Psychosexual Workshop

The Psychodynamic Context of Psychosexual Therapy

24 October 2014, 10:00 – 16:00 

Psychosexual therapy involves far more than behavioral exercises and history taking. This workshop will address the relevance of psychodynamic theory to our understanding of the role of therapy for sexual difficulties. This workshop will be of interest to anyone working in the field, such as counsellors, GPs, psychotherapists and social workers.

Course Trainers:  Janice Hiller, Senior Academic Tutor in Psychosexual Studies at TCCR and Consultant Clinical Psychologist

Fee:  £115

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Certificate in Psychosexual Studies

Understanding the Sexual Relationship

Two terms of four Saturdays. January – July 2015. Apply by 28 November, 2014. 

The course focuses on thinking about couples and sex and applying this understanding specifically to participants’ area of work. It is useful for GPs, sexual health workers and other healthcare professionals, as well as counsellors and psychotherapists, who will find the course offers practical and informative ways of addressing the sexual relationship.

Fee:  £1850

Find out more

MSc in Psychosexual and
Relationship Therapy

Three terms. January 2015 start. Apply by 7 November 2014.

This one year course is one of only two psychosexual courses at MSc level in the country and provides the necessary training to enable you to practice as a psychosexual therapist in statutory and voluntary sectors as well as in private practice. The course is approved by the College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT) and validated by the University of East London.  Graduates may also be eligible for individual registration with the UK Council for Psychotherapy.

Fee:  £3,800

Find out more


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The Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships is part of The Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology which is registered in England as a Company Limited by Guarantee;  Registered in England & Wales No 2411618. Registered Charity No. 211058.

Levels of Pathology & the Levels of Analytic Work: A one-day seminar with Dr Anne Alvarez‏

10:00AM – 4:00PM
Edinburgh Training and Conference Venue, 16 St Mary’s Street, Edinburgh, EH1 1SU

Dr Anne Alvarez has worked extensively with extremely disturbed and borderline clients and found that therapeutic work with such clients can be very challenging. The clients can be unresponsive to traditional approaches and methods of ascribing meaning. Crucially, such clients appear not to be able to manage spatial, temporal and causal ‘two-tracked thinking‘ (i.e. some capability to think symbolically). She found that due to ego impairment and extreme disturbance, the therapist’s assumption that the client had a sense of self that could be talked to & a clear sense of other people to whom the therapist could refer, proved false. At this practical seminar which would be of particular relevance to psychotherapists, clinical & educational psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists; Dr Alvarez builds on 50 years of experience as a psychotherapist, and explains how three different levels of analytical work and communication: the explanatory level, the descriptive level & the intensified vitalizing level; can work best to address these challenges. She argues that our traditional understanding of ‘interpretation levels’ needs to be revised taking psychopathological and developmental priorities into account.
Illustrating her explanations with practical case vignettes, Dr Alvarez helps us comprehend as practitioners when we need to progress from traditional therapy and apply a second level of work – that of containment and empathic description – with fragmented, under-integrated or overwhelmed patients. In even more severe cases, where the sense of self and object is very weak, a third, more intensified level of work may be necessary. She also explains how our therapeutic approach can make use of a counter-transference sense of urgency with clients in states of severe chronic dissociation. Blending a solid theoretical foundation with practical case studies at this seminar, Dr Alvarez helps us also understand how the timing of these therapeutic interventions may need to shift from moment to moment even within a single session.
Dr Anne Alvarez, PhD, M.A.C.P is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist (and retired Co-Convener of the Autism Service, Child and Family Department, Tavistock Clinic, London). She is author of Live Company: Psychotherapy with Autistic, Borderline, Deprived and Abused Children and has edited with Susan Reid, Autism and Personality: Findings from the Tavistock Autism Workshop. A book in her honour, edited by Judith Edwards, entitled Being Alive: Building on the Work of Anne Alvarez was published in 2002. She was Visiting Professor at the San Francisco Psychoanalytic Society in November 2005 and her new book, The Thinking Heart: Three Levels of Psychoanalytic Therapy with Disturbed Children was published in April 2012 by Routledge.


