or exploitation in childhood is an extraordinary ability. It enables the child to preserve their core sense of self by creating an alternative personality - or many 'alter' personalities - who experience the abuse on behalf of the core personality.

Clinical Shame: therapeutic issues unpacked
Saturday 10 March 2018 - Dublin
With Dr Olga Cox Cameron, Elaine Martin, Dr Rosaleen McElvaney

Shame frequently reflects a deeply meaningful struggle within the self, and yet often precludes being witnessed by others, inhabiting the mind as an invisible default position in which the person feels chronically inadequate, unlovable and at fault. Though usually considered an emotion, shame is more accurately a condition of the self, which can severely restrict the individual's capacity for engagement with life, and which operates as an oppressive and accusing shadow in that person's mind.

The Psychotherapist's Self-Care
Developing resilience in relation to the emotional pressures of our work

Saturday 17 March 2018 - London
With Elizabeth Wilde-McCormick and Anthea Millar

While it is a given that psychotherapists robustly expose themselves to distressing stories and painful emotions, we may find that we are unexpectedly thrown by working with a particular person or psychological condition.

Spiritual Trauma - The Forgotten Wound in the Consulting Room
Saturday 24 March 2018 - London
With Rabbi Howard Cooper, the Rev Canon Susannah Izzard, Ruthie Smith

Psychotherapy in general has struggled to integrate the spiritual into the work but, in an age where there is an increasing interest in this domain - whatever we understand that to be - we need to be open to seeing and working with the spiritual wounds which may have been ignored, overlooked or forgotten.

Insecure Attachment and Unexplained Illness
A therapist's map

Saturday 21 April 2018 - London
With Dr Gwen Adshead, Professor Helen Payne and Professor David Peters
SOLD OUT

At this one-day discussion, we will attempt to map out the association between insecure attachment experiences and medically unexplained symptoms. While theories about hypersensitivity, environmental impacts and post-viral conditions offer certain routes into understanding such conditions, on this occasion we are looking at disorganised attachment as a possible predisposing factor when these illnesses are intractable, for example, inflammatory systemic disorders.

Wild Therapy
Bringing therapy into the wild, and wildness into therapy

Saturday 12 May 2018 - London
A 1-day workshop led by Nick Totton

Psychotherapy has recently experienced the turn to relationality, and the turn to the body. Now we are beginning to see the turn outside - to out of the consulting room, out of the obsessive focus on the private world of humans, and towards a realisation that we are wholly dependent on the wider world of which we are a part, on the other-than-human and more-than-human, on the wildness that surrounds and contains our familiar domesticity.

The Inner Baby on the Couch
Infant Development and Relational Psychoanalysis

Friday 18 May 2018 - London
A 1-day seminar led by Dr Stephen Seligman

This seminar will be anchored in the immediacy and vitality of direct experience with infants and their parents, and of the lived experience of therapeutic relationships. Stephen Seligman will consider analogies between infant-parent and patient-therapist patterns of interaction, how looking at babies brings the lived experience of the body back into analysis, and helps us think about the non-verbal, emotional and interactive realms.

Psychoanalytic Babies:
Towards a Relational-Developmental Psychoanalysis

Saturday 19 May 2018 - London
A conference with Dr Anne Alvarez, Dr Graham Music and Dr Stephen Seligman

Welcoming back Dr Stephen Seligman (who is also leading a seminar for us on 18 May), this conference will consider how analytic practice can be affected by thinking about infants and children, asking how and whether we can talk about babies and adult patients in the same breath.

The Landscapes of Grief
Saturday 26 May 2018 - Dublin
With speakers John Banville, Ciaran Benson, Dr Tanya M. Cassidy, Dr Anthony McCarthy and Dr Julie Sutton

It is a universal truth that we are all going to die. We know this but we tend to ignore the reality, and to struggle with the inevitability that we will lose people we love. Death in our society is unacceptable and 15 percent of all psychological disorders are due to unresolved grief.

Bombs in the Consulting Room
How to survive hostile transference and relational dynamics

Saturday 9 June 2018 - London
A 1-day seminar with Professor Brett Kahr and Dr Carine Minne

Although the vast majority of psychotherapy patients comport themselves with great honourability and pose no physical or emotional threat to the clinician, a small number of individuals will, from time to time, hurl "bombs" into the consulting room. Some patients might confess to criminal activities, or might even stalk or terrorise the psychotherapeutic practitioner, causing great distress.

Women on the Couch
Saturday 16 June 2018 - London
With Carmen Joanne Ablack, Luise Eichenbaum, Sissy Lykou, Gina Miller and Susie Orbach

With multiple allegations of abuse by powerful men of less powerful women, we (both men and women) are in an extraordinary moment of taking stock of our relative positions to each other. The revelations of transgressions in the entertainment industry - from intrusive touching to actual rape - by intelligent and privileged men are an extraordinary testimony of inequality at the deepest and most primitive level: our relationship to the body and its ownership.

Toxic Couples in Therapy
Attachment and unconscious processes in relationship conflict and abuse

Saturday 23 June 2018 - London
With Damian McCann, Andy Metcalf, Anna Motz and Kate Thompson

One of the most complex ironies of the human condition is that our need for intimacy - so essential for survival from the moment of birth - often results in relationships that persistently thwart our deepest emotional and embodied prerequisites for contentment in adulthood: tenderness, empathic atunement and sexual fulfilment. At the beginning of a new relationship these desires may appear attainable and yet, as we see so often in therapy, unconscious processes can disrupt the most loving intentions, bringing the weight of negative, deeply held expectations about the self and the other into the core experience of the couple relationship, leading to great pain and disappointment.

