On Heidegger’s authenticity

Dr. Mo Mandic will be speaking about his conclusions from long study of Heidegger on Tuesday 20th. January at 7 pm. Please note the new venue: the Belsize Square synagogue, 51 Belsize Square, London NW3 4HX. It is close to Swiss Cottage underground station.

Psychotherapy in a post-metaphysical world. A talk by Manu Bazzano Tuesday 19th. November 2013

Drawing on contemporary ethics, deconstruction and embodied Zen practice, the seminar will outline the challenges and rewards of a non-foundational, post-phenomenological therapeutic practice based on encounter and on the appreciation of the primary eccentricity of the human condition.

Born in Calabria (Italy), Manu has been active in the student movement and the Italian radical left of the nineteen seventies. A pupil of philosopher Romano Madera, he graduated in philosophy in 1980. He first encountered the Dharma in 1978 in the person of Lama Yeshe at the Lama Tzong Khapa Institute in Pomaia, Italy.

Manu studied Zen within the White Plum Asangha (an international community founded by Zen Master Taizan Maezumi) between 1996 and 2006 and was ordained as a Zen monk in 2004. He trained in Person-Centred counseling and psychotherapy and studied Alfred Adler’s Individual Psychology.

“Existential work with couples” Lecture by Professor Emmy van Deurzen on 15th. October

emmy Existential therapy provides a framework for couple work that allows for human and life issues to come to the foreground. This can have the effect of bringing out what it is that really matters to the partners in a relationship and to start rebuilding from solid foundations. Such work can only be done if partners are first enabled to face up to conflict, limitations and contradictions in their lives. This will be facilitated through in depth personal existential work, which will be done by the therapist with each partner in the silent presence of the other. This enables the couple to become aware of the differences and similarities in their values, beliefs, assumptions and attitudes and to begin understanding and respecting each other’s life purpose. Existential couple therapists encourage partners to explore and communicate their most deeply held passions and desires and to find ways in which these can be received with respect and growing appreciation for the other’s existence. Often the meanings and projects each partner holds can then be reframed as complementary rather than as conflicting. It is not uncommon for partners to experience a total revolution in their evaluation of themselves and each other in the relationship as a result of such existential in-depth work.

This presentation of existential work with couples will briefly outline the fundamental planks of existential work as they apply in this setting. Some illustrations will be provided of the specific ways in which such work progresses and the therapist’s function s translator and interpreter of existential meanings will be demonstrated.

Emmy van Deurzen is a philosopher, existential psychotherapist and counselling psychologist with more than forty years experience in her field and thirteen books to her name. She has founded and co-founded several training institutes, including the School of Psychotherapy and Counselling at Regent’s College, the Centre for the Study of Conflict and Reconciliation at the University of Sheffield and the New School of Psychotherapy and Counselling in London, of which she continues to be the Principal. She was the inspiration and creative force behind the launch of the Society for Existential Analysis and its Journal of the same name in 1988 and she was also the first chair of the United Kingdom Council for Psychotherapy and representative to the Council of Europe on behalf of the European Association for Psychotherapy.

Her application of philosophical ideas to psychology, psychotherapy, counselling and coaching has revolutionized the field and has not only established the existential approach firmly in the UK, but has inspired many European and international developments. Her work has been translated into a dozen languages and she lectures worldwide. She is visiting Professor of Psychotherapy with Middlesex University and has been a professor with Regent’s College, an honorary professor with Schiller International University and the University of Sheffield as well as a visiting fellow of Darwin College, Cambridge.

Lecture by Charlotte Macgregor, Tues 24 September 2013 Researching transformative experiences in nature

Dr. Charlotte Macgregor is acting deputy course leader for the Doctorate in Psychotherapy at NSPC. She has provided this synopsis about her talk, which will be of interest to all doctoral students as well as anyone interested in the healing properties of nature.

Looking to the natural world for healing and sustenance is deeply rooted in ancient and modern indigenous and tribal cultures and rituals. Research suggests that being outside has a beneficial impact on our mental-health. Charlotte Macgregor’s research was a heuristic enquiry into transformative experiences in nature – it formed a central part of her professional doctorate (DProf) at NSPC. As well as talking in detail about her findings, Charlotte will discuss the methodology and presentation of her research, and offer her experience of how to successfully navigate doctorate research. Her talk will be of interest to people curious about the human-nature relationship as well as being a valuable opportunity for potential and present research students interested in qualitative enquiry.

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.