Seminar Schedule


10:00AM: Session 1:

Psychoanalytic thought & Analytic levels


In this first introductory session of the day, we draw on the psychoanalytic theories that influence our therapeutic approaches and link these with the levels of analytic work:


  • The explanatory level and the works of Freud & Klein
  • The descriptive level and the works of Winnicott, Bion and developmentalists such as Stern, Trevarthen and Beebe
  • The intensified level as described by authors in the autism field such as Reid and Alvarez

10:45AM: Session 2: Applying analytic levels in practice

We look at analytic levels as existing on a continuum of meaning. Dr Alvarez utilises illustrative case examples to show the different mental states relevant to the use of various levels of interpretation including:

  • Mildly neurotic clients – with adequate ego development, hope & trust
  • Borderline personality disordered or Borderline psychotic clients who are easily overwhelmed by emotion &
  • Autistic or Schizoid clients who experience difficulties in coherent thought

Dr Alvarez explains that these levels are not prescriptive and that clients within a particular category can move up or down the integration continuum at any moment.

11:30AM: Coffee Break 


11:45AM: Session 3:  Applications to Therapeutic Work


Building on our understanding from the previous two sessions, participants start considering the preconditions in a client that enable them to use or need these three types of intervention. In this session, we discuss the difference between one-tracked & two-tracked thinking (Bruner) and a thinking deficit where the client needs additional help. This session is facilitated by case vignettes.


1:00PM: Lunch (a light lunch is provided as part of the workshop)


2:00PM: Session 4: Practical challenges at the Descriptive Level


Using case vignettes from her clinical work, Dr Alvarez explains the practical challenges encountered at the descriptive level. Here, she distinguishes between the wishes of neurotic clients and the imperative needs of borderline clients. She explains how in certain cases it’s important to describe the clients’ phantasy without the need for unmasking.
3:30PM: Session 5: Plenary


Attendees will be invited to discuss any issues outstanding from the previous sessions.


4:00PM: Close




questions about the seminar? Call us at: + 44 20 3290 5622 or write


Adoption and Children in Care Update

children update

Welcome to the Children’s Partnership Adoption and Children in Care Update 19 September 2014

This twice-quarterly update for the children’s VSCE sector is brought to you by the National Children’s Bureau and Barnardo’s as part of the Children’s Partnership. It will inform you of the latest policy news on children in care and adoption, signpost to relevant resources produced as part of the Children’s Partnership and funded by the Department for Education.


Consultation on residential care quality standards


The Department for Education has today launched a consultation on the next phase of major changes to the regulation of children’s homes. Specifically, the Department are consulting on:


  • The introduction of Quality Standards, which set out in regulations the outcomes that children must be supported to achieve while living in children’s homes. Each standard has an aspirational, child-focused outcome statement, followed by a clear set of underpinning, measurable requirements that homes must meet to achieve the standard;
  • Replacement of the current National Minimum Standards with a Guide to the regulations that will explain and supplement the requirements stated in the regulations; and
  • Streamlining and modernisation of the current regulations on management and administrative processes (e.g. allowing the use of electronic records).


These changes aim to:


  • Challenge children’s homes to provide high quality care, have high aspirations and achieve positive outcomes for the extremely vulnerable group of children that they care for
  • Make outcomes for children the primary focus for both the children’s home and the regulator (Ofsted)
  • Provide a more coherent regulatory framework of benefit to children, providers and the regulator
  • Reduce unnecessary bureaucracy for providers.


The consultation closes on 14 November 2014.


Are you interested in sharing your views about the staying put legislation?


The Children’s Partnership is carrying out an online survey looking at the initial impact and implementation of the staying put legislation.

We are interested in hearing from:


  • Voluntary and community organisations who have an understanding of the impact of the legislation
  • Foster carers
  • Staying put carers
  • Fostering services
  • Independent reviewing officers
  • Leaving care managers.


Click here to complete the survey


The questionnaire is confidential and findings will be reported anonymously to the Department for Education in January 2015.


