Skip Content

Humility and Psychiatry, thoughts from a psychotherapist

Notice: This event is not booking at the moment (see below).

Date: Saturday 6th June 2020 Location: Essex Church, 112 Palace Gardens Terrace, London W8 4RT
Start time: 2:00pm End time: 4:15pm Type: Lecture Refreshments: Tea and cakes

This event has been cancelled. We are trying to make alternative arrangements for the talk. This page will be updated as soon as the arrangements have been confirmed.

Humility is often portrayed in a religious context as an ideal quality. It has something of an aspirational character; a saintly quality impossible to achieve. For psychotherapy to be effective the humility of the analyst may often be the essential element – something allowing them to acknowledge to themselves their similarities to their patient as non-judgementally as possible, an appreciation of their own shadow, and an opening to the suffering of their patient. Is something similar, possible, and even desirable for the psychiatrist, in the pressured and demanding environment in which they work?

Psychiatry has been seen in many ways as the poor cousin to the other medical specialities. In its turn it has often appeared as isolating from other disciplines which could help shed light on its mysteries and challenges. Looking at psychiatry as if it were itself a patient, can we shed more light on how it has found itself in this difficult place?

In this lecture these and other themes of humility in psychiatry will be explored from an analytical psychologist’s perspective.