It’s Not in the Bottle: Research, Ethics, & Psychotherapy

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Organised by:

Birkbeck Counselling Association

06 November 2022

Time: 09:30 - 12:30

Price: General Admission £50, BCA members £35, Students and Concession £20

Location: online


‘If it were true – as conceited shrewdness, proud of not being deceived, thinks – that one should believe nothing which he cannot see by means of his physical eyes, then first and foremost one ought to give up believing in love’ (Kierkegaard).

Today, professions and disciplines of all kinds fall over themselves to present their claims as being ‘evidence-based’ in order to garner for themselves the kudos of being a positivist science. In this talk I will critique attempts made by the ‘psy’ disciplines’ (psychiatry, psychology and psychotherapy) to use positivism to enter the citadel of science.

Amongst other things, I will argue that their efforts have resulted in the corruption and distortion of the principles of (positivist) science.

I will argue that positivist methodologies are unable, even in principle, to capture the intricacies of human exchange; in lieu of positivism, notions of emergence and complex responsive processes are more appropriate.

Additionally, the argument will also raise questions about the idea of science itself, and claim that much of what passes for science in this territory is a distortion of reality rather than a description of it.

Farhad Dalal PhD is a psychotherapist and Group Analyst in private practice in Devon. He is a Training Group Analyst and supervisor for the Institute of Group Analysis, London. He also works with organizations. He is the convener of a new group psychotherapy training in India (which is supported by donations)

He has been studying and writing on the themes of psychotherapy, ethics, equality and diversity for over twenty five years. He has published many papers and four books to date: Taking the Group Seriously, Race; Colour and the Processes of Racialization; Thought Paralysis: The Virtues of Discrimination; and CBT – The Cognitive Behavioural Tsunami: Managerialism, Politics and the Corruptions of Science.

This online event is in collaboration with the journal Psychodynamic Practice. Zoom meeting will open at 9.30am for 10.00am start.

Bookings and joining will be managed through Eventbrite. Full members can opt for a concession ticket by selecting Student & Concession instead of Full member ticket. Please use the link below for more information and to register:


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