Brexit: who is afraid of group attachments? An open workshop

Speakers: Frances Griffiths, Maria Canete, Chris Ridley, Arturo Ezquerro and Peter Keller

Convenors: Maria Canete and Arturo Ezquerro

Brexit means what? More than two years on … we still do not know. So we’ve decided to organise a workshop to explore Brexit, or otherwise, from an attachment and group-analytic perspective. 


John Bowlby, a quintessentially English gentleman, conceived attachment as a primary instinctual force for meaningful human connectedness, essential for our physical and emotional survival. Healthy attachment evolves from individual to group bonding. The UK is a mature democracy which has played a significant role on international development. The European Union is a serious, ambitious project in the making – in which increasingly larger, more sophisticated and ever evolving forms of group collaboration, and of group attachments, are being tried. Who is afraid of that? Is Brexit a ‘mutation’ to maximise survival of the fittest or the richest? Is survival of the other a threat to my survival?

This workshop will be open and inclusive, with the aim of creating an atmosphere where dialogue and mutual understanding can be cultivated. Delegates will be encouraged to take an active part in the reflective space provided by professionally conducted, small and large, discussion groups.


Frances Griffiths, a group analyst, supervisor, executive coach and tutor, is Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Institute of Group Analysis UK and a former Cambridge University College fellow of Lucy Cavendish college..

Maria Canete, a consultant psychotherapist and group analyst, is a trainer at the IGA and former director of the group psychotherapy programme at University College Hospital, London.

Chris Ridley, born in 1940 during a heavy air raid in central London, developed a career as a photographer in media and industry. In 1975, he voted to leave the EU and his opinion remains.

Peter Keller, a scientist who worked for the European Molecular Biology Laboratory, has an insider's view on the importance of the international dimension of modern scientific research.

Arturo Ezquerro, a consultant psychiatrist and group analyst, is former Head of NHS Psychotherapy Services in Brent, London, and has authored Encounters with John Bowlby: Tales of Attachment (Routledge).


09.30 to 10.00:         Registration and coffee.

10.00 to 11.00:        “Brexit: a powerful feeling” by Chris Ridley. “Brexit and shame” by Frances Griffiths. “Europe: what Europe?” by Arturo Ezquerro.

11.00 to 12.15:        Small groups.

12.15 to 13.00:        Lunch (provided).

13.00 to 14.00:        “Why didn’t we see it coming?” by Peter Keller. “Democracy: what democracy?” by Maria Canete and Arturo Ezquerro.

14.00 to 15.30:        Large group


WORKSHOP FEES // Early Bird until 30/11/2018

IGA, BC, SRF, IAN, BSS members                   £49 / £59

Public fee                                           £69 / £79


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