Tavistock Trauma Service: External lectures on trauma series

Course overview

This innovative series of lectures is organized by the Tavistock Trauma Service and is designed to reflect the clinical approach of the work, emphasizing an adapted psychoanalytic approach with multi-modality and trauma-informed care, using neurobiological and attachment theory to understand the impact of trauma.

The series will present a range of external speakers, each experts in the field, who will bring their own understanding of trauma via a presentation, followed by an audience question and answer session.

7th October: Tessa Baradon on "Early relational trauma in parent-infant therapy".

This lecture is planned to be recorded.

The notion that ‘there is no such thing as an infant without maternal care’ pertains also to infant trauma. Babies experience trauma through the conduit of the parental mind and its embodied expressions, whether the parental mind is hijacked by a threatening external event or through ‘ghosts in the(ir) nursery’. In turn, the very essence of infancy – vulnerable, dependent, needy – can scratch parental states such that parents and infants become caught in mutually traumatising transactions. Microanalytic approaches which examine frame-by-frame interactions between parents and infants (as young as 4 months) have added to our understanding of the traumatising interactions that produce states of ‘catastrophic anxiety’ and fear of ‘falling forever’ in the infant. Recent research at the Anna Freud Centre has extended microanalytic exploration into the consulting room of parent infant psychotherapy and the relationships between all participants – infants, parent/s and therapist. This paper will expand on these ideas and present clinical vignettes to bring the material alive.
Tessa Baradon came from the field of Public Health to the child psychoanalysis and psychotherapy training at the Anna Freud Centre. The focus of her work has been on trauma in the first year of life and the development of psychoanalytic and attachment informed models of psychotherapy for infants and their parents. She has led on development of parent infant psychotherapy programmes and trainings, both in the UK and abroad. Tessa’s research on cultural influences in parent infant psychotherapy led to an appointment at the School of Human and Community Development, University of the Witwatersrand (SA) between 2011-2018 and her current microanalytic research into clinical process is held at the Anna Freud Centre. Her books include ‘The practice of psychoanalytic parent infant psychotherapy’, ‘Relational trauma in infancy’ and ‘Working with fathers in psychoanalytic parent infant psychotherapy’.

4th November: Dr. Katy Robjant and Kolbassia Haoussou, MBE on "Survivor empowerment at Freedom from Torture: The co-design and co-delivery of therapy services with survivors of torture".

This lecture is planned to be recorded.

Torture is designed to silence, render powerless, oppress and terrify. Rehabilitation for torture survivors therefore needs to include empowerment at its heart. This is important to overturn the impact of torture on the survivor’s sense of powerlessness and to address the silencing that begins with torture and is continued in the psychological sequalae of surviving torture and other trauma. We describe the co-development with survivors of our new clinical model at freedom from torture. Using methodologies that were designed to ensure comprehensive assessment of client’s views and wishes - together with a review of existing good practice and research - we combined survivor and clinical expertise. Encouraged by the success of this approach we have now committed to the co-development and co-delivery of psychotherapeutic interventions themselves. We describe the introduction of stabilisation groups that are jointly facilitated by a clinician and survivor pair, and discuss the possibilities for co delivery of trauma focused approaches.
Dr. Katy Robjant is a consultant clinical psychologist specialising in trauma spectrum disorders amongst asylum seekers, refugees and survivors of human trafficking and torture. She is currently Director of National Clinical Services at Freedom from Torture. She has provided expert evidence extensively in British and European jurisdictions, to Governmental enquiries, and advised various UN bodies on the psychological impact of human rights abuses, including human trafficking and immigration detention. Having worked clinically in specialist trauma services within the NHS, in conflict and post conflict settings, and formerly as head of therapies at the Helen Bamber Foundation, she later implemented and directed regional trauma services across Eastern DRC for Vivo International and the University of Konstanz . Research interests include trauma in relation to refugees and asylum seekers and recent developments of Narrative Exposure Therapy (NET).
Kolbassia Haoussou, MBE, began his career in campaigning and advocating when he co-founded the Survivor Speak OUT (SSO) network, a network led by survivors, campaigning for survivors.
After a short while running, SSO came under the umbrella of Freedom from Torture and Kolbassia found himself employed with Freedom from Torture as SSO Coordinator. Kolbassia was and has been instrumental in building Freedom from Tortures’ survivor activism and making sure survivors were centred in all aspects of the organisation. After over 10 years of working at Freedom from Torture in the capacity of SSO Coordinator, Service User Champion and acting Survivor Activism Lead, Kolbassia is now the department head for the organisations newly founded Survivor Empowerment directorate.

