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Nursing Section

The Nursing Section of the Association for Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy in the NHS (APP) was formed in mid-1993, following an invitation from Dr.Lawrence Goldie and other members of the APP council who wanted to see nursing more clearly represented within the APP.

The section was originally composed of a small number of nurses who had experience in working in an analytically-informed way and who wanted to promote this way of thinking, to demonstrate its efficacy, and to support those nurses already working in this way. The section believes that the introduction of psychodynamic understanding into nursing makes nursing more human and more meaningful for both nurse and patient and the nurse-patient relationship becomes potentially more powerful as a therapeutic tool.

In addition, we believe that a psychodynamic understanding of the interpersonal dynamics which take place in any therapeutic milieu, can help staff understand how the internal world of staff and patients dynamically interweave, having effects at intrapsychic, interpersonal, group and community levels of functioning. An appreciation of these dynamics and attempts to explore, unravel and understand them, can be of therapeutic value to both staff and patients.

These meetings occur monthly on the second Monday of each month from 8pm to 9.15pm and are held at the Tavistock Clinic, NW3. There is a core membership of four to six nurses who regularly attend and all nurses who may have an interest in the application of psychoanalytic thinking to their work are welcome.

In the past year, there have been a number of interesting and diverse presentations on subjects from narcissism to mental health nursing in Africa. We are currently planning to invite nurses to present their work in ophthalmology and forensic nursing.

The aims of the seminars are to:

    1. Disseminate psychoanalytic concepts among nurses and enabling them to apply these to their thinking and practice.
    2. Promote support structures for nurses in the utilisation of these ideas.
    3. Provide a social space for informal networking, where contact can be made with other nurses struggling with these ideas.
    4. Develop a body of nursing knowledge and practice that is psycho-dynamically informed.
    5. Act as a pressure group in the promotion and development of these aims.

    The seminars comprise of:

  •     Theoretical Seminars (in which an invited member presents a paper or theoretical perspective).
  •     Journal meetings (in which a member agrees to circulate beforehand and present in a summary form, a paper for further discussion and exploration by the meeting members).
  •     Work Discussion Seminars (in which an aspect of work is presented by a member for exploration and discussion using a psychodynamic framework).
  •     Social Meetings (in which members are encouraged to bring along a bottle and some food for a more informal gathering and discussion).

    Expressions of interest to be made to:

    Stephen Mackie on 07545 5196778
    Charlie McGrory
    Alyson Lawson

     Stephen Mackie, Chair Nursing Section


Final meeting of  the Autumn Term 2013  

Monday 9th December   20.00 - 21.15 at the Tavistock Centre -  Business/Social Meeting   


1.    Review of this term
2.    APP AGM/Annual Lecture 20th Sept 2013 - report back. 
3.    Draft Programme (Dates & outline) for next term-Spring 2014
4.    Agenda items- to consider for next term
•    Crick, P. (2013) Thinking about judgement in psychoanalytic assessment and consultation, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy 27 (3) September 199-214 ;Charlie    (McGrory) presentation
•    'Psychological Therapies in the NHS' ; Conference 28th/29th November 2013- report back
•    'No Going Back: psychodynamic perspectives on community living for people with learning difficulties' 4th October 2013- Conference; report back
•    Post Registration/Post Graduate (PG) Mental Health Nurse Education – courses related to Psychoanalytic, Psychodynamic and Psychosocial Approaches- to discuss further development

Please bring food & drinks to share.

We look forward to seeing you.

Alyson (Lawson)