Women on the Couch
Saturday 30 June 2018 - Dublin
With Ellen O'Malley Dunlop, Dr Maria Leahy, Marlene French Mullen, Nuala Ni Dhomhnaill and Louise O'Neill

Mary Robinson, the first female president (Uachtarain) of Ireland acknowledged that the women of Ireland, Mná na haÉireann had, at the time, rocked the system. Do Irish women feel that this remains a truism? 2018 has been marked by events such as the Belfast rape trial, the campaign to repeal the 8th amendment and the cervical screening debacle.

Emotion-Focused Therapy
The transforming power of affect

Saturday 14 July 2018 - London
A 1-day seminar with Professor Leslie Greenberg

Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) is an evidence-based psychotherapy approach developed by Professor Leslie Greenberg and colleagues that views emotions as centrally important in human functioning and in therapeutic change. It is an integrative, neo-humanistic treatment based on a program of psychotherapy research that began in the 1970s. It integrates Person-Centred, Gestalt and Existential Therapy traditions with a psychodynamically informed approach, all within an emotion theory and neuroscience perspective that views emotion as a source of meaning, direction and growth. It has been shown to be effective in the treatment of depression, anxiety, complex trauma, eating disorders and couple distress, as well as interpersonal problems and problems in living.

Existential Uncertainty
A 1-day workshop facilitated by Professor Ernesto Spinelli

Saturday 28 July 2018 - Dublin
With Professor Ernesto Spinelli

Current issues such as political and economic instability, climate change, and Brexit have provoked ever-increasing levels of anxiety and confusion. In turn, these concerns serve to highlight the degree to which uncertainly permeates our lives. Among contemporary psychotherapeutic models, existential psychotherapy emphasizes the inevitability of uncertainty. Its foundational stance of relatedness makes it evident that no individual "I" can ever fully determine, with complete and final certainty, what and how the world will be; how another or others will be; or even how "I" will be at any point time.

Psychotherapy and the Natural World
Friday 31 August - Sunday 2 September 2018 - Ireland
With Dr Sharon Blackie, Robbie Breadon, Dearbhail Conlon, Patricia Fitzgerald, Joanne Hanrahan, Andy Hardie, Matthew Henson, Katarina Horrox, Therese O'Driscoll and Mary-Jayne Rust

So much psychotherapy takes place within the confines of a consulting room. But what happens when therapy takes place in a natural setting - or when the natural world is invited into the narrative of self and other? This conference brings together the practices of ecology and psychotherapy to illustrate how engagement with nature is a powerful transformative tool, both in itself and - potentially - when integrated into any therapeutic approach.

Negotiating Endings in the Psychotherapy Relationship
Saturday 6 October 2018 - London
With Professor Jeremy Holmes, Dr John Andrew Miller, Anne Power and Dr Jill Salberg

Endings in therapy can range vastly from abrupt and unexpected ruptures to working towards a fulfilled ending, and anything in between. Of course, endings and loss are inextricably linked, even in the best circumstances. An ending will stir up early experiences of loss that may not have been consciously experienced before let alone worked through in the therapy.

A Body-Based, Trauma-Centered Approach to Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy
Saturday 13 October 2018 - Dublin
With speakers Dr Doris Brothers and Dr Jon Sletvold

Embodiment can be simply defined as living life informed through the sense experience of the body. Our bodies are our first lived experience in the world before words and the development of higher intelligence. Unfortunately, as we grow we often attempt to understand our "problems" just through one area, the mind, rather than using all that is available to us for knowledge and insight. Our body offers us a whole area of often untapped knowledge and awareness that is highly effective in creating lasting insight.

Small Earth
Psychotherapists, ecologists, economists, philosophical and spiritual thinkers ask: can we return to living within the terms of Earth's ecosphere?

Thursday 8 to Sunday 11 November 2018 - Suffolk
SOLD OUT
Judith Anderson, James Barrett, Teresa Belton, Beth Collier, Amrita Bhohi, Dr Kim Brown, Dr Mick Collins, Dr Andrew Fellows, Marion Green, Melissa Harrison, Professor Tim Jackson, Paul Maiteny, Dr Alastair McIntosh, Chris Packham, Mary-Jayne Rust and Dr Yuriko Sato

Among the millions of people worried about our environment, there is a growing community of psychotherapists who are bringing ecological understanding and appreciation closer to the heart of their work. These eco-psychologists share a profound concern for species extinction, environmental degradation and climate change. They view the wild as a place that supports psychological well-being, and that the unconstrained use of the planet as a resource counters all aspects of healthy and sustainable living; that living eco-systemically means appreciating and acting on the reality that humans are an intrinsic parts of Earth's eco-system, not a species separate from it.

Regression: a necessary state of mind for therapeutic growth?
Saturday 17 November 2018 - London
With Dr Lorraine Price, Dr Adah Sachs and Marcus West

This meeting will consider how we respond therapeutically when our client seems to be relating to us from a young or regressed self-state. Each of our speakers will approach the subject by considering what early relational experiences the client may be describing by embodying this younger self. What happened for them at that age? What meanings do we make of such frozen self-states? When the client suddenly speaks in a childlike voice or wears clothes suited to a much younger person, what feelings does that arouse for the therapist? How do we recognise and assimilate a parental countertransference that seems to belong to their story? How can this be thought and talked about to facilitate a therapeutic resolution?

Confer's 20th Anniversary Conference
What is Normal?

Saturday 24 November 2018 - London
SOLD OUT
With speakers Roz Carroll, Dr Christopher Clulow, Professor Brett Kahr, Dr Phil Mollon, Dr Susie Orbach, Professor Andrew Samuels, Ann Shearer, Dr Valerie Sinason, Lennox Thomas, Dr Felicity de Zulueta

At this special event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Confer's work we have set our speakers a thorny question to answer: what is normal? The subject, while posing important questions about some very binary ideas of sanity and madness, health and illness, predictability and instability, also offers a platform for us to elaborate when and how the concept or normality informs our work - if at all.

