Members of the WPP attended this presentation and here is a review by one of our Post Completion Trainees Stuart Griffin:

Strangers in our Midst 

In October, forty psychotherapists, counsellors, and psychologists gathered together in the comfortable Clayton Hotel in Cardiff to explore the inter-relationships between strangers and inner strangers.  The event, was organised by Welsh Analytic Association and WPP is proud to have supported and attended the event. 

The day offered a rich exploration (both intra-psychic and systemic) of migration, the experience of dislocation from home, trauma and racism. The migration issue has come to dominate the news-waves and political discussions in Europe and both speakers presented material in the context of the 'migrant crisis' and 'Brexit'.

Unsurprisingly, whilst the conference was offered as a place to think analytically about these issues and our responses to them, this was a very moving day. The day had the feel of a Marion Fry lecture in that it was an exploration of engaged psychotherapy, exploring the relevance of psychotherapy to current world issues. It was fascinating to be in a diverse group of counsellors and psychotherapists from psychoanalytic, systemic, art, integrative backgrounds as well as clinical psychologists and to see how they complement one another. 

The two speakers Renos Papadopoulos, Ph.D. and Fakhry Davids are both associates of the Tavistock Clinic and are engaged in organisations and partnerships working on issues of race, trauma, asylum and refugees. (see full profiles here

Renos proposed that, from a systemic point of view, the first casualty of an overwhelming experience is complexity, that we can only understand it by over simplifying it and that that leads us to polarise our responses. He advocated 'synergic' interventions which embraced not-knowing, complexity, inter-subjective relating, and systemic/field awareness, suggesting that the standard 'technological' interventions, based on an imperialistic assumption of expertise, knowledge, objectification and power within the healing process was not working.

Fakhry focussed on our the tendency to polarise from a psycho-dynamic developmental perspective. He identified our inner racist and suggested that it has an essential developmental function and is a normal part of being human. 

The two speakers had worked together before and complemented each other wonderfully and whilst taking a systemic view, both offered clinical insights to support our work with difference, race, trauma and resilience. 


WPP Post Completion Trainee Stuart Griffin 10/10/16