News and Events

British Psychoanalytic Council Awards, 2017

The Balint Consultancy is delighted to announce that at the recent annual conference of The British Psychoanalytic Council, two of our Consultant Psychotherapists received very special awards in recognition of their outstanding contributions to the mental health professions.


Susanna Abse, Consultant Psychotherapist and former CEO of Tavistock Relationships, received the British Psychoanalytic Council’s award for “Outstanding Leadership”.

susie orbach 190 x 200

Susie Orbach, Consultant Psychotherapist and founder of the Women’s Therapy Centre and the Women’s Therapy Centre Institute, received the first ever “Lifetime Achievement Award” from the British Psychoanalytic Council.

Helen Morgan, the Chair of the British Psychoanalytic Council, paid special tribute to Susanna Abse and Susie Orbach, and thanked them for their unique contributions to the psychoanalytical profession. The BPC. particularly singled out Abse’s achievement in developing the training, research department, and clinical projects for Tavistock Relationships, as well as her unique work in spearheading the All Party Parliamentary Group for Strengthening Couple Relationships.

The British Psychoanalytic Council saluted Susie Orbach for her forty years as a leader and innovator in the field of psychological therapies. The BPC congratulated Orbach especially for her best-selling books such as Fat is a Feminist Issue and Bodies, which have helped to transform our understanding of eating problems and other psychological struggles, and for her pioneering work as a mental health broadcaster and theoretician of relational psychoanalysis.

Full copies of the testimonials and tributes to Susanna Abse and Susie Orbach will be posted on the website of the British Psychoanalytic Council.

News and Events

August News

Susanna Abse, Consultant Psychotherapist and Dr. Maeve Hurley, CEO and Co-founder of Ag ƒEisteacht

It’s been a busy few months for us at the Balint Consultancy. We now have a lively programme of internal seminars and we are offering increasing numbers of consultations which has led to us welcome two new associates into the practice; Thomas Greally and Jane Wynn Owen.

As usual, our therapists have been busy with speaking engagements, events and with writing projects.

Susie particularly enjoyed speaking with novelist and playwright Gillian Slovo and short story writer, Danielle McClaughlin on Why We Write at the International Festival of Literature in Dublin this summer.  Commenting on the event, Susie said “Writing and psychotherapy seem to me to intersect as practices as one searches for le mot juste to express ideas and feelings we  may not have found words for before”

Susie also gave talks given at Rabbi Birk’s synagogue in Finchley and at therapy venues outside of London.

Susie is now preparing for some theatrical events for next year at The National Theatre based on her highly successful In Therapy radio 4 programmes. Susie says “It has been interesting working with actors and with the director Ian Rickson on some improvisations. We workshopped two performances at the NT Rehearsal studio, one in which I did live therapy with an unknown ‘patient’ who arrived for two sessions and one in which the actor Diana Kent played me from improvised scripts. It is a challenging and fascinating project.”

This month Susie is off to the Edinburgh Festival to do a live psychotherapy ‘interview’ Laura Alberts aka JT LeRoy.

Chris Clulow will also have a busy Autumn teaching and in October he travels to New York to give a two-day seminar to members of the Contemporary Psychoanalytic Couple Psychotherapy Program of New York (CPCPNYC)  on ‘The Look of Love: Attachment and Intimacy’.

In July, Susanna was honoured with a senior fellowship appointment of The Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology.  The honour given for her services to the organisation and her contribution to the field of couple psychotherapy means she now joins Dr Christopher Clulow and Professor Brett Kahr on this illustrious list.

Susanna has been busy too with a trip to Cork in June to give a keynote speech on relationships for Ag Eisteacht and with a teaching and development project for adoption social workers for Tavistock Relationships and CoramBAAF.

Susanna has designed and is trialling a new assessment manual which will give adoption social workers the capacity to think more in depth about couple relationships.  Conversations with Adoptive Couples: A Handbook for Assessing and Supporting Adult Relationships for Adoption Social Workers will be revised, following practice feedback, and then published later in the year.

