The Inner World and Rebuilding the State We’re In
Developing a psychoanalytic discourse that can contribute to the renewal of our democracy in challenging times
Hosted by The British Psychoanalytic Council
In Association with The Institute of Psychoanalysis
3 November 2017, Imperial College London
Friday Evening Lecture with
Professor Jessica Benjamin
Internationally renowned American psychoanalyst, author, feminist, and political activist.
Developing a Democratic Psychology: The Ethos of “More than One can Live” versus the Neo-Liberal imaginary of “ Only One can Live”
Jessica Benjamin addresses the intersection of Politics and Psyche in a period of political struggle between those who follow and those who challenge the unconscious presumption that individual survival depends on ruthless accumulation. There is a need to consider the polarities of greed versus generousity, but also self-righteousness versus understanding. Benjamin argues that at the core of much current political debate is a tension between acknowledgment and denial of harming, historically and in the present. Her theme is that psychotherapeutic experience with acknowledgment is relevant to overcoming the rationalization of harming as one group or nation to survive at the expense of another and facing our responsibilities to the earth and to one another.
Political entrepreneur, senior consultant to the Middle East programme at the Oxford Research Group, group analyst, psychotherapist, and a specialist in conflict resolution
Chaired by Helen Morgan, BPC Chair
Jessica Benjamin is a supervising faculty member of the New York University Postdoctoral Psychology program in Psychotherapy and Psychoanalysis and at the Stephen Mitchell Center for Relational Studies where she is a founder and board member. She has been part of the relational psychoanalytic movement from its inception, and is known for her integration of clinical psychoanalytic and development theory with social thought, particularly feminist theory. She is the author of The Bonds of Love (1988); Like Subjects, Love Objects (1995); and Shadow of the Other (1998). Her new book Beyond Doer and done To: Recognition Theory, Intersubjectivity and the Third has just been published by Routledge. From 2004-2010 she initiated and directed “The Acknowledgement Project” together with Dr. Eyad el Sarraj of Gaza involving Israeli and Palestinian mental health practitioners and international dialogue leaders. She participated in editing and narrating the video film (movingbeyondviolence.org) on the Israeli-Palestinian Combatants for Peace, an organization committed to opposing the Occupation and creating cooperation non-violently to establish conditions for peace. Her article on Eyad Sarraj’s ideas, “Non-Violence as the recognition of all suffering” appeared in Psychoanalysis, Culture and Society last year. In 2015 she was awarded the Hans Kilian prize for meta-humanistic studies in Bochum, Germany.
Gabrielle Rifkind is the Director of the Oxford Process, which leads on preventive diplomacy work and high-level mediation. She is a group analyst and specialist in conflict resolution. Gabrielle combines in-depth political and psychological expertise with many years’ experience in promoting serious analysis and dialogue. As a political entrepreneur, she has a deep understanding of human behaviour and motivation. Gabrielle is co-author with Gianni Picco, of Fog of Peace: How to Prevent War (I.B. Tauris, 2016).
Gabrielle has facilitated a number of Track II roundtables in the Middle East on the Israel-Palestine conflict and Iran, and is currently working on Syria. Committed to trying to understand the mind-set of the Middle East, she has both created meetings and spent time talking to the leadership in Syria, Iran, Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Palestine and Israel.
4 November 2017, Imperial College London
Full Day Conference * SOLD OUT *
Around the world, we are witnessing the rise of the cult of the ‘strong leader’ and their disdain for liberal democratic institutions, diversity of opinion, culture and people. The UK witnessed the denigration of experts in the Brexit debate with public sector professionals and academics undermined by a political discourse looking to silence alternative views.Politics and civic society feels more confrontational, less understanding and less inclusive, with the expression of racist and sexist views seemingly legitimised on both sides of the Atlantic.
PP NOW 2017 will explore how psychoanalytic thinking can support policy makers to maintain the health of our democratic institutions, help develop services that respond effectively to real need, and push back against the rise of the authoritarian state.
The conference will bring psychoanalysts and psychotherapists together with policy makers and academics to consider these contemporary psychosocial issues, exploring the significance of understanding relationships and our inner worlds to build a more inclusive and fulfilling society.
Keynote address by Professor Daniel Pick
Free Associations? Psychoanalytic History, Democracy, and the State we are In
-Pick sketches a history of encounters between psychoanalysis, democracy, and authoritarianism. Considering the political contexts of Freud’s pioneering work, Pick looks at how various analysts and historians have envisaged the political vicissitudes of psychoanalytic practices and institutions.
