Two Kinds of Thinking; Experiences of Working with Psychotic States: Averil Williams

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Date(s) - 12/03/2016
9:45 am - 12:30 pm

Cambridge - Friends Meeting House


Averil Williams

This presentation will take the form of an informal sharing of thoughts drawn from clinical experience over the years working with psychotic states in patients. These states may be temporary or more prolonged as a result of long-term mental illness. ‘Psychotic’ is just one word, but in my experience these states have many and various forms, some more easy to detect than others, some with obvious symptoms and others that are much more subtle. Mostly such work is slower and sometimes seemingly rather concrete in content, but over time there can be both a gradual and imperceptible building of ego strength with the growing capacity to symbolise and to dream.

Work in this realm can be extremely challenging in requiring the therapist to contain unwieldy feelings and material, and also to accommodate the unexpected. The ‘Two Kinds of Thinking’ refers both to Jung’s writing and to the often constant oscillation between conscious and unconscious material presented to the therapist, including bodily symptoms. Both require attention and attunement, accompanied by ongoing attempts to build bridges between.

It is hoped that participants will feel free to contribute and join in discussion.

Averil Williams began her professional life as a musician. After completing studies at the Royal College of Music she spent the next twenty years performing widely as a flautist, and teaching. Psychological interests led her to a Music Therapy training and this was followed by training at the SAP. In Music Therapy Averil worked in most areas of NHS adult psychiatry, including forensic work. For many years Averil has divided her time between clinical work and the music profession. She is a Professor of Flute at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Averil feels the music therapy training was pivotal in her development both as an analyst and musician.

Fee: £20.00

Payment on the door: £25.00

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