Psychotherapy Training – what role for social identity?
“A widespread commitment to the task of engaging reflexively and reckoning with these ethical implications of social identity in our work, might represent ‘change that feels authentic’ for those of non-normative and non-conforming identities. However, it is necessary to be realistic about the generations of opposition to change in this area that partly define our profession. Within it, positions can be as polarised as outside given what the literature reports about backlash politics mobilised against the looming spectre of political correctness. As the literature and the participants established, despite the background of one’s personal analysis, the psychoanalytic healer identity can disconnect us from a more mutual identity, as implicated subjects. The harmed and harmful bits can get disavowed for the public performance of secure, unprejudiced, professionalism”.Nicholas Frealand.
How do ethnicity, class, religion, sexual orientation, gender – as vital aspects of our identities – collide with the norms and ideologies that we encounter in training? How do our formative understandings and experiences of training, shape our relations to our profession?
Presentation: Nicholas Frealand, Child and Adolescent Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist (ACP, NHS, BAATN, TRS)
Date & time: 1.5 hours. 7.30pm – 9.00pm Wednesday evenings: April 19th, May 3rd, May 17th
Fee: £20 for the three sessions.
This 3-part participatory presentation series provides an opportunity to explore some of the ways that psychotherapists have experienced and understood the role of social identity in their training.
This series is based on psychoanalytic research available here, the interviews from which will be drawn upon to frame how social identity can be viewed as having roles in training that are variously sufficient (the focus of session 1), insufficient (the focus of session 2) and ambivalent (the focus of session 3).
You will be invited into a group dialogue to collectively explore psychotherapists’ statements from these interviews and consider the impact, reactions and ideas they evoke. This will provide an opportunity to personally reflect on social identity’s role in our trainings, in prescriptive terms – whether it had a place or belonging, and descriptive terms – what kind of role it had and how did it function?
In thinking about the possible reasons behind the role/s social identity has had in training, you will also have the opportunity to engage with the historical context of our trainings, to consider the roots of particular ideologies which inform training culture and priorities.
This will involve a confrontation with questions around the degree to which our training has enabled us to uphold our avowed image, aims and ideals when it comes to method and ethics.
This series has the aim of enhancing all our understandings of our training, identity development and the politics of our profession to better inform wider decisions around how we practice and how we train others.
Reserve your place here ☞
The Art & The Science of Interpretation in Embodied Relational Practice (3 sessions).
Fri 21 Apr, Fri 19 May, Fri 2 June.
5:00 PM – 7:00 PM BST Online, Zoom. (Your time zone).
12 noon – 2 pm (ET)
9am – 11am (PT)
As a follow-up to Dr. Martha Stark’s Zoom presentations earlier this year on her Psychodynamic Synergy Psychotherapy (which featured ☞ an Updated (March 2023) SUMMARY of Martha’s 5 Models in her Psychodynamic Synergy Paradigm and in order to demonstrate translation of those theoretical concepts into “embodied relational” clinical practice, we are offering The Art and The Science of Interpretation in Embodied Relational Practice: A Series of Three 2 hour Experiential Workshops.
Booking & further info and resources link ☞ HERE
Book to Life 2: Further Unruly Conversations in Living Room
What kind of therapeutics are required for the now? Black feminism offers an implicitly relational stance that speaks to therapeutic thought and practice otherwise.
“Unruly Therapeutic provided new insights into my own experience of therapy; what has ‘worked’ and what hasn’t, what resonated and why. Taylor’s use of black feminisms, in both theory and praxis, shows that the therapeutic can be found in other ways of reading, writing, seeing, listening, knowing, and being. This book is life-giving. It made me feel seen, understood, unruly. I look forward to reading it again and again.”
-Nydia A. Swaby, black feminist researcher, writer, and curator.
