Women On The Couch

With Module Speakers:
Anna SantamourisAnna MotzRoz CarrollDr Maggie TurpSissy LykouDr Susie OrbachLuise EichenbaumProphecy ColesJocelyn ChaplinEmma PalmerMarion GreenMaria Lazopoulou,

These seminars were held in the aftershock of the 2018 #MeToo and ‘Time’s Up’ campaigns – an explosive moment in the history of gender relations that revealed not only the extent of institutionalised abuse perpetrated by powerful men, but also how a conspiracy of silence spanning decades had left survivors traumatised and abandoned.





Roz Carroll
Burning out? The importance of wildness, creativity and comfort in a sustainable life

In this video talk with slides Roz Carroll suggests that burnout is a loss of the flame of vitality; it’s the plug pulled, nerves frayed, can’t-take-it-anymore. She uses the word loosely and holds that there are many pathways going into and out of it, as her case material will show. Drawing on Stern’s ‘Forms of Vitality’ she illustrates ways of exploring relational rhythm through experiments with movement, gesture, sound and space.

To feed the flame requires deep listening to the body and, she proposes, the cultivation of wildness, creativity and comfort in ways that are specific to each client and therapist dyad. In this process long lost self-states, such as Mischief, Snuggle, Hibernate or Howl, may emerge and be reclaimed.

Video lecture with slides – 45 mins

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Sissy Lykou
The Millennial Female Psychotherapist

In this video talk with slides, Sissy Lykou examines the disadvantages young women face in the therapy field. Culture’s ambivalent attitudes to female youth inevitably affect the Millennial female therapist. How is she perceived? By her clients/patients, by her colleagues of other ages and sexes, and by herself?

Is there a special issue of hierarchy here, related to appearance rather than to experience and skill? Our profession can seem in flight from youth. Young female therapists (Millennials or Generation Y, born since about 1980) may shrink in their chairs or feel disillusioned by the continuous exclusion and reminder of their freshness. Sissy discusses the potential political impact of this generation of therapists breaking their silence on their experiences in the profession as well as in wider contexts such as the #metoo campaign. This means engaging with a range of issues, from Botox to banking, feminism to fashion and sexualisation of the body to anxieties over status, and the oppressive feeling of being denied a fulfilling future.

Video lecture with slides – 30 mins

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Dr Maggie Turp
Women and Self-Harm

In this video lecture with slides Maggie Turp explores why women are three times more likely than men to self -harm. In contrast men are three times more likely than women to commit suicide. Also, in the past three years, self-harm figures for British girls aged 13 to 16 have risen by 68%, with no corresponding increase in boys. How can we explain this rise? Maggie explores the lived experience behind these worrying statistics, her aim being to reach a better understanding and make sense of some of the discrepancies.

Video lecture with slides – 35 mins

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Dr Susie Orbach And Luise Eichenbaum
Psychotherapeutic Work with Sexual Harassment

Challenging sexual harassment, objectification, domestic violence and sexual abuse have been on the feminist agenda for decades. We have new words to describe behaviours such as ‘gaslighting’ as we discover more about the ways in which we come to feel undermined and controlled by the imbalance of power between the sexes. A central scaffold of psychotherapy is that together, therapist and patient can hold ambiguity, complexity and powerful emotional resonance without rushing to clear-cut explanations and answers.

How has the current volcanic eruption of women speaking about their experiences of sexual harassment and abuse changed the kind of material that is brought to us as therapists by both women and men, and the way we respond to it? How can psychotherapists and feminists contribute to a deeper understanding of these power issues?

Video lecture with slides 1 hour 8 mins

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Prophecy Coles
Sisters as Mothers

In this video talk with slides, Prophecy Coles shares her research on the history of adoption and its link to illegitimacy. This means going into the very painful history of ‘bastardy’ and the way the unmarried mother and her baby have been castigated. She describes the work of three remarkable women who helped to change the social prejudice against mothers who had children out of wedlock. She is calling these women the ‘Sisters’ of Mothers who were despised and thought to have born rotten fruit. These women are Mary Carpenter (1807 – 1877) Clara Andrew (1840 – 1939) and Lettice Fisher (1875 – 1958).

