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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

Women on the Couch - the seminar series

A series of presentations for psychotherapists on the inner lives of women

With Susanna Abse, Dr Meg-John Barker, Sarah Benamer, Roz Carroll, Jocelyn Chaplin, Prophecy Coles, Jane Czyzselska, Marion Green, Janice Hiller, Dr Amanda Jones, Dr Dianne Lefevre, Dr Isha Mckenzie-Mavinga, Anna Motz, Emma Palmer (formerly Kamalamani), Holli Rubin, Anna Santamouris, Dr Maggie Turp, Valentino Vecchietti, Maria Xrisoula and Heba Zaphiriou-Zarifi

Thursday evenings, 13 September to 13 December 2018 - London

13 September 2018 -  Jocelyn Chaplin

Women and Goddess Myths
Consciously our clients/patients may be atheist or at least skeptical of anything 'unscientific'. Yet deep in our personal and collective unconscious lie the remnants of thousands of years of patriarchal religious imagery. To counter this, myths of goddesses in many forms can play a vital role in the transformation and empowerment of women in therapy. In this talk/workshop we will look at ways in which these myths can be used in our work. It will include dreams, art and an extremely brief history of goddesses from the Palaeolithic era to today.

Venue: The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

20 September 2018 -  Marion Green & Maria Xrisoula

Identity, Homelessness and Sex Work
The term psychotherapy pre-supposes a desire for change and an ability to form a close relationship with another i.e. the therapist. Many homeless women and women engaged in the sex industry have little or no experience of secure attachment with a primary care giver. Their early relationships were most often cultivated in a climate of fear and mistrust and a need to keep safe in order to survive.

Teela Sanders in her book Sex Work: A Risky Business (2004) speaks of the many strategies and "complex web of deception" sex workers will employ to protect their identity from exposure and in order to manage the psychological issues related to selling access to their body parts. This requires what she calls "continual mental acrobatics that may lead to self-degradation." Forming a therapeutic relationship in such circumstances is challenging and requires unorthodox approaches. Marion will talk about the model she and her colleagues have developed in order to engage with women in this client group, and the quest for intimacy within the context of commodification and objectification of self and other.

Maria Xrisoula will introduce a discussion on the theme of chaotic processes the practitioner encounters in this field of work, especially on how countertransference and projective identification are unavoidable. How can we as therapists and counsellors turn the latter into tools of insight and potential professional development?

Venue: The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

27 September 2018 -  Dr Meg-John Barker

Gender and Consent on the Couch: Beyond the Binaries
In this contribution to the Women on the Couch series, queer writer Meg-John Barker explores what we can learn about this current sex/gender moment by turning our attention to gender, sexual, and relationship diversity (GSRD). At the same time that the #metoo and Time's Up movements have been unfolding, there has been a moral panic about trans in media and popular culture. What might be gained for our understandings of gender and consent by considering these two cultural phenomena together rather than separately? Queer activism and queer theory have suggested that we should start by questioning 'normativity' when it comes to gender, sexuality and identity. What happens if we locate the epidemics of sexual violence and harassment in existing sexual and gender norms which pervade popular culture, sex advice and even sex and relationship therapy? Finally, what are the possibilities if we turn from treating marginalised GSRD communities as something to 'explain' or 'treat' to something we might learn from? What can queer, kinky, asexual, and polyamorous communities teach everyone about how to navigate sex - and wider relationships - with consent?

Venue: The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

4 October 2018 -  Anna Motz

Female Violence and Crimes Against the Body
In our first session, Anna Motz will explore the development of female violence and its typical expression in acts of aggression directed towards the woman's own body and those of her children. She will explore the societal resistance to confronting the disturbing reality of maternal abuse in the light of commonly held, cherished beliefs about femininity in general and motherhood in particular. The hidden nature of female violence, so often enacted in the private, domestic realm, is evident in the clinical case material presented but Anna will also look at more recent developments in female violence, including women's roles in terrorist activities. She will present a model of the psychology of female violence described as 'crimes against the body'.

Venue: The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

11 October 2018 -  Roz Carroll

Burning out? The importance of wildness, creativity and comfort in a sustainable life
Burn out, as the image suggests is a loss of the flame of vitality; it's the plug pulled, nerves frayed, can't-take-it-anymore. Roz Carrol uses the word loosely and holds that there are many pathways going into and out of it, as her case material will show. Drawing on Stern's 'Forms of Vitality' she illustrates ways of exploring relational rhythm through experiments with movement, gesture, sound and space. To feed the flame requires deep listening to the body and, she proposes, the cultivation of wildness, creativity and comfort in ways that are specific to each client and therapist dyad. In this process long lost self-states, such as Mischief, Snuggle, Hibernate or Howl, may emerge and be reclaimed.

