Mothers accused and abused

Book tickets

Organised by:

Society of Analytical Psychology

26 November 2022

Time: 10:30 - 12:00

Price: £15-£30

Location: online


Telling stories: Enabling violent mothers to progress from enactment to psychotherapeutic engagement

Angela Foster

Mothers who harm and, in some instances, kill their children are viewed as undeserving aberrations, vilified and marginalized in the press and abandoned once their children have been rescued. They rarely get to tell their stories yet these are women who, almost without exception, were neglected and abused during their own childhoods, and in perpetuating their neglect we protect ourselves from facing the generational problem in our midst. As James Baldwin wrote ‘Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.’

In this presentation Angela Foster will talk about the challenges to therapists as they struggle to ‘face’ this problem and hear the stories. She will address some common themes: humiliation and shame; severe personality disorder and experience of repeated toxic relationships in which care and abuse are undifferentiated and some of the ways in which this work is being carried forward.

Angela Foster is a psychiatric social worker, psychoanalytic psychotherapist, supervisor and consultant. She has worked in the public and voluntary sectors with clinical teams and managers in mental health, forensic services, substance misuse, childcare and student counselling. She gained experience in therapeutic communities and social work education before moving to the Tavistock Clinic where she helped to develop consultancy and training in community care and taught on postgraduate courses in social work and organisational consultation and psychoanalytic approaches. She has published several papers in journals and is co-editor and contributor to the book: Managing Mental Health in the Community: Chaos and Containment (1998), co-editor and contributor to the Practice of psychotherapy series published by Karnac on behalf of the Lon don Centre for Psychotherapy, contributor to Addictive States of Mind (2013) and editor of Mothers Accused and Abused: Addressing Complex Psychological Needs (2019).

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