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90 Minute Workshop Series

Bonds that bind: exploring loyalty and mourning in the context of organised criminal abuse


What are the consequences of living in a world that still seems unready to accept the scale of organised abuse that is seemingly prevalent? We will examine possible connections and parallel processes between survivors’ and therapists’ experiences when considering the realities of organised abuse. The struggle to mourn the loss of an essentially benevolent world for both survivors and professionals will also be addressed in our presentation. We ask what can keep clinicians and survivors stuck in immovable positions regarding this difficult topic? And what needs to happen to enable us to overcome the blocks and defences against mourning that can interfere with the therapeutic process. We will examine how the disturbing nature of survivors’ experiences may percolate through and impact the professionals and systems surrounding them. We will use anonymised clinical and professional vignettes to illustrate some of the complexities, dilemmas and challenges encountered in our clinical experience. Although difficult, finding a place where both survivors and professionals can tolerate the potentially unbearable reality of the survivors’ experience could enable important changes in both individuals and society. We hypothesise how this may be possible.

Presenter: Nancy Borrett, MBACP Accred, HCPC Reg.

Nancy is a Consultant Psychotherapist working at the Clinic for Dissociative Studies (CDS- UK) in London. Coming from a music therapy background within the NHS, she has worked in a variety of clinical settings, including inpatient psychiatry, disability and neuro-rehabilitation. Nancy has longstanding experience of working with trauma-related dissociative disorders and is a SCID-D National Assessor.

Presenter: Kate Forbes-Pitt, BSc, MSc, PhD

Kate is a specialist psychotherapist at the Clinic for Dissociative Studies (CDS-UK). She came to psychotherapy from academia where she researched and taught philosophy of the social sciences. She has experience of working with trauma related dissociative disorders in the consulting room and community.

Nancy and Kate work together as part of a therapy team at CDS-UK.