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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
The Therapeutic Frame:
Is it Central to the Cure?
With Dr Maria Luca, Prof Alistair Ross, Maktuno Suit and Nick Totton

Saturday 14 December 2019 - London

The therapeutic frame has evolved over 130 years, from being a practical appointment system for a meeting between analyst and patient, to a key component of the practitioner's skill. Traditionally, it has been seen as providing consistency, reliability, confidentiality; of preserving a screen of anonymity around the psychotherapist, which allows the patient or client the freedom to freely roam their transferences and projections onto that person. It offers a dependable structure for that relationship, one with a quality of safety and predictability - something that is of great importance to those who suffer from inner or outer chaos in their lives. The frame creates safety and inhibits the danger of the therapist's use of the client. It offers a set of limits which, in themselves, can engage the patient with creative boundary pushing which illuminates their unconscious desires and fears. Yet, if held too rigidly, these limits can be experienced as deeply persecutory; they can exclude moments of deeper connection. The email that arrives between sessions, the early arrival for a session, the probing personal question about the therapist's life: these interruptions may contain great potential for a therapeutic breakthrough if allowed some breathing space.

So, in contemporary psychotherapy, where should the therapeutic frame be placed? Many practitioners are now experimenting with outdoor therapy, loosely timed sessions, calls between sessions and self-disclosure. Do these enhance or hinder the work? After all, Freud took his patients on long mountain walks. Is there a risk that the frame exists primarily to protect the therapist? Or is it a key therapeutic device? We invite our speakers to consider if new and more flexible approaches run the risk of overlooking a key to therapeutic success: containment.


Dr Maria Luca
Dr Maria Luca, PhD, is a Reader in Psychotherapy and Counselling Psychology and the Director of the Regent's Centre for Relational Studies and Psychological Wellbeing (RCRSPW) at Regent's University London. She is the leader of the PhD Programme and Editor in Chief of the Journal of Psychological Therapies (published by Phoenix). She was previously Head of the School of Psychotherapy & Psychology. As an accredited integrative psychotherapist and supervisor with the UKCP and the MBACP, Maria has many years' post-qualification clinical experience in the NHS and in private practice... More >>

Professor Alistair Ross
Alistair Ross is a psychodynamic therapist, supervisor, and trainer based at Oxford University. He is an Associate Professor - Psychotherapy, Director of Psychodynamic Studies, and Dean of Kellogg College, Oxford. He is a senior accredited therapist and supervisor with the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP), and was Chair of BACP’s Professional Ethics and Quality Standards Committee, and BACP’s Expert Ethics Reference Group (2010-2015).... More >>

Maktuno Suit
Bio to come... More >>

Nick Totton
Nick Totton is a psychotherapist, trainer and supervisor with 35 years' experience. He originally trained as a neo-Reichian body psychotherapist, since when his approach has become broad based and open to the spontaneous and unexpected. He has spoken, taught and published widely on body psychotherapy, psychotherapy and politics, and ecopsychology... More >>


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Please read our booking conditions before making your booking

Handouts and lunch included
Early bird: £100 (20 places until 13 September)
Self-funded: £120
Self-funded x 2: £200
Organisationally-funded: £200
Psychotherapy trainee: £80 (Limited to 10 places)
CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 6 hours will be provided at the event

Resource for London
356 Holloway Road
N7 6PA

09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:30 Coffee
12:45 Lunch break
14:30 Tea
17:00 End