One day Conference 2019: Couples & Attachment

Saturday 23rd February 2019 10:00 – 16:00

Drake House, 44 St Georges Road, London SW19 4ED

One Day Conference cost: £130+ booking fees / Limited early-bird sold out / 10% discount for Wimbledon Guild counsellors

On Saturday 23rd Feb 2019 10am-4:00pm Wimbledon Guild Counselling will hold our One Day Conference. This year’s theme will be Couples & Attachment.

Chair: Anne Power

Speakers: Professor Brett Kahr, Anne Power, Dr Christopher Clulow.


The day’s programme presentations:


Sex, fantasy and the dynamics of attachment: Dr Christopher Clulow

What happens when we bring attachment thinking to understanding sexual desire and the way it is expressed in a couple’s relationship? What implications might this have for working with individuals and couples who are conflicted over sex?


Couples at one remove: working with the individual but with the couple in mind: Anne Power

In an individual therapy we often work with the couple in mind. Our individual client may find that their early attachment patterns are being replayed in their romantic relationships. They could be:

  • in a very long term – possibly jaundiced - couple bond
  • moving through a series of partners looking for ‘The One’,
  • agonising over a choice,
  • creating successive triangles, sometimes with an addiction as the ‘third person’
  • a single person longing for a relationship but not managing to form one.

Anne's presentation will explore the challenges we experience including frustration in the countertransference.She will consider how we can usefully draw on our understanding of couples in the therapeutic conversation with an individual.


Micro-Separations: How to traumatise your spouse on a daily basis: Professor Brett Kahr 

Back in 1917, Sigmund Freud highlighted the role of loss and bereavement in the development of melancholia. During the 1930s and 1940s, pioneering psychoanalysts such as John Bowlby and René Spitz underscored the ways in which profound separations might contribute to the genesis of depression, delinquency, and other forms of severe psychopathology.

But what impact do brief, or even tiny, separations – micro-separations – have upon individuals and, moreover, upon partners in intimate couple relationships?

In this presentation, Professor Brett Kahr will offer a typology of the micro-separations which occur between the members of long-established couples, ranging from fleeting moments of misattunement, to periods of vanishing into laptops and mobile telephones, to sleeping in separate bedrooms. Kahr will also explore the “frequent-flyer couple”, in which one or both members of the pair travel extensively for work.

Kahr will consider the cumulative traumatic impact of micro-separations upon the atmosphere and dynamics of the couple relationship and will discuss how the powerful attentivity of the psychotherapeutic situation both exposes and heals this potentially toxic and, often, invisible pathogen.


The speakers:

Dr Christopher Clulow is a Consultant Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council, and a Senior Fellow of the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, London. He has published extensively on marriage, partnerships, parenthood and couple psychotherapy, most recently from an attachment perspective. His two edited books in this area are Adult attachment and couple psychotherapy: The ‘secure base’ in practice and research (2001, Brunner-Routledge) and Attachment, sex and couple psychotherapy: Psychoanalytic perspectives (2009, Karnac). His most recent co-authored book, Couple therapy for depression: A clinician’s guide to integrative practice, was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. He is a Fellow of the Centre for Social Policy, Dartington, a member of the editorial board of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis and an international editorial consultant for Sexual and Relationship Therapy. He maintains a clinical and training practice from his home in St Albans and in London.


Anne Power has qualifications from The Bowlby Centre, Westminster Pastoral Foundation, Tavistock Relationships and Relate. She has taught on supervision and therapy trainings at The Bowlby Centre, WPF and at Regents University London and has a private practice in central London for both couples and individuals. Her book, Forced Endings in Psychotherapy, explores the process of closing a practice for retirement or other reasons. Her published papers explore attachment meaning in the consulting room and in the supervision relationship. She is currently researching and writing about logic versus magic in partner choice: random romance, arranged marriage, and dating sites – what’s the difference?


Professor Brett Kahr has worked in the mental health profession for over forty years. He is Senior Fellow at the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology in London and, also, Senior Clinical Research Fellow in Psychotherapy and Mental Health at the Centre for Child Mental Health. Former Chair of the Society of Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists and, also, of the British Society of Couple Psychotherapists and Counsellors, he currently works in private practice in Hampstead, North London, with individuals and couples. A Trustee of the Freud Museum London and of Freud Museum Publications, Kahr is the author of twelve books and series editor of more than fifty-five additional titles. His most recent book is entitled How to Flourish as a Psychotherapist, released from Phoenix Publishing House. A former Resident Psychotherapist for B.B.C. Radio 2, he is also Chair of the Academic Membership Committee of the British Psychoanalytic Council, as well as its Media Advisory Group.


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