The decision to retire is complex and, in our profession, ideally requires several years of planning although, for various reasons, some may have to retire at shorter notice than anticipated. Retirement can be a lonely process, it is a time of change but, positively brings with it the potential for new opportunities, doing things there has never been time for. The aim of the evening is to offer members planning or beginning to think about retirement, and also retired members, a space to reflect on and share their experiences, personal and professional. The discussion will be led by Miranda Feuchtwang and Tim Fox, both senior members of the bpf who have been active in the organisation for many years. The event will be chaired by Joanna Lee.
All bpf members are welcome but the meeting is aimed at those beginning to think about retirement, about to retire and already retired.
About the speakers
Miranda describes herself as a late starter. She married young and had children early subsequently completing a sociology degree her early thirties. The degree introduced Miranda to Marx, Freud, Durkheim and Weber and she contemplated an academic career. In the event Miranda met Juliet Mitchell and Margot Waddell at a party who suggested she might prefer psychoanalysis and clinical practice. Miranda’s mother had been a Jungian analyst so she was familiar with the field. Thus, in the late ‘70’s, Miranda trained as a Child Psychotherapist at the Tavistock Centre. She was particularly stimulated by cross department and multidisciplinary collaboration she experienced during her training. Also by the inspirational teachers: Meg Harris, Donald Meltzer, Ron Britton, John Steiner, Margaret Rustin, Margot Waddell and many others. Group Relations Training with luminaries such as Eric Miller and Anton Obholzer was mandatory for all trainees. Miranda attended her first Leicester Group Relations Conference in 1984 which inspired her to take up leadership roles, first as Chair of ACP followed by many senior organisational roles in former BAP and bpf. Miranda also became an active staff member in International Group Relations Conferences. With Lydia Tischler and others, she was involved in the founding of the EFPP and also with Lydia, in training child psychotherapists in Prague. Miranda particularly enjoyed meeting colleagues from across Europe and beyond, many of whom became friends.
After she qualified Miranda worked at the Cassel Hospital and then, as Head of Child Psychotherapy, in a CAMHS team. She subsequently qualified as an adult psychotherapist with the BAP. In 2005 Miranda retired from the NHS but continued working in private practice. Over the last 2 years she has stepped down from many organizational roles sometimes with regret and sometimes with relief. Miranda is now moving towards full retirement. She acknowledges that this is not easy to contemplate in a world where the future for us all looks so uncertain. Is it a new beginning? She hope’s so but points put that, as psychoanalysts we know facing reality is a hard task. She quotes Gramsci who said what is needed is ‘Pessimism of the Intellect but Optimism of the Will’.
Tim enjoyed a varied working life before training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy at the BAP. He studied medicine at St Georges’ Hospital – then located on Hyde Park Corner - qualifying as a doctor in 1973.. For several years he continued on the path of a hospital physician in London before putting down roots in rural East Anglia and taking up general practice. He is somewhat coy about a parallel occupation in his 20s and 30s that included several stage runs in Edinburgh and the West End and elsewhere , and co-writing two successful TV sitcom series under a closely-guarded nom de plume.
His first encounter with psychoanalytic thinking, through membership of a Balint Group, was a watershed experience that led eventually to his qualification as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in 1997. He maintained his contact with mainstream medicine, both as a senior editor for a major evidence-based medical journal and later resuming a part-time role in general practice alongside his private work as a psychotherapist. He retired from the NHS medical practice in 2010 to concentrate all his energies in psychotherapy – a step that meant relinquishing the skills of physical examination (reluctantly) and of prescribing (less reluctantly). After an active professional life in the BAP and later the bpf, including some years as a Training Therapist, he is now having to contemplate retirement from clinical practice – which will be another difficult ending. Professionally he has found a new beginning as a founder member of The East Anglian Psychotherapy Network where he hopes to contribute towards an enduring legacy for the growth of psychoanalytic and psychodynamic practice in the region where he first had his own life-changing encounter with psychoanalysis.
Join them and listen to their thoughts on the subject - book or register for the event 04 November 2021 8pm-9.30
Online via Zoom