Reading, Writing, Listening:
A symposium with Adam Phillips
With Josh Cohen, Howard Cooper and Laura Marcus

Saturday 1 December 2018 - London
SOLD OUT
With Adam Phillips, Josh Cohen, Howard Cooper and Laura Marcus

Over the course of three decades, Adam Phillips has been exploring and expanding the boundaries of psychoanalytic writing. He has addressed topics from across the broadest range of human experience - among many others, flirtation, escape, sanity, the unlived life and 'unforbidden pleasures'. Yet it's not simply the intellectual richness of his writing that has inspired readers, but his unmistakeable personal voice - playful, paradoxical and profoundly humane.

Ghostly Hauntings
Subliminal and unconscious messages from our ancestors

Friday 7 December 2018 - London
SOLD OUT
With Lisa Appignanesi, Prophecy Coles, Dr Françoise Davoine, Professor Stephen Frosh and Linda Grant

This conference aims to elucidate a particular experience within the field of intergenerational trauma, the as if experience of being occupied or possessed by another from a different time or place, and feelings that are hard to explain. When working with these clients, a sense of ghostly possession and metaphysical phenomena can come to mind. We are reminded how within the psyche the past and future can collide in the present.

Pre and Perinatal Emotional Health
Saturday 8 December 2018 - London
SOLD OUT
With Professor Vivette Glover, Dr Cherionna Menzam-Sills, Dr Giuliana Mieli and Franklyn Sills

This conference brings together speakers from the fields of medicine, psychotherapy and research to consider what we know about the impact of the mother's internal working model of attachment on the emotional development of her baby during pregnancy. We will look at how her states of mind are conveyed to the foetus and are inextricably linked to the attachment style and emotional wellbeing of the new baby to-be-born and the importance of the mother allowing and expressing the full array of feelings she has during her pregnancy including her negative emotions.

2017


Somatic Transformations
Given the new paradigm in neuroscience how do we practice with people with trauma?

Friday 19 and Saturday 20 May 2017
Dr Sharon Stanley

The last decade has challenged psychotherapists to integrate a massive amount of data and information into their practice with highly vulnerable patients. How do we decide what is essential to adapt to our practice and with specific patients? Sharon Stanley will outline the major shifts in terms of relational principles governing psychotherapy today and describe six essential practices that emerge from the paradigm shift.

Working with Splitting and Projecting: Therapeutic Skills and Insights
Saturday 10 June 2017
Dr Maggie Turp, Dr Noreen Giffney, Marianne Rourke, Dr Judith Edwards and Dr Amanda Jones

The aim of this day is to discuss how trauma can lead to the defense mechanism of splitting and projecting, and to examine why some people may be more reliant on this psychological strategy than others. We will consider how the propensity for splitting-off unwanted parts of the self or other, and displacing these, can be psychotherapeutically resolved, and ask what therapeutic interventions support the capacity to know and integrate all aspects of the self.

A Guide to the 12 Step Fellowships for Psychotherapists
Saturday 17 June 2017
Anna Santamouris, Maya Jacobs-Wallfisch, Malcolm Peterson, Prof Gabriel Segal

Many people coming to psychotherapy also attend a 12-Step Fellowships as a means of addressing a pattern of addiction or having been raised in a family where addiction is a problem. Therapists need to be aware of the processes involved in these meetings in order to support their client's recovery process. What conflicts might the 12 Steps and 12 Traditions have with psychotherapy, and how are these best navigated in order to allow parallel pathways in the client's personal development to flourish?

Entangled in Cyberspace
Psychotherapeutic work with internet addictions and virtual attachments

Saturday 24 June 2017
John Beveridge, Linda Cundy, Catherine Knibbs and Andrea Marzi

We live in a rapidly changing technical environment with an overwhelming number of possibilities for virtual communication. While such modes of relating are increasingly normalised, we wonder how this is impacting on the mental health of our society and the people who come to therapy? Our four speakers will ask what emotional states and relational configurations are produced when we relate to the world online, exploring attachment behaviour, internet addiction, subjection to violence, bullying, or unwanted sexual content on social media pages.

Gut-Heart-Brain: Where is our emotional centre, and what is the relevance to psychotherapy?
Saturday 1 July 2017
SOLD OUT
Michael Ash, Dr Janina Fisher, Dr Art O'Malley, Laurie Slade and Dr Alan Watkins

It is now accepted that the brain is not the only emotional processing system of the human mind-body, and that other parts of the body play a significant role in affect regulation. At this conference we will weave science with therapeutic insight to explore the part of the gut and the heart in the highly complex pathway of communication between the structures of the body and the mind. The day will consider how far this knowledge contributes to appropriate therapeutic approaches to working with people suffering from the residues of trauma, affect dysregulation or mood disorders.

Energy Psychotherapy
Evolving Perspectives of Diverse Practitioners

Saturday 8 July 2017
Judith Anderson, Viv Fogel, Dr Phil Mollon, Heather Redington and Ruthie Smith

Energy Psychotherapy, and the ever increasing related modalities, is creating a vibrant and expansive new field of work, with remarkable, transformative results. Using relatively simple techniques alongside talking therapy, psychotherapy with people's energy systems - their meridians and energy centres - helps us access a deeper and wider clinical terrain, that reaches the parts that talking therapy alone cannot address. We will look at the methods of energy therapies, and formulate some explanations for its effect.

The Landscapes of Grief
Saturday 15 July 2017 - London
SOLD OUT
John Banville, Ann Chalmers, Dr Avril Maddrell, Adam Phillips, Julia Samuel and Laurie Slade

It is a universal truth is that we are all going to die. We know this but we tend to ignore the reality, and to struggle with the inevitability that we will lose people we love. Death is 'unacceptable' and 15 percent of all psychological disorders in our society are due to unresolved grief. But within the last two decades there has been a revolution of understandings and theories that help us understand the process of healthy mourning. This day brings together therapy, landscape and literature to look at theories and processes that facilitate healthy grieving - both in psychotherapeutic practice and in life itself.