We are keen to ensure that as many people as possible have the opportunity to take part in this important research- please feel free to forward this information onto any relevant networks, contacts or colleagues.


Thank you for taking the time to share your views on the subject. If you have any queries about the survey, please contact Jo Lea at or 020 7843 6336.


New duties on education come into effect


This September is the start of the first full academic year of new duties to support looked after children and children with SEN and disabilities. A new duty introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014 has made the appointment of virtual school heads mandatory and revised statutory guidance (see July edition) sets out steps that local authorities should take to improve educational outcomes for looked after children. This is supported by the new, higher rate of pupil premium funding, introduced in April 2014, for those who are looked after.

The pupil premium for looked after children is managed by the virtual school head in the authority that looks after them.  There is an expectation that pupil premium funding will be passed on to the child’s school and that virtual school heads will work in partnership with the child’s education setting to maximise the impact of pupil premium by supporting the learning priorities outlined in the child’s personal education plan. Children adopted from care and those who leave care under a Special Guardianship Order or Residence (now called Child Arrangements) Order are also eligible to attract pupil premium funding. Schools can access this by asking the child’s parent or guardian to self-declare their child’s status for the purposes of completing the school census return.


The new SEND system, as set out by part 3 of the Children and Families Act 2014 also came into force on 1 September. The new SEND Code of Practice (statutory guidance) makes clear the importance of considering the needs of looked after children who have SEN and disabilities, including:


  • The information that local authorities and schools must publish about the support available for children with SEN and disabilities (the local offer and SEN information report, respectively)  will include arrangements for children who are looked after by the local authority and have SEN
  • The role of the SENCO may include liaising with the relevant Designated Teacher where a looked after pupil has SEN
  • Children’s social care teams should make sure that the arrangements for assessing and meeting looked after children and care leavers’ needs across education, health and social care are co-ordinated effectively within the process of care and pathway planning
  • The need to avoid any delays for looked after children and carry out the EHC needs assessment in the shortest possible timescale.
  • The Council for Disabled Children is the Department for Education’s SEND Strategic Reform Partner and has developed a range of resources on the new system. The Autumn edition of the CDC Digest is a special edition focusing entirely on the SEND reforms and packed full of links to resources, fact sheets, best practice and events.


All children adopted from care now eligible for extra support with their education through extension of pupil premium


Government has made £20 million of additional pupil premium funding available to support all children who have been adopted from care with their education. Previously, only children adopted from care since 30 December 2005 were eligible. For each pupil adopted from care, the pupil’s school is eligible for £1,900 worth of funding to help with their educational needs.

Children adopted from care do not perform as well as their classmates at school. In 2013, less than half of adopted children reached the expected levels of reading, writing and maths at key stage 2, compared with 75% of non-adopted children.


Government pilot opening National Adoption Register to approved adopters


29 councils and voluntary adoption agencies are being permitted to allow people approved to adopt to search the national Adoption Register from this September. The pilot will allow approved adopters to learn more about the children who are waiting for a loving, stable home. They will be able to find out about their hobbies, likes and dislikes, and hear them speak and laugh in videos and pictures.

Opening up the register is designed to ensure that children are placed more quickly with families who can give them the stability and security they deserve. Strict safeguards will be put in place to ensure the safety and privacy of children and approved adopters.


Young person’s guide to family justice changes


The Department for Education and Ministry of Justice have published a guide to recent changes to the family justice system. The guide was produced by the Children’s Partnership, working with the former children’s rights director, Roger Morgan. It explains all the changes that have been made in response to the Family Justice Review in young person friendly language.


Feedback sought on permanence data pack


The Department for Education published the  Improving permanence for looked-after children data pack in September 2013 to provide local authorities and other organisations with an interest in national data about stability for looked-after children and those returning home from care.

The purpose of the data pack was to provide greater detail about placements for looked-after children and those who return home, illustrate key factors that contribute to placements stability for looked-after children and those children returning home from care, and inform the strategic and operational decisions taken by Directors of Children’s Services and Lead Members, commissioners, managers, social workers and Independent Reviewing Officers.