The lecture considers three significant themes: the challenge of ‘free association’; the changing practices of psychoanalysis, in an age of total war, Cold War, and the so-called War on Terror; and finally, the rich resources that psychoanalytic thought provides for understanding the precariousness of democracy and freedom, and the nature of our particular, contemporary crisis.
Chaired by Jan McGregor Hepburn
Daniel Pick is a psychoanalyst and historian. He is a fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society, professor of history at Birkbeck College University of London and editor of History Workshop Journal. His recent publications include The Pursuit of the Nazi Mind: Hitler, Hess, and the Analysts (OUP, 2012) and as co-editor (with Matt Ffytche), Psychoanalysis in the Age of Totalitarianism (Routledge New Library of Psychoanalysis, 2016). He has presented a number of documentaries for Radio 3 and Radio 4, including most recently, ‘Freud for our Times’, December 2016. He is currently senior investigator for a team-based research project entitled ‘Hidden Persuaders? Brainwashing, Culture, Clinical Knowledge and the Cold War Human Sciences, c.1950-1990’
Jan McGregor Hepburn has a background in Social work management and Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. She has devised and facilitated both seminars and workshops to presenting papers at conferences, on a variety of subjects related to both management dynamics and clinical topics. She is the author of a book chapter in ‘Between Sessions & Beyond the Couch’  and numerous journal articles. She is a registrant of the British Psychoanalytic Council and a trainer for the North of England Association for Training in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy. She has been the Registrar of the British Psychoanalytic Council since 2005. She is on the Reading Panel of the British Journal of Psychotherapy and is doing doctoral research at the University of Northumbria.
Afternoon Plenary with Jessica Benjamin, Susie Orbach and Sara Khan
Chaired by Susanna Abse
Women on the Verge of a Post-Liberal World
Susie Orbach is a psychoanalyst, psychotherapist, writer, activist and social critic. She co-founded The Women’s Therapy Centre, London in 1976. Her first book, Fat is a Feminist Issue has been continuously in print since 1978. Her most recent In Therapy is based on the Radio 4 series of the same name heard by 3 million listeners. She lectures widely in the UK, Europe, NZ and North America, has provided consultation and social policy advice for organisations from the Government and the NHS to the World Bank. She was a visiting professor at the London School of Economics and a Guardian columnist, both for 10 years and continues to work with many individuals and couples from her practice in London. She is a member of The Balint Consultancy.
Sara Khan is an award-winning counter-extremism and women’s rights activist, author and public speaker. Khan is one of the UK’s leading Muslim female voices on countering Islamist extremism and promoting human rights. She co-founded the innovative women’s led Inspire (www.wewillinspire.com) counter-extremism and women’s rights organisation in 2008. She is author of the highly acclaimed book, “The Battle for British Islam: Reclaiming Muslim Identity from Extremism” (Sept 2016) and has written for numerous national and international papers. She has sat on the Home Office’s Tackling Extremism and Radicalisation Working Group and on the Government’s Department for International Development’s (DFID) External Expert Advisory Group on Girls and Women advising the International Development Secretary and currently sits on the Department for Education’s Due Diligence and Counter-Extremism Expert Reference Group. Khan has an MA in Understanding and Securing Human Rights. Her activism has received national and international recognition.
Susanna Abse is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist and organisational consultant. Abse is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist who has worked in private practice with couples, parents and individuals since 1991. She was CEO of the charity Tavistock Relationships from 2006 until 2016 and now also works as an Executive Coach and Organisational Consultant. She is an accredited member of the British Psychoanalytic Council and serves as a member of its Executive Board. Previously, she was a member of the Department of Health’s Action for Choice in Therapy Committee, sitting as an expert advisor on many research and governmental advisory groups; most recently, the NSPCC’s project to develop an early intervention for families at risk of domestic violence. She has published widely on couple therapy, parenting, post separation conflict and family policy and how these areas need to be at the heart of progressive welfare provision, a subject on which she lectures and teaches. Her publications include writings for the New Statesman and for the Open Society European Policy Institute.
Confirmed speakers and session chairs include: Katie Argent, Lene Auestad, Tam Baillie, Nick Benefield, Paul Burstow, Alan Colam, Andrew Cooper, Nick Crane, Fakhry Davids, Maxine Dennis, Gary Fereday, Catherine Fieschi, Lynsey Hanley, Paul Hoggett, Julian Lousada, Julia Mikardo, Juliet Newbigin, Carey Oppenheim, David Richards, Andrew Samuels, Anne-Marie Schlösser, Sharon Shoesmith, John Simmonds, Michael Spurr, Sally Weintrobe…more to follow!
PP NOW always proves to be a stimulating and popular conference and the highlight of the BPC events calendar.