The Future in the Consulting Room: Thinking and Working Prospectively in an Uncertain World

Saturday 27 July 2019 - London

With speakers Dr Galit Atlas, Dr Susie Orbach and Professor Andrew Samuels

In this conference, our speakers will explore the challenging proposition that holding our future selves in mind needs to be considered a central aspect of the psychotherapeutic dialogue – one in which patient and therapist experiment with, dramatise and dream-up the patient’s future, visualising possible new and adaptive self-states.




Registration and coffee

Dr Galit Atlas
Dramatic dialogue: Generative enactment and the prospective function
This presentation, based on Galit Atlas and Lewis Aron’s latest book (2018), will focus on how our mind exercises or rehearses for future possibilities. Introducing ideas on “Generative Enactment” and adding the concept of psychic futures to the discussion, we suggest that contemporary clinical practice with its hermeneutic, constructivist and relational leanings is now in a position to think beyond psychological causation driven by our past and present wishes. We re-evaluate the use of what Jung (1916) called the prospective function, and Bion’s theory of the mind as it evolved in his autobiography titled, A Memoir of the Future (1975, 1977, 1979). Through clinical material we will examine how the mind unconsciously “looks forward” to future possibilities.

Discussion with Q&A


Professor Andrew Samuels
“The fault is not in our stars, But in ourselves” (Julius Caesar): therapy, work, love, planet and politics with the future in mind
When Andrew was training as a Jungian analyst in the early 1970s, he was aware of the clinical need to ask where things are going in the future as well as where they come from. He also learned that this can lead to elated escapism. Nowadays, when the diverse social and cultural contexts in which individuals live are regarded as crucial concerns for therapists, supervisors and mentors, isn’t it useful also to think about the future of the collective/society/polis/planet in which people are embedded? But futures will vary according to which individual or group we are thinking about. To develop these points, Andrew will turn to Margaret Atwood’s dystopian The Handmaid’s Tale, H.G. Wells’ The Time Machine, and Zombie fiction

Discussion with Q&A


Dr Susie Orbach
When AI comes – will we still have bodies?
The terrain of the body is changing. New developments, #MeToo, Artificial Intelligence, genetics, trans, egg freezing, cosmetic surgery apps, selfies, Snapchat dysmorphia, the Kardashians, the mirror neurone system, Black Lives Matter, rape as a weapon of war, gut politics, implants, sex dolls, require new thinking. Two trends are bucking up against each other: the difficulty of living in the bodies we currently inhabit with their many predicaments and the promise of trouble free almost body-free existence as we move toward futures constituted by algorithms, AI chemistry and Synthetic Biology


Panel Discussion with Q&A



Handouts and lunch included
Early bird:
£100 (Available until 25 May)


Self-funded x 2:


Psychotherapy trainee:
£80 (Limited to 10 places)

This event + the online module Advances in Relational Psychotherapy:


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


6th Floor
Foyles Bookshop
107 Charing Cross Road


09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:30 Coffee
13:30 Lunch
15:45 Tea
17:00 End


Regrettably, refunds cannot be given in any circumstances except as follows:

  • You cancel in writing to 60 days before the first date of the event you have booked, in which case you will be entitled to a 100% refund.
  • You cancel in writing to 30 days before the first date of the event you have booked, in which case you will be entitled to a 50% refund.

This does not apply to parts of an event such as a seminar within a series but only to a whole event or complete series. You may give your place to another person if you let us know that person's name at least 24 hours before the event begins.

We reserve the right to change a speaker at one of our conferences without offering a refund. However, if a solo presenter cancels we will offer a full refund OR transfer of your fee to another Confer event. If the entire event is cancelled we will offer you a full refund.

We reserve the right to change our prices at any time. Regrettably, discounts offered after you made your booking cannot be claimed or applied retrospectively.