The Department is making available a short and anonymous online survey to consider the impact of the data pack on practice. The survey should only take a few minutes to complete and will be available until the end of today 19 September 2014.

The survey is available here



Consultation on children’s social work knowledge and skills statement


One of the recommendations of Sir Martin Narey’s independent review of the education of children’s social workers was the creation of a single, concise document setting out what a newly qualified social worker needs to know and be able to do. The Department for Education is seeking views on this draft statement of knowledge and skills:


  • As a statement of what a child and family social worker needs to know at the end of a first year in practice; and
  • As a statement to inform what is taught on qualifying programmes to properly equip those studying to become effective child and family social workers.

The consultation closes on 9 October.


Revised Adoption Minimum Standards

Revised adoption minimum standards have been published by the Department for Education, reflecting changes to the adoption process introduced by the Children and Families Act 2014. This includes changing the outcome on timing and of matching and placing children to consider both the time from entry to care to placement with the adoptive family and, separately, the time between a local authority receiving court authority to place a child and the local authority deciding on a match with an adoptive family (the scorecard indicators).


New adoption leave rules approved by Parliament


The new regulations will, from April 2015, remove the current requirement for a qualifying period of service of 26 weeks before an employee is entitled to adoption leave. From this October, they will also introduce protections for employees who are treated or dismissed unfairly in relation to time off for adoption appointments.


New Ofsted chair appointed


David Hoare had been appointed as the new Chair of Ofsted. He has been Chairman of the Teenage Cancer Trust for the last 4 years, and has worked as an academies ambassador for the Department for Education and trustee of the AET academy chain (which he is stepping down from).  He has worked as chairman or chief executive of a number of large companies including independent mail and courier company the DX group, Virgin Express and V Ships.




The Adoption and Children in Care Update is brought to you by the National Children’s Bureau and Barnardo’s as part of the Children’s Partnership. To subscribe or unsubscribe to the Update please email with subscribe or unsubscribe in the subject line.


BPC Trainees Conference

January 2015

BPC Trainees Conference

17 January, London

Where are we now? A thought provoking day reflecting on where the profession is, where it might be heading and what the future might hold for all trainees of psychotherapy.

Speakers include eminent psychoanalysts Ron Britton and Rosine Perelberg.

Look out for the programme details coming soon and save the date!

Senior associate members of APPCIOS who are committed to ongoing learning are eligible for membership of the BPC as trainees. 

If you are unsure about whether or not this applies to you, consult your tutor, or ring us on 0207 6908849

Writers on Writing Seminar Series

Susie Orbach ‘The Impossibility of Writing’

19 September 2014, 18:30 – 20:30 

Susie Orbach talks about the challenges of different forms of writing – for colleagues, the public and for intellectual audiences.
Fee: £59

Click here for more information and to book

Stephen Grosz ‘The Case History’

21 November 2014, 18:30 – 20:30 

With selected readings from The Examined Life, Stephen Grosz will discuss storytelling and its centrality to clinical practice.
Fee: £59 (£50 Early Bird before Friday, October 3 2014)

Click here for more information and to book

Adam Phillips in conversation with Professor Brett Kahr on ‘Writing Psychoanalysis’

5 December 2014, 18:30 – 20:30 

Psychoanalyst Adam Phillips, one of Britain’s most elegant and original prose stylists, in conversation with Professor Brett Kahr about writing psychoanalysis. In his brilliant career,
Adam Phillips has lent a new and creative
dimension to the art of creative non-fiction.
Fee: £59 (£50 Early Bird before Friday, October 24 2014)

Click here for more information and to book

TCCR Open Evening

10 November 2014, 18:00 – 20:00 

At our open evenings there will be a general description of each course. Organising tutors will be available for more detailed discussions on the particular course you are interested in. Current students will also be available for you to chat to.

  • Are you interested in training as a Couple Counsellor, Psychosexual Therapist or Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist?
  • Do you want to know more about counselling and psychotherapy at the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships?
  • Come and meet the TCCR Training Staff – have a glass of wine and find out more about our courses.

Fee: FREE, but registration required

Click here for more information and to register