Susanna has also been busy co-organising the British Psychoanalytic Council’s bi-annual conference – PPNow.   The conference which sold out almost immediately takes place on November 4th and both Susie and Susanna will be speaking.  Details are here

News and Events

Susie Orbach Conference

Susie event

On Saturday 22 April, under the auspices of Confer, Susie Orbach’s outstanding contribution to psychotherapy was celebrated in a sold out event at Foyles bookstore in London.

Entitled: ‘Psychotherapy is a Cultural Issue: The influence of Susie Orbach’s work on theory, practice and values’  the event was chaired by The Balint Consultancy’s Amita Sehgal.  Presentations by Sarah Benamer, Jane Haberlin, Brett Kahr, Andrew Samuels, Valerie Sinason and Kate White explored Susie’s work and its contemporary clinical and public relevance. Susie Orbach’s work has been translated into many languages; her seminal work Fat is a Feminist Issue has sold over a million copies; her radio programmes ‘In Therapy’  have drawn over 3 million listeners. She has influenced public policy, the arts, psychotherapeutic practice and has transformed the lives of countless individuals. Susie was described during the event as a ‘National Treasure’ and, at the end of an extremely stimulating and emotionally rich day, 160 of her colleagues rose to give her a standing ovation.  It is our great good fortune, and a source of enormous pride, to have Susie Orbach as part of The Balint Consultancy.

News and Events

Spring News

Spring 2017 has been a very busy time for us; here is a summary of our news.


Susie Orbach:

I very much enjoyed talking with the BACP (the largest organisation of therapists in the UK) at the Guildhall recently;  500 people in the room were joined by another 2000 on a closed webcast. After a paper, I was joined by the Chair, Andrew Reeves and the President, David Weaver, for a Q&A which worked very well with questions and comments coming in from the web as well as from the people in the concert hall.

I also participated in the Bowlby Conference, an important annual event at which scholars, researchers and psychotherapists came together to discuss the knotty clinical issue of an individual who is driven to repeat negative and damaging experiences, following severe emotional trauma. The talks were excellent and as usual, at this conference, I learnt a great deal.

I felt my age when I joined the BBC Radio 1 presenter, Gemma Cairney, the YouTube blogger, Estee Lalonde and many, many others when we spoke at Conway Hall in a joint venture with The Pool and 5 x15. Our topic was anxiety because so many young women between 25 and 35 can be plagued by it. It was both a painful, a funny and a frank evening which came the day before International Women’s Day and issues of mental health, pressures on young women and human rights were skilfully linked.

This month I am preparing the British Library Lecture for The Listening Project to celebrate – Radio 4’s treasure of 1000 conversations. It has been a delight to listen to some of them and they are now archived by the British Library and are available from their website while the shorter version is available from the BBC. All very fascinating. Take the plunge and listen to a few. They are so interesting.


Christopher Clulow

Chris Clulow presented to the Alumni members of Tavistock Relationships on ‘Interpreting Attachment’; contributed to a Confer conference on ‘Love Sickness’ with a paper on ‘Love, Narcissism and Sexual Fantasy’.

In Manchester, under the auspices of NScience, ran a day seminar for mental health practitioners on ‘Attachment and Intimacy’.

In Helsinki, ran a two day event for psychotherapists entitled ‘Attachment and Intimacy: Developing Love Relationships’.


Brett Kahr

In March 2017, Brett Kahr was appointed as Visiting Professor in the Faculty of Media and Communication at Bournemouth University.

Brett has had the privilege – albeit a deeply sad one – of writing several obituary tributes for Dr. Alan Corbett (1963-2016), a much cherished colleague from the field of disability psychotherapy, which can be found in The Psychotherapist magazine, and, also, on the websites of Confer ( and Karnac Books (Hall of Fame) (, with a further obituary forthcoming from the British Journal of Psychotherapy.  A great admirer of the work of Dr. Michael Balint, Alan Corbett taught Balintian theory to his students at the Guild of Psychotherapists.

Wearing his historian’s hat, Brett has also served as a consultant to the recent exhibition on “Attachment:  Our Enduring Need for Others”, organised by Kate White of The Bowlby Centre and by Robert Greenwood of the Royal Society of Medicine (R.S.M.).  The exhibition, housed at the R.S.M. headquarters on Wimpole Street in Central London, opened on 6th February,2017, and will run until 29th April, 2017 (  Admission is free.

