The Spirit of Psychotherapy : the missing dimension in evidence-based practice

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WPF Therapy

11 September 2021

Time: 10:00 - 11:30

Price: Qualified Practitioners: £40 Counselling/Psychotherapy Trainees: £30

Location: online


We know that psychotherapy is ‘effective’, but the ‘dodo bird verdict’ also tells us that with a few exceptions,  no one form of therapy is definitely superior to another, nor does it tell us what it is about therapy that helps.

In this talk, Jeremy will try to move away from a utilitarian outcomes-oriented approach, and, draw partly on the neo-psychoanalytic ideas of Barnaby Barratt, partly on Jeremy’s own development of the Free Energy Principle, suggesting that psychotherapy is an existential praxis, and an onto-ethical project.

The background to this is a qualitative study in which Jeremy interviewed people from a wide range of spiritual backgrounds, looking for parallels between spiritual religious journey and the trajectories of psychotherapy.

Jeremy suggests that while religion provides a spiritual framework for a good life, in our 21st Century milieu psychotherapy has vital contribution to make with its emphasis on the uniqueness of the individual and how to develop narratives which encompass and reflect it.

Comments from previous participants:

1.”A life enhancing 90 minutes that will stay with me.”
2.”Despite the limitations of remote presentation, the lecturer, subject and participants all managed to have a moving emotional connection.”
3.”Jeremy Holmes eloquence and knowledge delivered this complex theory into a valuable resource that I know will be invaluable in my work as a Psychotherapist.  I urge everyone to attend if they can.”
4.”This lecture has opened my mind to a fresh, deeper understanding of clients in their later years and approaches I can use to work well with them.

Professor Jeremy Holmes MD FRCPsych was for 35 years Consultant Psychiatrist/Medical Psychotherapist at University College London (UCL) and then in North Devon, UK, and Chair of the Psychotherapy Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 1998-2002.  He is visiting Professor at the University of Exeter, and lectures nationally and internationally. In addition to 200+ peer-reviewed papers and chapters in the field of psychoanalysis and attachment theory, his books include John Bowlby and Attachment Theory, (2nd edition 2013),   The Oxford Textbook of Psychotherapy (2005 co-editors Glen Gabbard and Judy Beck),  Exploring In Security: Towards an Attachment-informed Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (2010, winner of Canadian Goethe Prize) , The Therapeutic Imagination: Using Literature to Deepen Psychodynamic Understanding and Enhance Empathy (2014), Attachment in Therapeutic Practice (2017, with A Slade), and The Brain Has a Mind of its Own: Attachment, Neurobiology and the New Science of Psychotherapy (2020).  He was recipient of the Bowlby-Ainsworth Founders Award 2009.  Gardening, Green politics and grand-parenting are gradually eclipsing his lifetime devotion to psychoanalytic psychotherapy and attachment.

Target Audience:

This course should be interesting and accessible for anyone interested in psychoanalysis, including qualified counsellors and psychotherapists as well as those in training.  Please note that by booking on this event you agree to keep all discussion confidential.

Applications must be received by Thursday, 2nd September 2021.

If you experience any problems please contact us.

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