Foluke will be in conversation with a gathering of writers, thinkers, practitioners and makers who will each share their response to the book before opening up for more general conversation and reflections with:
Dr Gail Lewis : is an author, academic and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Her political subjectivity was formed in the intensities of black feminist and anti-racist struggle and through a socialist, anti-imperialist lens. She was a member of the Brixton Black Women’s Group and one of the founder members of the Organization of Women of African and Asian Descent, Britain’s first national organization for black and other women of color. She organizes her thinking through the category ‘experience’ which she conceives as a vector of both the felt senses in conjunction with social, structural and cultural processes, and an analytic in the production of meaning and knowing otherwise. She is currently writing a book on Black feminism in Britain and has written on feminism, intersectionality, the welfare state and citizenship, psychoanalysis and Black feminism, and the psychosocial dynamics of racialized-gendered experience.
Her publications include ‘Race, Gender and Social Welfare: encounters in a postcolonial society’ (2000), Polity Press; ‘Citizenship: personal lives and social policy’ (2004), ed. Polity Press; ‘Birthing Racial Difference: conversations with my mother and others’ (2009) Studies in the Maternal; ‘Unsafe Travel: experiencing intersectionality and feminist displacements’ (2013) Signs: journal of women in culture and society; ‘Where Might I Find You’: Popular Music and the Internal Space of the Father’, (2012) Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society; ‘Questions of Presence’, (2017) Feminist Review, Issue 117; ‘Black Feminism and the Challenge of Object Use’ (forthcoming) Feminist Review. She believes that open and honest conversations across differences, including intergenerational conversations, are the pressing issues of this moment of hate-filled crisis. She is an Arsenal fan.
Anthea Benjamin: UKCP registered Integrative Arts Psychotherapist, Play Therapist, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Practitioner, Group Analyst and Supervisor. Anthea has worked extensively with children, adolescents, adults, families, couples, and groups for over 15 years in various settings including schools, community projects and within the NHS. She works as a therapist delivering training and consultancy in a range of professional and educational contexts. Anthea also offers therapeutic services such as self-reflective groups and team supervision both in organizations and within her private practice in south London. Anthea has a special interest in racial trauma, particularly working with racial trauma in the body.
Dr Eiman Hussein : Eiman is an integrative psychotherapist and an academic lecturer at Metanoia Institute. In therapy, she works in private practice as well as providing therapeutic support to women survivors of different forms of Violence against women and girls (VAWG), specifically FGM within an African led organization in the UK. Eiman has a background in Medicine and an MSc in Public Health in Developing Countries, with more than 15 years of experience working in the charity sector on issues of women’s reproductive health and rights and specifically on the issue of FGM. In practice and in teaching, Eiman draws from her own self, her multitude of identities and past experiences in life and in work to enrichen her work. She is also a very occasional poet/writer.
Omikemi : is a writer, healing arts practitioner and community organizer. Their work is focused on creativity for health and healing and they have a growing interest in mystic-activism. Their recent collaborations include work with Vital Xposure, Disability Arts Online and Autograph Gallery London. Omikemi also organizes Way-Making an online Black-centered creative and healing arts space
Dr Dzifa Afonu : Clinical psychologist, consultant, supervisor, community researcher and illustrator with an interest in decolonial and liberatory approaches to mental health. With over 20 years of experience in community and charity work and 10 years experience working in the NHS I bring a range of skills and knowledge across multiple fields.
Dr Akima Thomas OBE : is a black feminist activist and comes from a background in nursing, social work and psychotherapy. Akima has pioneered working from a trauma informed approach and developed the Holistic Empowerment Recovery Model (HER), a strengths based non pathologising clinical model; integrating healing of mind body and spirit. Akima continues to research women’s healing journeys chronicling strategies of resistance, rebellion, and resilience to ensure survival and wrote a chapter in the book ‘Drop the Disorder! Challenging the culture of psychiatric diagnosis’, which challenges the culture of psychiatric diagnosis. Akima was awarded an OBE for services to Supporting Women and Girls, in 2019.
Date & time: 7.00pm – 9.00pm Thursday 30th of March.
Fee: Free/Donation for panelist fees.
