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BPC Between Mind and Culture: Ordinary Differences Conference
Sat 19 November 2016, 09:30 – 18:00 GMT
A one-day conference exploring the cultural and social implications on psychoanalytic psychotherapy and its future practices. (Currently over 70 delegates attending.)
About the Conference
People from BME backgrounds often experience themselves as being on the receiving end of misconceptions and projections; reduced to theories that are more familiar to psychoanalysts and psychotherapists. This excludes the social contexts within which that experience takes place. On the other hand, focusing exclusively on social context runs the risk of reducing the phenomena to familiar ‘isms’ that exclude a psychological dimension.
This conference aims to understand how, as practitioners, we can expand our work in order to better provide therapeutic relief to a wider cohort of individuals as well as begin to address how the profession could engage in a more meaningful way with issues around cultural diversity.
09.30 – 10.00 Registration
10.00 – 10.15 Opening Remarks – Maxine Dennis
10.15 – 11.30 Between Mind and Culture – Salman Akhtar / Discussant – Helen Morgan
11.30 – 12.00 Morning Break
12.00 – 13.15 Breakout Sessions:
1. Identity and Culture – Fakhry Davids
2. Security and Freedom – Julian Lousada & Helen Morgan
3. Changing the Game – Paul Kassman & Carine Minne
13.15 – 14.15 Lunch Break
14.15 – 15.15 Thinking Space – Co-facilitated by Frank Lowe, Onel Brookes and Katie Argent
15.15 – 15.45 Afternoon Break
15.45 – 17.00 In the face of Unreason: Engaging with Racist states of Mind – Narendra Keval
17.00 – 17.15 Interval
17.15 – 18.00 Closing Discussion – Maxine Dennis
Key note speaker: Salman Akhtar, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry at Jefferson Medical College and a Training and Supervising Analyst at the Psychoanalytic Center of Philadelphia. He has served on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Psychoanalysis, the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association, and the Psychoanalytic Quarterly. His more than 300 publications include 80 books, of which 17 are solo-authored. Dr. Akhtar is the recipient of the Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Best Paper of the Year Award (1995), the Margaret Mahler Literature Prize (1996), the American Society of Psychoanalytic Physicians’ Sigmund Freud Award (2000), the American College of Psychoanalysts’ Laughlin Award (2003), the American Psychoanalytic Association’s Edith Sabshin Award (2000), Columbia University’s Robert Liebert Award for Distinguished Contributions to Applied Psychoanalysis (2004), the American Psychiatric Association’s Kun Po Soo Award (2004) and Irma Bland Award for being the Outstanding Teacher of Psychiatric Residents in the country (2005). He received the highly prestigious Sigourney Award (2012) for distinguished contributions to psychoanalysis. Dr. Akhtar is an internationally-sought speaker and teacher, and his books have been translated in many languages, including German, Italian, Korean, Romanian, Serbian, Spanish, and Turkish.
Identity and Culture: Fakhry Davids - FULLY BOOKED
Fakhry Davids is a psychoanalyst in full-time practice in London. He is a Training and Supervising Analyst of the British Psychoanalytic Society, Honorary Senior Lecturer in the Psychoanalysis Unit, University College London and Visiting Lecturer at the Tavistock Clinic. He has written on a number of psychoanalytic topics, including a book, Internal Racism: A Psychoanalytic Approach to Race and Difference (Palgrave Macmillan, 2011).
Security and Freedom: Julian Lousada & Helen Morgan –
The recent referendum in Britain exposed deep anxieties regarding identity and fears of the other. Such fears are being expressed currently in extreme movements throughout the world including the US and on the European continent. The feeling of insecurity seems not only to create a lack of compassion for the stranger but also seeks to find confidence in those who we know lie, are dangerous and do not have our interests in mind.
The inclination is to separate ourselves from these processes but in this workshop we hope to explore the psychological roots of these primitive states of mind and how they may formulate in our minds as well as others.
Julian Lousada is a Psychoanalyst,: formerly Clinical Director of the Adult Department at the Tavistock & Portman NHS Trust, former Chair of the BPC, currently vice-chair of the BPF and is in private practice.
Helen Morgan is a Fellow of the British Psychotherapy Foundation and is a training analyst and supervisor for the Jungian Analytic Association within the BPF. She works mainly in private practice as an analyst and also supervises in both the individual and the group setting. She has written a number of papers including several on working with racism within the clinical setting. She is currently the chair of the British Psychoanalytic Council.
Changing the Game: Paul Kassman & Carine Minne –
Gangs are mostly prevalent within elements of London’s most marginalised BME communities. The Met Police estimate that 90% of roughly 3,500 identified gang members in London are Black or Mixed race. Most serious gang violence in London is in fact an enactment of black-on-black violence, while over 80% of youth custody sentences in London boroughs such as Lambeth and Southwark are now handed to black and mixed-race-boys. Gang culture provides a vehicle for the re-enactment of a number of traumas and offers a sense of belonging and acceptance as well as bolstering an alienated and splintered self-image.
How should psychoanalytic models explain or address the disproportionate number of young black men who are embroiled in violent gang culture? What broader social experiences and cultural narratives need to be recognised and considered when therapeutically addressing the stories of Black men who find themselves involved in gangs? And, moreover, how effectively can therapists make relevant interpretations of individuals’ sense of self without considering society’s projections upon them as black men, or, the considering of the immigrant’s lingering sense of loss and cultural dislocation or any other inherited historical traumas which these young men may be repeating without remembering?
Dr Carine Minne is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy at the Portman Clinic (Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust) and Broadmoor Hospital (WLMHT). She is also a psychoanalyst with the British Psychoanalytical Society.
Paul Kassman has worked with offenders and young people in London as a youth worker, criminal justice practitioner and policymaker for over 25 years. Over the last 10 years Paul has focused exclusively on approaches to addressing the impact of gangs and gang culture in London.
In the face of Unreason: Engaging with Racist states of Mind: Narendra Keval
The abundance of spatial metaphors or imagery in political discourse that portrays building walls, fortresses, borders or fences in tumultuous times is no accident. In the face of anxieties and fears about diversity and difference, the racist imagination seeks out idealised spaces in the mind and society that offer tempting retreats in which loyalty towards notions of community, tribal group, belief system or an abstraction takes precedence over the capacity for reason and empathy. The tragic depiction of ethnic others in dehumanising terms can be used to politically justify expunging them as ‘foreign bodies’ or parasites feeding, robbing or depleting an idealised body politic; phantasies that are part of a larger narrative of an imaginary love lost, sense of betrayal, grievance and a wish for revenge in racism. Some of these themes will be explored by looking at the quality of thinking and the predicaments and challenges of engaging with racist states of mind when they emerge in the consulting room and on the wider canvas of contemporary culture.
Narendra Keval is an adult and adolescent psychotherapist and consultant clinical psychologist. He is a member of the Tavistock Society of Psychotherapists and a visiting lecturer at the Tavistock Clinic. He worked as Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist in the NHS with patients suffering from complex personality disorders. He is currently in full time private practice. His book ‘Racist States of Mind: Understanding the Perversion of Curiosity and Concern was recently published by Karnac.
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