Andrew Samuels Interview

Brighton Therapy Partnership is hosting a training event on Saturday 29th November entitled Men’s Issues in Psychotherapy and Counselling: A workshop for men and women, led by Andrew Samuels.

This day will focus on issues such as men’s goals and aims in life, whether as a client or a therapist, and how these differ from women; the different perceptions of men in Western society, from the media portrayal to sexually abusive; and the pervasive issues of the physical aspects of fatherhood, promiscuity amongst men and women, and sexual misconduct in therapy.

We interviewed Andrew Samuels in the run-up to the event. Andrew has been a profound influence on the therapy world over the last 40 years, has been a chair for the UK Council of Psychotherapy, and has authored numerous books. His latest book is Politics on the Couch.

1. How did you start out in counselling & psychotherapy?

I was working in the theatre and then set up a drama project for ‘hard to reach’ young people. The therapeutic aspect of that deeply interested me and so I sought training. It goes without saying that one unconscious motivation was to get some help for myself.

2. You’ve become well known for looking at political issues from a psychoanalytic view point. What got you started on this?

I was political well before I was psychological, when I was at school. Radical, left-wing. Remember, having been born in 1949, I was part of the student movement in the 1960s. My first commitment was to the Anti-Apartheid Movement.

3. You have written an incredible number of very popular books, I believe it’s 9 books translated into 19 different languages. What are the joys and challenges of book writing for you? And how do you find the time?

I am an extravert so I balance this with the introverted activity of writing. I have to say that, these days, I get as much satisfaction from doing workshops and lectures as I do from writing.

4. I understand you’ve seen the HBO TV drama In Treatment with Gabriel Byrne playing the psychotherapist Dr Paul Weston? In your view is there anything we can learn from these dramatic portrayals of the therapist-patient relationship?

I recommend my piece in The Guardian discussing Paul Weston and In Treatment.

5. What got you interested in delivering training?

I love the live atmosphere. That is where ideas cease being abstract and become bodily and sexy.

6. If you weren’t a therapist, what would you be?

Theatre director. Politician. Nanny.

7. Where can people hear more from you?

I have a website at

Thank you very much to Andrew for offering his time for this interview.

For more information, please visit Andrew Samuels’s speaker’s page

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