Venue: The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

18 October 2018 -  Prophecy Coles

Sisters of Mothers
Prophecy Coles is researching the history of adoption and its link to illegitimacy. This means going into the very painful history of 'bastardy' and the way the unmarried mother and her baby have been castigated. She shall be describing the work of three remarkable women who helped to change the social prejudice against mothers who had children out of wedlock. She is calling these three women the 'Sisters' of Mothers who were despised and thought to have born rotten fruit. These women are Mary Carpenter (1807 - 1877) Clara Andrew (1840 - 1939) and Lettice Fisher (1875 - 1958).

Venue: The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

1 November 2018 -  Anna Santamouris

Women and Addiction
The seminar, as part of the 'Women series', will draw on psychoanalytic theory to explore the problem of addiction for Woman. We will discuss how to develop effective practice with addicted clients and the impact of addiction on the therapeutic process. Specifically, both motherhood and prostitution will be discussed and the inherent relationship both internally and externally of power and control. Important in this work are the attachment and dependency patterns of the clients which impact on their ability to sustain and internalise the therapeutic process. Defences such as denial, sublimation, projection, aggression and repetition compulsion are deeply embedded in addicted clients making the therapeutic task feel nearly impossible. After a talk there will be an interactive discussion and case examples.

Venue: The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

15 November 2018 -  Holli Rubin

Body Image: How we feel about ourselves physically impacts us emotionally
What is body image? Why is it important? How does it affect us and our clients? And what do we need to know as professionals so that we can understand and help clients improve not only their body confidence, but also their general health and mental wellbeing? Holli Rubin will be talking to you about how the concept of Body Image forms and the developmental changes that impact Body Image. She will also look at the ways Body Image is influenced, how issues present and how we can recognise the warning signs that one might be entering more dangerous psychological territory. The talk will address the prevalence and the impact Body Image has on ourselves and on our clients, and she will illustrate some of the techniques used to help work with and overcome these difficulties. This seminar will include a presentation with videos and slides, as well as experiential work where we will break out into smaller groups.

Venue: The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

22 November 2018 -  Emma Palmer

Other Than Mother
It's strange to think that not having children - through choice, circumstance, and loss - is still a hot topic in 2018... Fascinated by rising statistics of childlessness, as well as in the ecological impact of parenthood, Emma wrote Other than Mother: Choosing Childlessness with Life in Mind (2016) to support those mulling this decision, as well as to highlight the ongoing stereotyping and 'othering' of the childfree. Opening a space for discussion, this evening is for those women who are both childfree by choice and childless through circumstance and loss, as well as those who are ambivalent, unsure or as yet undecided.

Venue: The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

29 November 2018 -  Heba Zaphiriou-Zarifi

Women in War Zones and the Archetypal Feminine: From Rupture to Repair
"If anything is sacred, The human body is sacred" Walt Whitman
In this talk, our speaker would like to open a window on the lives of women in conflict or war zones, to bear witness to their fractured lives, and to the ways in which they struggle and they survive.

Drawing from experiences in therapeutic practice, the speaker will share stories of silent heroines, of women whose bodies have been besieged, reviled, or abused. Standing for the entirety of their community, their body symbolises the 'polis': the 'political nucleus' where the tragedy of loss, displacement, and reconnection is enacted and, like 'ancient cities', they are re-formed around a sacred centre.

From Analytical Psychology the archetypal feminine can be gleaned to unveil how women find agency, regain their sense of identity and find meaning for their pain. The symbol of the heart is central to the process of healing brokenness and finding compassion.

Through embodied movement, there will be time to experience the nature of 'body as bridge' between the split-off parts and the re-integration of self, between the estranged self and the meeting of 'other'.

Venue: The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

6 December 2018 -  Susanna Abse

Harpies and Sirens - The dirty little secret of women's aggression
Research shows that women and men experience anger in equal measures, yet how these feelings of anger are expressed appears to be highly gendered. This seminar will explore some of the research relating to aggression and gender differences, placing this within a relational and therapeutic context, using film extracts and clinical material. The seminar will also explore how female therapists respond to their own aggression and the aggression they meet in their female patients. Do our own attitudes and unconscious anxiety about female aggression reinforce gender norms?

Venue: The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX

13 December 2018 -  Jane Czyzselska & Valentino Vecchietti

It's time to include Intersex Women: The importance of gaining knowledge and understanding to provide therapy for Intersex women within the context of huge human rights violations that they face in the UK and worldwide
There are approximately 1 million Intersex women in the UK, and yet therapists remain largely unaware of many of the issues faced by this under-researched and neglected group. Current medical protocols for intersex infants and children in the UK and world wide have been described as torture by the UN. Non-consensual medical interventions seek to surgically, hormonally, and psychologically create bio- and hetro -normativity in this population. Jane Czyzselska, therapist and former editor of Diva magazine focuses on her Masters research, in addition to the research and work of Valentino Vecchietti, Intersex Human Rights Campaigner and independent academic, to highlight key areas in which therapists can better support these marginalized women.

Venue: The Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, London NW3 5SX


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Individual seminars
Single evening: £25

CPD Hours

2 hours per seminar

The Freud Museum
Maresfield Gardens

18.30 Registration
19.00 Start
21.00 End