How to fail your psychodynamic case report

In my current and previous course team roles, I’ve been responsible for courses that attempt to teach psychoanalytic theory to trainee counselling psychologists. The usual means of assessing this is the case report, where the trainee writes up a piece of work where they have attempted to intervene psychoanalytically, or sometimes, a piece of workContinue reading “How to fail your psychodynamic case report”

The Forgotten Bridge in process reports

Ah, the process report.  No one escapes counselling psychology training without turning out at least a couple, and quite right too, for the process report demonstrates oodles of developing competencies.  Make sure your knickers are clean, because this kind of assessment shows everything: whether you understand theory, whether you can apply it in practice, whetherContinue reading “The Forgotten Bridge in process reports”

What can we learn from the history of sexology?

Originally posted on Rewriting The Rules:
This morning I was very excited to be included on Radio 4’s Today Programme talking about the new Wellcome Collection exhibition: The Institute of Sexology. You can listen to the piece on their website (it aired around 12 minutes to 9). The radio piece also meant that I got…

Bending the rules: the secrets I rarely confess

or Ruling the bends: authorising ourselves to practice In this post, guest writer Emily Brookes, and Dr Russel Ayling discuss Emily’s experience of ‘bending the rules’, and Russel’s re-thinking of this idea: understanding our bentness, perhaps, or rather, ‘ruling our bends’.  The more I have talked to my psychology friends the more I have comeContinue reading “Bending the rules: the secrets I rarely confess”

What do Counselling Psychologists do?

As Russel Ayling published his blog post on branding last week I was experiencing some of the issues he speaks about in situ. I was trying to explain to a friend newly embarking on her clinical training what it is that counselling psychologists actually do. The conversation had come about when she told me thatContinue reading “What do Counselling Psychologists do?”

Branding counselling psychologists!

Medics often brand themselves as illness specialists: we suffer because we’re ill; a bit of us is broken, we’ll fix that by cutting something off or adding a pill; if you’re lucky, you’ll be cured. I polarise, of course, and many medics such as Joanna Moncrieff and David Zigmond (see his blog post in theContinue reading “Branding counselling psychologists!”

Letting go of ‘letting go’

I was reading a book on the train this morning about Kleinian psychotherapy*. The book contains case studies by various Kleinian psychotherapists and in this particular case I was reading, one therapist wrote that her patient’s way of being ‘was not something he was about to give up’.   I frequently come across terms likeContinue reading “Letting go of ‘letting go’”

Autogynephilia: Aroused by the Image of Yourself as the Opposite Sex

Sex and gender are topics that trainees often complain are insufficiently taught on counselling psychology programmes.  One remedy for this is to read widely – and first person accounts are a great way of doing this.  In this blog post, Joseph Burgo investigates a phenomenon where individuals take themselves as a particular gendered person, asContinue reading “Autogynephilia: Aroused by the Image of Yourself as the Opposite Sex”

A meditation on free will and authority

Free will and authority are highly relevant and complex concepts in counselling psychology, but rarely discussed in any depth.  In my psychoanalytic training, one of the readings for a class before the summer break was ‘Before The Law’ by Kafka.  In essence, it’s about a man who comes to find the law, meets a gateContinue reading “A meditation on free will and authority”

What’s your position in the transference?

In my own psychoanalytic training, this is a question that’s often been asked of me.  Psychoanalysts believe that transference is when the patient acts towards someone – often the therapist – as if they were a figure in the patient’s past.   So, when a patient feels unloved, criticised, intruded upon or neglected, we might askContinue reading “What’s your position in the transference?”