Finally, Brett contributed a video-lecture on “What Constitutes the Forensic State of Mind?” to the on-line lecture series “Forensic Psychotherapy: Pathologies and Treatment Strategies for Working with Violence”, organised by the psychotherapy continuing education provider Confer.


Amita Sehgal discussed a paper at the Second International Congress on Couple and Family Psychoanalysis held in Madrid, Spain, in February 2017.  The meeting was co-sponsored by the International Psychotherapy Institute, The International Association of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, and the Spanish Federations of Psychotherapy Associations.

The conference drew psychotherapists working with couples and families from around the world, to think together and exchange ideas about the complex and creative field of interpretation in psychoanalysis.

News and Events

Launching the Balint Consultancy

The Balint Consultancy launched in October and we are very pleased to share that since that time we have been very busy.  Enquires have come in from many different sources and have included requests for therapy for individuals, couples and parents as well as interest in our Executive Coaching and Consultancy services.  As a result of this interest, The Balint Consultancy will be taking on two associates in the New Year to help us meet the demand.


Naomi Mwamba

Becky Walker, our wonderful Practice Manager, is going to take a break for a few months and we are very sorry to lose her.  In her place we have been able to make an excellent appointment and Naomi Mwamba will begin work in late December.

News and Events

What Goes Round Sometimes Doesn’t …

Back in 2009 Karnac Books published a collection of papers containing psychoanalytic perspectives on sex, attachment and couple psychotherapy. Indeed, ‘Sex, Attachment and Couple Psychotherapy’ was the title chosen by the editor, Christopher Clulow, for this first book in the Library of Couple Psychoanalysis, which marked the sixtieth anniversary of the Tavistock Centre for Couple Relationships (now called Tavistock Relationships).

In selecting a cover for the book Christopher went to great lengths to track down a Polish sculptor, Piotr Woroniec, who was living in a remote part of Poland and had produced a series of sculptures entitled ‘Adam and Eve’. With the help of a native Polish speaker he was able to correspond with Piotr and arrange for a black and white photo to be taken of a particularly apposite sculpture: that of a couple hewn out of the same piece of roughly carved wood, intimate yet apart, whose shadow fell on the rustic  floorboard that supported it. With his permission that photo appeared on the cover.

This month, somewhat to Christopher’s surprise, two copies of the book translated into Polish arrived by post. Sadly, the original carving on the cover had been replaced by a more conventional photo of couple intimacy.

News and Events

Film Launch: The Bridges Project


Last March, Susanna Abse joined 27 policy makers, academics, writers and social entrepreneurs in Florence for a symposium that offered a unique space for multi-disciplinary thinking.  The Bridges Project offers different thinking for a different kind of politics, which is much needed in the present climate.  The project, a partnership between the Open Society European Policy Institute and

Counterpoint, brings top researchers and public intellectuals into a dialogue with high-level policy-makers and politicians to work through some of the most complex policy dilemmas facing open societies in Europe.  The film of the event was released in December and can be found here:

News and Events

Events Report

Book Launch: In therapy – how conversations with therapists really work.

In November, Balint Consultants Brett Kahr and Susie Orbach spoke to a jam packed event at Daunt Books in Marylebone. Brett interviewed Susie about her work and career to a rapt audience who were there to celebrate the publication of Susie’s new book, In Therapy.


Susie Orbach and Ian Rickson, who worked with her on the Radio 4 series In Therapy, are joining a group of actors at the National Theatre rehearsal rooms to see if they can extend the work to make a theatrical piece. Susie said “On the radio I’m on a high wire act as I don’t know what’s coming at me from the actors who play the characters who are coming to therapy, though the actors have previously worked with Ian Rickson to create their story which they then “brought to therapy” and enacted it on the radio. This time around we are considering scripting something out of improvised sessions. We just don’t know yet but it will be an interesting and hopefully exciting process.”

More about what was in Susie’s mind while undertaking the radio “therapies” can be found in her new book In therapy – how conversations with therapists really work.

