The art of listening with Anouchka Grose (lecture)
This event will be delivered via Zoom online.
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The art of listening
‘Anna O’, or Bertha Pappenheim, is famously credited with coining the phrase ‘the talking cure’. What gave her the idea that talking helped? And was it the talking or the listening? While her analyst, Josef Breuer’s naivety about the explosive potential of listening led to an abrupt, catastrophic end to the treatment, together they opened the way to Freudian analysis, the plethora of modern talking cures and, most recently, therapy bots.
So, what makes a good listener? We will look at some of the most commonsensical ideas — patience, tolerance, availability, responsiveness, lack of moral judgement — and ask whether it’s really so simple.
In the early 1960s, Jozeph Weizenbaum developed a robot therapist, christened Eliza after the parroting protagonist of George Bernard Shaw’s ‘Pygmalion’. Eliza was designed to respond like a Rogerian, human-centred therapist, mainly repeating people’s words back to them, slightly differently inflected. Weizenbaum was horrified that his creation was so well-received — people really seemed to like talking to it — and went on to become a forceful critic of A.I.
If Josef Breuer’s listening was somehow ‘too much’ — his patient fell madly in love with him, causing him to run away in panic — and Eliza’s listening risked being ‘too little’ — the software just offered a vapid semblance of a human response — what would be ‘just right’?
About the lecturer
Anouchka Grose is a psychoanalyst and writer practising in London. She is a member of The Centre for Freudian Research, where she regularly lectures. She has written non-fiction:
- No More Silly Love Songs: a realist’s guide to romance( Portobello, 2010).
- Are you Considering Therapy? (Karnac, 2011).
- From Anxiety to Zoolander: Notes on psychoanalysis (Karnac, 2018).
- A Guide to Eco-Anxiety: how to protect the planet and your mental health (Watkins, 2020).
As well as writing fiction:
- Ringing for You (Harper Collins, 1999).
- Darling Daisy (Harper Collins, 2000).
She also writes about art and fashion and contributes to The Guardian, Radio 4 and Resonance FM.
Who's the event for?
This event should be interesting and accessible for anyone interested in the topic, including qualified counsellors and psychotherapists and the general public. This event is open to all.
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Hosted by WPF Therapy
WPF Therapy is a well established and respected therapy training organisation. Throughout the year we provide CPD workshops and lectures to augment the clinical and theoretical learning offered by training organisations. This also offers the opportunity to focus on topics pertinent to the clinical work provided by new and established practitioners.