Lecture cancelled on 9th. July

Unfortunately, Dr. Charlotte Macgregor cannot now give her lecture on Tuesday 9th. July, and we will carry it over until next year. The next lecture to the Society will therefore be on 15th. October when Prof. Emmy van Deurzen will be lecturing. The details of her lecture will be published nearer the time.

Lecture by Richard Swynnerton on 18th. June 2013

Richard Swynnerton has been the counselling services manager for the Pan-Barnet Counselling Service for seven years now. The service provides brief, time-limited therapy to service users at The Westminster Drug Project in Finchley and The Barnet Drug and Alcohol Service at Edgware Community Hospital. During this time, Richard has been committed to offering service users, an existentially informed style of therapy to compliment other therapeutic interventions available within the service as a whole such as C.B.T and Counselling Psychology. During the course of the evening, Richard will be sharing his thoughts regarding an existential approach to working with substance misuse as well as talking about how his own existentially informed outlook on life has greatly influenced his style of supervision and management.

AGM and lecture by Professor Digby Tantam

Annual General Meeting (members only) at 5 pm followed by light refreshments.
7pm Digby Tantam, the chair of the SoP and a psychiatrist, psychologist and psychotherapist will present on ‘Intersubjectivity: Husserl, Group Analysis, and Being human’.
Digby has provided the following abstract of his talk:
“The early 20th century philosopher, Edmund Husserl, asked himself two traditional philosophical questions: how do we know that there is a
real world? And how do we know that other people exist? But his answer was less traditional: because of empathy. Empathy is one explanation
for ‘intersubjectivity’ (another is some variant of a collective unconscious). Intersubjectivity is now considered to be a foundation
of psychotherapy in many different approaches, but it has been central to group analysis, where it has been termed ‘the matrix’, for nearly
70 years. In Digby’s talk he will consider the strands that link Husserl to group analysis and to the relational psychotherapies by way
of one of the patron saints of Europe and of recent fMRI studies.”

Tuesday 30th. April Lecture by Ian McGregor on ‘Marketing psychotherapy’ (please note new date)

Sometimes making money, developing business and self promotion are seen as dirty words – particularly in environments where helping and healing are the central ‘products’, such as counselling and psychotherapy. Ian Macgregor is a Management Consultant and Director of Denove, a business development organization. As well as extensive marketing experience in the corporate world, he has experience of branding and marketing in the charity counselling sector. His hands-on talk will be of interest to all who are looking to expand their existing business and develop into new areas. It promises to be a rewarding opportunity for all to reflect on how we approach marketing ourselves to our target audience. 

Tuesday 19th. February. Lecture by Caroline Brazier on other-centered therapy: a Buddhist approach

In recent years the growth of mindfulness-based approaches have brought Buddhist models of psychotherapy into the popular arena. What the public is maybe less aware of is the breadth and scope of Buddhist psychology which underpins this methodology. Other-Centred Therapy is an approach which is also grounded in this rich tradition of exploring the mind, and which uses awareness of perceptual process, and connection to the other as a foundation for therapeutic dialogue. This talk will introduce the basic principles of Buddhist psychology and show how other-centred methods can offer a direct and creative way of working with clients. Caroline Brazier is course leader of the Tariki Training Programme and author of six books on Buddhism and psychotherapy.Find out more about her work at www.buddhistpsychology.info.

Stunted emotions. Lecture by Dr. Sam Brown today, 22nd. January 2013 at 7pm

This seminar will explore the notion of stunted emotionality, in which the processing of emotional feedback is compromised. These people (normally men!) score low on measures of emotional intelligence, and tend to misattribute or somatise their emotions. The difficulty with identifying or differentiating emotions impairs their ability to cope with stress, yet they are very challenging clients in therapy due to the lack of emotional insight. They also show little progress on the hidden emotional level due to their failure to form therapeutic relationships.

The trait is known in psychiatry as alexithymia, and it is manifested to some degree in around 10% of the normal population, with a much higher concentration amongst certain clinical groups. Although there is a large body of research into alexithymia, it is not well
known amongst practitioners, and cases tend to misinterpreted according to different therapeutic paradigms as e.g. repression, dissociation, intellectualisation, or personality disorders. However, misinterpreting a cognitive deficit as a psychological defence can provoke serious personal problems, which in turn exacerbate presenting symptoms.