Booking link ☞ HERE
Book to Life 1 – this gathering, hosted by BAATN and The Relational School, will welcome into this living room Foluke Taylor’s new book, Unruly Therapeutic – Black Feminist Writings and Practices in Living Room.
Foluke Taylor will be in dialogue with host Lara Sheehi and a panel of therapeutic thinkers and practitioners in response to her soon to be published book. The panel have been invited to share their unruly responses to Foluke’s book.
How do we live and how, where, and with whom can that living be done? These are among the questions Foluke Taylor asks, and in a form redolent of so-called ‘free jazz,’ she offers a finely textured and discordant, yet melodic and evocative consideration of how spaces for living might be crafted even in the face of the horrors of normative rule. It is a stunning offering! This book will rapidly become essential reading for therapeutic trainings; for professionals in other fields of health and care; for Black Feminist (and Women of Color) and Black Studies scholarship; and for all of us who need to find more ‘living room.”
Gail Lewis, visiting professor, WGSS, Yale University, author, and psychoanalytic psychotherapist
Deborah Malmud, is a Vice President at W. W. Norton & Company, Inc. and Publishing Director of Norton Professional Books imprint.
Lara Sheehi, PsyD (she/hers) teaches decolonial, liberatory and anti-oppressive theories and approaches to clinical treatment, case conceptualization, and community consultation. She is the president-elect of the Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology (APA Division 39), and the chair of the Teachers’ Academy of the American Psychoanalytic Association. She is co-editor of Studies in Gender and Sexuality; co-editor of CounterSpace in Psychoanalysis, Culture, and Society and on the editorial board for the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association. Lara is on the advisory board to the USA–Palestine Mental Health Network and Psychoanalysis for Pride. She is co-author with Stephen Sheehi of the book Psychoanalysis Under Occupation: Practicing Resistance in Palestine (Routledge, 2022). Dr. Sheehi is the founding faculty director of The Psychoanalysis and the Arab World Lab.
Eugene Ellis is the author of The Race Conversation and the Director and founder of the Black, African and Asian Therapy Network, the UK’s largest independent organisation to specialise in working therapeutically with Black, African, Caribbean and South Asian people. He is also a psychotherapist with a special interest in body-orientated therapies and facilitating a dialogue around race and mental wellbeing through articles, podcasts and blog posts as well as within organisations and psychotherapy training. BAATN’s 20th Anniversary is being celebrated this year in a 2-day Conference.
Anthea Benjamin is a UKCP registered Integrative Arts Psychotherapist, Play Therapist, Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy Practitioner, Group Analyst and Supervisor. Anthea has worked extensively with children, adolescents, adults, families, couples, and groups for over 15 years in various settings including schools, community projects and within the NHS. She works as a therapist delivering training and consultancy in a range of professional and educational contexts. Anthea also offers therapeutic services such as self-reflective groups and team supervision both in organizations and within her private practice in south London. Anthea has a special interest in racial trauma, particularly working with racial trauma in the body.
Natasha Holmes Founder and CEO of And Still We Rise, LLC, Dr. Holmes is a licensed psychologist, consultant, and life coach. Dr. Holmes is a psychoanalytically and trauma informed black feminist and womanist psychologist with training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Dialectical Behavioral Therapy, and biofeedback-informed interventions. She works with adults providing both therapy and life coaching. Dr. Holmes serves on the steering committee for the Boston chapter of Reflective Spaces/Material Places. She has published and presented on the topics of race, class, gender, sexuality, intersectionality, intergenerational trauma, and engaging in difficult dialogues. Dr. Holmes is a recipient of the 2015 Pacific University Community Service Award and was a Multicultural Concerns Committee Scholar for the American Psychological Association’s Society for Psychoanalysis and Psychoanalytic Psychology (2019-2020). Her favorite past times include traveling to countries in the African diaspora, trying locally-owned restaurants, and spending time with her dog (Abebi).