Filling the Void
Psychotherapeutic Skills for Working with Obesity

Saturday 22 July 2017 - London
Dr Julia Buckroyd, Em Farrell

In this workshop we will think about the role of fat in our society and of the individual's sense of bodily self in relationship to others. We will consider how we can apply the general insights of therapeutic work with eating disorders to the specific problem of obesity, some common issues around gaining emotional nourishment, myths concerning over-weight, and how to work therapeutically when this is a source of distress. In addition, we will explore how the body of the therapist and patient relate to each other when weight is an issue.

Men on the Couch
Saturday 23 September 2017 - London
With Rotimi Akinsete, Paul Atkinson, Andy Metcalf, Dr Eyal Rozmarin and Professor Andrew Samuels

This conference is about men in therapy - from both sides of the 'couch'. Our speakers will explore the ways in which men manage their vulnerabilities - including their desire for connection and dependency needs - as well as some male relational strategies that are more familiar in our culture: the appearance of invulnerability, emphasis on performance and detachment from others. They will be asking why, often, men still feel required to defend against need and what challenge this can present for men in therapy, and their therapists - whether male or female.

The Self-Disclosure Dilemma
Saturday 30 September 2017 - Dublin
With Sue Cowan-Jenssen, Dr John O'Connor, Marcus West

Traditionally, psychotherapy has been premised on the principle that the relationship should be focused entirely on the patient's process. Reasons include the fiduciary responsibility to attend to the other, the importance of protecting the patient's space, and the great value of working with transference projections. Recently, however, this convention has been challenged by the relational premise that there are two subjectivities of equal weight in the relationship, each playing their part in what occurs in the therapy. When heightened, entangled or difficult moments occur - it is suggested - it is the therapist's duty to explore how their own process or personal history has been activated. Is there a therapeutic value in communicating some of that experience to the client?

Desire in the Consulting Room
Saturday 4 November 2017 - London
With Dr Andrea Celenza, Professor Joy Schaverien and the reading of a play by Laurie Slade

This day puts sexuality back in the frame of psychoanalytic theorising with the aim of demarcating a place for pure erotic longing within psychotherapy. Using clinical histories, relational/field theories and theatre to imaginatively represent a possible scenario of love and desire between a psychotherapist and patient, our speakers will elaborate the meanings of love in the consulting room, both as transferential and real.

The Deepening of the Mind
Saturday 11 November 2017 - London
A day with Neville Symington

In early May 2017 Neville Symington gave four talks on the theme of the development of the mind. He now returns to develop this theme in four new talks. Beginning with two presentations on the psychoanalytic treatment of patients who are psychotic he will then use the clinical insight derived from these to elaborate the principles needed for the mind to deepen and grow, and will consider those factors which become obstacles to that new growth.

Listening to Transmissions between Generation
Saturday 18 November 2017 - London
With Dr Haydée Faimberg and Dr Jill Salberg
SOLD OUT

It is widely accepted that the traumas of parents, grand-parents and ancestors are deeply woven into the psychological fabric of the living, often manifesting in the form of psychological vulnerability throughout life. But this presents a particular enigma for both patient and psychotherapist alike: how can the material be known and worked with when it belongs to someone else - mother, grandmother, father, grandfather or great grandparent?

Creative Interaction between Analyst and Patient: Development of the ego and creative core of the personality in psychoanalysis
Saturday 18 November 2017 - Dublin
Led by Neville Symington

Neville Symington is a psycho-analyst who has developed a view that there is an underlying pattern of disturbance that generates all the forms of mental illness described in the psychiatric text-books. He also believes that we clinicians at the moment are largely failing to heal that deeper level of disturbance because we lack the right lens with which to see what is in need of healing. This event will be typical of his characteristic invitation to reconsider the theoretical basis of our work.

Transpersonal Narratives in Eco-Psychology
Friday 24, Saturday 25 and Sunday 26 November 2017 - Eden Project
With Sophy Banks, James Barrett, Caroline Brazier, Marion Green, Professor Jeremy Holmes, Dr Justine Huxley, Emma Palmer, Paul Maiteny, Peter Owen-Jones, Mary-Jayne Rust, Toni Spencer and Nick Totton

This conference proposes that caring for the natural world of which we are an integral part is critical for our survival and our emotional well-being. Disrespecting that which nurtures us leads to deepening splits, tensions and conflicts within and beyond ourselves, which counter well-being and continue our dissociation from nurturing the planet, our home.
Illness in the Consulting Room:
Working with people who present life-threatening illness in therapy

Saturday 2 December 2017 - London
With Sue Cowan-Jenssen, Dorothy Judd and Julia Segal

The diagnosis of a life-threatening illness will fill almost any individual with terror as they face the fear of dying and the process of death. Cancer in particular arouses huge anxieties. Even though half those diagnosed with cancer in England and Wales survive their disease for ten years or more, the fear of not being one of those survivors, the adjustment of identity of shifting from a healthy person to being seriously ill, the rigours of treatment and the resulting shift in dynamics of that person's relationships - including that with their therapist - form a potentially overwhelming constellation of events that are a profound threat to the self.
Dissociative Identities
Are multiple selves the greatest therapeutic challenge?

