Secular spirituality - an attachment/psychoanalytic viewpoint
Professor Jeremy Holmes will speak about the possibility of an authentic ‘spiritual' dimension to psychotherapy. He links the intrinsic unknowingness and openness to surprise of mentalising with the mystery that spirituality addresses. Through a discussion of Tolstoy’s famous ‘oak tree’ metaphor he argues that connectedness represents the psychodynamic end of a continuum that extends into the realm of spirituality. He shall argue:
- that there is an intrinsically ‘spiritual’ dimension to psychological health, including the secure attachment that successful psychotherapy hopes to foster
- reciprocally, that attachment-informed psychotherapy can make a contribution to a contemporary conception of spirituality.
Professor Jeremy Holmes was consultant psychiatrist and psychotherapist in the NHS first at UCL and then in North Devon. He was Chair of the Psychotherapy Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 1998-2002. He set up and teaches on the Masters/Doctoral Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy Training and Research Programme at Exeter University, where he is visiting professor and lectures nationally and internationally.
He has written over 200 peer reviewed papers and chapters in the field of attachment theory and psychoanalytic psychotherapy. His many books, translated into nine languages, include the best-selling, John Bowlby and Attachment Theory (1993/2013 2nd Edition, Routledge), The Oxford Textbook of Psychotherapy (2005, co-editors Glen Gabbard and Judy Beck), Storr’s The Art of Psychotherapy (Taylor & Francis 2012). Exploring In Security: Towards an Attachment-informed Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (Routledge 2010) won the 2010 Canadian Psychological Association Goethe Award. 2013 saw the 6-volume compendium of the 100 most important papers in Attachment (Benchmarks in Psychology: Attachment Theory, SAGE, co-edited with A. Slade).
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About the host
The Minster Centre is committed to delivering high quality CPD opportunities for counsellors, psychotherapists and other related professions. Our current programme comprises monthly Friday evening talks on contemporary issues that are relevant for therapeutic practice and one day workshops led by leading experts in the field.