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LIVE: Love in Psychotherapy


Saturday 5th March 2022
10:00 am to 4:30 pm
£95.00 – £120.00

Venue: The Auditorium, first floor, City Coast Centre, North Street, Portslade, BN41 1DG

This event is LIVE and IN-PERSON (PLUS access to the recording for CATCH-UP for 10 days). Please read our T&Cs for LIVE events before booking a ticket to this workshop.

We are delighted to welcome back delegates to our LIVE events, hosted at our usual venue in Portslade. We are very excited to finally be able to offer our CPD events in-person again; however, we understand that a live event will not suit everyone.

With this in mind, we are also offering this conference as an ONLINE, LIVE-STREAMED event, details of which can be found HERE.

Please be aware that for the LIVE event there are STRICTLY LIMITED TICKETS at all price levels. When they’re gone, they’re gone!

Schedule: 10am to 4.30pm.

Course Fee:

Standard Ticket Price – £120

Available until 11am on Thursday 3rd March when bookings close, subject to strictly limited availability. Pick this ticket if you can afford to pay this, or if all the discounted tickets have been sold.

Discounted Ticket Price – £109 

Available until Saturday 12th February, subject to strictly limited availability. Pick this ticket if you are on a reduced income, or are a student/newly qualified (2021 or later) counsellor/psychotherapist. Proof of student or recent graduate status required.

Ticket Payment: 

Bookings must be paid for either via Paypal, Credit/debit card (via Paypal, no Paypal account required), or bank transfer. All payments via bank transfer must be made by 11am on Thursday 3rd March to secure your place! 

CPD Certificates: 

All delegates will be supplied with a CPD Certificate. This will be sent automatically to all delegates AFTER the conference takes place.


Due to Covid related restrictions, we will unfortunately not be able to provide our usual lunch; however, we will have plenty of snacks and the usual selection of teas, coffee and water on hand.

Event Description:


So many of life’s distresses have their origins in lack of love, disruption of love, or are a result of trauma. A good secure base or solid attachment in early life is considered to lay down the foundations for the future. Similarly, a lack of Love is believed to be a primary factor in unhappiness and distress in adult life.

The philosopher Martin Buber continually spoke about valuing the other through an “I-thou” relationship; Freud referred to psychoanalysis as “a cure through Love”; and Carl Rogers unreservedly stated that the kind of relationship that he hypothesised and experienced as healing was one in which the client is offered “unconditional love”.

Our three expert speakers at this conference are Victoria Settle (CEO, The Bowlby Centre), Robin Shohet (Centre for Supervision & Team Development), and Professor Divine Charura (York St. John University), who will guide us through a day which begins with the very foundations of love in infancy and the importance of early attachment, takes us through the problems we encounter when love goes wrong and the ways in which we block and shield ourselves from loving and being loved, and at the end provides us with some therapeutic theories of love and how therapy can, through love, provide transformation and change in the human condition.

Start of the Day:

Our event will begin with our speakers discussing together and with you, the audience, what brings us to a conference on the subject of love.

Session One:

Victoria Settle: A Theory of Love

Love lies at the heart of John Bowlby’s theory of Attachment and starts with the love between an infant and their primary caregiver.

From the cradle to the grave, secure attachments with family, friends and partners remain key to our sense of safety and contentment. An attuned parental response to their baby’s cues begins to lay down the foundations for the adult’s attachment security. One of the most powerful factors in the development of insecure attachment patterns lies in the failure of the parent to read their infant’s states of mind.

In this presentation, Tori will focus on the attachment perspective on love and will explore the care exchange between care giver and care seeker which can either build security, if it goes well, or undermine and compromise security if it goes badly.

Drawing on both Attachment theory and research and over two decades of clinical experience as an attachment-based psychoanalyst Tori will delve into what is effectively a “Theory of Love” and will use clinical vignettes to illustrate the complexities of the care exchange and the impact of our fear systems on that exchange when working with traumatised client groups.

Questions we will consider:

  • How do our attachment patterns impact on our capacity to work effectively as professional care givers?
  • How can we use attachment theory to better understand the complex and often contradictory patterns of seeking care that our clients adopt?
  • How do the therapist’s and client’s fear systems interact and derail the care exchange?

Session Two:

Robin Shohet: Love Never Fails

“Love is patient. Love is kind. Love… rejoices with the truth… Love never fails”. (Corinthians 13)

What’s Love Got to Do with It?  (Tina Turner)

Six year old, Albert, is learning to read and reads out the title of the book on his mother’s desk. ‘In Love with Supervision’ he reads.

“Do you know what supervision means,” she asks.

“Oh yes”, he says “Super – Vision.  It’s when you can see through things and you can see what’s really there.”

She didn’t ask him what he thought was really there, but he might well have replied, “Love.” It is the basis of A Course in Miracles, where a miracle is described as seeing another through new eyes.  It’s what supervision offers to help the practitioner do, which is why I see supervision as spiritual practice.

And here is the paradox.

Much of Robin’s presentation will be looking at how and why we block this love from our awareness in our daily lives and in our work. And because we block it, we don’t trust ourselves and each other and we create rules to take the place of connection.

Having ‘othered’ each other, these rules are held in place by a fear of being shamed and blamed. The fantasy that without them we would all be having sex with clients, breaking boundaries, abusing power. If we knew ourselves as love, then none of these dysfunctional behaviours would attract us because they come from a place of lack.

Let’s talk together about all of this and more.

Session Three:

Professor Divine Charura: Love, interconnectedness, trauma and therapy

In this presentation Divine will draw on some of the themes from his own practice as a psychotherapist, and his co-edited book (with Stephen Paul) Love and Therapy.

He will outline the different contemporary theories of love and how human psychological and relational development as well as trauma can be understood. We will explore questions including:

  • What do we mean by love?
  • What emerges and what is the impact when love is not available?
  • What is the research that illuminates the impact of love as well as the impact of a lack of love?

Divine will also focus on Love in therapeutic settings and the psychotherapeutic frame. Many influential figures of religious faith, philosophers, psychologists and psychotherapists are known to have pointed to the importance of love and the traumatic impact of its absence on the human psyche.

However the issue of Love in relation to working therapeutically with clients often raises cautionary conversations, despite so many key figures in the field of therapy referring to a relational approach being a curative dimension of the therapeutic encounter.

Thus, Love in the psychotherapeutic context is not referring to unethical practice but rather to experiencing a process in which the client moves from a position of seeing her or himself as unworthy and unlovable, to realizing that s/he is deeply accepted, respected, deeply understood, in contact and connection, an authentic-encounter.

Questions to consider include:

  • In what ways do we love our clients?
  • How does our love for our clients manifest in the therapeutic relationship?
  • Can we hope/believe that love is all you need?
  • How are the risks of love managed within and beyond therapy?
  • What ethical and professional boundaries govern this ‘Love’ to ensure it remains healing and therapeutic?

End of the Day:

We will echo the way the day began, with an extended panel discussion and Q&A session with the audience.

NB: If you book a ticket to this event via this page you will be booking a ticket to the LIVE event only. If you want to book a ticket to the online event please go to the separate event page here.


The numbers below include tickets for this event already in your cart. Clicking "Get Tickets" will allow you to edit any existing attendee information as well as change ticket quantities.
LIVE - Love in Psychotherapy - Discounted
£ 109.00
LIVE - Love in Psychotherapy - Standard
£ 120.00