Saturday 9 December 2017 - Dublin
With Remy Aquarone, Teresa Moorhead, Dr Valerie Sinason, Dr Adah Sachs

The capacity of the mind to create new identities as a form of self-protection when faced with trauma or exploitation in childhood is an extraordinary ability. It enables the child to preserve their core sense of self by creating an alternative personality - or many 'alter' personalities - who experience the abuse on behalf of the core personality. This splitting process appears to have the additional benefit of allowing the child to maintain crucial attachment relationships with an abusing adult upon whom s/he is dependent for survival through dis-identification with the abused child and any association with the abusing carer.
2016


2015


The Talking Cure
The function of narrative in the psychotherapeutic process

Friday 23 January 2015
Linda Cundy
Before the beginning: We are such stuff as stories are made on
Every baby is born into a unique relational environment. Before we are even conceived, we are conceived of, and these narratives in the minds of both parents are later enacted in explicit and subtle ways in interaction with the child. In turn, each parent was once an infant born into his or her own relational environment, each with a story to tell. This seminar will explore the impact of intergenerational narrative from an attachment perspective, with particular emphasis on the therapeutic application of these ideas.
The Talking Cure
The function of narrative in the psychotherapeutic process

Friday 30 January 2015
Dr Maggie Turp
Narratives of continuity - first steps in learning to tell our stories
From infancy onwards, Winnicott's 'ordinary good enough parents' offer their children running commentaries on the unfolding day - what has already happened and what is still to come. What role do these narratives of past, present and future play in infant and child development? What might be lacking in the experience of an infant or child for whom such narratives are not provided? In this seminar, we will consider these questions with reference to the work of D. W. Winnicott, extracts from infant observation studies and case study material.
The Talking Cure
The function of narrative in the psychotherapeutic process

Friday 6 February 2015
Dr Jean Knox
The making of meaning- imagination, story-telling, memory and the sense of self
This seminar will revolve around meaning making processes - the conscious and unconscious stories we create for ourselves and others to explain our own and other people's behaviour, attitudes and interactions. I shall describe some of the neuroscience research that sheds light on the meaning-making processes of the human mind. Finally, I shall explore the contribution of imagination, dreams and story-telling to our construction of our autobiographical narratives and our sense of identity.
The Talking Cure
The function of narrative in the psychotherapeutic process

Friday 13 February 2015
Dr Steve Farnfield
The use of the Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) in formulating treatment plans and 'narrative repair'
The AAI uses patterns of narrative speech as a direct window onto ways in which people process information about safety and danger. This makes it a very sensitive tool for understanding the process by which a particular client has constructed defences against mental and emotional suffering in childhood which may have become maladaptive as an adult. It also offers ways of understanding the impact of trauma and loss on everyday functioning with our children, partners and people close to us. The session focuses on the use of AAI discourse analysis in both assessment and the process of therapy. Case examples will be given drawn from adoptive parents and from birth parents of children removed to state care.
The Psychotic Patient in Therapy
The role of psychodynamic psychotherapy in treating transient psychosis and preventing long-term psychotic illness
Led by Marcus Evans & Dr Brian Martindale

Saturday 14 February 2015
Most psychotherapists will occasionally work with someone who has become psychotic, perhaps unexpectedly in private practice. This day, led by two psychoanalytic psychotherapists with extensive experience in this field, offers an evaluation of the...
Transforming Attachments
How do we progress from an insecure to secure attachment pattern, and what type of psychotherapy facilitates this process?
A 2-day conference with Dr Sarah Daniel, Professor Pasco Fearon, Tirril Harris, Professor Jeremy Holmes, Dr John Andrew Miller, Dr Mario Marrone, Professor Howard Steele, Professor Miriam Steele

Friday 20 & Saturday 21 February 2015
An attachment-sensitive approach to psychotherapy suggests that much psychopathology rests on early attachment problems with primary caregivers. Given that premise, the psychotherapist must ask if the focus of their work is to help the patient manage their attachment insecurity...
The Talking Cure
The function of narrative in the psychotherapeutic process

Friday 6 March 2015
Sarah Walther
What is narrative therapy?
Narrative therapy is a therapeutic approach that holds in mind a relational and contextual understanding of people and the problems they experience. Narratives are seen as being the means through which people make sense of their identities and relationships; that is, narratives have a real effect in shaping lives and the actions that people take. As identity is understood to be constructed in social, cultural and historical contexts, narrative practitioners explicitly consider the politics of experience to create social contexts in which identity can be re-constructed.
Yoga: A Key to Mental Health?
Psychological and physiological mechanisms for emotional regulation
Keynote speakers: Dr Richard Brown, Dr B.N. Gangadhar, Dr Pat Gerbarg, Shaura Hall, Paul Harris, Dr Lisa Kaley-Isley, Heather Mason, Swami Saradananda, Veena Ugargol and Dr Elizabeth Visceglia

Saturday 7 & Sunday 8 March 2015
As yoga's original purpose was to calm the mind, its many practices are all geared towards the cultivation of psychological ease. Whether focusing on postures, breath-work, or meditation each element of yoga was development to evoke mental energy and to quieten the mind. Thus, it is not surprising that research into the benefits of yoga reveal that it enhances mood.
The Talking Cure
The function of narrative in the psychotherapeutic process

Friday 13 March 2015
Martin Weegman
'Sound, fury, sense': narratives of addiction & recovery
Substance misuse is a devastating disorder, involving major biographical disruption. Drug-using and its accompanying lifestyles create 'spoiled identities' that are difficult to move beyond. The narratives associated with substance misuse hold individuals in self-justifying repertoires, unhelpful defences and reduced coherency (all 'sound and fury'). Using clinical examples, Martin will explore how narrative approaches deepen our understanding of addiction. In part two, with the help of interactive exercises, he will explore the way in which people make sense of previous addictions and build individual 'narratives of recovery'.
The Talking Cure
The function of narrative in the psychotherapeutic process

Friday 20 March 2015
Eva Hoffman
Narrating Ourselves
Humans are meaning-making animals, and in order to make sense of our experience, we need to make connections between the past and the present (as well as, more hypothetically, the future). How does the process of making such links happen on the level of the brain, the psyche and the imagination? What are the various categories of interpretation through which we can understand ourselves? How does a psychological (and therapeutic) narrative differ from, say, a historical understanding of our life-trajectories? And what is the relationship between narrative and structure in the self, and in imaginative writing -- for example, the novel and the memoir?