Elizabeth Kita, PhD, LCSW, is a clinical social worker in public/private practice in San Francisco, California. In her private practice, she works primarily with people contending with the effects of complex posttraumatic stress and vicarious traumatization; her work in a public clinic is with people who are returning to the community following lengthy periods of incarceration. She obtained her MSW from UC Berkeley and her PhD from Smith College, School for Social Work. In addition to her clinical work, Beth teaches in the MSW program at UC Berkeley, and is the Co-Chair of the Coalition for Clinical Social Work at the San Francisco Center for Psychoanalysis. She thinks, writes, presents and consults on the intersections of race/racism, trauma, violence, incarceration and psychodynamic social work praxis in the United States.
Carnella Gordon-Brown is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with an Independent Practice in San Francisco, where she is also Adjunct Faculty in the School of Community Mental Health, California Institute of Integral Studies; as well as, an Adjunct Faculty in the School of Social Work, Smith College. She had the privilege of gaining professional experience within the San Francisco Department of Public Health’s, Community Behavioral Health Service, for almost a decade prior to her Independent Practice. Serving consumers, both as a Social Work psychotherapist, and as a Clinical Program Manager at a richly diverse Behavioral Health Non-Profit in contract with the CCSF. Ms. Gordon-Brown gravitated to membership in Division 39, and Section 9 because of her curiosity and interest in developing a deeper understanding of the analytic relationships within her therapeutic practice; as well as, in exploring and developing social justice collaborations within psychoanalytic communities. Ms. Gordon-Brown just completed serving her 2nd year as Secretary of Div39S9. She is currently the Section 9 Representative on the Division 39 Board of Directors.
Robert Downes practices as psychotherapist, supervisor, teacher and student engaged in critical psychological study and practice drawing from a range of traditions: queer theory, black studies, critical theory, intersectional feminisms, relational psychoanalysis alongside the spiritual teachings and practices of the Diamond Approach and a 23-year long dialogue and extensive hedge school study with friend and collaborator, Foluke Taylor, with their project Otherwise. Robert is currently chair of The Relational School in London and has taught on trauma at the NAOS institute, psychotherapy trainings at Metanoia and body psychotherapy at the Minster Centre. Published work includes Listening in Colour: Creating a Meeting Place with Young People Robert Downes, Sue Lee, Foluke Taylor-Muhammad (Young People in Focus 2002); Reimagining the Space for a Therapeutic Curriculum – a Sketch, (co-authored with Foluke Taylor in Black Identities and White Therapies: Race Respect and Diversity. PCCS 2021); Queer Shame: notes on becoming an all-embracing mind in Queering Psychotherapy, Edited by Chance Czyzselska, Confer Books 2022.
Lynne Layton, Ph.D. is a graduate and has taught and supervised at the Massachusetts Institute for Psychoanalysis. She taught Social Psychoanalysis at Pacifica Graduate Institute from 2015-2021. She is the author of Who’s That Girl? Who’s That Boy? Clinical Practice Meets Postmodern Gender Theory, and co-editor of Bringing the Plague: Toward a Postmodern Psychoanalysis and of Psychoanalysis, Class and Politics: Encounters in the Clinical Setting. From 2004-2017, she was co-editor of the journal Psychoanalysis, Culture & Society and she is currently an associate editor of Psychoanalytic Dialogues. She is a past-President of Section IX, Psychoanalysis for Social Responsibility of Division 39, APA, and on the steering committee of Reflective Spaces/Material Places-Boston, a group of psychodynamic therapists committed to community mental health and social justice. Lynne is on the organizing committee of the Grassroots Reparations Campaign and the MIP Racial Equity Task Force. She is the author of Toward a Social Psychoanalysis: Culture, Character, and Normative Unconscious Processes, winner of a 2021 book award from the American Academy and Board of Psychoanalysis.
Date & time: 7.00pm – 9.00pm Friday 3rd of March.
Fee: Donations to BAATNs Mentoring Program are welcome.
