From Loneliness to Solitude

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Organised by:

Tavistock Relationships

10 February 2024

Time: 09:30 - 13:00

Price: £80.00 (£68.00 Trainee/NHS/Subscriber)

Location: online


Focus: Perspectives for clinical work

With Michael Buchholz, Lesley Caldwell, Aleksandar Dimitrijević & Gamze Özçürümez Bilgili

In this upcoming four-speaker webinar, participants will gain valuable insights on how to guide clients from the depths of loneliness towards the bliss of solitude. Lesley Caldwell will present the theoretical discourse emerging from the silent dialogue between Melanie Klein and Donald Winnicott. Our other distinguished speakers will present compelling case material, encompassing family dynamics, extreme trauma survivors, and the psychotherapists’ experience of loneliness.

Loneliness has become a pervasive and pressing concern in contemporary society, akin to a pandemic that no vaccine can readily cure. The poignant experience of loneliness is something many of us can relate to, and clinical observations underscore the profound struggles patients often face with loneliness. One might argue that loneliness constitutes a fundamental element at the core of many mental health problems, thus making it an essential aspect of our training and practice within the field.

Lesley Caldwell, a distinguished psychoanalyst, will offer a theoretical foundation from which we can consider the following case material. Psychoanalyst and family therapist Michael Buchholz will share a compelling case study of a family seemingly bound together by strong connections, which, upon closer examination, revealed a complex enmeshment Through his work in enhancing the capacity for meaningful relationality and psychic seperation, he successfully helped a troubled child recover from drug addiction and to feel less alone within his family. Psychiatrist and psychoanalyst Gamze Özçürümez Bilgili, specializing in working with extreme trauma survivors, will shed light on the challenges faced by clients who often lose hope of being truly understood and grapple with profound feelings of isolation. Clinical psychologist and psychoanalyst Aleksandar Dimitrijević will explore the topic of loneliness within therapists. He will discuss how those of us who tend to prioritize the well-being of others over their own may find themselves experiencing a sense of isolation and may therefore be more susceptible to countertransference reactions in work with patients who experience loneliness.

We aim to bring theory and clinical experience together for a lively engagement on the ubiquitous experience of loneliness and for participants and speakers to come together in dialogue to develop ideas for clinical work with clients who experience loneliness.

Picture credit: Artist – Eleni Paltoglou-Blümel

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