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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

The Voiceless and Unheard

Understanding Primitive Bodily Communications in Psychotherapy

With speakers Gabrielle Brown, Raffaella Hilty, Professor Brett Kahr, Dr Valerie Sinason and David O'Driscoll

Saturday 6 July 2019 - London

Every psychotherapist practitioner will know only too well what it means to experience the rage and hatred of one's most vulnerable clients and the challenges that this raises in countertransference work. Most often these clients will express their hateful feelings verbally. But, what about those clients who cannot talk? Or those clients who are capable of talking but carry a complex range of unprocessed embodied feelings that cannot be verbally expressed?

This conference will explore psychotherapy work with severely traumatised and learning disabled patients who must rely on a non-verbal type of language in order to communicate their most dreadful states of mind. Specifically, it aims to elucidate the little-discussed, yet not infrequent, clinical experience of working with individuals who communicate through the use of their body and bodily fluids, manifesting with this lack of bodily containment and lack of mental containment. The speakers will discuss a number of clinical cases in which they will offer a psychoanalytic approach to describe how these embodied states of mind can be felt, tolerated and, when possible, verbalised, so that eventually these clients can begin to experience greater mental containment as well as bodily containment.


Gabrielle Brown
Gabrielle Brown is an Adult Psychotherapist at the Portman Clinic, Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, London and Consultant Psychotherapist in Reflective Practice at South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. She has edited 'Psychoanalytic Thinking on the Unhoused Mind' (2019) Routledge... More >>

Raffaella Hilty
Raffaella Hilty is a UKCP registered Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist trained at the Bowlby Centre where she has been involved in teaching on the training programme. Having worked as an Honorary Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist within the NHS at Guy's Hospital for a number of years, she now works in private practice in North London and is Deputy Course Tutor for the Diploma in Psychopathology at Confer. In addition to her Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy training Raffaella has an MA in Philosophy that contributes to inform her relational psychoanalytic and humanistic approach to clinical practice and an Advanced Diploma in Coaching.... More >>

Professor Brett Kahr
Professor Brett Kahr has worked in the mental health profession for over forty years. He is Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London and, also, Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health. A Consultant Psychotherapist at The Balint Consultancy and a Consultant in Psychology to The Bowlby Centre, he is also a Trustee of the Freud Museum London and of Freud Museum Publications. Kahr is the author or editor of twelve books, including D.W. Winnicott: A Biographical Portrait, which won the Gradiva Award for Biography, as well as the best-selling Sex and the Psyche, a study of the traumatic origins of sexual fantasies. His most recent book is entitled How to Flourish as a Psychotherapist. He is also Series Editor of over fifty-five further titles on forensic psychotherapy; the history of psychoanalysis; and couple and family psychoanalysis... More >>

Dr Valerie Sinason
Valerie Sinason PhD, MACP, M Inst Psychoanal, FIPD is a poet, writer, child, adolescent and adult psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst. She was Founder Director of the Clinic for Dissociative Studies until her retirement and remains a Consultant. She is President of the Institute for Psychotherapy and Disability (IPD) and Hon Consultant Psychotherapist at the University of Cape Town Child Guidance Clinic; Patron of the Dorchester Trust, Chair of Trustees of the First People Art Centre – Nieu Bethesda Arts Foundation... More >>

David O'Driscoll
David O'Driscoll has been a psychoanalytic psychotherapist for the Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust, Learning Disability service since 2000. He is a visiting research fellow and visiting lecturer at the Centre for Learning Disability Research, Hertfordshire University. He also teaches a short course on disability psychotherapy at the John Bowlby Centre as part of their Psychotherapy training. David is a council member and convenor for learning disability section of the Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in the NHS (APP), a founder member of the Institute of Disability and Psychotherapy (IPD) and is currently its chair... More >>


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Handouts and lunch included
Self-funded: £120
Self-funded x 2: £200
Organisationally-funded: £200
Psychotherapy trainee: £80 (Limited to 10 places)
This event + the online module Forensic Psychotherapy: £195
CPD Hours

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

The Tavistock Centre
120 Belsize Lane

09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:40 Coffee
13:00 Lunch
14:50 Tea
17:00 End