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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships


Working with threats to the couple relationship

With speakers Susanna Abse, Jane Haberlin and Dr Amita Sehgal

Saturday 20 January 2018 - London

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. They are the cause and consequence of a third party disrupting the equilibrium of a relationship, challenging partners to find a new balance within it. Even an unconsummated liaison can dismantle relational structures based on trust, requiring a deep reworking of the basis of the partnership.

How are we as therapists to understand this, and how might we deal with the responses it evokes in us? Are we seeking to understand the so-called errant partner, or do we search the intersubjective field of a couple's relationship to make sense of the breakdown of trust between them? Do we regard an affair as a negative for the couple, or do we think it might spur its development? What theories do we draw on to help us understand this phenomenon, and how might we respond without becoming lost in the passions it can incite. This seminar will explore the interior of sexual betrayal, what motivates it and how it might be worked with.


Susanna Abse
Susanna Abse is a couple psychoanalytic psychotherapist, executive coach and organisational consultant. She has worked in private practice with couples, parents and individuals since 1991. She was CEO of the charity Tavistock Relationships from 2006 until 2016 and is a Senior Fellow of the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology. She is a member of the British Psychoanalytic Council and serves on its Executive Board... More >>

Jane Haberlin
Jane Haberlin trained with Arbours as a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and has worked at The Arbours Crisis Centre and The Women's Therapy Centre. She is a member of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy (IARPP) and a founder member of The Relational School in London... More >>

Dr Amita Sehgal
Dr Amita Sehgal is a couple psychoanalytic psychotherapist accredited by the British Psychoanalytic Council through the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology. She works as a Visiting Lecturer at Tavistock Relationships, and she maintains a private practice in Central London. She holds a Ph.D. in genetic engineering from the University of Leeds. Prior to embarking upon a career in adult mental health, Amita held postdoctoral fellowships in immunological research at the Institute of Child Health, the primary medical research partner of the Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London and, also, at St. Mary's Hospital in London. .. More >>


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Self-funded: £130
Self-funded x 2: £200
Organisationally-funded: £200

CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 6 hours will be provided at the event

Grange Fitzrovia Hotel
Bolsover Street

09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:30 Coffee
13:30 Lunch
16:30 Discussion
17:00 End