Secrets and Lies - Uncovering Hidden Truths in Family Histories
Saturday 21 November 2020 - A Live Webinar
With Dr Françoise Davoine, Trudy Gold, Maya Lasker-Wallfisch, John Simmonds and Dr Reenee Singh
- Includes a recording of the event with access for a year (14 days post the event)
- Bookings close at 9.00am BST Wednesday 18 November
Many families have needed to shed a past identity in order to build new lives, especially those who have been subjected to social shame or exclusion. Often, unacceptable aspects of that family history are expunged from the family narrative; histories that are considered too painful to recount – either to protect the teller or listener – are deliberately or unconsciously hidden.READ MORE...
Photographs are removed from albums. Names are deleted from family trees. War records destroyed.
Yet, our panel will propose, such buried truths can never undo what has happened to the former generations of a family, and traumatic histories can never be truly erased. Instead, secrets and lies form an insidious backdrop to family life, which seeps into the collective unconscious of that group. Often these elements become experienced as a free-floating sense of shame or anxiety in future generations that cannot be pinned to any specific event because the truth is unknown.
This conference will consider how a family – either consciously or unconsciously – avoids such knowing, and what happens to the family system when a troubling secret is brought to light. What happens when a child stumbles upon their adoption records? When a DNA result reveals misattributed paternity? Or when a diary reveals a family member committed a violent crime? How can psychotherapy help to bring such secrets to light so they can be integrated into the client’s understanding of who they are, and whose histories they unconsciously carry? And what relief may that bring?