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Swimming in murky waters – A practical guide to working with countertransference

This workshop with Carol Leader will help guide participants through the difficult area of countertransference and provide an opportunity to link a deeper understanding to everyday clinical practice. Although originally seen as an unhelpful manifestation of the therapist’s own feelings, Paula Heimann’s (1950) ground-breaking paper ‘On Countertransference’ was the beginning of this concept becoming a vital instrument in contemporary analytic and psychodynamic clinical work. Early moments of trauma are encoded as body memories rather than words and the therapist’s countertransference is essential for conceptualizing pre-verbal sensory communication from patients or clients. It needs however to be handled with care. This requires the clinician to use their embodied, subjective knowledge empathically and appropriately in order to help the patient or client to start to feel safer with unmentalised primary experiences. By attending this workshop participants will better be able to: - identify and understand countertransference - make skilled use of their countertransference in clinical work - work on a number of psychic levels to increase understanding of unconscious communications at depth - ‘swim’ in the unknown murky and waters of unconscious somatic enactments This one-day workshop, (linked to the Transference workshops on the 19th January 2019) will include exercises and clinical material alongside an illustrated overview of theory. There will be plenty of time for questions and discussion. There will also be the opportunity to use an example from your own clinical work to personally understand the phenomena of countertransference. Participants will be given a book list and key quotations at the end of the day.