Recent Events


(Go to Archive for pervious years)
Kelly Camilleri & Kathy McKay
February 25, 2017
Viewing Learning Disabilities Psychotherapy through an Attachment Lens:
Theoretical Perspectives and Practical Strategies
This talk aims to explore themes around working therapeutically with people who live with labels of intellectualdisability, autism and acquired brain injury. What are the psychological sequelae of being born with or acquiring a disability in terms of attachment and early relations? How might therapy need to be adapted to meet individual cognitive or sensory needs? What is the role of trauma in psychological distress and how might this manifest differently in people with these labels? How is power perceived and played out in our systems of care? The talk aims to provide a psychological understanding from a variety of perspectives, with special consideration for the use of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP) for this group and their systems.
Within the context of a short term, goal orientated therapy  world how can we provide meaningful support which is individually
Dr Kelly Camilleri is an independent Consultant Clinical Psychologist. She qualified 19 years ago from Birmingham University and has since worked with children and adults with learning difficulty, autism, and acquired disability. Kelly has worked in a variety of sectors including the NHS, charity and the private sector. She is particularly interested in the role of attachment and trauma for the individual and their systems. Kelly is a keen proponent on the use of DDP for this group which she feels enables a dual approach focusing both on peoples internal and external worlds. She is on the Division of Clinical Psychology Southwest Committee and is the coordinator for local Psychology Against Austerity Group.
Dr Kathy McKay is a Clinical Psychologist who has worked in Learning Disability Services in the NHS since qualifying in 1995. She has also worked in Independent Practice since 2007. Settings have included community Learning Disability teams, In-patient Units and a Secure Forensic Unit. She has also worked in a CAMHS Service in a secure childrens home, and currently provides regular input into a Local Authority Family Centre to support them in taking into account a parents learning needs in their assessment and intervention processes. Kathy has provided training on attachment and trauma in learning disabilities, and further on creating attachment friendly environments in a number of the aforementioned settings. Like Kelly, Kathy has completed training in DDP, which was a driver for this area of work.
You can download the powerpoint from the talk here.
If you have any further questions, you can contact Kelly Camilleri directly via email at
May 20,, 2017
Sally Weintrobe
Climate Change and the New Imagination

Sally Weintrobe
is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytic Society. Currently she is writing a book on the culture that promotes disavowal of climate change. She edited and contributed to (2012) Engaging with Climate Change, shortlisted for the International Gradiva Prize for contributions to psychoanalysis.
Some of her talks can be found at:


Sally Weintrobe argues that current dominant culture serves neo-liberalism. The culture drives the false belief that we are entitled not to have to face a particular reality. This is that neo-liberalism has led to climate change and social instability and we are caught up in its structures. This talk aims to help open up a conversation that allows us to think together about needed changes in a way that recognises that change may be disturbing, troubling and difficult as well as enlivening.

"Since the publication of Engaging with Climate Change in 2012, I have given many talks on our collective difficulty in taking climate reality seriously. The text of some of these talks can be found under Talks and Interviews on this website.
Most of us are in denial about the seriousness of climate change. I believe our main difficulty is not so much facing the science as facing that climate change is caused by humans, which means us. We have barely begun to take this in in a feeling-ful way, as to do so would face each of us with conflict and grief, and lead us to question how responsible each of us is for the environmental and social damage we see more clearly now.
What sort of framework of understanding do we need to be able to think proportionately about human responsibility for climate change? What sort of support do we need to think about this in a feeling-ful way and not cut off from the subject?
My current work is on the role our culture plays in shaping disavowal about climate change. I call it the culture of uncare, and argue its aim is to alienate and distance us from the part of us that cares about the effects of our actions.
To address climate change we need to care more. It’s as simple as that. Only felt links with the part of us that cares will give us the inner strength and will to defend the earth and life on earth at this time when both are so under attack. But to care more, and to take responsibility for our part in things, we need to do more than exhort ourselves to care. We need to understand more about the culture of uncare, what drives it, and the effects it has on us."

Paul Zeal
Sep 16, 2017
Breath, Gender and Nature’s Dreaming

Paul Zeal is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist with the Severnside Institute for Psychotherapy, a psychoanalyst with the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis, a constellator, and a teacher and practitioner of Chi Gung and Tai Chi. He chaired Severnside for six years, is a founder member of the Site, and a founder member of Climate Psychology Alliance. He served on the training committee of the Exeter University MSc training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy. He has taught, supervised and practised psychoanalysis and phenomenology for more than forty years. He has an MA with distinction from Dartington College of Arts (2006).
With his wife Carol, he co-facilitates Systemic Family and Nature Constellation workshops at least once a term in south-east Dartmoor where they now live.
He has several papers and articles published in books, journals and magazines, including: ‘Tao for troubled times’ Resurgence Magazine (2010); ‘Listening with many ears’ European J. for Psychotherapy (2008); and ‘Staying close to the subject’ in Object Relations and Social Relations Karnac Books (2008). All are listed on his website.
Nature seems to me to be an evolving dream. Modern humans have woken from that dream and tend to be destructively disconnected from the fragile ecologies of which they are nevertheless a part. What if, towards re-establishing harmonious relations, we practised referring to Earth as She, rather as the scientific ‘It’, despite the paradoxes and embarrassments that arise from that? What if we practised relating to her directly, rather than to each other about ‘it’?
Sex and Gender are two of the most contested words in language, with clarifications and confusions generated in equal measure. I will use the word sex to refer to that which has been anatomically assigned to us, and gender to refer to matters of masculinity and femininity. I will critically discuss traditional psychoanalytic libido theory, namely that all sexual arousal is masculine and that the feminine is a condition of passivity. I will revise this theory towards an understanding that the feminine is itself energetic when tuned into and awakened, and indeed can be felt to underlie all masculine libidinal manifestations.
Breathing and dreaming are ways to access these intelligible mysteries. Breathing, for the cultivation of energetic awareness; and dreaming, not simply as an activity within the envelope of sleep, but as a way of processing experience from the depths of the body in the human and wider-than-human relational worlds.
Nov 11, 2017
Meatophor Making in the Relational Brain
Dr. Susan Mizen

