“Working Therapeutically with Dislocation: The experience of the “Other”” – with David Morgan (chair), Dr Zack Eleftheriadou, Dr Aileen Alleyne, and JJ Bola on Saturday 21st April 2018
One in every seven people in the UK were born abroad. One in every eleven are non-British nationals. In Brighton & Hove it is estimated that almost 18% of the population are non-UK born and 12% are non-British nationals, figures that are well above the national average. In London as we might expect the figure is much higher with 23% of the population non-British residents (all statistics, ONS, 2017). We live in a multi-cultural society; a society that is richer and more creative because of our cultural diversity. Therapy too, must be intercultural and inclusive.
Every counsellor, psychotherapist, and psychologist will have worked with someone who has been displaced or removed from their cultural roots, or who feels excluded or marginalised from British society because of their race, skin colour, religion, culture, or language. Some, particularly refugees, may be traumatised from experiences of war, torture or displacement.
As clinicians we need to be aware and prepared to understand and work with the defensive strategies that such clients and patients bring to therapy; presentations that may be infused with that person’s experience of being Black or from a Minority Ethnic group, or who has experienced displacement either literally or psychically from their cultural heritage.
At this one-day conference we have brought together four expert speakers who will help us to address these issues. We will understand how trans-cultural therapy can work, the experience of trans-generational trauma from a Black African perspective, and a personal account of psychoanalytic work with migrants and asylum seekers. We will also hear the experience of a first-generation refugee and poet, JJ Bola, who will also read some of his poetry as part of his presentation.
He is a Fellow of the British Psychoanalytic Society (BPAS), training analyst and supervisor (BPA) and training therapist/supervisor for the BPF and Tavistock Clinic. He is also Honorary Senior Lecturer at City University, London and Essex University.
He has specialised as part of his practice with people who are marginalised in our society (those who carry guilt for the unfair society we live in), e.g. migrants, whistleblowers and socio-political organisations. He provides psychological reports for asylum seekers.
His publications include Lectures on Violence, Perversion, and Delinquency (Karnac, 2007), co-edited with Stan Ruszczynski; e-books on narcissism (LSE) love and death and his edited book The Political Mind is in press.
Dr Zack Eleftheriadou is a Chartered Counselling Psychologist, Chartered Scientist and a Fellow of the British Psychological Society (HCPC reg). She has trained as a psychoanalytic, integrative and child psychotherapist (all UKCP reg).
Since 1990 she has lectured and has published widely in developmental issues and in the cross-cultural field, including the text: Psychotherapy and Culture: Weaving Inner and Outer Worlds (Karnac).
She works in private practice in North London, working with children and adults, as a supervisor and external examiner for doctoral programmes. She has previously worked at the Medical Foundation with survivors of torture and Nafsiyat, The Inter-Cultural Therapy Centre, London. She is a long-standing Patron of Mothertongue, the multi-ethnic counselling and listening service in Reading.
Alongside her private practice, she consults to organisations on working with issues of Difference and Diversity, and is also a visiting lecturer on various counselling and psychotherapy trainings.
Aileen is the author of several book chapters and journal papers exploring themes on black/white dynamics, shame and identity, and working with issues of difference and diversity in the workplace.
He has successfully published two books of poetry – Elevate and Daughter of the Sun (eBook). His third, and latest, is his most comprehensive poetry collection WORD, which was launched to a sold out crowd, during Refugee Week in 2015.
JJ Bola’s work is centred on a narrative of empowerment, humanisation, healing of trauma as well as discovery of self through art, literature and he believes that the true purpose of poetry (art) is to expose the reality of this world and how to, most importantly, survive it.