The future of work in the therapeutic sector – a Tavistock policy seminar

Event overview

Speaker: Elizabeth Cotton

Chair: Julian Lousada

This seminar presented the results of the 2016 Surviving Work Survey, which looked at the future of work in the therapeutic sector. Over 1500 people working in mental health from across the UK answered straightforward questions about their working conditions, incomes, concerns and experiences. See the results of the survey at

Elizabeth commented on the emerging sectoral trends: the growth of self-employment and unwaged work, performance management and the tyranny of targets, and the role of the therapeutic training and professional bodies in defending quality services. The answers open up a debate about how can frontline workers prepare for the future of work in the current crisis?


Elizabeth Cotton is a writer and educator in the field of mental health at work. Previously she was head of education for the Miners’ International and is now a Senior Lecturer at Middlesex University specialising in employment relations and mental health at work. Elizabeth is the founder of Surviving work, an intervention and critical resource for working people on how to do it. Her new book Surviving Work in Healthcare (published by Routledge) offers a critique of healthcare management and offers an alternative model of solidarity of work. It has been nominated for the Chartered Management Institute’s book of the year.

Julian Lousada is a psychoanalyst, organisational consultant and a founding partner of People in Systems. He is a former clinical director of the adult department at the  Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust. He was previously chair of the British Psychoanalytic Council.

The Tavistock Centre, London
16 November 2017 18:00 to 21:00