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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
Working with Sibling Issues
With Prophecy Coles, Vivienne Lewin, Sarah Mandow and Elspeth Morley

Saturday 2 July 2016

Much of psychotherapy literature deals with the vertical relationship of parent and child. However, there cannot be a psychotherapy practitioner who has not worked with someone who is struggling with sibling dynamics – a subject much less theorised. This conference brings together four psychoanalytical writers who have closely examined the relationship patterns between brothers and sisters.

Perhaps, most commonly, therapists will work with the fallout of envy, fear and resentment where parents were emotionally unable to negotiate the arrival of a new child; where hostility, ambivalence or fear was thus never resolved. In such families, siblings must strive for love and emotional territory as they develop identity, and may grow up with competitive relational configurations, mistrust or self-doubt. The therapy patient may be someone who is particularly fearful of the judgment of peers, or who searches endlessly for recognition as they attempt to live with the narcissistic wound of being replaced - or the fear of envious attack for having replaced.

This conference proposes that sibling relationships lie at the heart of emotional life in adulthood and will play-out in both the narratives that people bring and the therapeutic dynamics. The adult in therapy may sometimes seem like a two-year old who has lost their mother’s essential preoccupation. A sibling-based transference to the therapist may arise in which the therapist is seen as a competitor. Fantasies about other clients in the practice may be significant. Importantly, sibling relationships change and can improve. We hope this event will facilitate skills and insights in working in this fascinating, horizontal relational domain.


Prophecy Coles
Prophecy Coles trained as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist at the Lincoln Clinic and is a member of the London Centre for Psychotherapy. She is the author of many scholarly articles on sibling relationships, eating disorders, sexuality and on intergenerational trauma. Her books, The Importance of Sibling Relationships in Psychoanalysis (Karnac, 2003) and The Uninvited Guest from the Unremembered Past: An Exploration of the Unconscious Transmission of Trauma Across the Generations (Karnac, 2003) have received great acclaim. More >>

Vivienne Lewin
Vivienne Lewin was a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice. She trained at the London Centre for Psychotherapy (now the British Psychotherapy Foundation) and was a Training Therapist and Supervisor. She is a Fellow of the British Psychotherapy Foundation. She has retired from clinical practice, but continues to supervise, teach, and write. Her new book on twins will be published later in 2016. She has written a number of papers and a book on twins, notably, The Twin in the Transference (Whurr - London 2004, 2nd edition printed by Karnac Books, London, January 2014) - a book on twins and twinning processes in psychoanalytic practice. More >>

Sarah Mandow
Sarah Mandow has retired from the NHS where she was for many years senior consultant psychotherapist at the Cassel Hospital, a national, specialist treatment centre run on psychoanalytic lines, for adults, adolescents and families. She is currently a psychoanalytic psychotherapist for individuals and couples in private practice and lecturer in psychoanalytic theory. More >>

Elspeth Morley
Elspeth Morley, UKCP/BPC Reg, coming from a social work background (probation and family welfare) is a Full Member of BSCPC, a Training Senior Member of BAP, and Visiting Lecturer for TCCR. She is now retiring from her private psychoanalytic practice with couples and individuals for 52 years. More >>


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Early bird: £110 (Sold out)
Self-funded: £130 (Sold out)
Self-funded x 2: £190 (Sold out)
Organisationally-funded: £220 (Sold out)

CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 6.5 hours will be provided at the event

Tavistock Centre
120 Belsize Lane

09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:00 Coffee
12:45 Lunch
14:45 Tea
16:30 End