Location and timing of lectures

The Society, founded in 1998, sponsors lectures and seminars on all aspects of psychotherapy.  They normally take place at 7pm on the third Tuesday of each month during the academic year (October to July), in the Existential Academy at 61-63 Fortune Green Road, London NW6 1DR. £6 entry fee for if pre-booked via Meetup, or £8 payable at the door. All friends of psychotherapy welcome!

20 February Book launch of The Interbrain. Lecture on the interbrain by Digby Tantam

This event is free, and preceded by a launch (starting at 6pm) of Digby’s new book, published by Jessica Kingsley.  Described by Steve Silberman, author of ‘NeuroTribes: The Legacy of Autism’ and ‘How to Think Smarter About People Who Think Differently as “a groundbreaking, wide-ranging, and endlessly fascinating meditation on our innate ability to feel ‘connected’ to other people — and on what can happen when that precious connection is diminished. It’s compelling reading for anyone interested in the subtle mechanisms at work behind the essential experiences that make us human”

20 January 2018 Stranger, other, outsider: Talk by Claire Marshall

Stranger, other, outsider: The conceptualization of forced migrants in contemporary culture.
Refugees, internally displaced people and asylum seekers are all legal terms for people who have been forced to leave their homes because of war, persecution or natural disaster. How forced migrants are conceptualized speaks of our own relationship with identity and community. This phenomenon will be examined in the context of geopolitical discourses, social narratives and humanitarian responses. The psychology of migration also raises issues of ethics and social justice, pertinent to any therapists working with ‘diversity and difference’.
Dr Claire Marshall is a Counselling Psychologist with 10 years of experience in private health care, third sector and management of organisations. She has previously managed a psychotherapy service in North London with key responsibility for overall service and operations, including recruitment, supervision, management of staff, clinical assessments, allocation decisions and evaluating treatment options within the service. She also ran groups and worked with people one to one, providing short and long term psychological interventions for adults with a range of issues.

Watch the video on Vimeo

19 November 2017 Shared values – Working together existential and cognitive therapy. Talk by Melvyn Flitman

Despite its effectiveness, cognitive-behaviour therapy has been criticised for its brevity, symptom-focused orientation, and application scope. Existential therapies tend to be longer and encourage overall meaning-making.

This talk presents valuable insights based 254 accredited cognitive theorists who were inquired about their views and attitudes regarding cognitive-behaviour therapy, existentialist therapies, and the integration of both modalities.

Results of the research showed that existentialist therapies could compensate for cognitive-behavioural therapies’ eventual lack of depth, fluidity, authenticity, humanity, and application scope. They were a more personalized approach, suitable and/or beneficial for certain therapists, clients, circumstances, and/or problems. They were sometimes utilized and unsystematically integrated with cognitive-behavioural therapies. Institutional power struggles, existentialist therapies’ limitations, and therapists’ lack of training and/or knowledge prevented their more extensive use. That is, compounding whatever familiarity issue was the hesitance to use such approaches, led in part by institutional biases in favour of cognitive-behaviour therapy and against approaches that are less easily measured. Nevertheless, their combination appeared as a promising endeavour that, if implemented properly, such as through training, could arguably marry the strengths of both approaches.

21 November 2017 at 7pm “Life as literature; exploring the ‘literary mind’ in psychotherapy. With Martin Weegmann

“Life as literature; exploring the ‘literary mind’ in psychotherapy.

Please note this is a fee paying event £6 if booked via our meet up site and £8 on the door.

In this talk, Martin will summarise the notion that human beings have inherent ‘literary minds’, that most of our therapies involve a ‘permission to narrate’, and that we can learn a great deal about psychotherapy through the perspective of narrative psychology. This can be helpful across differing orientations. he will offer some interactive exercises and illustrations from his work with clients.

Martin is a clinical psychologist, group analyst and author. he has long experience in the NHS and independent practice. a well-known trainer too, he has specialised in substance misuse, personality disorder and complex needs. His first book was Psychodynamics of Addiction (Wiley, 2002) and his latest book, Permission to Narrate: Exploration in Group Analysis, Psychoanalysis and Culture (karnac, 2016). He has completed a new edited book, Psychodynamics of Writing (Karnac, 2018).

17 October 2017 What is post-existentialism? Lecture by Professor Del Lowenthal

Professor Del Loewenthal What is post-existentialism?

