Founded in 1982, the North West Regional Psychotherapy Association is an independent association of psychotherapists, counsellors and psychoanalysts of different backgrounds, training and clinical strengths.
We are a not-for-profit association run by volunteers who organise talks, seminars and workshops on Zoom for the second Monday of the month.
Events are free to members and £7.50 to non-members. You can become a member of the NWRPA for as little as £30 a year. New members are welcome. Join at any time of year and your membership lasts for 12 months.
Next Event Monday, November 13, commencing at 19:00 hours (GMT). Online in Zoom.
Quantum Psychotherapy: Uncertainty, entanglement and spooky action at a distance
Dr Alan Priest
Monday, 13 October 2023, 7 PM – 8 PM GMT
Even if untrained in one of the physical sciences, many of us will nevertheless have heard of quantum theory. Perhaps fewer of us however will profess to have a good understanding.
Quantum explanations of behaviour are applied at the scale of the very, very small i.e. subatomic particles.
In this talk, Alan will draw some interesting and hopefully thought-provoking parallels between quantum ideas and psychotherapy. For example, most of us probably think in terms of therapeutic practice as usually being a process of slow and gradual change, yet trauma can change a person’s world beyond recognition in the briefest instant – leading to tremendous psychological distress and a struggle for adjustment. Similarly, change in therapy can also happen rapidly, often unexpectedly, and for reasons which appear to bear no connection to anything the therapist has done, or not done. The human experience of time is far from immutable. This is arguably one definition of quantum effects – that things don’t change slowly and continuously according to a predictable process, but are capable of moving from one state to a different state in an instant.
Alan will also consider the way in which client and therapist can be seen as ‘entangled’, such that a change in one may appear to impact the other, even though they may be separated in time and space. He will also invite discussion of the role of “superposition” – the idea that all outcomes remain possible until the act of observation, invoking Schrödinger’s cat as a potential companion within the client:therapist dyad.
Be reassured: this won’t be a physics lecture, but a light-hearted exploration of nevertheless potentially useful ways of thinking about psychotherapeutic process.
No knowledge of quantum mechanics is required and we welcome you sharing your own experiences of what Albert Einstein famously once described as “spooky action at a distance!”
Dr Alan Priest is a visiting lecturer in counselling psychology and a research supervisor at City, University of London. He has held substantive posts at the University of Salford and Metanoia Institute/Middlesex University, where he was Director of Studies for Counselling Psychology and Humanistic Psychotherapy Trainings. He started his career in the NHS, working in Manchester and in Huddersfield & Calderdale. Now semi-retired after a 30 career in teaching and practice, he maintains a very small private psychotherapy practice in his home town of Huddersfield.
The Brain Basis of Consciousness: 9th October 2023
Prof Mark Solms
Monday 9 October 2023, 7.00pm – 8.00pm BST
Perceptual imagery and language dominates our conscious experience. These functions are performed by the cerebral cortex. Understandably, for this reason, we have for the past two centuries considered the cortex (which is uniquely well developed in human beings) to be the ‘organ of consciousness’. However, as early as 1949, evidence began to emerge which suggested that consciousness is a far more primitive function and that it arises endogenously from the inner most core of the ancient brain stem. The structures that were implicated are by no means uniquely human; we share them with all vertebrates. In this talk, evidence that has accumulated over the last 20 years will be presented to support the view that consciousness is neither a uniquely human nor cortical function, and that it arises fundamentally from raw feelings (like pleasure and pain) that we share even with fishes.
Prof Mark Solms is a South African psychoanalyst and neuropsychologist, who is known for his discovery of the brain mechanisms of dreaming and his use of psychoanalytic methods in contemporary neuroscience. He holds the Chair of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital (Departments of Psychology and Neurology) and is the President of the South African Psychoanalytical Association. He is also Research Chair of the International Psychoanalytical Association (since 2013).
Solms founded the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society in 2000 and he was a Founding Editor (with Ed Nersessian) of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis. He is Director of the Arnold Pfeffer Center for Neuropsychoanalysis at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. He is also Director of the Neuropsychoanalysis Foundation in New York, a Trustee of the Neuropsychoanalysis Fund in London, and Director of the Neuropsychoanalysis Trust in Cape Town (from Wikipedia).
Widely published, his most recent book (2021) is entitled “The Hidden Spring: A Journey to the Source of Consciousness”. Reviewing it in the Guardian, Oliver Burkeman wrote, “Nobody bewitched by [the mystery of consciousness] can afford to ignore the solution proposed by Mark Solms in The Hidden Spring.
See our events page for past events.