Theory versus spontaneity in the consulting room-finding the midrange


The IPA Committee COWAP provides a framework to explore scientific and clinical issues of interest to women and men

Professor Jeremy Holmes

Theory versus spontaneity in the consulting room – finding the mid-range

The talk:
In considering how psychoanalytic theory is deployed in the consulting room, 4 points are illustrated with case examples - theory as the vehicle in co-creating new meanings of the analysand’s actions and utterances; robust theory helps analysts cope with the complexities of psychosis; a variety of theoretical standpoints are needed to encompass the totality of the clinical situation, and ‘bad’ and ‘good’ uses of theory in clinical practice. Ways of thinking about the theory-practice relationship include as a dialectic (Bion/Klein), a non-linear dynamic and the analyst's harmonious psychic function.

Professor Jeremy Holmes worked for 35 years in the National Health Service as Consultant Psychiatrist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. He was Chair of the Psychotherapy Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 1998-2002. Currently he is in private practice and co-runs a Doctoral psychoanalytic psychotherapy training program at Exeter University, and lectures widely. He has published over 120 papers on Attachment theory and psychoanalysis, and 15 books including John Bowlby and Attachment Theory (1992) and Exploring In Security: Towards an Attachment-informed Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (2010) and co-edited Oxford Textbook of Psychotherapy (2005). He received the 2009 New York Attachment Consortium Bowlby-Ainsworth Founders Award.


Chair: A/Professor Frances Thomson Salo


Date: Saturday, 12th November 10.00 am- 12.00 pm



(Registration from 9.30 am) Venue: Royal Melbourne Hospital


[Charles La Trobe Theatre, Function & Convention Centre], Grattan St, Parkville 3050 (Enter from Grattan Street and go straight ahead.)

: Early Bird till 1 Nov $33.00 inc GST , then $44.00 inc GST. Undergrads with ID $15



Bank transfer: 'F T Salo COWAP', CBA, BSB: 063 349, Account 1014 5217.Name as reference.

Cheque: Payable to 'F T Salo COWAP'. Send to P.O. Box 2226, Caulfield Junction, 3161.

Contact: Frances Salo, 9510 7716, Email for receipt .