Convened by Anne Aiyegbusi, Stuart Stevenson and Anthea Benjamin
Saturday 21st March 2020, 10:00 AM – 4:30 PM
Institute of Group Analysis 1 Daleham Gardens, London NW3 5BY
‘Folk wisdom is filled with ghosts who refuse to rest in their graves until their stories are told.’ (Judith Herman 1992)
Experiences of racism feel disproportionately difficult to talk about in groups. Perhaps this is because the subject is associated with trauma, deeper domains of communication and the social unconscious. Questions about this include whether failure to fully get to grips with racism within group psychotherapy reflects a gap in practice guidance? Could such a gap be understood as a system of institutional defences aiming to keep generational ghosts at bay?
As Judith Herman reminds us, such strategies are ultimately ineffective and can re-traumatize those whose need is to talk about their experiences.
This one-day seminar has been organized to offer a space to think and learn together about how we might understand and work with racism when it emerges in groups. The focus will be on developing a dialogue about working in ways intended to be reparative rather than re-traumatizing to people wounded by racism. The seminar will be of value to practicing and trainee group psychotherapists as well as those working with groups in education and consultancy. Importantly, in taking account of the social unconscious, consideration will also be given to those ghosts rising from their graves and making their presence felt around the world today.
The programme for the day includes a number of approaches to learning in order to explore the theme of the seminar:
· Social dreaming matrix
· Panel presentation of papers
· Small groups
· Large Groups
09:30 -10.00 Registration
10.00 – 10:10 Introduction
10-10 – 11:40 Social dreaming matrix
Laurie Slade, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and Playwright
11:40 – 12:40 Panel presentation: Working with racism in groups: Re-enactment: re-traumatization or reparation?
Anne Aiyegbusi, Group Analyst,
Stuart Stevenson, Group Analyst
Anthea Benjamin, Group Analyst
12:45 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 – 15:00 Small groups
1500 – 15:30 Tea break
15:30 – 16:30 Large group