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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
Psychotherapy is a Cultural Issue

The influence of Susie Orbach's work on theory, practice and values

Saturday 22 April 2017

Chair person - Amita Sehgal
09.30   Registration and coffee
10.00   Brett Kahr

Psychotherapy is not a spectator sport: the dissemination of psychoanalysis from Freud to Orbach
Psychotherapists practice the most private of professions and in doing so we pledge ourselves to preserve the precious confidences of our patients and clients. Nevertheless, psychotherapists and psychoanalysts must endeavour to inform the general public about our work. This poses many problems, not least, the anxiety about compromising confidentiality and exposing our own personal fears of appearing in public spaces, exposing our bodies and, moreover, our minds. In this presentation, Brett Kahr will explore the growth of "media psychology" from Freud until today and, in particular, Susie Orbach, who, across a long career, has introduced many important innovations in the field of media psychoanalysis through her ground-breaking books, newspaper articles, radio and television programmes, and through her engagement with large-scale cultural and political institutions. We shall consider whether our historical hesitation to work more collaboratively with the media represents an admirable restraint or, rather, a missed opportunity for the growth of the psychological field.
10.45   Discussion between Susie Orbach and Brett Kahr
11.00   Coffee
11.30   Sarah Benamer

Embodied Intimacies
How we relate to and with our bodies in the present inherently includes our past experience of how possible it was to attach and be intimate with another. With reference to Susie Orbach's questions and curiosity about the nature of embodiment, I will consider how her ideas inform my therapeutic work and are essential in helping me to orientate and think fully about what it means to inhabit a body over time. Working relationally with body-based crises takes both therapist and client to the core of their own subjectivity. I am interested in how we can journey with a client through their body narrative, being both object and subject as necessary, the co-creation of bodies in the search for self, the texture of this experience, and how - in an increasingly disorientating world where body itself is no longer stable - we may still come to terms with our bodies and grieve.
12.15   Kate White

Risking the radical edge of relationship seeking in theory and practice
This presentation will trace the pathways from Fairbairn to the Relational, exploring the revolutionising influence of attachment and object relations in Susie Orbach's work.
13.00   Panel discussion: Susie Orbach, Sarah Benemer and Kate White
13.30   Lunch (not Included)
14:30   Jane Haberlin in conversation with Susie Orbach

Jane and Susie will draw upon clinical material to bring to life Susie's innovative contribution to psychotherapy. Jane will discuss what drew her to Susie's collaborative work with Luise Eichenbaum, which underpinned the early work of the Women's Therapy Centre. Their inclusion and emphasis of a feminist perspective added an essential layer to the psychodynamic understanding of distressed eating, the mother-daughter relationship, female friendship, women's difficulties with ambition, entitlement and visibility and women's difficulties with receiving, which in turn influences technical aspects of the clinical encounter.
15.15   Tea
15:35   Andrew Samuels

Experts, consultants, leaders, visionaries, antidotes, fools? On the role of therapists in the creation of public policy
Talk to therapists and many feel that the impact of 'therapy thinking' on society could and should be greater. They often ask their leaders what they are doing about it. Talk to policy makers and politicians and, without dissing all psychological input, they have a preference for predictable, mechanistic, 'evidence-based' accounts of the human condition. Andrew's starting point is Susie Orbach's work on psychoanalysis and social policy. He then moves on to consider a range of different styles of public and political engagement open to today's therapists. Is there a role in public life for an individual therapist - or is this better done via our groups and organisations?
16:15   Valerie Sinason

Susie Orbach: A woman for all seasons
One of the pleasures of soap operas is that they become attachment sources - growing up with us weekly, dealing with or pinpointing the existential angst of our time. We tend to call someone a national treasure when they have performed a similar function, aiding us iconically, symbolically and literally. This role usually goes to someone in the arts and it is extremely rarely it goes to a psychoanalytic thinker and practitioner. From founding the women's therapy centre in 1976, writing Fat is a Feminist Issue in 1978 to In Therapy on Radio 4 right now she has educated and inspired us for over 4 decades. Her work for children through her emotional literacy work is often forgotten in the midst of her myriad other roles. She is indeed a woman for all ages, sexes, clinical conditions and bodies. However, having been helped by her and her writing and broadcasting for four decades I want to focus in this talk on the help she has provided in the field of dissociative identity disorder.
16.55   Vote of Thanks by Brett Kahr
17.00   End

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Self-funded: £130 (Sold out)
Self-funded x 2: £200 (Sold out)
Organisationally-funded: £200 (Sold out)
CPD Hours

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

6th Floor
Foyles Bookshop
107 Charing Cross Road

09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:00 Coffee
13:30 Lunch
15:15 Tea
17:00 End