How do we get a self? What do we mean by ‘having a sense of self'? How secure or insecure do we feel about who we are and our connections to others? How is our sense of self shaped in a homophobic, gendered culture?
This workshop will explore the idea that, from the beginning of life, we construct our ‘senses of self', including our sexual and gendered selves, from our experiences of being in interaction with others. We will look at some ideas about the relational nature of the ‘self', drawn from contemporary approaches to psychoanalytic psychotherapy. Using concepts from attachment theory, we will think about how our sense of ourselves develops initially within the context of our early relationships with others, and continues to emerge and change through our interactions with significant others throughout life.
Research into early attachments has shown the enduring and vital necessity of a secure and reliable connection to other people who are attuned to what we are feeling and who can respond appropriately. We will explore how traumatic failures of attunement, mutual recognition and response can impact negatively on the development of a stable yet flexible sense of self, and diminish our ability to create mutually satisfying close relationships throughout life. We will think in particular about the role played by shame and rejection in undermining a secure sense of self for both sexual diversity clients and their therapists.
We will consider the potential of the therapeutic relationship to offer a secure base and facilitate the development of sufficient trust and safety to enable a different experience of ‘self with other' that can allow the emergence of new, more creative ‘senses of self'.
Training time is from 1pm to 7pm.