Dr Susan Mizen
is a Consultant psychiatrist in Medical Psychotherapy and a member of the Society of Analytical Psychology. She trained at the Cassel Hospital in West London before becoming a consultant at Charing Cross Hospital in Fulham and then in Exeter.

In the past seven years she has made the business case for and has set up a psychodynamic psychotherapy day and outpatient programme for patients who would otherwise be treated in locked and secure hospital placements because of the high risks they present to themselves of completed suicide and because of the complexity of their difficulties.

She is currently the Chair of the Psychotherapy Faculty Executive at the Royal College of Psychiatrists and is undertaking a PhD in Neuroscience at Exeter University investigating her Relational Affective Hypothesis. She is a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist in private practice.


The idea I will be discussing arose from interdisciplinary dialogue between psychoanalytic psychotherapists and neuroscientists and my work with people with very severe narcissistic disorders in the NHS.

The complex presentations and therapeutic challenge presented by the patients attending the service required the development of a new way of working psychodynamically. The Relational Affective Model we are developing is based on neuroscience and the Cassel  Hospital's therapeutic approach adapted for work with eating disorders, somatisation, autistic spectrum disorder and substance misuse.

I will describe the Relational Affective Hypothesis from which this way of working was developed describing a hypothetical neural pathway through which affect becomes emotional feeling and in a relational context comes to be symbolised and ultimately expressed in words. I hope to have an opportunity to discuss some of the implications for psychotherapeutic practice.
Guy Millon
Feb 3, 2018
Trembling with the Other:
How a mindfulness practice can support, stunt and subvert empathy
Dr Guy Millon is a counselling psychologist and is currently in training as a psychoanalyst with the Site for Contemporary Psychoanalysis. A major interest of his is insight meditation from the Buddhist tradition. His research brings theory from psychoanalysis into the field of meditation, and looks at how meditation practices can inform the psychoanalytic clinic.
At present he works within an NHS gender identity clinic. He has written on the importance of making psychoanalysis more relevant to the trans person and advances an approach that refutes pathologising or normative ends.
He also works in private practice in Exeter.
Within psychoanalysis, empathy has been constructed in very different ways since Freud’s use of the word Einfühlung to indicate the therapeutic stance necessary for coming into relationship with another mind. The British object-relations school conceptualised empathy as a form of projective identification, while Kohut, father of the American school of self psychology, theorised narcissism in terms of early experiences of empathic failure. However, for Lacan, empathy was a vicious “connivance” that threatened to sabotage the analysis. More recently, Buddhist teachings and practices introduced to the West have developed into the movement of mindfulness that has increasingly been integrated into psychological therapy - and this may be informing how therapists experience and make sense of empathy.
In this talk I will present my research which explores how mindfulness practitioners construct the process of empathy within the therapeutic relationship, analysing interview data with reference to psychoanalytic theory. I link empathy to constructs such as idealisation, narcissism, and lack to show how empathy can be used defensively to shore up a sense of self as independent and good, and yet how empathy can also comprise an encounter with something radically other. I hope that this exploration will create new opportunities to make sense of empathy and in doing so challenge the dominant discourses around what it means to empathise.
Sue Gerhardt
June 9, 2018
"A Fair Chance in Life"
“I want Britain to be the world’s great meritocracy - a   country where everyone has a fair chance to go as far as their talent and their hard work will allow.”

These words of Theresa May sound hollow after the Grenfell fire which exposed the gaping class inequalities that still exist in our society.  But still, the ideal of an individualistic, meritocratic nation is rarely questioned. This talk brings a developmental perspective to challenge the idea that every child can find his or her own place in society through hard work. 
I will describe recent research in neuroscience, biology and psychology and what it tells us about  human development as a dynamic, interactive process of system building within brain and body.  What does this mean when you are born disadvantaged? How can individual children find their place in a society which does not start with a level playing field? What is the way out of poverty?
Whilst modern developmental knowledge has changed psychotherapy in many ways, particularly our understanding of early attachment and trauma, I hope this talk might stimulate those of us in the helping professions to consider how we could use our experience and understanding to feed into a wider public conversation about the kind of society we want to create.
Sue Gerhardt has been a practising psychoanalytic psychotherapist for 20 years, working in private practice in Oxford. In 1998, she co-founded a charity, the Oxford Parent Infant Project, and worked for 12 years with a wide range of parents and babies as a parent infant psychotherapist.   She is the author of two books- the best-selling Why Love Matters: how affection shapes a baby’s brain (2014) and The Selfish Society (2010) and is currently working on a book about health.
email: info 'at' limbus 'dot' org 'dot' uk
For more informtion, contact: Farhad Dalal 0778 222 0385    
email: info 'at' limbus 'dot' org 'dot' uk
For more informtion, contact: Farhad Dalal 0778 222 0385