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Change, Transition, Transformation: is another world possible? 12th Ma...

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York St John's University - Conference & Event

Lord Mayor's Walk

York

YO31 7EX

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Change, Transition, Transformation: is another world possible?

Sat 12th May 2018 10.00 am - 6pm York St Johns University

PCSR’s Psychotherapy and Politics conferences emerged from an initial conference in 2008, organised by the Institute of Group Analysis, to commemorate the May 1968 uprising of students and workers in Paris, when revolution was in the air and so many of us believed that a new world was possible. PCSR has been holding an annual Psychotherapy and Politics conference since May 2010

This year’s conference marks the 50th anniversary of the May ’68 uprising and we invite you to come and explore where we are now, as therapists and activists, in relation to the longed-for transformation. It is often said that the rate of change is speeding up, but are these changes moving us towards less oppression, less discrimination, more equality, justice and freedom?

When does change become transformation in therapy, and in society? How important is it for us to believe that we are in transition to becoming fully functioning persons, mature individuals, that we are on our way to a better, fairer world?

Guest Speakers

Claire Fox: writer and Director of the Institute of Ideas. Building Resilience amongst Generation Snowflake http://instituteofideas.com/aboutus/person/claire_fox

Kris Black: psychotherapist, supervisor. Prejudice, Pride and Psychotherapy http://www.arctherapy.co.uk/

Leyla Hussein: activist, Founder of the Dahlia Project, psychotherapist. Breaking the Cycle http://leylahussein.com/

Manu Bazzano: writer, psychotherapist. Against Humanism: on Therapy and the Transhuman www.manubazzano.com


Building resilience amongst Generation Snowflake Claire Fox
Any social change needs to involve the young as activists. Yet despite the alleged ‘youthquake’ at the last election, recent cultural trends suggest a generational shift away from militancy towards a different type of politics. This new politics, which has led to the young being dubbed Generation Snowflake, is characterized by a retreat into safe-spaces rather than charging the barricades, less leading political debate than closing it down by no-platforming speakers for causing offence, less organising radical teach-ins than demands that challenging academic topics have trigger warnings in case they cause trauma. Significantly, whilst claiming the mantle of Social Justice Warriors who are fighting oppression and discrimination, the prevalence of Identity Politics seems to have had the divisive effect of creating competing victimhoods, with intersectionality often compromising the principle of equal treatment.
But is the accusation that young people are too thin-skinned and timid today just a lazy caricature? Are we instead witnessing a newly empathetic generation, especially sensitive to emotional harm and new layers of discrimination for example in relation to transgender issues, cultural appropriation? Or are we in danger of celebrating a lack of resilience when the young themselves report soaring levels of mental health problems, self-harm and anxiety? More broadly if we continue to police all public and private discourse for offence, how can we ever encourage the sort of open-ended and robust discussions society needs to tackle change? And if vulnerability and victimhood continue to the focus of political concerns, will activists be resilient enough to emulate May ’68 radical warriors?

Prejudice, Pride and Psychotherapy Kris Black

Details to follow

Breaking the cycle Leyla Hussein

Leyla Hussein’s talk will be based on getting a better understanding of Female Genital Mutilation, its roots and the patriarchal system it’s imbedded in, through exploring and understanding the socio-cultural context of FGM and the psychological implications that women affected by FGM experience. She will look at how to build and improve skills working to protect girls from the practice, including risk assessments, and identification of girls and women who have undergone FGM. She will share key skills for creating better safe spaces for women and girls affected by FGM. She will also explore why the legal system hasn’t worked here in the UK and she will unpack good practice on how to best work with FGM survivors in a therapeutic space. Leyla will also present her international work in the US, EU and her current work with the girl generation, the first Africa-led movement, now working with 10 African countries to end FGM within a generation, by sharing the photography project she created to show case grassroots campaigners and survivors who are tirelessly working to end FGM within their own community.

Against Humanism: on Therapy and the Trans-human Manu Bazzano

Transformation means changing shape, mutating; it is akin to metamorphosis. Most revolutionary projects of the past left the human unchanged and unchallenged. They often planned and described a better world in absolute terms without the ambiguity praised by Simone de Beauvoir as necessary in leaving the future open to active adaption and creative error.

Most utopias never left the narrow confines of anthropocentrism, whose origins are in Christian ideology and which for that reason still persevere in seeing the human as the centre of ‘creation’ with all other living networks merely as context, backdrop, and footnote to the human story.

Psychotherapy too, whether socially engaged, relational or myopically bounded to neoliberal notions of private liberty, is restricted to obsolete notions of the human. But care of psyche requires a metamorphosis of the human; congruence equally requires greater alignment of the self with the organism – an organism that is already (part of) the world, in rhizomatic contamination with the non-human. There is hope, then: psychotherapy implicitly invites a creative crisis that brings the human closer to what Nietzsche called the 'overhuman', a space where we can cultivate our vulnerability in relation to a sad, beautiful, and unfathomable world. A change in the human is the first step in changing the world.

PLUS STIMULATING and EXPERIENTAL WORKSHOPS

LARGE GROUP PLENARY

More details to follow. Queries: melanie.pickles@hotmail.com

www.pcsr.org.uk

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York St John's University - Conference & Event

Lord Mayor's Walk

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YO31 7EX

United Kingdom

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Refunds up to 30 days before event

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