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, experts in the field, who will bring their own understanding of trauma in a presentation followed by audience question and answer session.

The first series of lectures, which started in November 2019, proved extremely popular before, sadly, being cut short by the COVID 19 outbreak. Therefore, this series will be delivered remotely.

1st October 2020: Working with Dissociative Identity Disorder - Where does it come from? How do we treat it? An introduction

 As we have become more trauma-aware in our society, some of those who have struggled to gain an assessment and treatment of dignity are daring to come forward more. Multiple personality, or DID, as it is now called, comes from relational trauma in which, to completely hide the betrayal that has been caused by an attachment figure, a new state of mind has to be created with a different memory. This introduction will look at aetiology, diagnosis and treatment.

Dr Valerie Sinason is a poet, writer, child psychotherapist and adult psychoanalyst who has always specialised in disability and abuse. She founded the Clinic for Dissociative Studies in 2000 after twenty years working at the Tavistock Clinic and St George’s Hospital. She was given the lifetime achievement award by the ISSRD in 2016. 

5th November 2020: Recovery from trauma: the therapeutic use of gardening and connecting to nature

Dr Sue Stuart-Smith is a consultant medical psychotherapist in the DocHealth service and was previously lead clinician for psychotherapy in Hertfordshire. Her recently published book, the Well Gardened Mind, explores the healing and empowering effects of working with nature and includes studies of horticultural projects working with people suffering from trauma, depression, addiction and displacement.

3rd December 2020: Exiles from Hope: Complex Trauma in Asylum Seekers and Refugees. 

In this lecture, Dr Majid will talk about complex trauma in asylum seekers, looking in particular at the challenges individuals face in their encounter with the asylum seeking process in the UK such as giving evidence, immigration detention and deportation.  Drawing on her work in the Tavistock Immigration Legal Service, she will present a range of cases, demonstrating the severity of mental health issues, and exploring how aspects of the legal process can trigger or re-enact earlier experiences of trauma and loss, precipitating acute deteriorations in mental health and undermining the possibility of recovery.

Dr Sarah Majid is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy based at the Tavistock Centre with a long association with the Trauma Consultation Service. After graduating from Kings College, Cambridge, she completed a master’s degree in Social Anthropology at the School of Oriental and African Studies before completing higher training in Adult Psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital and in Psychotherapy at the Tavistock Centre. Her current post in the Whole Family Service involves working with parents and families from a range of backgrounds, where the children are considered to be at risk. She also works in Camden Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Service, where she runs the UCLH Medical Student Psychotherapy Scheme, and is involved in developing this work at a national level through her role as Chair of the RCPsych Medical Student Psychotherapy Scheme Working Group. Dr Majid has been working with refugees and asylum seekers for over 20 years and is a founder member of the RCPsych Mental Health of Asylum Seekers Working Group, set up to address inadequacies in the mental health care of this population. In 2011, together with Dr David Bell, she set up the Tavistock Immigration Legal Service, a unique service providing psychiatric medico-legal reports to inform decisions made by the Immigration Tribunal, and bringing a psychoanalytic perspective.

This term we plan to deliver the lectures postponed from spring/summer 2020

  • The Agony and The Ecstasy; The Therapeutic Use of MDMA in Complex Trauma - Dr Jo O’Reilly 
  • The impact of trauma on Emotional processing and the implications for therapy - Mr. Ricky Emanuel
  • Trauma as Energy Unbound - Professor Jeremy Holmes MD FRCPsych 

Bookings will open later in 2020

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

The Autumn series will be delivered 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 (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: 1st October 2020, 5th November 2020, 3rd December 2020

Spring Series: 7th January 2021, 4th February 2021, 4th March 2021 – not yet open for booking

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

To book all three lectures please click here

To book individual lectures please click the relevant link: 

Dr Valerie Sinason – 1st October 2020

Dr Sue Stuart-Smith – 5th November 2020

Dr Sarah Majid – 3rd December 2020

Certificate of attendance
Admission status:
Course lead:
Joanne Stubley

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