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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

In the Name of the Father

A one-day conference with Dermot Bolger, Andrew Samuels, Ross Skelton, and Brendan Staunton SJ

Saturday 5 October 2019 - Ireland

The theme of this day is, in part, inspired by Sigmund Freud's observation that the death of the father is the most significant moment in a man's life. This must surely be true for many, but Freud's concept of the Oedipus complex is now considered problematic. Written in a time and place radically different from contemporary Ireland, his view of the boy's emerging sexual identity within the traditional family now requires a fresh theoretical framework to explain the many meanings of fatherhood today, and the developmental task of becoming a man.

This is a vast topic, but this one day series of talks we will touch on some of our speakers' fascinating experiences of fathers and insights into the role. And we are inviting our audience of psychotherapists to think freshly about new types of fathers and the identities that men are now expected to occupy, many of which are ambiguous, shifting and contradictory. How does the contemporary father, caught in a multiplicity of roles, position himself in relation to society, his children, his own father, or even priest? Do boys still struggle to draw the mother's love away from the 'potent father' and take his place? How does the boy come to identify or dis-identify with the father, both as a symbol of power but also manifestation of uncertainty? Where are men now located within the terms of patriarchy, authority and power, in terms of presence and absence? These are bold questions, but we hope to open up the beginnings of a meaningful conversation about this important domain of life and the consulting room.


Dermot Bolger
Poet, novelist and playwright Dermot Bolger was born in Dublin in 1959. His new play, Last Orders at the Dockside, which runs in the Abbey Theatre as part of the Dublin Theatre Festival, explores the emotions and conflicts on a son on the night of the funeral of his docker father in 1980's Dublin... More >>

Professor Andrew Samuels
Andrew Samuels is recognized internationally as one of the foremost political commentators and theorists from the perspectives of psychotherapy and depth psychology. He works as a consultant with political leaders, parties and activist groups in several countries, including the United States. He also consults to the NHS.. More >>

Professor Ross Skelton
Professor (emeritus) of Philosophy and Psychoanalysis at Trinity College Dublin, Ross Skelton has specialised in teaching clinical and theoretical psychoanalysis. He was involved in setting up a clinical MSc at St. James' Hospital and a theoretical MPhil in the college. He has published numerous inter-disciplinary articles on psychoanalysis and logic as well as studies on the poetry of Louis MacNeice... More >>

Brendan Staunton SJ
Brendan Staunton is an Irish Jesuit Priest whose post-graduate work as a psychoanalyst was undertaken in London and the School of Psychotherapy in St. Vincent's Hospital, Elm Park and University College Dublin. His particular interest is in seeing the story of art as a metaphor for what is happening in our contemporary culture, and the place of the human sciences in theology... More >>


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Please read our booking conditions before making your booking

Handouts and refreshments included
Early bird: £65 (20 places until 2 September)
Self-funded: £70 (IACAT, PSI, IACP, IAHIP, ICP and EEAI members)
Self-funded: £80
Self-funded x 2: £130
Organisationally-funded: £150

CPD Hours

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

National Museum of Ireland
Decorative Arts & History
Collins Barracks
Benburb Street
Dublin 7

09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:15 Coffee
13:00 Lunch
15:15 Tea
17:00 End