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22nd February

Brett Kahr - 'Committing Crimes Without Breaking The Law: Unconscious Sadism In The “Non-Forensic” Patient'

Fortunately, most psychotherapy patients or clients lead reasonably honourable lives – at least from a legal point of view – and will never perpetrate gross acts of criminality. Unlike forensic patients who commit serious offences, the vast majority of ordinary, “non-forensic” patients comport themselves with honour and dignity, and live within the bounds of the law.

A small cohort of non-forensic patients will, however, enact a variety of offences, none of which constitute a breach of the law of the land but which do, nevertheless, cause significant amounts of pain and suffering to themselves and to others. These “sub-clinical” patients often present in private psychotherapeutic offices, and their unconscious sadism often remains undetected for long periods of time. 


In this presentation, I shall explore the psychodynamics of the sub-clinical “non-forensic” patient, concentrating on how and why such individuals function in this quasi-forensic fashion and what impact their unconscious “criminality” might have.

This talk will be of particular relevance to the independent psychotherapy practitioner who works alone in a private office and who will, in all likelihood, encounter violent clients or patients from time to time.

PROFESSOR BRETT KAHR is Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health in London, as well as Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology and, also, Honorary Visiting Professor in the School of Arts at the University of Roehampton. He is the author or editor of eight books on a range of topics, including the forensic study Exhibitionism as well as Forensic Psychotherapy and Psychopathology: Winnicottian Perspectives. His book Sex and the Psyche, based on a survey of 19,000 sexual fantasies, devoted much attention to the nature of violent fantasy. Since 2001, he has served as Series Editor of the Forensic Psychotherapy Monograph Series for Karnac Books. He is also a Trustee to the Freud Museum. Earlier in his career, he worked in the forensic mental health field, and he now works full-time with individuals and couples in Hampstead, North London.

May 6th

The Myth of the Untroubled Therapist

This evening's talk is based on Marie’s book: The Myth of the Untroubled Therapist (2014).

“In the course of their work, therapists will inevitably hit personal difficulties, whether it is periods of depression/anxiety, illness, relationship difficulties or the death of family members or friends.

Based on research into the personal lives of 40 therapists, Marie’s talk will consider how these experiences impact on work with clients. ‘What happens when we face periods of depression or high anxiety, and how easy do we find it to ask for help? How do we marry our need for an income with the need to take some time out?’

Returning to receiving therapy after many years of therapy, training and working as a therapist can for some evoke feelings of shame at not being able to ‘go it alone’, and a belief that therapists should know how to cope on their own.

Using examples from her research, as well as her personal experience, Marie will highlight areas for reflection and explore how difficult periods can be managed in order to ensure our own good health, as well as that of our clients.”


Dr. MARIE ADAMS is a writer and practising psychotherapist. She is on the Professional Doctorate staff at the Metanoia Institute and a visiting lecturer on a number of other training programmes, including the Institute For Arts in Therapy and Education. Her book, The Myth of the Untroubled Therapist, is now a standard text on counselling and psychotherapy training courses throughout the country. Her recent novel Telling Time is published by Karnac.

July 19th

Closing a Practice: Retirement, Relocation, Transition: The decision to retire and the process of closing a private practice

If a therapist is closing her practice, for whatever reason, there is likely to be ambivalence about letting go of a deeply valued professional role which has sustained them. Anne’s talk will explore the process of closing a private practice and will draw on the personal accounts of retired therapists and those who had to impose an ending on clients due to illness, in order to move house, to take maternity leave or a sabbatical.

A forced ending is an intrusion of the clinician’s own needs into the therapeutic space which might compromise the work but may also be an opportunity for deeper engagement. Attachment theory provides a useful way of understanding how the therapeutic couple may cope with an imposed separation. 

This topic has been somewhat taboo in the profession and the stories shared by interviewees open up the chance for future cohorts to benefit from the reflections and insights of this earlier generation.


Dr. ANNE POWER qualified at The Bowlby Centre. She trained in couple work with Relate and has an MA in supervision from WPF. She has worked in the NHS and voluntary agencies and now has a private practice in central London. She has written generally on therapy and supervision and specifically about retirement in Forced Endings in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis: Attachment and Loss in Retirement. She is now researching couple fit and the different routes by which people find a long term partner: ‘random romance’, websites and marriage arranged through the family.

October 17th

Archetype and Psyche in Crisis and Growth

The term Archetype implies a deeper layer of mind organized around meaning. Opening to archetypal psyche can lead to numinous experience, which may be beautiful or terrifying, sacred or dread filled. These states of increased archetypal penetrance are associated with both crisis and accelerated growth.  A bio-psycho-socio-archetypal (BPSA) model of the psyche adds a crucial missing dimension that helps us to understand states of heightened intensity of meaning, numinous experience and non-ordinary states of consciousness.  Not only does this avoid unhelpful pathologizing but the BPSA model also points to practical methods that can harness the power of archetypal crises so that the experience becomes useful and growth orientated.


Tim will discuss some of the key concepts of archetypal psychology drawing on Plato, Jung and Grof, while concentrating on the elements of archetypal openings that have most relevance for the psychotherapist. How can we access, harness and integrate the depth and power of numinous experience for therapeutic use and for psycho spiritual development?


Dr. TIM READ is a medical doctor, psychiatrist and psychotherapist based in London. He was the Consultant Psychiatrist at the Royal London Hospital for 20 years. He has trained in psychoanalytic therapy (IGA) and in transpersonal therapy (GTT) with Stanislav Grof and is a certified facilitator of Holotropic Breathwork. Tim is co-founder of the Institute of Transpersonal and Archetypal Studies (ITAS) launching in UK and USA in early 2017.  His book Walking Shadows: Archetype and Psyche in Crisis and Growth was published in 2014

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