Free Energy, Free Association and Free Spirit in Psychotherapy
Saturday 14 November 2020 - A Live Webinar
With Dr Barnaby Barratt, Professor Jeremy Holmes and Dr Saadia Muzaffar
- Includes a recording of the event with access for a year (14 days post the event)
- Bookings close at 9.00am BST Wednesday 11 November
The aim of psychotherapy is freedom: to liberate sufferers from repetitive self-defeating patterns of thought and relationship. Its clients feel stuck, unable to move forward, trammelled by depression, anxiety, physical and/or mental pain and cut-offness.READ MORE...
In this webinar we shall consider psychotherapeutic freedom from three different, but related, viewpoints.
Based on his recent book, The Brain has a Mind of its Own: Attachment, Neurobiology, and the New Science of Psychotherapy, Jeremy Holmes will present a contemporary neuroscience perspective. Drawing on Karl Friston’s Free Energy Principle, he will show how the co-created psychotherapy projects of transference analysis, dream work and free association disrupt habitual patterns of sensation and thought. This in turn helps re-instate the agency, capacity to change one’s models of the word, and mentalise which are compromised in psychological illness.
Barnaby Barratt is today’s foremost psychoanalytic scholar of free association. He will expound the views encapsulated in his recent Radical Psychoanalysis trilogy, showing how free association, Freud’s greatest discovery, fosters a sense of aliveness that goes beyond and even subverts conventional interpretation and representation.
Saadia Muzaffar is a psychiatrist and psychotherapist with a particular interest in the role of spirituality in therapeutic practice. She will explore the boundary between the security and constraints which spiritual beliefs and practice represent. Spiritual freedom underscores the transformative impact of self-directed spiritual exploration on the troubled mind.
14.00 BST (09.00 EDT)
Professor Jeremy Holmes
The Free Energy Principle: The Neuroscience of Dynamic Psychotherapy
The Free Energy Principle, (FEP), a new model of brain function, parallels Freud’s abandoned neuroscience project. FEP sees the brain/mind as continuously engaged in “free energy minimisation”, in which “bottom up” information from the sense organs is met and bound by pre-existing “top-down” models of the world. This dynamic process depends on subjects’ action in order to enhance sensory precision, and capacity for model modification. People with psychological distress typically have inhibited agency; ignore their feelings and sensations; cling to outdated models or attempt to reproduce the familiar, however maladaptive. Effective therapy addresses and redresses these themes, and psychoanalytic theory itself needs reformulation in the light of relational neuroscience.
Discussant Barnaby Barratt
Dr Saadia Muzaffar
Spirituality, & CAT as Psychotherapy in Psychiatric Practice
As a trained psychiatrist and an accredited Cognitive Analytical Therapist, Saadia believes the relationship of an individual to themselves as ‘I’ or that of a transcendental one beyond themselves, is of great value and meaning in achieving a better understanding of peoples’ lives. Over the years she has discovered the role of spiritual freedom in patient’s lives especially where science and algorithms have failed and uncertainties prevail. The use of Balint groups, the role of the CAT formulation, and the practice of writing letters to patients using their own words at the beginning of the therapeutic alliance as well as the endings, has helped patients embrace the tangible as well as think of their relationship to the other, in a spiritual manner.
Discussant Jeremy Holmes
Dr Barnaby Barratt
Free-association, Subtle Energy, and Intimations of the Spiritual
As we use certain sorts of methods – for example, free-associative speaking and listening, meditation and movement – to explore all that occurs in our “mind” and in our “body,” we find depths that are surprising, often terrifying and often enriching. This is a wellspring of meaningfulness that takes us behind, beneath or beyond what may be encapsulated in our everyday modes of interpretation or even in the most sophisticated representations of our self, of others and of the universe we inhabit. This talk will discuss these ideas in relation to psychoanalytic and spiritual practices.
Discussant Jeremy Holmes
Open Discussion with all speakers