The NWRPA hold talks, seminars and workshops via Zoom on the second Monday of each month except for January and August.
Events are free to members and £7.50 to non-members. You can book your place by email here.
You can become a member of the NWRPA for as little as £30 a year, see our membership page.
A networking meeting for members usually follows each Zoom event and both qualify as Continuing Professional Development (CPD).
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.
Relationships with food and how they can branch into disordered eating
Monday 11 September 2023, 7.00pm – 8.00pm
Dr. Samantha Brooks is a Reader of Cognitive Neuroscience in the School of Psychology, Faculty of Health, Liverpool John Moores University, UK, and a Chartered member of the British Psychological Society. Her research specialises in the neural mechanisms of impulse control in various psychiatric conditions (e.g. addiction, eating disorders.
Eating disorders are diagnosed in 1-10% of people worldwide and include formal diagnoses of anorexia nervosa (extreme attempts to restrict food intake), bulimia nervosa (intermittent binge eating and restriction) and binge eating disorder (lack of food intake restriction). In 2022 the Royal College of Psychiatrists reported that eating disorder admission rates in the UK continue to rise to a current high of 84%, which is alarming as NHS services are overcrowded, understaffed and financially at breaking point post-Covid. A similar pattern is observed in other Westernised countries. In otherwise healthy individuals without a formal eating disorder diagnosis, neuroscientists can also see a broad distinction in relationships with food. Some people are ‘cognitive eaters’ who are driven to eat by responding to external cues (e.g. “it is time to eat now”). Others are ‘hedonic eaters’ who are driven to eat by ‘bottom-up’ reward cues from the internal body cues (e.g. “I like how that tastes, I will eat it”). These broad relationships with food can determine whether, under cognitive stress, a person is more prone to losing or gaining weight, and to be distracted by issues surrounding food and the body.
The NWRPA does not meet in August.
On 40 Years of the NWRPA
Monday 10 July 2023, 7.00pm – 8.00pm
As the NWRPA embarks on another phase of development our members look back and share experiences of the Association over its 40 years
Psychiatrist as expert witness – ethics, clinical matters, and reflections
Dr Andrew Shepherd
Monday 12 June 2023, 7.00pm – 8.00pm
Dr Andrew Shepherd is a consultant forensic psychiatrist, working in secure hospital and prison settings, he also carries out work as an expert witness, aiding the courts in relation to criminal legal proceedings. He is an honorary lecturer in the University of Manchester and his research interests focus on the psychosocial dynamics that influence care provision in secure settings.
The NWRPA meets on the second Monday of the month. However, this year the NWRPA will not meet in April (Easter bank holiday) nor in May (bank holiday for coronation).
Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy
Sue Martin MBE
Monday 13 March 2023, 7.00pm – 8.00pm
Sue’s academic background is in social work/psychology and human evolutionary biology, presenting a doctorate in genetics. For 45 years she has worked for health social services as well as a number of voluntary agencies. Sue now runs a drop in mental health centre in Merseyside two afternoons a week.
#TherapistsConnect: Building a Therapy Community in a Pandemic
Caz Binstead and Dr Peter Blundell
Monday 13 February 2023, 7.00pm – 8.00pm
#TherapistsConnect is an open community of therapists from across the world who are passionate about therapy and discussing therapy. Our main aim is to broaden conversations around therapy as well as build greater connections between therapists. Our community began in the pandemic from a single Tweet – hence the use of the hashtag in our name. We will discuss our journey so far, some of the challenges of our journey, and the perils of social media spaces for therapists. Our website is http://www.therapists-connect.com/
Caz Binstead is an experienced therapist and supervisor working full-time in private practice. She is a writer, facilitator and relational activist, co-lead at #TherapistsConnect, and founder of its first project, #TraineeTalk. Caz specialises in the field of private practice with an interest in the growth and maintenance of both ethical and thriving practice.
Dr Peter Blundell is Senior Lecturer in Counselling/Psychotherapy at Liverpool John Moores University. He is a counsellor/psychotherapist and has a small private practice in Liverpool and online. Peter’s research and teaching interests include boundaries in professional practice, harm in therapy, power, and anti-oppressive practice.
The NWRPA does not meet in January