2014


Mirror Neurons, Embodied Empathy and the Boundaries of the Self
The art and science of deep therapeutic connection

Friday (eve) 10 and Saturday 11 January 2014
The relational trend in psychotherapy, which encourages the therapist to embrace an interpersonal process based on two subjectivities of equal importance is a well-theorised paradigm; it is widely accepted that a capacity for profoundly and compassionately sharing in another's self-states is essential for therapeutic change.

The Assessment and Treatment of PTSD from an Attachment Perspective
A one-day seminar led by Dr Felicity de Zulueta

Saturday 25 January 2014
This seminar, led by Dr Felicity de Zulueta - one of the UK's foremost experts on working with PTSD, complex PTSD and dissociative disorders - offers an appraisal of contemporary psychotherapeutic approaches to working with trauma and the most recent developments in our understanding of how trauma is embedded in the mind-body system.
Working Therapeutically with Uncertainty - An Existential Perspective
A one-day seminar facilitated by Professor Ernesto Spinelli

Saturday 1 March 2014
The current degree of anxiety and confusion brought about by the world-wide 'credit crunch' and its ramifications has forced both individuals and organisations to confront uncertainty. Pundits and experts remind us on a daily basis that 'we are in an entirely novel set of circumstances wherein we can assume nothing and cannot rely on past solutions'.

Video Interaction Guidance: Introductory Training Programme
Friday 7 and Saturday 8 March 2014
This two day course provides an introductory training in the approach of Video Interaction Guidance (VIG) for professionals who work with parents and children, couples or carers who are experiencing difficulties in communication in their closest relationships.

The Therapist's Well-Being
Saturday 22 March 2014
Self-protective strategies for maintaining your health - A one-day seminar facilitated by Dr David Beales

The Right Brain, Left Brain Divide
A seminar led by Professor Iain McGilchrist

Saturday 22 March 2014
In a work of unparalleled depth, Professor Iain McGilchrist has examined a vast body of recent brain research to reveal that the differences between the right and left hemisphere of the brain are complex, specific and profound.
Yoga and Health: Research and Practice
An international conference

3, 4, 5 and 6 April 2014
Examining yoga as an effective treatment for cardiovascular disease, immunological, respiratory, metabolic and neurological disorders, pain, stress and the care of cancer patients

The Impossible Profession?
A series of talks examining the experienced clinician's most difficult dilemmas

10 and 17 February, 3, 17, 24 and 31 March, 7 April 2014
Confidentiality and Ethics - The Internal world of the Psychotherapist
Talking about one's patients presents a special problem and, to address it, one has to decide whether clinical evidence is needed to back up one's argument. This presentation will focus on the internal discussion in the mind of the psychotherapist in reaching this decision, both in relation to the need and to the legitimacy of sharing such material. Such a condition holds even in the case of presenting a qualifying paper, for which the professional organisation lays down the requirement and takes over the role of critic. In addition, this internal conversation points to a distinction between an ethical stance and a code of practice.


Treating anxiety from neuropsychoanalysis to CBT: distinct perspectives and treatment approaches
Monday 12, 19 May and 2 June 2014
Treating Anxiety: a neuroscientific perspective
This seminar will offer an understanding of anxiety disorders that rests on research into the emotional systems that we share with all other mammals. Beginning with a brief discussion of Panksepp's emotional taxonomy with special emphasis on the GRIEF, FEAR & SEEKING SYSTEMS, Lucy Biven will explain how one type of anxiety is generated by issues in the FEAR system, while another separate pattern of anxiety is generated by GRIEF.
Psychotherapeutic insights into resolving intergenerational trauma
31 May and 1 June 2014
The traumas of our parents, grand-parents and ancestors - particular those that are unknown and thus unformulated in consciousness - are deeply woven into the psychological fabric of the living.
Contemporary intersections in psychotherapy
A day led by Professor Jeremy Holmes

Saturday 7 June 2014
After 30 years as a NHS psychiatrist, and 40 as an attachment-oriented psychoanalytic psychotherapist, Jeremy explores some of his current preoccupations as a way of enabling us to consider and assimilate some of the sweeping shifts that recently occurred in our field - in particular, theoretical intersections that are creating new paradigms.
From collusion and collision to collaboration - How the therapist's own attachment patterns shape therapy
2-day seminar led by Dr David Wallin

Friday 11 and Saturday 12 July 2014
Following his sell-out seminar in 2013, David Wallin is returning to London to continue to explore the significance of attachment theory for the therapy relationship itself. This 2-day seminar is a further opportunity to look at ways in which your own attachment experiences may be shaping your therapeutic disposition and thus the kind of attachment relationship you are offering the patient.
The challenges of working with dissociative disorders
9, 16, 23 and 30 June, 7 and 14 July 2014
Dissociative disorders are a range of conditions that involve the involuntary separation of feelings, thoughts and awareness from the dominant state of consciousness. These can be seen as an adaptive response to trauma, which is highly effective in protecting one's psychological integrity at the time but which thereafter can become an embedded and problematic structure of the mind which can be very disruptive.
Working Psychotherapeutically with Sadism
A seminar series for psychotherapists and psychologists

3 October 2014
Sadomasochism in family life: the simulation of intimacy and the fantasy of belonging
Emotional deprivation creates a longing for closeness while denying the means of achieving it. In the emotionally deprived person the capacity to give and receive love is equated with possessiveness and control.
Working Psychotherapeutically with Sadism
A seminar series for psychotherapists and psychologists