Video lecture – 40 mins

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Jocelyn Chaplin
Women and Goddess Myths

In this video talk Jocelyn Chaplin looks at ways in which Goddess myths can be used in our client work. Consciously our clients/patients may be atheist or at least sceptical of anything ‘unscientific’. Yet deep in our personal and collective unconscious lie the remnants of thousands of years of patriarchal religious imagery. These Goddess Myths can play a vital role in the transformation and empowerment of women in therapy. Jocelyn’s talk includes references to dreams, art and a brief history of goddesses from the Palaeolithic era to today.

Video lecture – 47 mins

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Emma Palmer
Other than Mother

This video lecture with slides is for those women who are both childfree by choice and childless through circumstance and loss, as well as those who are ambivalent, unsure or as yet undecided.

Why should not having children – through choice, circumstance, and loss still be a hot topic. Fascinated by rising statistics of childlessness, as well as in the ecological impact of parenthood, Emma wrote Other than Mother: Choosing Childlessness with Life in Mind (2016) to support those mulling this decision, as well as to highlight the ongoing stereotyping and ‘othering’ of the childfree.

Video lecture with slides – 46 mins

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Anna Santamouris
Anna Santamouris
Women and Addiction

This video will draw on psychoanalytic theory to explore the problem of addiction for women. Anna will discuss how to develop effective practice with addicted clients and the impact of addiction on the therapeutic process. Specifically, both motherhood and prostitution will be discussed and the inherent relationship both internally and externally of power and control. Important in this work are the attachment and dependency patterns of the clients, which impact on their ability to sustain and internalise the therapeutic process. Defences such as denial, sublimation, projection, aggression and repetition compulsion are deeply embedded in addicted clients making the therapeutic task feel nearly impossible.

Video lecture with slides – 44 mins

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Marion Green And Maria Lazopoulou
Identity, Homelessness and Sex Work

The term psychotherapy pre-supposes a desire for change and an ability to form a close relationship with another i.e. the therapist. Many homeless women and women engaged in the sex industry have little or no experience of secure attachment with a primary care giver. Their early relationships were most often cultivated in a climate of fear and mistrust and a need to keep safe in order to survive.

Teela Sanders in her book Sex Work: A Risky Business (2004) speaks of the many strategies and “complex web of deception” sex workers will employ to protect their identity from exposure and in order to manage the psychological issues related to selling access to their body parts. This requires what she calls “continual mental acrobatics that may lead to self-degradation.” Forming a therapeutic relationship in such circumstances is challenging and requires unorthodox approaches. Marion will talk about the model she and her colleagues have developed in order to engage with women in this client group, and the quest for intimacy within the context of commodification and objectification of self and other.

Maria Lazopoulou will speak on the theme of chaotic processes the practitioner encounters in this field of work, especially on how countertransference and projective identification are unavoidable. How can we as therapists and counsellors turn the latter into tools of insight and potential professional development?

Video lecture with slides 1 hour 16 mins

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Anna Motz
Female Violence and Crimes Against the Body

In this talk, Anna Motz will explore the development of female violence and its typical expression in acts of aggression directed towards the woman’s own body and those of her children. She will explore the societal resistance to confronting the disturbing reality of maternal abuse in the light of commonly held, cherished beliefs about femininity in general and motherhood in particular. The hidden nature of female violence, so often enacted in the private, domestic realm, is evident in the clinical case material presented but Anna will also look at more recent developments in female violence, including women’s roles in terrorist activities. She will present a model of the psychology of female violence described as ‘crimes against the body’.

Audio Lecture with Slides – 35 mins

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Organisationally funded

Institutionally funded (4 or more)
£40 per user

Teaching license (10 or more)
£30 per student

Test and Certificate of Attendance:


A certificate of attendance may be applied for up to 7.5 hours of CPD (pro rata on the basis of correct answers in multiple choice questionnaire. £36


  • 7.5 hours of video and audio presentations illustrated with captions, diagrams or images
  • Supporting notes, slides or references


  1. To be able to discuss the topics of self-harm and violence relating to women with reference to recent cultural trends and scientific studies.
  2. With reference to ‘pro-natalism’ and the history of adoption, to describe and discuss the social stigma that accompanies adoption and how that might be internalised by individuals.
  3. To be able to elaborate on different psychoanalytic approaches to addiction and explain the dilemmas and controversies surrounding these.
  4. To be able to explain and critique how creativity and working with art can be used to help support sustainable living.