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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

Spiritual Trauma - The Forgotten Wound in the Consulting Room

With speakers Rabbi Howard Cooper, the Rev Canon Susannah Izzard, Ruthie Smith

Saturday 24 March 2018 - London

Psychotherapy in general has struggled to integrate the spiritual into the work but, in an age where there is an increasing interest in this domain - whatever we understand that to be - we need to be open to seeing and working with the spiritual wounds which may have been ignored, overlooked or forgotten. People suffer from spiritual trauma in all sorts of different ways. The profound loss when the object of trust lets you down - whether God, Buddha, the universe - is fundamentally destabilising. Losing your faith, the bedrock of a belief system which has held a person together as their fundamental base and attachment, can be deeply traumatic. This conference looks at some of the issues - whether it is feeling abandoned by God, being disconnected from spiritual aspects of the self, or actively abused and controlled in the name of a religious organisation. The overwhelming trauma to the inner world which follows belonging to a cult or a hierarchical fundamentalist religion can take years to overcome. People may be dogged by guilt at failing to adhere to the rules they grew up with. This can result in splits in the psyche, where a persecutory inner judge can interfere with the person's functioning, damaging ego functioning and self-esteem.

While such forms of spiritual trauma seem very obvious, spiritual issues can remain hidden in the background as a forgotten wound. However, whatever the nature of the spiritual issues, recognising and working through these provides rich ground for growth as people re-connect with their spiritual selves and come to a deeper realisation and a truer more solid sense of self. This conference includes a range of presentations on spiritual trauma and space for those present to reflect on their own spiritual wounds and those of their patients or clients in therapy.


Rabbi Howard Cooper
Howard Cooper is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice, Rabbinic Director of Spiritual Development at Finchley Reform Synagogue, a workshop leader and a writer. He is the author of The Alphabet of Paradise: An A-Z of Spirituality for Everyday Life and he blogs on spiritual and psychological issues and current affairs at More >>

Rev Canon Susannah Izzard
Revd Canon Susannah Izzard is a UKCP Registered Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and supervisor in private practice with over 25 years' experience. She is also a priest in the Church of England and a spiritual director. In recent years she has developed an interest in Energy Psychology and following the completion of a training with Converging Streams she now integrates Energy Methods into her practice. She has a particular interest in the interface between spiritual and psychological wounds... More >>

Ruthie Smith
Ruthie Smith is a Psychoanalytic Attachment Based Psychotherapist and Energy Psychotherapist with 30 years' experience in private practice and 10 years as a Principal Individual Psychotherapist and Supervisor in the NHS. She taught on a number of Psychotherapy Training Programmes before founding The Flame Centre in London where she works as a psychotherapist and supervisor and runs Flame residential retreats. She is also an A.I.T. teacher, and teaches on Converging Streams Energy Psychotherapy courses. She has regularly lectured and presented at events organized by Confer and others. Her interests include music (jazz and classical) and contemporary spirituality... More >>


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Handouts and lunch included
Self-funded: £130
Self-funded x 2: £200
Organisationally-funded: £200

CPD Hours

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

8 All Saints Street
N1 9RL

09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:15 Coffee
13:00 Lunch
15:30 Tea
17:00 End