Brian will be setting up a Wednesday evening psychotherapy group over the next few months. Please contact him if you are interested and he will set up a time to talk to you about group therapy.
This year the theme of the Tavistock Relationships Clinic Summer School was ‘The Couple’s Projective System’. The workshop was four intensive days of lectures, seminars, case-study presentations and small clinical discussion groups.
On December 5th 2015 I attended the Commemorative Conference on John Bowlby’s 25 Anniversary. The conference was a homage to psychoanalyst, psychologist and child psychiatrist John Bowlby the founder of Attachment Theory. In essence Bowlby’s research provided the evidence base for how the kind of love, or lack of love, we received in our early childhoods continues to affect the kind of relationships we are able to form in later life. It was Bowlby who realised the importance of a secure base, and how we resort to defensive strategies when we feel that our secure base is under threat. His work has been a hugely important influence for me in my work as a psychotherapist.
At the end of November I attended a group psychotherapy workshop in Palma de Mallorca. Organised by a group analyst from Palma, Joan Coll, it brought together participants from various parts of Spain, Portugal, Germany, the US and the UK. The theme was “Trabajando en grupo. Nuevas perspectivas” (Working in goups- new perspectives). Through lectures and discussions in small and large groups. we explored how the cultural and social unconscious emerges in communications and relationships, as well as how group psychotherapists from different countries understand their theoretical foundations and how this is reflected in the way they work. A contribution that I found particularly interesting was by Professor Elisabeth Rohr from Germany, who talked about her work as a supervisor with health professionals in South Africa, Guatemala and the West Band. She showed how her position as an outsider allowed her to recognise unconsciousbarriers to effective work, which were rooted in the social conflicts of each country.
Palma is not necessarily a place you go to for professional purposes. But for me it was an eye-opener to look beyond the tourist attractions and to meet colleagues who, like myself, work with people who need help with their emotional and mental helth problems. I came back inspired by the beautiful winter sunlight and the warm welcome I received. I think it is important to get out of one’s own professional comfort zone, to learn about how colleagues from other countries think and work – although doing it all in Spanish was quite a challenge for me!