Monday, February 5th
Andrew Samuels - My Most Remarkable Session
I was asked to be part of a panel of ‘elders’ talking about their most remarkable session. This was with my first ‘training case’ in 1974, about three months into the work. In the session, the patient had a short but transformational dream which led me to rethink over many years the relations between psychotherapist and patient/client. I will devote time to a discussion of the Wounded Healer as it applies to psychotherapy, analysis and counselling.
PROF ANDREW SAMUELS is a psychotherapist (Jungian analyst), professor, writer and activist. He works internationally as a political consultant. Former Chair of the UK Council for Psychotherapy and one of the two founders of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility. His clinical work is a blend of Jungian, relational psychoanalytic and humanistic psychotherapy approaches. He was a founder Board Member of the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy and is on the editorial board of the humanistic psychology journal Self and Society. His many books have been translated into 21 languages and include Jung and the Post-Jungians (1985), Critical Dictionary of Jungian Analysis (co-author, 1986), The Father (1986), Psychopathology (1989) The Plural Psyche (1989), The Political Psyche (1993), Politics on the Couch (2001), Relational Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis and Counselling (co-editor, 2014), A New Therapy for Politics? (2015), and Analysis and Activism (co-editor, 2016). His website is known for ‘Andrew’s rants, spontaneous talks delivered directly to camera: www.andrewsamuels.com
Monday May 21st
Leo Rutherford- Shamanism and Psychotherapy
The Medicine Wheel teaches of four Directions – fire, earth, air and water – the building blocks of life. These directions also relate to four Kingdoms – Mineral, Plant, animal and human, four times – past , present, future, and timeless, four aspects of a human being – child, adult, inner spirit adult and magical child – and so on. The healing journey begins with the child and the past – healing our personal history – and proceeds round the wheel ending up with the spiritual. All our healing work is ultimately about our spirit and our connection to all existence and takes us to the need for a “good death”, a conscious connected death in which we release the body and our earthly connections and move back to the spirit world from which we came in the first place.
LEO RUTHERFORD came into the field of psychotherapy at midlife crisis and participated in group therapies of various kinds in London. Circumstances took him to San Francisco in 1977 and he signed up for what was then Fischer-Hoffman Process in which he participated in January to April 1978. That was the first really effective therapy he experienced and he followed up with movement work with Gabrielle Roth and the San Francisco Dancers workshop and then the Holistic psychology MA proqramme at Antioch University with Will Schutz. That included a course on shamanism which got his interest in ancient 'primitive' cultures. He gradually found out that their understanding of psychology, spirituality and all such disciplines is holistic and superior in many ways to ours and so he followed the lead.
He says - 'I never expected to become a practitioner of shamanism. I set up in practice in London in 1983 doing play based therapy work (“Play-World”) which gradually metamorphosed into shamanism in 1987 and I have been doing that now for 30 years'.
Monday 2nd July
Roz Carroll - The drowned and the saved’: the impact of current collective trauma on our personal and professional lives. How much can we bear to witness?
‘The Drowned and the Saved’ is the title of a book by Primo Levi about the holocaust. This talk focuses on current collective trauma but the phrase resonates with me because of the vivid images of refugees and the socially excluded and drowning Others we see and hear about everyday.
The digital media is an extension of our nervous and sensory systems into the world. And it puts us in instant visual and aural contact with trauma happening on a global scale, bringing it right home into our bodies. How can we – firstly as human beings, secondly as therapists who have developed a finely tuned sensitivity to others – process the impact of devastating world news
Drawing on Jessica Benjamin’s thinking about the witnessing function*, I will consider what draws us into identification, and what triggers us to disconnect, and what is involved in finding a ’Third’ position. Inevitably these processes also operate in our clinical work. I will share some of my experience from my practice of authentic movement in groups, a practice designed to work with ‘the collective body’ and the process of bearing witness.
I will invite thinking about self-care, social responsibility and inclusion as a therapist, and how each of us finds a way to manage/balance/organise our boundaries to allow involvement without being flooded. I will bring a clinical example.
ROZ CARROLL is a Chiron-trained body psychotherapist. She teaches ‘Contemporary Theories of Psychotherapy’ on the MA in Integrative Psychotherapy at The Minster Centre. She is the author of numerous articles and chapters, including: ‘The Blood-dimmed Tide: Witnessing war and working with the collective body in Authentic Movement’ in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Politics International.
* See Jessica Benjamin (2017) ‘Beyond Doer-Done To: Recognition theory, intersubjectivity and the third’ (London: Routledge)
Monday 22nd October
Dr. Susannah Rose - Indigestible interpretation: the problems of working psychoanalytically with people with eating disorders
In this talk, Susannah suggests that using meaning-eliciting interpretation on a symbolic level with this patient group can be damaging rather than helpful. Drawing on the work of Bick and Tustin, she highlights instead aims of therapy based more on
helping to create a ‘mind’ from a ‘body-state’, rather than gaining understanding through interpretation. This involves working to give shape to patients’ internal experiences, where symptoms and behaviours are viewed as ‘ordering defenses’: patients’ attempts to bring order to overwhelming fears of disintegration. In these states they cannot tolerate imperfection or mess – including chaotic thoughts and feelings, which they can equate with flabby, soft, out of control bodies. Feelings are not recognised as emotions in the mind, but are experienced somatically, in the body. With this in mind, helping patients learn to observe, name and become familiar with their states of mind, can create a sense of shape, solidity, and safety, allowing a gradual move away from the anorexic structure. In contrast, interpretation can exacerbate uncertainty and critical judgement about who they are, promoting the belief they should fit in with others telling them who they should be rather than discovering themselves who they are. Susannah will also suggest this way of viewing the internal world can be beneficial with many patients, not just people suffering from eating disorders.
Dr SUSANNAH ROSE is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, specialising in working with people with eating disorders. She was Lead Psychotherapist in Adolescent and Adult Eating Disorder Services at the Priory Hospital Roehampton for ten years, and now works in Eating Disorder Services at the Nightingale Hospital, as well as in private practice. She has undertaken doctoral research into psychoanalytic treatment of eating disorder patients.