Studies have shown significant correlations with depression, anxiety, eating disorders, substance abuse, medically unexplained symptoms, chronic pain, PTSD, autism spectrum disorders and many other psychological and medical complaints. Recent factor analysis of questionnaire data has revealed an underlying differentiation between types, which may account for the vast splurge of contradictory research findings. Furthermore, neuroscientific
models suggest that the emotion processing system can be compromised in numerous ways by developmental abnormalities, severe trauma or physical injury, with very different implications for individual psychologies.

The failure of alexithymics to respond to therapy has prompted some clinicians to concede that they are untreatable, recommending symptom relief and coping strategies. However, mindfulness-based cognitive therapy may help to reduce levels of alexithymia and associated complaints, by encouraging people to engage the affective dimension of their somatic sensations, and assimilate the feeling function into their mode of being.

David Pink, Chief Executive of the UK Council for Psychotherapy speaking about the future of psychotherapy regulation.

David Pink will be giving the next Society presentation, on Tuesday 4th. December 2012. David has previously worked as a policy advisor at the Department of Health, as audit programme director at the National Institute for Clinical Excellence, and Chief Executive of the Long-term Conditions alliance and then of National Voices, acting on behalf of more than 180 service users orgamizations.
David has been closely involved with the recent debates about psychotherapy regulation, which have been long and often acrimonious. The outcome will have a substantial effect on anyone practising psychotherapy, and especially those for whom UKCP is their main or only regulatory body.
David will bring us to date with the relations between UKCP, the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, the Health and Care Professions Council, and the Council for Healthcare Regulatory Excellence.

‘Emotional connection in therapy: clients’ and therapists’ experiences’ lecture by Dr. Rosemary Lodge, 13th. November 2012

Rosemary is a counselling psychologist, and deputy course leader for the Doctorate in Counselling Psychology at NSPC. She says this about her presentation: ‘I will talk about the findings of my recent research into emotional connection in therapy. This research showed that within the therapeutic relationship there was both a manifest and a hidden emotional level and that emotional connection was linked to client change at both levels. However, healing of the client’s deepest hurts took place on the hidden level. On this level there was also an emotional matching between client and therapist. The research provides support for the idea that ‘being with’ clients may be more therapeutic than ‘doing to’ clients, and that the healing mechanisms within therapy may be beyond our control.’

Lecture on 23rd. October by Anthony Stadlen

“Half-Heard Voices: The Human Reality Behind the Great Case Studies of Psychotherapy”

This is the title of our next talk at 7pm on Tuesday 23rd. October, by Anthony Stadlen. Anthony Stadlen has asked us to say this about himself and the topic of his lecture:

“Anthony Stadlen is an existential and psychoanalytic psychotherapist, supervisor, researcher, teacher, and convenor and principal conductor of the Inner Circle Seminars. Since 1979 he has undertaken historical research on some of the great canonical case studies of psychotherapy — Freudian, Jungian, daseinsanalytic and existential. His reason for devoting his life to this research was to find fundamental principles on which psychotherapists’ work, including his own, could be based. Einstein said that to understand and evaluate the work of physicists one should attend not to what they say but to what they do. Freud, independently, said the same for the work of psychoanalysts, specifying case studies, not theories, as the evidence which an enquirer should examine. Stadlen took Freud’s recommendation seriously, applying it to Freud’s own paradigmatic case studies as well as to those of Binswanger, Klein, Layard, Fordham, Boss, Laing and Esterson. In tonight’s talk, he will describe how his historical detective work to trace the real subjects of these case studies, their families and social milieux, led him to unsettling findings. While some of these so-called “therapists” appear to have helped some of their so-called “patients”, this was often despite rather than because of the therapist’s theories. In other cases, the therapist’s theories so distorted his or her perception of human reality as to offer a paradigm of how not to relate to a client. It became questionable whether there is – or ever could be — a body of “theory” which psychotherapists can “apply” to their own practice. Theory in the original sense means contemplation of practice. Practice comes first. The writings, and even some of the theories, of the great psychotherapists can deepen one’s understanding, but can they, strictly speaking, be “applied”?”