Our 30th Anniversary celebrations

The BPC were honoured and grateful to celebrate 30 years as the UK’s leading professional association and accredited public register for psychoanalytic psychotherapy.

On Saturday 4 November we celebrated with current, past and future key people at the BPC, including some of our current staff team and Board of Trustees. The occasion gave us the chance to look back over the last 30 years, from the beginnings of the organisation as the British Confederation of Psychotherapists, and think about what the next 30 years could hold for us.

In attendance were Board and committee members past and present, as well as other staff and volunteers that have been crucial to our growth over the past three decades. We celebrated some proud memories over music, drinks and nibbles and toasted to another 30 years of ensuring safe, psychoanalytic therapy is practiced and trained among our members.

A particularly special moment of the celebration was distributing our BPC Awards, awards that celebrate outstanding individuals and organisations within our psychoanalytic community. We asked our registrants to nominate whatever colleagues they felt deserved celebrating in one of the five categories.

Marking the hard work, determination and brilliance of some valued members of our psychoanalytic community was the perfect way to celebrate our 30 year anniversary.

Dr Jo Stubley and the Tavistock Trauma Service received the Award for Innovative Excellence. This was received at the ceremony on behalf of the team by Jo and Sara Scott, who runs the Non-recent child sexual abuse arm of the trauma service. The service works with adults with complex trauma using a variety of modalities and group interventions all held within a psychoanalytic frame. It draws on the foundations of the original unit set up by Caroline Garland in the 1980s and has received support from excellent colleagues over the years including Linda Young, Maxine Dennis, Birgit Kleeberg and Mike Swinburne. It now has a small but dedicated team, including peer supporters, and wonderful honorary therapists and trainees who keep the service alive in difficult times.

The trauma service sees many adults who have experienced severe childhood traumas alongside complex trauma secondary to experiences such as asylum seekers, survivors of interpersonal domestic violence and many other forms of cumulative and sustained trauma. The Innovative Excellence Award acknowledges ground-breaking work in the psychoanalytic field, especially innovative work that targets sections of the community that may traditionally find therapy hard to access. Innovation often arises from necessity and the chronic underfunding of the health system, the lack of access to longer term work in both voluntary and statutory systems and the traumatised / traumatising nature of many of societal systems have been significant drivers for the service to adapt and create the Tavistock Model for complex trauma. This is described in Complex Trauma: the Tavistock Model edited by Jo Stubley and Linda Young. The service is also planning a two year postgraduate course for therapists interested in specialising in trauma work.

Dr Frances Gillies received the Award for Outstanding Leadership. Dr Frances Gillies has led the British Psychoanalytic Foundation, a highly respected psychotherapy training school and BPC Member Institution as CEO since 2022. The Outstanding Professional Leadership Award celebrates leaders that have significantly developed their position of leadership and contributed to the psychoanalytic or psychodynamic psychotherapy profession.

In her speech Frances thanked her board of trustees saying that “without their bravery and support, we would not be in our current position where we are able to provide psychotherapy training to a wider and more diverse cohort of trainees and a greater number of low-fee therapy spaces. This award is for them and for the fantastic, hard working and passionate team we have built over the last 18 months.”

Fakhry Davids received the Bernard Ratigan Award for Psychoanalysis and Diversity. This award acknowledges his meaningful contributions to diversity within the psychoanalytic profession from within BPaS as well as other groups such as Partners in Confronting Collective Atrocities (PCCA), the EPF’s Forum on Psychoanalysis and Cultural Identities, the Holmes Commission for Racial Equality in American Psychoanalysis and through his writings on internal racism, which have been credited with bringing psychoanalytic depth to the study of racism. This award celebrates individuals that have significantly improved or developed inclusivity in matters of diversity such as ethnicity, sexual orientation, class or disability in psychoanalysis.

Jane Johnson and Helen Morgan were the recipients of the Diversity in Training Award for their substantial work in evolving a New Approach to Theory in the clinical trainings at the British Jungian Analytic Association. This award focuses on training and supervision that gives substantive and considered attention to thinking about diversity. The new approach encourages the constructive critique of the theory and practice of analytical psychology and psychoanalysis as first developed in the early part of the twentieth century, and theory as it continues to evolve and inform contemporary clinical practice. This includes acknowledging and engaging with the colonial, heteronormative and gender biased roots of traditional psychoanalytic and Jungian analytic thinking.

Jan McGregor Hepburn was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award, Jan has contributed greatly to the profession and the BPC over her years as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. Over the last 20 years she has supported us in a multitude of roles: Registrar, Trustee and Chair of Professional Standards Committee. She has made the BPC what it is today, being part of the expansion project, personally overseeing a huge amount of accreditation and reaccreditation, and developing much of the BPC’s policy and guidance. All of the nominations she received from her professional peers noted not just her achievements but her kind, supportive and no-nonsense approach. She is an absolute credit to the profession.

In her acceptance speech Jan expressed that she was thrilled to receive the award and very proud to be apart of the BPC and all that the Council has achieved in its 30 years of activity.

Please join us in celebrating all of our brilliant and deserving awardees as well as our 30 years of work, development and collaboration within the psychoanalytic profession.

Our 30th Anniversary: In pictures

To see images from the evening, click here.
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