The Therapeutic Frame: Is it Central to the Cure?
Saturday 14 December 2019 - London
With Dr Maria Luca, Prof Alistair Ross, Maktuno Suit and Nick Totton
The frame creates safety and inhibits the danger of the therapist's use of the client. It offers a set of limits which, in themselves, can engage the patient with creative boundary pushing which illuminates their unconscious desires and fears. Yet, if held too rigidly, these limits can be experienced as deeply persecutory; they can exclude moments of deeper connection. The email that arrives between sessions, the early arrival for a session, the probing personal question about the therapist's life: these interruptions may contain great potential for a therapeutic breakthrough if allowed some breathing space. So, in contemporary psychotherapy, where should the therapeutic frame be placed? Many practitioners are now experimenting with outdoor therapy, loosely timed sessions, calls between sessions and self-disclosure. Do these enhance or hinder the work? After all, Freud took his patients on long mountain walks. Is there a risk that the frame exists primarily to protect the therapist? Or is it a key therapeutic device? We invite our speakers to consider if new and more flexible approaches run the risk of overlooking a key to therapeutic success: containment.
A psychotherapy trainee is someone undertaking a therapy training course of at least 8 hours study per week.