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Reading and Discussion Group:
The therapeutic relationship and process

The history of psychotherapy is both rich and complex. It has given rise to a range of theories and practices which provide us with different ways of understanding our clients and suggest different ways of being therapeutic.

In this reading group we explore clinical and theoretical issues concerning the therapeutic relationship and the on-going process of therapy, drawing on different theoretical perspectives. We begin with a brief historical overview - mapping the territory. The discussion will focus on the question of "What is therapeutic?" exploring issues such as:

  • empathy and attunement
  • processes of transference and counter-transference
  • finding the words: the use of language
  • attachment in life and in therapy
  • embodiment and "the body" in psychotherapy
  • the meeting of needs in therapy
  • the therapist as a person and the intersubjective field

The group meets fortnightly. There are 12 two hour sessions during which we discuss set readings, introduced by the group leader. Group size is limited to facilitate discussion.

This reading group is of interest to people from a wide range of backgrounds - social work, psychology, medicine, nursing, counselling and somatic work - or those with equivalent life or work experience. It will also be of value to those who are in the process of deciding whether they want to undertake psychotherapy training in the future.

Participants who are currently working therapeutically with clients have an opportunity to discuss their work in the light of the topics being explored. The emphasis is on making the theory alive and relevant to practice.

Hours: 12 sessions of 2 hours, fortnightly
Course size will be limited
(Please note, this course is not offered every Semester)

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