2nd December: Sue Levy on "The Perversion of loss, psychoanalytical reflections on trauma".

This lecture is planned to be recorded.

Sue Levy’s talk will focus on a rage of key areas around trauma and its impact on the mind. She understands trauma as a perversion of loss - not only a breakdown in the capacity to grieve but a twisting of grief into something entirely different and often, at the unconscious level, more perverse. This is linked to how trauma is experienced as an attack on attachment, in particular an attack on our unconscious dialogues with our internal objects. These attacks and twistings impact us at every level and affect how we construct our realities, most powerfully our ability to think and engage symbolically, to understand and use the “as if” capacity. She will link the breakdown in the ability to symbolise with the breakdown in the ability to play.
Sue emphasises two fundamental aspects in treatment – first, the role of forgiveness both in relation to the self’s collapse but also the role of forgiveness in relation to reparation towards the object. Second and closely related she examines the role of play or the “as if” engagement as a foundation for post trauma healing and the development of resilience. The vicissitudes in the transference will be discussed in this context.
Sue Levy is a South African Training Analyst for the South African Psychoanalytic Association (SAPA). She lives and works in Johannesburg. She has a specialist interest in trauma and is the co-editor with Alessandra Lemma on The Perversion of Loss: Psychoanalytical Reflections on Trauma. She heads up the SAPA Johannesburg Low Fee Psychotherapy and Psychoanalytical Service and is deeply committed to applying psychoanalytical ideas to issues around othering and prejudice. She has a particular interest in the unconscious impact of race and racialisation in post apartheid South Africa.

It is aimed at all professionals working within the mental health field who have an interest in trauma. This would include psychologists, psychiatrists, social workers, mental health nurses, support workers, counsellors and therapists. 

The talks will cover neurobiology, attachment theory and different psychoanalytic perspectives on trauma, including historical child sexual abuse.

Excellent, well presented and lively.

Interesting, clear and insightful.

Well planned and delivered with such notable presenter.

Thought provoking, relevant and very interesting.

Brilliant speakers and topics. 

This lecture has been enormously helpful in providing me with a space to reflect on some of my cases alongside the presentation and discussion.

Yet again the standard of lecturers is excellent as well as the variety of viewpoints. Very stimulating course, thank you.

Absolutely stunning - such an in-depth journey into new territory of work with trauma.

Fantastic webinar about a topic that is difficult to talk about, rarely spoken about and hard to work with. Tonight was very enlightening and encouraging. Certainly will motivate and guide my personal research on the subject and undoubtably open up my practice hoping to better support my clients.

To enable access to the widest possible audience these lectures are planned to be delivered live, but remotely, as webinars. Where we are able, a recording will be made available to all booked delegates although we encourage live attendance wherever possible. Please see the individual listings for details of which lectures will be recorded.

The series will be delivered using Zoom. This is very easy and safe to use regardless of your level of IT skill.

Some devices provided by employers may have restrictions in place. Please use this test link (https://zoom.us/test) 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 lecture date.

Should you have any concerns about the accessibility of remote delivery please contact us at CPDEvents@tavi-port.ac.uk  to discuss how we can best help you.

We are keeping the mode of delivery for future series under careful review and will post further details here in due course.

Lectures will take place on Thursday evenings from 7pm to 8:30pm.

Autumn Series: 7th October, 4th November, 2nd December 2021 

Each lecture costs £30, or £75 if all three in a series are booked together. 

Autumn Series

To book all three lectures - 7th October, 4th November and 2nd December - click here

To book individual lectures please click the relevant link: 

Tessa Baradon - 7th October 2021

Dr Katy Robjant and Kolbassia Haoussou - 4th November 2021

Sue Levy - 2nd December 2021

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Course lead:
Joanne Stubley

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