Newsletter December 2020

For all users of the Psychodynamic Thinking Community Site

We have been working hard for many months now to keep steady in these turbulent times, so we’re glad to be moving towards the mid-winter holiday and a few weeks of rest.    We wish you all a happy festival in whatever way you find to celebrate the solstice, and the ending of this difficult year. 

We’ll be back again in January and we are looking forward to springtime and a more hopeful future.

If you’ve received this as an email, you’re already a member of our Psychodynamic Community.  Do consider joining APPCIOS too:  it’s easy, doesn’t cost much, and brings many benefits.  Go here to find out more. 

Here’s all the information you need about our Site, our regular free discussion groups, our low-cost APPCIOS webinars, and other CPD events and information.   

Updating the Community Site

As the Site becomes busier, we’re learning more about what we need to do to make it more user-friendly.   As you may have noticed, Mark, our technician, is assiduous in updating it with new functionality every few weeks.  Here’s what his latest update has provided:

  • A more detailed Group Search facility.
  • A username search so that you can message other Site users confidentially via the Site. 
  • A new way of letting you know when the next Site Events are coming up. 
  • A refinement that lets you go directly to the latest comment in a comment thread. 
  • A ‘donate’ button - we’re always grateful for your support!

Please let us know what other improvements you’d like to see.  Just email us here

Free groups on the Site:


We hold a Psychodynamic Symposium every weekend where members of this Site can meet for live discussions.  It’s co-chaired by Jenny Sprince and Judith Trowell.

This is an open group, we welcome new members, and you don’t need to commit to regular attendance. We alternate meetings between Saturdays and Sundays, from 4.00 to 5.30pm. 

Our first meeting in 2021 will be on Sunday 10th January,  If you’ve never attended before, send us an email here and we’ll send you joining instructions.

Authors in Process - encouragement for writers

  • Are you hoping to write a paper?  
  • Would you like to contribute to a blog?
  • Do you want to post the occasional comment?
  • We know you’ve got interesting things to say. 
  • And we would love your thoughts and opinions to enhance the liveliness of our Community Site. 

Andrew Briggs and Mandy Little are convening a small group where you can try out your ideas and get expert help.  We’ll be meeting monthly from January. 

If you’re interested in joining, just email us here.

Podcasts and Videos

We have been meeting for a while now, to learn how to enliven our Site and its many groups with a selection of videos and podcasts and we’d love you to join us.   If you would like to find out more, just send us an email here.   

Focus on Zoom 

This group meets on alternate Thursdays at 5.30pm to explore the transition to screen communication and its impact, both socially and professionally.   

Go here to find out more, and if you would like to join, send us an email here.

Film Discussion Group

This group meets once a month on a Wednesday.  To join or to find out more just send an email

Richard Pratt writes:  

Susan and I started our film discussion group in June this year, partly as a response to Covid-19 and the impulse to make connections with a creative medium of “moving pictures” that distinctively helps us to “offer both a way into our minds and out of the limits of our minds and into the world” as I phrased it when we began. We’ve discussed six films now and created a shared experience that offers continuity and openness to a range of associations (personal and professional) responses. Somehow, despite the feelings many of us have about being “zoomed out” the group does transcend this and I have felt enlivened by the experience and opportunity to meet others through this shared interest and focus. Although there’s a group of us who attend regularly, there’s an openness that has allowed others who are not able to attend regularly to join and contribute. We’ve tended to start with an individual’s initial response and carried on from there in a way that’s generally felt exploratory and unpredictable. For me, anyway, watching these movies with the group in mind has enabled them to take on a resonance and presence for me that generally doesn’t occur. These films feel to me like “imaginative objects” to which I now have an ongoing relationship to us and to one another. For me, cinema in a distinctive way offers among other things insight into interior experience and its relationship to the world and culture that is a corrective to the potential for scholarly psychoanalytic accounts to become “disembodied”.

