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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

Confer's 20th Anniversary Conference

What is Normal?

With speakers Roz Carroll, Dr Christopher Clulow, Professor Brett Kahr, Dr Phil Mollon, Dr Susie Orbach, Professor Andrew Samuels, Ann Shearer, Dr Valerie Sinason, Lennox Thomas, Dr Felicity de Zulueta

Saturday 24 November 2018 - London

At this special event to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Confer's work we have set our speakers a thorny question to answer: what is normal? The subject, while posing important questions about some very binary ideas of sanity and madness, health and illness, predictability and instability, also offers a platform for us to elaborate when and how the concept or normality informs our work - if at all. Does the notion of a regular, standardised way of being guide the direction of psychotherapy towards the perceived goal for the client of becoming in some sense average? What does that look like? Non psychotic, non-neurotic, inconspicuous?

At this event we will be asking who defines the standards of ordinariness, both within society and in the field of psychotherapy, and we will question what meanings we give to its logical opposite - the 'abnormal'. Where there are psychological oddities, are these diseases that need to be cured? How, in that case would we understand differences caused by injuries, neglect, abuse or illness? Furthermore, how do we regard people who are in some sense not normal but special - especially expressive, high functioning or unusual? Implicitly, throughout, we will be wondering what we mean by psychological health and who gets to qualify. Perhaps it will be suggested that by asserting our differences, by edge-dwelling and occupying the margins, we discover another way of being whole, and wholly oneself. In the course of the discussion we will inevitably be unpacking a plethora of issues related to definitions, language, values and therapeutic goals.


Roz Carroll
Roz Carroll is a Chiron-trained body psychotherapist. She teaches 'Contemporary Theories of Psychotherapy' on the MA in Integrative Psychotherapy at The Minster Centre. She is the author of numerous articles and chapters, including: 'The Blood-dimmed Tide: Witnessing war and working with the collective body in Authentic Movement' in the Journal of Psychotherapy and Politics International... More >>

Dr Christopher Clulow
Dr Christopher Clulow is a Consultant Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council, and a Senior Fellow of the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, London. He has published extensively on marriage, partnerships, parenthood and couple psychotherapy, most recently from an attachment perspective... More >>

Professor Brett Kahr
Professor Brett Kahr has worked in the mental health profession for over 40 years. He is Senior Fellow at Tavistock Relationships at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London, as well as Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health and, also, a Consultant Psychotherapist at The Balint Consultancy. A Trustee of the Freud Museum London and of Freud Museum Publications, he is the author or editor of ten books on a range of topics, including D.W. Winnicott: A Biographical Portrait, which received the Gradiva Award for Biography, as well as Sex and the Psyche, the best-selling study of the traumatic origin of sexual fantasies.... More >>

Dr Phil Mollon
Phil Mollon PhD is a psychoanalyst and psychotherapist, with a background profession of clinical psychology. He has worked in the NHS for 35 years. The author of ten books, Dr Mollon has written and lectured widely on trauma, shame, narcissism, and Kohut's self psychology. Always searching for better ways of helping traumatised people, his enquiries led him to EMDR, and then to 'energy psychology'... More >>

Dr Susie Orbach
Susie Orbach is a psychoanalyst and writer. She co-founded The Women's Therapy Centre in 1976 and The Women's Therapy Centre Institute, a training institute in New York, in 1981. Her books include Fat is a Feminist Issue, Hunger Strike, On Eating, What's Really Going on Here, Towards Emotional Literacy, The Impossibility of Sex and Bodies.. Her latest book In Therapy is from the highly regarded BBC Radio 4 series of the same name which drew 2 million listeners. She has a clinical practice seeing individuals and couples and is a member of The Balint Consultancy. She convenes the UK chapter of More >>

Professor Andrew Samuels
Andrew Samuels is recognized internationally as one of the foremost political commentators and theorists from the perspectives of psychotherapy and depth psychology. He works as a consultant with political leaders, parties and activist groups in several countries, including the United States. He also consults to the NHS. He draws on a wide range of approaches to psyche, including post-Jungian, relational psychoanalytic and humanistic ideas... More >>

Ann Shearer
Ann Shearer is a senior analyst with the Independent Group of Analytical Psychologists in London and teaches widely in both the UK and elsewhere. She was involved in the International Association for Analytical Psychology training in Russia for over a decade and has been a visiting teacher for the IAAP group in Bulgaria for the past five years... More >>

Dr Valerie Sinason
Valerie Sinason PhD, MACP, M Inst Psychoanal, FIPD is a poet, writer, child, adolescent and adult psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst. She was Founder Director of the Clinic for Dissociative Studies until her retirement and remains a Consultant. She is President of the Institute for Psychotherapy and Disability (IPD) and Hon Consultant Psychotherapist at the University of Cape Town Child Guidance Clinic; Patron of the Dorchester Trust, Chair of Trustees of the First People Art Centre – Nieu Bethesda Arts Foundation... More >>

Lennox Thomas
Lennox Thomas is a former Co-Director of the MSc Course in Intercultural Therapy at University College London, a former Clinical Director of the NAFSIYAT Intercultural Therapy Centre, a member of the British Association of Psychotherapists and of the Institute of Family Therapy... More >>

Dr Felicity de Zulueta
Dr Felicity de Zulueta is an Emeritus Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy at the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust and an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Traumatic Studies at Kings College London. She developed and headed both the Department of Psychotherapy at Charing Cross Hospital and the Traumatic Stress Service in the Maudsley Hospital which specialises in the treatment of people suffering from Complex Post Traumatic Stress disorder... More >>


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Handouts and lunch included
Self-funded: £40 (SOLD OUT)
Organisationally-funded: £60 (SOLD OUT)

CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 6 hours will be provided at the event

Regents University
Inner Circle

09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:20 Coffee
12:40 Lunch
15:25 Tea
17:00 End