Booking your tickets ☞ HERE
To order Unruly Therapeutic in the UK at a special member discount please follow the link below and add the code WN918 when prompted at the checkout.
UK: Unruly Therapeutic – Black Feminist Writings and Practices in Living Room
To order Unruly Therapeutic in the US at a special member discount please follow the link below and add the code WN866 when prompted at the checkout.
US: Unruly Therapeutic – Black Feminist Writings and Practices in Living Room.
Lara and Stephen Sheehi’s book: Psychoanalysis Under Occupation -Practicing Resistance in Palestine
Psychoanalytic Spaces, Implicated Places – By Carnella Gordon-Brown, Natasha Holmes, Beth Kita, Lynne Layton
Anthea Benjamin and Robert Downes contributed to Queering Psychotherapy Editor : Jane C. Czyzselska
Martha Stark MD : The Art and the Science of Interpretation – an intensive opportunity for study with Martha and her model.
Two classes and a Q&A session.
Part 1: Saturday Jan 21 5-7pm UK time.
Q&A: Sat 28th Jan 5-6pm UK time
Part 2: Saturday 4th Feb 5-7pm UK time.
Please register via firstname.lastname@example.org
Videos can be accessed ☞ HERE
Jan 29th 2023 3-5pm on Zoom (members only): What’s Going On?
Relational Psychoanalysis: Introductory Workshop with Centre for Relational Psychoanalysis July 12th 2022. Click here: ☞
Foundations of Relational Psychoanalysis – with the Centre for Relational Psychoanalysis Tuesday, September 20th through Tuesday, November 29th, 2022. Click here: ☞
The Narcissistic Dynamics of Submission: The Attraction of the Powerless to Authoritarian Leaders.
Paper and dialogue: Jay Frankel will present his paper The Narcissistic Dynamics of Submission: The Attraction of the Powerless to Authoritarian Leaders.
Jay Frankel uses Ferenczi’s trauma theory to think about what compels people towards authoritarian leaders and refers to more recent events.
There will be space to think with Jay about his presentation.
Date & time: Sunday March 27th 2022 3-5pm London time. Note: British summer time begins that day.
Venue: Zoom – a link will be sent the day of the event to registrants.
Reserve your place here (TRS Members only): ☞
You can find an earlier paper that introduces some of the ideas he works with here: ☞
Jay Frankel, Ph. D., is a psychologist and psychoanalyst. He is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor, and Clinical Consultant, in the Postdoctoral Program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis, at New York University; Associate Editor, and previously Executive Editor, of the journal Psychoanalytic Dialogues; co-author (with Neil Altman, Richard Briggs, Daniel Gensler, and Pasqual Pantone) of Relational Child Psychotherapy (Other Press, 2002); co-editor (with Aleksandar Dimitrijevic and Gabriele Cassullo) of Ferenczi’s Influence on Contemporary Psychoanalytic Traditions (Routledge, 2018); and author of three dozen journal articles, book chapters, as well as numerous conference presentations and lectures, on topics including trauma, identification with the aggressor, authoritarianism, the analytic relationship, the work of Sándor Ferenczi, play, child psychotherapy, relational psychoanalysis, and others.
TRS AGM: Sunday 27th February 2022 3-5pm
We will start the meeting with an opportunity to get to re-connect and meet one another through ‘what have you been reading lately – or not so recently – your call?’.
Activity 1: Following on from the recent invitation on the list – please bring a sentence, a paragraph, a poem – something that has informed, infused or inspired you that you would like to share. It doesn’t have to be from some theoretical relational text book, it is an open invitation to share something.
Activity 2: We will then reflect on the shape TRS could take as a learning community. It has been around as an organisation for a good while now and we wish to review and reflect on the how and the what of the organisation.
What kind of learning community experiences do you want to co-create? Make happen? Participate in?
So we will imagine together for a while and we invite you to bring your imaginings to share.
If you can’t make the meeting we invite your responses to the questionnaire posted on the list.
Please book your place so that we know numbers and can be quorate.
Members only: tickets here: ☞