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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
Illness in the Consulting Room:
Working with people who present life-threatening conditions in therapy

With Sue Cowan-Jenssen, Dorothy Judd and Julia Segal

Saturday 2 December 2017 - London

09.30   Registration and coffee
10.00   Dorothy Judd

Working with patients with cancer
This presentation will attempt to explore the very difficult role of the psychotherapist working with adults with cancer: to hear what the patient is feeling, to respect his/her defences, to avoid shaping what the patient is experiencing as a means of reassurance, to allow for sadness and loss and yet to maintain hope - hope that some thinking and understanding can take place between the therapist and the patient. The therapist's own terror may be part of the work, as well as a need for courage. Trauma, containment, pre-disaster resources, mourning, transference and countertransference, humility, will all be considered.
11.15   Coffee
11.45   Sue Cowan-Jenssen

Mortality in the Consulting Room: when patient and therapist's illnesses intersect
What do we tell our clients when we are ill? This issue raises many questions. Do we disclose? How do we disclose? How much do we disclose? When do we disclose? And, perhaps most importantly, why do we disclose? Our profession has, rather surprisingly, not written much on this difficult yet not infrequently experienced topic. In this talk, Sue Cowan-Jenssen will be thinking about some of these questions using her own personal experience when, in 2009, she was diagnosed with cancer and suddenly, uninvited, the issue of her mortality entered the consulting room.

She will also reflect on how her own experiences have impacted the way she works with clients who face cancer diagnoses.
13.00   Lunch (included)
14.00   Discussion of the morning presentations
14:30   Julia Segal

How do we disentangle the therapist's fears about illness from the ill patient's need to be heard?
When a client arrives with an illness, their therapist is immediately presented with a particular set of challenges. We understand other people through our knowledge of ourselves; our bodies as well as our minds. An illness or disability can immediately set up a kind of alienation between client and therapist. Sometimes there can also be a sense that client or therapist might be afraid of too close an identification, in case it transfers the illness or disability to the therapist themselves. When life itself is threatened we can revert to Klein's 'paranoid-schizoid' ways of reacting, in which magical thinking takes over from cold rationality. As therapists we spend our lives sorting out whatever gets in the way of satisfactory communication between ourselves and our clients, and we can do this. The purpose of this session is to consider how to do so effectively so that the client is not kept waiting too long while the therapist frees their mind of some of their anxieties about illness and can listen properly to what the client is telling them.
16.00   Tea and discussion
16.30   End

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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

Tavistock Centre
120 Belsize Lane

09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:15 Coffee
13:00 Lunch
16:00 Tea
16:30 End