BPF Scientific Meeting: Picking up a log from both ends: Understanding and working with couples.

This is the November meeting of our regular BPF Scientific Meetings, held every second Thursday evening of every second month.

Members' only event


The couple relationship is of intense interest to most people. All of us seeing individuals must have noticed that many patients bring a great deal of material about their partners. For many people the couple relationship is central to their external, emotional and psychic lives. In this presentation, we aim to show how an application of psychoanalytic ideas to the couple relationship provides us with a deeper understanding as well as being a potent, lively way of working therapeutically with the couple as the patient. In the challenging words of Dr L.F Donnan, quoted by Henry Dicks, one of the early pioneers of couple therapy in the Tavistock Clinic: - “the couple relationship is one of the largest of human relationships and to attempt to assess and deal with the difficulties of one partner without coming to know something of the other, and without regard to the relationship between them, is like trying to lift a log from one end only.”  Case material will be discussed and there will also be a chance for members to hear about the exciting new qualifying course in couple psychotherapy at the BPF.


about the speakers

Joanna Rosenthall is a psychoanalyst (BPA) and psychoanalytic couple psychotherapist. She has recently retired from her role as Clinical Lead of the Couples Unit at the Tavistock Clinic. She teaches and lectures in Britain and abroad on the psychoanalytic theory and practice of working with couples. She has published papers in this area - recently on interpretation and working in the transference with couples. She now works in private practice with couples and individuals and has recently completed a novel.

Leezah Hertzmann is principal couple and individual psychoanalytic psychotherapist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust and in private practice. She is also the Course Director for the new BPF clinical training in couple psychotherapy and is a member of the British Psychoanalytic Council's Advisory Committee on Sexual and Gender Diversity. Leezah teaches and publishes widely and her most recent publication, authored with Juliet Newbigin, is entitled ‘Psychoanalysis and Homosexuality: A contemporary introduction,' published by Routledge..


This is a CPD event