Professor Lowenthal provides this introduction: “Post-existentialism is an attempt to offer a space where we might still be able to think about how alienated we are through valuing existential notions such as experience and meaning (e.g. Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty); whilst questioning other aspects such as existentialism’s inferred narcissism and the place it has come to take up with regard to such aspects as psychoanalysis and the political. Consideration is also given to the extent to which we might include some implications of more recent ideas—for example, those of Saussure, Levinas, Derrida, Foucault, Lacan, and Wittgenstein without becoming too caught up in them”

Del Loewenthal is Professor of Psychotherapy and Counselling and directs the Research Centre for Therapeutic Education, Department of Psychology, University of Roehampton, UK, where he also convenes Doctoral programmes. Del is also a Visiting Professor at Auckland University of Technology, New Zealand and the University of Athens, Greece.
Del is an existential-analytic psychotherapist (having trained at the Philadelphia Association, London, established by R.D. Laing and others), chartered psychologist and photographer. He chairs the Southern Association for Psychotherapy and Counselling’s (SAFPAC’s) Critical Existential-Analytic UKCP/UPCA Psychotherapy Training Programme at Roehampton; and both the Universities Psychotherapy and Counselling Association and the Universities Training College. He is co-founder of the Society for Critical Psychotherapy and founding editor of the European Journal of Psychotherapy and Counselling (Routledge).
Del’s recent books include: Post-existentialism and the psychological therapies: Towards a therapy without foundations (Karnac, 2011), Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography in a Digital Age (Routledge 2013), Relational Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis and Counselling: Appraisals and reappraisals (with Andrew Samuels, Routledge, 2014), Critical Psychotherapy, Psychoanalysis and Counselling: Implications for practice (Palgrave Macmillan 2015) and Existential Psychotherapy and Counselling after Postmodernism (Routledge, 2017).

Windy Dryden, 20 June 2017 Very Brief Therapeutic Consultations: What Can Be Achieved?

Very Brief Therapeutic Consultations: What Can Be Achieved?

In this session, I will discuss what might be gained from very brief therapy consultations of 30 minutes or less. I will demonstrate how I work in this modality with volunteers from the audience wishing to to be helped with genuine concerns. This work will then be discussed by those present.

Windy Dryden is Emeritus Professor of Psychotherapeutic Studies at Goldsmiths University of London. He works part-time in independent practice of therapy and coaching/

Tuesday 16th May

Lecture by Paul Atkinson: Heart and soul in the grip of neoliberalism.

Can we psychotherapists take responsibility for our contribution to the slow death of the welfare state and the post-war social contract? In 1981, in a Sunday Times interview with Ronald Butt, Margaret Thatcher captured the spirit of the emergent zeitgeist when she said: ‘Economics are the method: the object is to change the soul’. We are now in the fourth decade of a period in which markets, and in particular financial markets, are supposed to mediate social, psychological and relational values – the kind of values we therapists profess. Significantly, psychological life and mental health are growing concerns for the management of neoliberal market economies, as we have seen in the marriage of state therapy and cognitive behavioural psychology. With workfare replacing welfare, IAPT teams co-locating in Job Centres, and the psycho-compulsion of benefit claimants with mental health problems becoming a norm, groups of therapists, mental health activists and benefits campaigners have begun to campaign together to oppose the collusion of the psy professions and mental health charities with punitive DWP policies. I will talk about how these campaigns have been developing, and ask the audience for their own thoughts and experience of psychotherapy’s contribution to the neoliberal project.

Paul Atkinson has worked as a psychotherapist for more than thirty years, mainly in private practice in London. He was a political activist during the 1970s and made a passage to psychoanalysis though Jung’s concept of the Self. He has chaired two psychoanalytic training organisations. In recent years, he has returned to campaigning politics – opposing state regulation of psychotherapy and counselling, supporting activists and organising psypolitical events at Occupy St Paul’s, campaigning for the NHS in East London, running men’s therapy groups, and working with mental health activists against psycho-compulsion through DWP ‘work cure’ policies. He is a founder member of the Free Psychotherapy Network, and a member of the Alliance for Counselling and Psychotherapy, and Psychotherapy and Counselling for Social Responsibility.

Tuesday 25th April 2017 The impact of digital technology on the practice of psychotherapy

This is a fee paying event. Book early to avoid disappointment. £6 via meet up and £8 on the door.

Lecture by Linda Cundy Psychotherapist In this lecture Linda will explore the two topics below. 1. The impact of digital technology on the practice of psychotherapy (websites for publicity, referrals via email or text, contact between sessions, mobile devices in sessions etc)

2. The use of Skype / video conferencing for therapy. Is it ever ok? What can and can’t be achieved? How our therapeutic approaches influence decisions, and my take on an attachment perspective.

Our next lecture Tuesday 21st March 7pm

This is a fee paying event, please book early to avoid disappointment as our events are booking up fast.

From biology to philosophy; Neuroscience and the practice of psychotherapy.

A talk by Dr Pavlos Filippopoulos A discussion of the basis of philosophical assumptions of psychotherapy together with a history of philosophy will be discussed. With the use of developmental theory and discussions around the relationship between body and self, Neuroscience principles will be explored and address the relationship between the paradigm and psychotherapy practice evaluating the use of either and how they develop currently amongst the trends of scientific enquiry and practice domain.