members' only event

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10:00 - 16:30


bpf member fee £ 15.00


British Psychotherapy Foundation
37 Mapesbury Road
London, NW2 4HJ
United Kingdom

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bpf scientific meeting: contemporary issues in clinical practice and training

In this Scientific Meeting, Senior Members of the bpf pose and explore key questions that are at the heart of the way we practice clinically and the way we train new generations of psychoanalytic psychotherapists to provide the intensive treatments on which our professional institutions are founded and for which we are known.

The meeting is chaired by Ann Scott and Karl Figlio on behalf of the bpf Scientific and Applied Activities Committee. Registration starts at 9.45am. Light lunch will be provided. The following papers will be presented:

Steven Mendoza  

Preliminary requirements of borderline conditions of psychoanalytic technique - challenges and opportunities to psychoanalytic trainees and their trainers.

A small minority of trainees give cause for concern about how their supervision seems not to accommodate the technical needs of the borderline organisation of most of their training patients. This is considered in two aspects. Firstly: developments in technique deriving from contemporary theory. Secondly: anxieties in the supervisor, teacher and training committee imposed by the requirement to emphasise the analysis of the transference. It is speculated that a process of reification of the transference in an adhesive identification may create a culture in which it can be difficult to meet the needs of these patients.

Steven Mendoza has degrees in psychology and human learning. He has been a teacher of psychotherapy trainees since 1986 and is a senior member and past training psychotherapist of the bpf.

Jane Polden

How Many Times?

Session frequency stipulations may be seen as definitive of psychoanalytic identity - and yet paradoxically and to the extent they are coercive, potentially unpsychoanalytic. Automatic equations between high frequency, high intensity and high value work are questioned and theoretical, clinical and training implications explored in this reading and discussion of a paper first published in BJP 34:4 (November 2018).

Jane Polden is a Senior Member of the bpf and lives and works in Norwich. She was formerly Vice Chair of the LCP and sat on the Board of the bpf until October 2017. Jane remains an actve member of the National and Regional Development Committee.


Laurence Spurling

What is a good analytic training?

In order to develop a good analytic training  we need to decide what kind of discipline or practice we consider  psychoanalysis to be. Through my experience  I have come to think of psychoanalysis as a form of craft practice, the development of  highly specialist forms of practical theories or knowledge together with a series of highly complex and flexible clinical skills. So, for instance, I think of countertransference not only or primarily as an attitude or form of receptivity but more as  very useful analytic tool that one has to learn to use in a thoughtful and skilled way – not something one “has” but something one “does”. So for me, a good analytic training is not so much the passing on a tradition of analytic theory and practice, nor the teaching of how psychoanalytic work “should” be done, but as enabling students to develop their own body of theories, clinical strategies and skills, together with a capacity to evaluate their own approach, in order to do high quality analytic work.

Laurence Spurling is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice and Senior Lecturer in Psychosocial Studies at Birkbeck College, University of London. He is a Senior Member of the bpf and a member of the Post-qualifying Committee.


To cover the cost of catering, a fee of £15 has been introduced.


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Artworks of the Brain as b/w negative images. Credit: Sarah Grice. CC BY


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