Working in schools

This group offers a supportive space for anyone working in schools and educational settings - or who has an interest in sharing thoughts, feelings and experiences about schooling in lockdown,  and about the Autumn return.  The group meets on Tuesdays.

If you want to know more just email us here.

Social work and social care

Phil Faulkner and Andy Davies host a forum for professionals working in social work and social care. The group is free to join and meets once a month to share and discuss experiences, reflections, literature and learning - they focus on what is most important and preoccupying for members.   If you would be interested in joining, send them an email here

Thinking internationally

Harriet Calvert will be hosting a space to think about how the Pandemic is experienced in different countries, cultures and communities. If you’re interested in joining her, send her an email here

Working with Older People

Tony Burch writes: 

A few of us have set up a Special Interest Group for those interested in working with older people. We're still in early stages, but we hope to start a regular discussion group in the New Year.  The group is co-led by Carolyn Adair and Esther Ramsay-Jones.

If you work clinically with older people, or are interested in this work, please consider joining us in 'The Experience of Ageing – Living and Working through a Pandemic.’

If you want to join us, please email Carolyn via the Community Site.

New Year Resolutions:  Plan your Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

APPCIOS hosts the Community Site to provide a platform where psychodynamic thinkers at every level can continue to deepen their understanding.  

Psychoanalytic professionals are usually required to evidence their ongoing learning through a CPD return.  APPCIOS provides low-cost webinars for members at every level, that can be listed as CPD for full members, or contribute to a portfolio for full member accreditation. 

Annual CPD:  APPCIOS members please note

Our CPD returns are going on line in 2021 so that you can complete them through the Community Site.

We have worked hard to find a balance between making the process straightforward, retaining its mandatory purpose and making it professionally meaningful.  Very importantly, it is a way of keeping connected to our growing membership. We really want to know what you are all doing and find ways for you to contribute and feel part of the APPCIOS Community.   We will be back in the New Year with further information about how to complete your CPD return. 

APPCIOS Conference March 2021

We would love to meet you all in person, offer you delicious biscuits with your fresh-roasted coffee and have the stimulating and enjoyable mingling that is a hallmark of good conferences.   

BUT  . . .  we will do what we can online. 

APPCIOS membership has increased exponentially in 2020 : we have more members, more accredited courses and more webinars,  and our Site hosts our highly valued Special Interest Groups. We have been thinking more deeply about the structure and future development of our organisation, and we’d love to share our thoughts with you.

This conference will be an opportunity for all our community of members to come together, hear about developments, share their perspectives on APPCIOS and find new areas of interest to which they may want to contribute.

We would very much welcome your ideas. You can contribute them to a page on our community site - just go here and post a comment.   email me

Understanding Race from a Psychodynamic Perspective

After two successful series of discussion groups, Trudy Darien and Devika Dhar are launching a formal webinar series on the Psychoanalytic Understanding of Race.  We hope that all APPCIOS members will want to undertake this webinar as an important part of their CPD.  You can find out more here - or send an email to reserve a place,  

Thinking about Fathers

Andrew Briggs has held a series of deep-reaching discussions on Fathers in Lockdown.  He is now following this with a formal webinar series -  highly recommended for APPCIOS members of both genders.

Andrew writes:

The aim of this 10-webinar series is to examine the changing role of the father in modern British Society. Starting with the traditional biological father, moving to replacement fathers (adoptive, foster, step), and on to same sex couples and single parents, each weekly webinar will explore the different ways the father’s role is now occupied. We will be interested in both the role and how it is experienced by children and families.  

This series is one for participant contribution. After a brief introduction by me to the week’s focus a participant will be expected to present some of their experiences of working with children and parents. This will be on a rota basis for each webinar in the series, worked out as part of the first seminar.

Each webinar last for an hour and a half.

Start date: 14th Jan. at 7.30pm

Cost: £200 for ten meetings.

Email us to reserve a place.

We wish you all a peaceful and enjoyable holiday and we look forward to seeing you in 2021 . . .