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The Other Side of Collapse: Climate Change, Grief Work and Imagination

  • 11th Dec 2018
  • Chris Robertson

What does climate change have to do with grief work? And why are play, humour and creative imagination such important psychological tools at this time? In Friday’s Blog post, ahead of the Tavistock’s Ecology, Psychoanalysis and Global Warming conference, Paul Hoggett explained why therapists have a vital role in confronting climate change. Following a deep and exciting weekend of discussions, Chair of the Climate Psychology Alliance Chris Robertson now looks to the other side of environmental collapse.

The Vital Role of Therapists in Confronting Climate Change

  • 7th Dec 2018
  • Paul Hoggett

This weekend, psychotherapists, psychologists, philosophers, scientists and activists will come together to explore the traumatic reality of climate change. What can therapists contribute to the picture? And how might global warming be permeating our consulting rooms? Paul Hoggett, psychoanalytic psychotherapist and co-founder of the Climate Psychology Alliance, thinks we can help humankind understand it’s anxiety, anger, despair and denial – and outlines three key ways therapists can contribute to positive change.

Six Ways Christmas May be Showing Up in Your Consulting Room

  • 3rd Dec 2018
  • Blog Editor

Is the spectre of Christmas showing up in your consulting room yet? For those of our clients whose culture celebrates Christmas, this can be a season of celebration, optimism and togetherness. But it can equally be a time of increased financial, family and social pressures, with associated spikes in domestic violence and suicide rates. Either way, December is a month when powerful therapeutic work can be done: not for nothing has Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol been dubbed the first act of interpersonal psychoanalysis. Here are six ways in which Christmas may be manifesting in your consulting room.

How Configuration Styles Can Help us Work with Teenagers

  • 28th Nov 2018
  • Bronagh Starrs

Some only do what they feel like doing. Others only do what they think they ought to do. And then there is the teenager we are perhaps least likely to encounter at the start of therapy, and most hopeful to see at the end – one who has a growing sense of ownership of his life, and interest in his future. To mark the publication of her new book, Adolescent Psychotherapy: A Radical Relational Approach, Bronagh Starrs shares her concept of ‘configuration styles’ – and explains how they can help us find a therapeutic focus.

Why Younger Therapists Need Jung

  • 26th Nov 2018
  • Ruth Williams

From David Bowie and The Beatles to the Myers-Briggs test and Alcoholics Anonymous, Jung’s influence ranges from pop culture to popular psychology. What sometimes slips our notice is his enduring relevance for today’s psychotherapists. To mark the publication today of her new book, C.G. Jung: The Basics, Ruth Williams tells us why it is high time young therapists were reintroduced to Jung – and why asking candid questions about his personal views has to be a key part of that process.

Four and a Half Things I’ve Learned about Love (and Therapy)

  • 23rd Nov 2018
  • Lisa Appignanesi

What can therapy teach us about love, and love about therapy? Following the death of her partner of 32 years, Lisa Appignanesi recently published a striking memoir of bereavement interwoven with psychoanalytic approaches to mourning. Ahead of her appearance at the Tavistock Relationships conference later this month, she reflects on coupledom through the rear-view mirror, shares some early marriage guidance tips from the unlikely pen of 19th century French writer Honore de Balzac – and issues a challenge to today’s couples therapists.

“Being the child of an alcoholic is a thing”

  • 21st Nov 2018
  • Josh Connolly

Alcohol Awareness Week tends to focus our thoughts on those who drink. But what about the clients who grew up with alcoholics? Are there particular aspects of this experience that we need to be aware of? It was only after he started working for the National Association for Children of Alcoholics that Josh Connolly started to confront the reality of his own childhood. Here, he shares his story, and the vital importance of validation in his own therapeutic journey.

Why Our Understanding of Alcohol Use Needs Turning on Its Head

  • 19th Nov 2018
  • Davyd McNamara

How aware are we that alcohol is more drug than drink? That the actual physiological effects of alcohol are only a small part of the story? And that treating any substance as a ‘vice’ that needs to be ‘given up’ is a fundamental misunderstanding of its function? As Alcohol Awareness Week begins, drug and alcohol awareness trainer Davyd McNamara calls for ‘integration’ not ‘separation’ in working with people who use alcohol. Above all, he says, this should be about the human needs we use alcohol to meet – and the hidden selves we use it to express.

‘Ugly’ Psychotherapists: How to Flourish Amid Misery

  • 16th Nov 2018
  • Brett Kahr

Professor Brett Kahr was shocked when an acquaintance remarked on the ‘ugliness’ of psychotherapists. But it got him thinking. Burdened with misery and immersed in trauma, are we therapists too often weighed down by our work, and preoccupied only with enduring? Published today, Kahr’s new book, How to Flourish As a Psychotherapist, is an attempt to shift this bar. As he argues in this blog, we become better therapists for our clients when we learn, not just how to survive in our profession, but how to thrive.

Ringing the changes with the Society for Existential Analysis

  • 14th Nov 2018
  • Cristalle Hayes

The Society for Existential Analysis has just marked its 30th anniversary with a forward-looking conference. What might existential therapy, and therapy in general, look and feel like in 2048? As existential psychotherapist Cristalle Hayes reflects, change is both an important evergreen theme in therapy, and a pressing reality for the profession itself. Here she passes on ten key messages from the weekend’s SEA conference, which might just help therapists of all modalities face, and embrace, the future.

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