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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

The Need to Forget:

The Capacity to Remember

With speakers Richard Curen, Dr Ronald Doctor and Katya Orrell

Saturday 13 July 2019 - London

At this seminar we will consider two possible relationships to past traumatic events: remembering, and working-through on the one hand; repressing, disavowal and acting-out on the other, and how the tension between these can be skilfully managed in the therapy relationship.

Memories are core to our accumulating experience of life, providing a sense of an ongoing self and meaningful continuity. They can make us feel comfortable with the familiar, and securely connected to the past, while providing a framework for the future; it is our collection of conscious and unconscious memories that, in part, makes us who we are. But what is the experience of a client/patient, who by repressing, splitting off or disavowing past events which are too painful to bring into consciousness? What is the cost of that repression? What strains are placed on the embodied psyche by such efforts to block-out reality? How do we enable someone to loosen their defenses and safely allow unacceptable past events to surface into conscious awareness?

This conference will consider how a client/patient who acts-out the past - perhaps even violently - may be acting on an impulse to avoid remembering, and how this person may be caught in painful repetitions of events or somatisation of affects in order to control the unbearable. We will consider whether there is always a need to make the repressed memory come to consciousness and, if there is, how is this process managed safely to contain that which has been unbearable? How does the therapist work most effectively here? What is the role of thinking and language in this process? How is the counter transference experienced? Through talks and live supervisions participants will get first hand insight into this delicate and challenging work.


Richard Curen
Richard Curen is a consultant forensic psychotherapist and supervisor at Respond where he leads the forensic service for adolescents and adults with intellectual disabilities or autism. He is a board member of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy, a member of the Institute of Psychotherapy and Disability and is a Registered Member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy. More >>

Dr Ronald Doctor
Dr Ronald Doctor is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy at West London Mental Health NHS Trust, a member of the British Psychoanalytical Society and the British Psychotherapy Foundation. He is a Clinical Lecturer at Imperial College and has edited two books; Dangerous Patients; psychodynamic approach to risk assessment and management, 2003 and Murder; a psychotherapeutic investigation, 2008... More >>

Katya Orrell
Katya Orrell is a psychotherapist, Director and Founding Partner of Panoptikon, an organisation involved in assessing and treating offenders and prison staff. She also works in private practice and in the NHS. She is a member of the Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists and British Psychoanalytic Council. Her work includes training, consultancy and research. She is editing a book on prison experience and speaks at international conferences... More >>


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Handouts and lunch included
Self-funded: £120
Self-funded x 2: £200
Organisationally-funded: £200
Psychotherapy trainee: £80 (Limited to 10 places)
This event + the online module Trauma and Dissociation: £215
CPD Hours

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

The Tavistock Centre
120 Belsize Lane

09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:00 Coffee
13:30 Lunch
16:00 Tea
17:00 End