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Psychoanalytic Family Therapy Sub-Committee

The aim of this committee is to provide a focus for all those wanting to work psychoanalitically with families in both child, adolescent and adult mental health services. At the present time in Britain there is no formal psychoanalytic family therapy training. Those wishing to use these techniques often work in isolation with little opportunity to discuss and develop their expertise. In 1998 the child and adolescent sub-committee of the APP set up a 'Think Tank' composed of practitioners with skills and experience in working psychoanalytically with families. One of the tasks of the group was to try and define Psychoanalytic Family therapy.A consensus was reached that the central tenet of psychoanalytic family therapy was the use of transference and counter transference as agents of understanding and change.

Not all families will be able to use transference interpretations; however an understanding of the underlying dynamics of the family/therapist relationship was felt to be fundamental.The 'Think Tank' felt that the development of a formal psychoanalytic family therapy training was a desirable, but long term goal. In the meantime the role of the APP committee is to bring together and recruit interested people and encourage the development of theory and practise.

The psychoanalytic subcommittee aims are:

    To provide a focus for all those interested in working psychoanalytically with families.
    To build up a database with the names of interested people.
    To run a monthly free clinical workshop in psychoanalytic family therapy.
    To organise conferences.
    To encourage the writing and publication of papers.
    To collect information on psychoanalytic developments internationally.
    To pursue the development of a formal psychoanalytic family training in Britain.

Committee members -to update

Marion Bower (Chair)- Senior Psychiatric Social Worker, Department of child and adolescent Psychiatry.Edgeware Hospital.

Dr Steve Isaacs Deputy chair/Secretary - Psychoanalyst, Consultant Child and adolescent Psychiatrist,Waltham Forest, Child and Family Centre.

Brian Martindale - Psychoanalyst, Consultant Psychotherapist.Ealing Hospital.

Lynne Cudmore - Marital psychotherapist, Tavistock institute of marital studies.


Educational: Clinical Seminars in Psychoanalytic Family Therapy

These Clinical Seminars are held monthly at the John Connolly Unit, Ealing Hospital. Up until now they have been held on Tuesday evenings, but from next term they will be on the first Thursday of each month. Thus the seminars re-start on Thursday September 6th between 8.30 pm and 10 pm.

We have now completed two years of the Seminars and have a solid nucleus of attendees. We welcome new members and anyone interested can just turn up or if they have any queries they can contact Steve Isaacs (Phone: 0208 346 4507 Fax: 0208 922 4668 Email: In the coming year we plan to invite some outside speakers, although we will focus mainly on clinical presentations.

Research/publications: Introductory reading list available from Marion Bower.

Clinical: Supervision and consultation are available to individuals and institutions.Contact Marion Bower or Steve Isaccs.

Future Developments

Continuation/Development of clinical seminars. Subcommittee members will attend EFPP conference 'Changing Times Changing Relationships' University of Oxford 6th-9th April 2000.

Initial contact to the committee

Steve Isaccs - 0208 346 4507

Marion Bower - 0208 741 0985