Freud Museum


The Freud Museum

On 10th December, 2016, Brett Kahr co-organised a day conference at the Freud Museum, London on “Power Play: Psychoanalysis and Political Culture”, in association with The Centre for Politics and Media at Bournemouth University and with the Media and the Inner World Research Network.  Speakers included the distinguished British psychoanalyst Philip Stokoe, who talked on “A Psychoanalytic Approach to Understanding the State of Mind in Societies That Can Produce Brexit and Trump”, and Professor Eli Zaretsky, the well-known American historian who talked on “The Three Faces of Political Freud”.

We also had the privilege of hosting a wonderful interview between Andrew Davies, the scriptwriter of the original series of House of Cards, and Professor Iain MacRury, the noted scholar of psychosocial studies, about Davies’s career representing politics on television.  And Brett Kahr had the great pleasure of hosting an “in conversation” with Professor the Baroness Sheila Hollins, speaking with her about her inspiring career as both a leading clinical and research psychiatrist and as the founder of the “Mental Wealth Festival” and many other contributions to the public improvement of mental health services.  Professor Candida Yates, whose book on The Play of Political Culture, Emotion and Identity inspired the conference, chaired the day with great panache.

News and Events

Talks and Presentations this Autumn

Balint Consultants lecture across the world

In September Dr Amita Seghal was invited by the International Academy of Family Lawyers (IAFL) to speak at their annual meeting held in New Delhi. IAFL is a worldwide association of around 720 practising lawyers who are recognized by their peers as the most experienced and skilled family law specialists in their respective countries.

Amita’s talk entitled ‘Freud and Family Law’ formed part of the IAML’s education programme. This was an ideal forum in which family law experts from around the world were presented with an opportunity to understand of the psychological aspects of divorce and separation, and how these processes can affect couples and their families, as well as family lawyers themselves.

This autumn Dr Chris Clulow will be on the move, travelling both virtually and in reality. First to South Africa at the invitation of the South African Association of Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapists where he will be lecturing on ‘Attachment and Intimacy: Developing Love Relationships’. Then he will be giving an online seminar to the International Psychotherapy Institute based in Washington DC exploring the question: ‘Is neurobiology of any value to the practice of couple psychotherapy’? Later in the autumn, Chris will be back on a plane travelling to Lyon to talk go to Apsylien (Association de la Psychoanalyse des Liens) about developments in psychoanalytic practice, where he will summarise a paper entitled ‘Before, between and beyond interpretation’ that is to be published in the American journal Psychoanalytic Inquiry next year.

Professor Brett Kahr is also busy over the next few months delivering a number of keynote addresses to professional audiences. Firstly he will speak at a conference on “Sexual Oppression and its Impact on Mental Health and Well-Being: Implications for Psychology and Psychotherapy” at Regent’s University London. In November, Brett will deliver a keynote speech to the Psychotherapy Section of the British Psychological Society on “Clinical Mediocrity as a Breach of Ethics”. Coming up in December, he will be in conversation with Baroness Hollins, the former President of the Royal College of Psychiatrists discussing psychoanalysis and politics at the Freud Museum conference on “Power Play”.

Luise Eichenbaum

Luise Eichenbaum

Dr Susie Orbach has just returned from Frankfurt where she went to celebrate the groundbreaking work done by the Centre for Eating Disorders. Dr Barbara Krebs and Sigrid Borse who now run the centre have built up an innovative service which is funded by local and state government with outreach to schools and the community. They have now reached their 30th anniversary and Susie was invited to share this important milestone with the team.

It’s also anniversary year for The Women’s Therapy Centre who will be celebrating 40 years by holding a conference on Dec 3rd in London. Luise Eichenbaum, who co-founded the centre with Susie will be presenting at the conference. Balint Consultant, Jane Haberlin, who worked at the WTC for many years has been very active in the conference planning committee. Please refer to the WTC Facebook page for more information.


Susanna Abse will be delivering a day on managing anger in the consulting room at Tavistock Relationships in in November. The day will outline some of the thinking and practice she and colleagues have developed which enhance mentalizing in couples and separated parents to help manage angry feelings between them.

Earlier in the month, Susanna will also give a keynote at a conference on leadership in the psychotherapy community. Drawing on her experience of leading a charity for ten years, she will outline the challenges of integrating the leadership function with the clinical task.

And finally, Dr Sarah Wynick will be speaking at The Independent School Show in November discussing providing support for your changing child, learning to cope and nu