Unsilencing the Menopause in Psychotherapy

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Organised by:

Tavistock Relationships

24 February 2024

Time: 13:30 - 18:00

Price: £90.00 (£76.50 Trainee/NHS/Subscriber)

Location: online


Focus: Understanding the physical, emotional & spiritual turbulence of this critical life transition

With Margaret Altemus, Sarah Benamer, Letticia Banton, Yansie Rolston & Jane Catherine Severn

The menopause is a profound bio-psycho-social-spiritual transition and can be a time of great day-to-day uncertainty for women. This can include uncertainty regarding physical signs and symptoms in their reproductive bodies, and the emotional and mental impact of this.

While every woman’s transition is unique, phenomenologically it could include: the end of the possibility of motherhood, ageing and mortality, and looking ahead to a different stage of life and shedding regrets, hopes and dreams that may not have come to fruition. Whilst this process can bring deep discomfort and intensity it can also open women up to a great initiation. A connection to a wider and deeper feminine consciousness, leading to a more fulfilled and satisfying second half of life.

There is a growing body of clinical and attitudinal research on the menopause, and public discourse on the menopause has increased more recently, led by campaigns to enhance medical treatment and care. But the lived experience of women is often taken for granted, including in psychotherapeutic research, training, and practice. How can we ensure psychotherapy more effectively supports women, particularly women from minority backgrounds, during this transition in a way that can both complement and challenge the dominant medical discourse? How can psychotherapists help women to acknowledge their experience, and find agency within the uncertainty menopause can entail?

In this conference, we will take a multidisciplinary view to better understand the place of the menopause transition in women’s lives. We will hear from medical, psychoanalytical, personal and psychospiritual perspectives. While the content will primarily be about women’s experience, we recognise not all women experience menopause and not all people who experience menopause identify as women. We intend this to be an inclusive event that recognises subjectivity. We welcome women, men, and gender non-conforming therapists to join us to learn more about how the menstrual cycle and menopause may impact clients of all genders in a variety of ways.

We will close with a panel discussion taking a pragmatic lens, to ensure you leave with some ideas of how you can incorporate working with the menopause in your therapeutic practice.

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