Complex Trauma: A Kleinian Approach

Book tickets

Organised by:

The Melanie Klein Trust

02 March 2024

Time: 16:00 - 17:30

Price: £25

Location: online


Please join us for a discussion of traumatic situations and events and their effect on groups and individuals. The Kleinian framework is a very helpful backdrop when understanding and working with traumatised patients. Caroline Garland and Jo Stubley, with colleagues, will look at the techniques that have evolved in therapeutic work with trauma survivors, and will describe various models of intervention, including the use of groups.

The speakers will discuss the part played by dissociation in trauma pathology and the countertransference effects experienced by the analyst. The discussion may include childhood sexual trauma; the effects of the pandemic; the importance of the body and social connection in trauma work; and the experiences of analysts working with the Melanie Klein Trust’s ‘Help for Helpers’ project, supporting mental health workers working with soldiers and displaced families in Ukraine.

The work of the psychologically-informed physicians treating traumatised solders after World War One led to the founding of the Tavistock Clinic. Their knowledge and experience was then extended to the wider civilian population, and focused on the effect of traumatic experience on individuals and families in everyday life.
These two up-to-date books, edited by our main speakers, provide an account of the most recent work in this important area of the Clinic’s work, and are a helpful background for this event:

Caroline Garland’s widely influential book ‘Understanding Trauma: A Psychoanalytic Approach’ (1998, reprinted 2007) describes the varied work of a specific Trauma Unit established in the Tavistock Clinic in 1989. It gives a vivid picture of the complex variety of cases brought to the Clinic over the following 20 years.

Jo Stubley and Linda Young’s more recent (2022) volume ‘Complex Trauma: The Tavistock Model’, builds on these rich foundations. Together with three decades of experience, they have provided a book for today’s troubled world: meticulous, careful and illuminating. It was nominated for a Gravida award in 2022.

Additional discussants will be Susan Levy and Mike Swinburne, and the event will be chaired by David Taylor.

About the speakers:

Caroline Garland is a Psychologist and Psychoanalyst who worked in the Adult Department of the Tavistock Clinic for 25 years. Her training included three years’ study of social development in chimpanzees, as well as lengthy observational studies of the behaviour of new-born infants. She has published several books and has a lasting interest in group psychology. In 1989 she founded the Tavistock’s Trauma Unit, which received referrals from across the country. She has taught both at home and internationally on the subject of trauma in adults.

Jo Stubley is a Consultant Medical Psychotherapist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust. She joined the Tavistock Trauma Service in 1998 and has been the lead clinician since 2008. She is a psychoanalyst who has also been trained in trauma-specific modalities of care. Jo is Co-Chair of the Royal College of Psychiatrists Expert Reference Group on non-recent child sexual abuse and is co-founder of the Network for Promotion of Change: NRCSA. She is a Clinical Trustee at the human rights charity Freedom from Torture and an honorary lecturer at University College London. She has written widely on trauma and teaches nationally and internationally.

The proceeds of this event will go to the Trust’s ‘ Help for Helpers’ Project, for more information click here.

All registered attendees will receive a 20% discount code for both books as well as a link to a recording, which will be available for two weeks following the live event.

Book tickets



Find out more about upcoming events.
Read more