10 October 2014
Sexual cruelty in the marital bed: unconscious sadism in non-forensic couples
One need not be a violent, acting-out, forensic patient to perpetrate acts of deep cruelty. Often some of the "nicest" people will treat their intimates with shocking viciousness. Many, in fact, save their most primitive, aggressive urges for their long-term marital partners; and not infrequently, the bedroom becomes the boxing ring in which otherwise normal-neurotic couples will concretise some of their most sadistic tendencies.
Working with Eating Disorders: Psychodynamic Perspectives
Led by Em Farrell and Marilyn Lawrence

Saturday 11 October 2014 - SOLD OUT
This day is led by two psychoanalytical psychotherapists whose careers have been dedicated to working with people with eating disorders. The programme offers participants a theoretical overview exploring the psychodynamics of eating problems, and two workshops applying such theory to clinical technique.
Therapy Failures Unraveled
With Dr Doris Brothers and Dr Mario Marrone

Saturday 1 November 2014
We will all be familiar with the painful and inevitable moments of misattunement between a psychotherapist and patient as a central part of the therapeutic process. The issue of interpersonal rupture that is the product of an unconscious, intersubjective field is a highly theorised aspect of relational psychotherapy.
Working Psychotherapeutically with Sadism
A seminar series for psychotherapists and psychologists

7 November 2014
Sexual sadism in ritual abuse: the dilemma of the perpetrator
Professionals in the field of ritual abuse are dealing with a level of sexual sadism that is rarely seen within forensic clinics. Indeed, it is usually only in the course of a civil war that such combinations of crimes are openly seen rather than hidden away.
Psychopharmacology and Psychotherapy
With Professor Phil Cowen, Dr Diane Hammersley and Dr Susan Mizen

Saturday 8 November 2014
This conference tackles the complex and controversial issue of how the medical model of prescribing psychotropic medication converges with the process-oriented and relational approach of psychotherapy - especially when both methods come together in the work with an individual patient.
Working Psychotherapeutically with Sadism
A seminar series for psychotherapists and psychologists

21 November 2014
Sado-masochistic dynamics in the consulting room
In this talk I will present different clinical situations where a sado-masochistic dynamic, apparent from patients' histories, appears in the consulting room and how this can be approached.
Epigenetics Demystified
A conference with Dr Nessa Carey and Professor Marcus Pembrey

Saturday 22 November 2014
Experiences, whether positive or negative, have a profound effect on the way our DNA is expressed in relation to the environment, and it is well established that relational and emotional experiences - like any other - can change the expression levels of a gene.
Working Psychotherapeutically with Sadism
A seminar series for psychotherapists and psychologists

28 November 2014
Surviving the sadistic patient
This presentation will address how we understand the development of states of mind and behaviours which seem to be dominated by the need to dominate and control the other, in subtle ways or in more aggressive ways, and gain satisfaction and pleasure from doing so?
Neuroplasticity: Implications for New Clinical Technique
Dr Ruth Lanius and Dr Mark Solms

Saturday 29 November 2014
One of the most exciting developments of neuroscience research has been how and in what ways the brain changes throughout life as synaptic connections are constantly removed or created resulting in new cortical maps. Adding to the studies of brain plasticity in patients suffering from brain injury and the way people learn, the field of affective neuroscience has introduced the proposition that relationships are a powerful factor in neuroplasticity, and that we create new neural pathways in response to emotional and interpersonal stimuli.
Working Psychotherapeutically with Sadism
A seminar series for psychotherapists and psychologists

5 December 2014
Working with sadism - an embodied relational approach
Clients who experienced sadistic dynamics - whether they were on the victim or the perpetrator - bring into the therapeutic space many shadow aspect of the human psyche. Cruelty, domination, humiliations, manipulation, aggression are only a few of the emotions that will be expressed and often manifest in the therapeutic relationship whilst working with the patterns and implications of sadism.
Psychotherapeutic Listening with the Body
A skills development workshop led by Margaret Landale and Jon Sletvold

Saturday 6 December 2014 - SOLD OUT
Contemporary theory suggests that in order to truly understand the client's inner world the therapist has to be willing to be open to their bodily self and to experience the feelings and sensations that surface in relation to the other person; it is in that embodied domain that essential clues to the patient's subjectivity can be found.
Working Psychotherapeutically with Sadism
A seminar series for psychotherapists and psychologists

12 December 2014 - SOLD OUT
Working therapeutically with consensual kink
This talk provides an overview of consensual kink and the place of sadism, dominance or topping within this. Research demonstrates that people engaged in kink are no more likely to be psychopathological or abusive than any other group, and there are many community practices for ensuring consent.


2013


Relatedness Uncertainty and Anxiety: The Practice of Contemporary Existential Psychotherapy
Saturday 19 January 2013
A One-Day Seminar led by Professor Ernesto Spinelli

Existential therapy assumes a foundational basis of relatedness (or inter-relation) upon all human subjective reflections (be they cognitively, emotionally, behaviourally or feeling focused) of lived experience. As such, the issues, disorders and dilemmas presented within the therapeutic relationship are seen as expressions of that client's ways of relatedness and are considered, examined and illuminated through the experience of relatedness within the therapeutic encounter itself.

The Right Brain, Left Brain Divide: What is its Relevance to the Task of Psychotherapy?
Saturday 2 February 2013
A seminar led by Professor Iain McGilchrist

In a work of unparalleled depth, Professor Iain McGilchrist has examined a vast body of recent brain research to reveal that the differences between the right and left hemisphere of the brain are complex, specific and profound. This division is offered by the speaker as a way of illustrating some of the core tensions in human behaviour, which if not elucidated, leave us at risk of misjudging the nature of our relationships with others and to the world in which we live.

