Centenary Festival launch: Who do we think we are?

Event overview

Who do we think we are? Conferences landing page

Tavistock CentenaryJoin us for a lively discussion about who we really are, navigating complexity in an unequal society, from the personal to the political.

Lemn Sissay will launch our Centenary Festival by discussing his experience of growing up with a white foster family and in care in England in the 70s. The poet will address the different narratives that colour experience and the importance of developing your own narrative about who you are, of finding your voice.

Dexter Benjamin, Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, Course Lead for our Psychoanalytic Studies MA and Team Lead for our Fostering, Kinship care and Adoption service, will then respond by drawing on personal experiences as well as providing academic and clinical perspectives. Sheena Webb, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Service Manager and Joint Clinical Lead for our Pan-London Family Drug and Alcohol Court Team will talk about the importance of adopting a compassionate and therapeutic approach to parents at risk of losing their children as a result of addiction. And Dr Karen Izod, poet and course lead for our Professional Doctorate on Consulting to Organisations, will provide a perspective on the capacity that poetry has to speak to the unthinkable, and help find and express a voice.


Lemn Sissay, award-winning poet, playwright and broadcaster

Paul Jenkins OBE, our Chief Executive

Dexter Benjamin, lead for our fostering, kinship care and adoption service

Sheena Webb, Lead for the London Family Drug and Alcohol courts

Karen Izod, lead for our professional doctorate on consulting to organisations

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For 100 years, the Tavistock and Portman has proudly been at the forefront of exploring mental health and wellbeing. From attachment theory and infant observation, to applying psychoanalytic and systemic approaches in varied settings, our ideas have led to changes in care, education, how organisations work and beyond.

Our Centenary Festival will celebrate our history and explore contemporary issues in relation to identity, relationships and society. It will consider how we continue to draw on our heritage to provide valuable responses to contemporary and future problems from the perspective of equality and inclusion.

“For decades, the Tavistock’s work has helped shape how we see ourselves, as persons and as a society. Much thinking that has entered the mainstream emerged from its challenging, interdisciplinary research and practice”

Dame Hilary Mantel, Booker Prize winner

30 September 2020 18:00 to 19:15