Introducing psychoanalytic ideas on violence, delinquency and sexual deviation

Course overview

This course – a series of monthly talks and follow up discussion – introduces the key concepts from the psychodynamic and developmental understanding of sexual acting out, criminality and violence. It is aimed at a wide range of professionals who are interested in gaining some psychoanalytic understanding of these challenging issues.

The lecture series will be chaired by the Course Lead, Dr Reena Manghnani, Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy at the Portman Clinic. Each month, lectures will be given by leading experts in the field of forensic psychotherapy. After each lecture, you will have an opportunity to discuss the issues raised and to bring up related interests and experience from your own work.

The focus of the talks and discussion will be on those clients/patients who are often referred to as complex, difficult or antisocial: they act out in criminal and/or violent ways or their sexual behaviour damages themselves or other people. Having ways of thinking about and understanding something of this behaviour often helps the people who work with them to manage the challenges they present.

Whilst the course comprises a series of individual lectures, it is intended to be followed in its entirety. The programme has been designed holistically such that later lectures build on ideas from earlier in the series and discussion becomes increasingly integrated as understanding is consolidated.


13th October – Welcome, an introduction to the course and the work of the Portman Clinic

10th November – Dr Jessica Yakeley - “Working with offender patients”

8th December – Ms Gabrielle Brown - “Self-Murder – Psychoanalytic thinking about suicide"

19th January - Ms Marianne Parsons - “Aggression and violence”

9th February - Mr Don Campbell - “What is perversion?”

9th March - Dr Andrew Williams - “Female perversion - the violation of care and the body”

20th April - Dr Gwen Adshead - “Attachment theory in forensic psychiatry”

11th May - Dr Stephen Blumenthal – “Violence as tragedy, violence as tyranny”

8th June - Mr John Woods - ”Group psychotherapy”

13th July - Ms Eleanor Fellowes – “Consulting to forensic institutions”

Each lecture will be supplemented with a selection of relevant supporting readings accessible online – links will be provided to access the materials directly via the library subscription included with the course.

By the end of the course, participants will have detailed insight into the developmental trajectories and psychic states of those who enact internal difficulties in ways that bring them, or may bring them, into conflict with the law.

There are also networking opportunities for professionals working with clients with similar difficulties across the health, social care and criminal justice systems.

This is an introductory course aimed at a wide range of professionals and clinicians. Past cohorts have included delegates drawn from the following settings in the public, private and third sector: criminal justice (including prisons, young offenders’ institutions, chaplaincy, probation services), mental and physical health, psychiatry, psychology and therapy services especially treating those with personality disorders, women’s refuges, support for the homeless and pupil referral units.

Dr Reena Manghnani is the Course Lead for this series. She is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy (Forensic Psychiatry & Medical Psychotherapy) at the Portman Clinic, Tavistock & Portman NHS Foundation Trust.

Dr Jessica Yakeley is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Forensic Psychotherapy and Director of the Portman Clinic, and Director of Medical Education, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. She is also a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytic Society, Editor of the journal Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy and Vice-Chair of the Medical Psychotherapy Faculty.

Ms Gabrielle Brown is a Forensic Psychotherapist at the Portman Clinic, Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust, and course lead for the BPC accredited course Forensic Psychotherapy (D59F). Recent book (2019) Psychoanalytic thinking on the Unhoused mind (Oxon, Routledge).

Ms Marianne Parsons is a Child and Adult Psychoanalyst and a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist. Originally a teacher, she trained in child analysis at the Hampstead Clinic (later renamed the Anna Freud Centre) then joined the staff as Head of Clinical Training.

Mr Donald Campbell is a training and supervising Psychoanalyst, Distinguished Fellow, past President of the British Psychoanalytical Society, and former Secretary General of the International Psychoanalytic Association.

Dr Andrew Williams is a Psychoanalyst and Consultant Psychiatrist. He worked at the Portman Clinic for 15 years, providing group and individual psychotherapy for patients presenting with perverse and/or violence behaviours.

Dr Gwen Adshead is a Forensic Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist. She has worked as a Psychotherapist in different forensic settings for over twenty years. She is a founder member and past President of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy; and has been visiting Professor at Yale and Gresham College.

Dr Stephen Blumenthal is a psychoanalyst and clinical psychologist in private practice and at the Portman Clinic, Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust. He is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytical Society and an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society.

Mr John Woods Mr John Woods is a Member of the British Psychotherapy Foundation and the Institute of Group Analysis. After 10 years as a schoolteacher he worked as a Psychotherapist with children and adults in various NHS settings including finally 20 years at the Portman Clinic, working both with young people and adults, mainly in groups.

Ms Eleanor Fellowes is an Adult Psychotherapist and Organisation Consultant at the Portman Clinic. She consults to teams across the NHS, criminal justice system and third sector. Before working at the Portman Clinic, she was a probation officer and has extensive experience of community and custodial settings.

"I find the seminars extremely stimulating and I think Dr Manghnani is a superlative seminar leader.”

"Very well-presented, pitched at the right level. Content was really relevant and distilled into the time limit."

"Utterly fascinating - very skilfully condensed a lot of relevant information into a very short amount of time in a way that didn't compromise quality, and was very understandable."

"The talk introduced psychoanalytic concepts (about suicide) in a very meaningful way and in stark contrast to the "risk assessment" approach followed in mainstream psychiatry. Questions from the other participants made it a very interesting discussion."

"This was an engaging and emotionally meaningful seminar. Although densely populated with theoretical ideas and concepts, it was beautifully illustrated with clinical material. I was deeply moved by this talk and the approach to understanding and working with violence. Thank you."

This course will be delivered remotely using Zoom. This is very easy and safe to use regardless of your level of IT skill.
You will need a device with a microphone and camera together with a suitably fast internet connection. Although mobile devices and tablets can be used, we recommend the use of laptop or desktop PC for the best experience. Some devices provided by employers may have restrictions in place. Please use this test link ( to check your set up before booking.
You will be sent joining instructions including all the necessary login links, passwords and guidance on how to use the relevant functionality about a week before the course start date.

Should you have any concerns about the accessibility of remote delivery please contact us at to discuss how we can best help you.

The course will run from 6.00pm to 7.30pm on the following Thursdays:

  • 13th October, 10th November (please note this session will run 7.00pm – 8.30pm), and 8th December 2022
  • 19th January, 9th February, 9th March, 20th April, 11th May, 8th June and 13th July 2023

The course fee is £600.

To book your place click on the 'Apply' button on the left of the screen.

Included in your course fee, you will receive online membership of the Tavistock’s internationally-renowned library for the duration of your course. Our friendly and knowledgeable library team will help to support you through your specialist CPD course, whatever your level of professional or academic experience. You will have access to an extensive range of eBooks, online journals, all the relevant key databases and our specialist audio-visual collection, plus reference access to all our print books. Our Information Skills Trainer has made lots of material available on Moodle to help you navigate our comprehensive electronic collections. PCs and photocopiers are also available for your use (charges apply for printing and copying). Library staff curate various online resources, such as Audio/Video Playlists, and regularly share helpful news and research on Twitter and Facebook. Find out more on the Library website:

Certificate of attendance
Course length:
9 months
Theoretical approach:
Admission status:
October 2022 to July 2023

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