Energy Psychology - Its Explosive Healing Potential
Saturday 9 February 2013
A one-day seminar led by Ruthie Smith and Dr Phil Mollon

In this seminar, Ruthie Smith and Phil Mollon will be showing how energy psychology work interfaces with all kinds of conventional psychotherapy approaches but also takes it deeper and allows the work to move much more quickly.

Live Supervision - The Body
18 January, 1 February, 8 February and 19 Apri 2013
Does embodied psychotherapy go deeper that other modalities?

In this set of 3 brief interviews, Jane Ryan invites Michael Soth, Margaret Landale and Nick Totton to talk about why they believe that an embodied approach to psychotherapy is the deepest way to reach and work with our clients or patients.

Learning From Life
Saturday 20 April 2013
A one-day workshop led by Patrick Casement

In his fourth and most personal book, Learning from Life, Patrick Casement gives us a fascinating insight into fundamental questions concerning the acquisition of analytic wisdom and how personal experiences shape the analyst's approach to clinical work. In this seminar he will talk to us about how the psychoanalytic self comes into being, and how our own emotional truths consciously or unconsciously shape our work.

Attachment Theory in Practice
Monday evenings 28 Jan - 22 April 2013
Developing a therapeutic approach that reflects our understanding of attachment needs

Applying Video Interaction Guidance as a new therapeutic techniqu
Saturday 11 May 2013
Video Interaction Guidance was born out of research on intuitive parent-infant communication by Harrie Biemans, Daniel Stern, Colwyn Trevarthen and others, using detailed micro-analysis from film and video of the subtle rhythms, tones and narrative turns that contribute to an emotionally attuned interaction. It has a purpose of engaging patients, parents or clients actively in the posture, facial expressions, voice and gestures of their interactions with closely attached others.

The Power of Non-verbal Communication in the Talking Cure
Friday 17 and Saturday 18 May 2013
A conference with Dr Amanda Jones, Dr Jean Knox, Dr Iain McGilchrist, Dr Phil Mollon, Dr Bonnie Meekums, Paul Newham, Dr Dan Siegel and Dr Colwyn Trevarthen
Lost and Gained in Translation
Saturday 15 June 2013
A 1-day conference exploring the nature of giving or receiving psychotherapy in a non-mother tongue language

We are the tools of our trade - How the therapist's own attachment patterns shape therapy
A 2-day seminar led by Dr David Wallin

Friday 21 and Saturday 22 June 2013
Sparked by Bowlby's original insights, attachment research has revolutionised our understanding of human development and the internal world.

The Gift of the Wounded Healer
An exploration of the clinical qualities and personal risks that arise from the psychotherapist's own experience of suffering

Saturday 28 September 2013
This event invites experienced clinicians to explore how we should position ourselves in relation to a patient's perceived misdemeanours or convicted crimes.

The Assessment and Treatment of PTSD from an Attachment Perspective
A one-day seminar led by Dr Felicity de Zulueta

Saturday 19 October 2013
This seminar, led by Dr Felicity de Zulueta - one of the UK's foremost experts on working with PTSD, complex PTSD and dissociative disorders - offers an appraisal of contemporary psychotherapeutic approaches to working with trauma and the most recent developments in our understanding of how trauma is embedded in the mind-body system.

Psychotherapy and Soul
Contemporary perspectives on spirituality and the transpersonal in clinical practice

Monday evenings 16 September - 28 October 2013
In recent years, there has been a wave of renewed interest in teachings that have been long held by mystical and indigenous traditions. Concomitantly there has been a widening and deepening of the terrain for therapy with a greater emphasis on the nature of consciousness and reality.

The Affronting Patient
Working with people whose behaviour is ethically disturbing

Saturday 2 November 2013
This event invites experienced clinicians to explore how we should position ourselves in relation to a patient's perceived misdemeanours or convicted crimes.

The Early Bonds of Mutual Love
1-day seminar with Dr Allan Schore

Saturday 9 November 2013
The centrality of the early bonds of mutual love between a mother and her infant to later human development has been emphasised by many scientists and clinicians.

Energy Psychology - Its Explosive Healing Potential
A one-day seminar led by Ruthie Smith and Dr Phil Mollon

Saturday 23 November 2013
In this seminar, Ruthie Smith and Phil Mollon will be showing how energy psychology interfaces with conventional psychotherapy approaches to allow the work to move much more quickly.
Evoking Resilience - Strategies, skills and insights for finding strengths in the face of adversity
A 1-day training day led by Dr Chris Johnstone

Saturday 30 November 2013
This one-day workshop explores ways of helping our clients grow in their ability to withstand and recover from adversity.
Intergenerational Trauma
Recognising and healing cycles of ancestral pain

Monday evenings 4 November - 16 December 2013
Hidden, and often shrouded in shame and silence, the traumas of our parents, grand-parents and ancestors are deeply woven into the psychological fabric of the living, operating within the psyche as an unseen but potent force, often manifesting as a psychological fixity that leads to vulnerability throughout life.



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Book of the Month
Brett Kahr's Top Ten Psychotherapy Books - 2018
Professor Brett Kahr certainly knows something about the art of authoring books. Over the years he has written or edited twelve volumes, and has served as series editor of some fifty further titles. Earlier this year, he published New Horizons in Forensic Psychotherapy: Exploring the Work of Estela V. Welldon (Karnac Books, 2018)... More >>
Watch this
Helen Fisher: The brain in love

Why do we crave love so much, even to the point that we would die for it? To learn more about our very real, very physical need for romantic love, Helen Fisher and her research team took MRIs of people in love — and people who had just been dumped... view...

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The Latest Neuroimaging Findings in Borderline Personality Disorder

Altered function in neurotransmitter systems including the serotonin, glutamate, and GABA systems was observed in patients with BPD... read more...