Confer Facebook LinkConfer Twitter Link
Your basket TEL: 0207 5357595
Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

Ghostly Hauntings

Subliminal and unconscious messages from our ancestors

With the writers Lisa Appignanesi and Linda Grant, and the psychotherapists Prophecy Coles, Dr Françoise Davoine and Professor Stephen Frosh

Friday 7 December 2018 - London

"In every nursery there are ghosts. They are the visitors of the unremembered past of the parents; the uninvited guests at the christening." (Selma Fraiberg, 1987)

This conference aims to elucidate a particular experience within the field of intergenerational trauma, the as if experience of being occupied or possessed by another from a different time or place, and feelings that are hard to explain. When working with these clients, a sense of ghostly possession and metaphysical phenomena can come to mind. We are reminded how within the psyche the past and future can collide in the present.

The conference will offer a psychodynamic perspective on what we might call the haunting of the living by the unknown experiences of ancestors - those traumas that they were never able to talk about. We will consider the importance of being open to the possibility that our clients carry 'uninvited' guests searching for a voice and seeking to be heard. It can be that a parent or grandparent's silenced past, that is infused with loss, grief or terror, is making itself known in the present in unexplained emotional or relationship difficulties. We will ask: if that can be brought to consciousness, can this give the client greater peace? Can it prevent transmission of the hidden trauma to the next generation?

The speakers will elaborate on the use of deep listening through the transference and counter transference in order to bring to light the uninvited guests and to put to them to rest.


Lisa Appignanesi
Lisa Appignanesi OBE is a prize-winning writer, novelist, cultural commentator, and Chair of the Royal Society of Literature. In September 2018, Fourth Estate will publish her latest work of non-fiction, Everyday Madness: On Grief, Anger, Loss and Love. She is a visiting Professor in Literature and Medical Humanities at King's College London and was made a Chevalier de l'Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in recognition of her contribution to literature... More >>

Prophecy Coles
Prophecy Coles trained as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist but is now retired. She has written many articles on sibling relationships, eating disorders and sexuality and has lectured across the world. She also written several books, including The Importance of Sibling Relationships in Psychoanalysis (Karnac. 2003) Sibling Relationships... More >>

Dr Françoise Davoine
Dr Françoise Davoine has worked as a psychoanalyst at a French psychiatric hospital for over thirty years. She also works in private practice as a supervisor and training analyst. She is retired professor at the Ecole des Hautes Etudes en Science Sociales in Paris. She has an advanced degree in classics (French, Latin and Greek literature) and a doctorate in sociology. With her late husband Jean-Max Gaudilliere, Françoise Davoine was a member of the École Freudienne de Paris until the death of Jacques Lacan (1981)... More >>

Professor Stephen Frosh
Stephen Frosh is Professor in the Department of Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck, University of London. He was Pro-Vice-Master of Birkbeck from 2003 to 2017. He has a background in academic and clinical psychology and was Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Tavistock Clinic, London, throughout the 1990s. He is the author of many books and papers on psychosocial studies and on psychoanalysis... More >>

Linda Grant
Linda Grant is a novelist and journalist. She won the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2000 and the Lettre Ulysses Prize for Literary Reportage in 2006, and was longlisted for the Man Booker in 2002 for Still Here. The Clothes on Their Backs was shortlisted for the Man Booker in 2008 and went on to win the South Bank Show Award... More >>


Click here to book
You will be taken to a secure web server where your payment will be processed.
Please read our booking conditions before making your booking

Handouts and lunch included
Self-funded: £120 (SOLD OUT)
Self-funded x 2: £200 (SOLD OUT)
Organisationally-funded: £200 (SOLD OUT)
Under 25's: £70 (SOLD OUT)

CPD Hours

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

Grange Fitzrovia Hotel
20-28 Bolsover Street

09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:30 Coffee
12:50 Lunch
15:00 Tea
17:00 End