Developmental considerations and trauma: naming, framing and reclaiming the personal perspective. OXFORD

Saturday 15th June, 2019

11:00 am


Speaker: Adrian Sutton

Adrian Sutton is Director of Squiggle. He is an Honorary Senior Teaching Fellow at Manchester Medical School and Visiting Professor of Psychiatry at Gulu University Medical School, Uganda. He is the author of Paediatric, Psychiatry & Psychoanalysis: through countertransference to case management (2013) and two chapters [‘The False Self’ & ‘Trauma Treatment from the Winnicott perspective’ in Approaches to Psychic Trauma (2018) ed Bernd Huppertz. His other publications span psychotherapy, psychoanalytic psychiatry, medical education and medical ethics.

Chair: Linda Wisheart, Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist

Venue: The Music Room, Newland Street, Eynsham, Oxfordshire, OX29 4LA (Enter via Queen Street).

Psychiatric diagnostic manuals describe symptom constellations which are recognisable for all practitioners, but individual or general developmental processes are not central in producing nuanced diagnostic formulations. In consequence, naming and framing ‘trauma’  and any therapeutic responses to it that may be needed can become population-based rather than derived from an appreciation of the individual who has experienced adverse events. Trauma may go unrecognised, misidentified or alternatively named and framed as ‘adjustment disorder’: therapeutic responses may  become standardised rather than individualised: commodified and commercialised. There is a need to reclaim the personal and the developmental perspective on trauma.

For Winnicott a trauma “is that against which an individual has no organised defence so that a confusional state supervenes, followed perhaps by a reorganisation of defences, defences of a more primitive kind than those which were good-enough before the occurrence of the trauma”. His descriptions of the consequences can be applied across all age ranges: if ego structure is more robust and resilient there will be “a line of life and [she] will retain a capacity to move forward and backward (developmentally)” but if not “their personalities will have to be built round the re-organisation of defences [which] must needs retain primitive features such as personality splitting”.

Adrian Sutton will draw on clinical material from his work in the U.K. and Northern Uganda to emphasise the importance of developmental considerations in defining, understanding and responding to trauma.

Venue: The Music Room, Newland Street, Eynsham, Oxfordshire, OX29 4LA (Enter via Queen Street).

There is no parking immediately at the venue (except for people with mobility issues) but on-road parking and public car park are available 6 mins walk away. There are frequent buses to Eynsham from Oxford, Witney & Carterton – S1 and S2.

Tickets obtainable at the door on the day of the lecture (cash or cheques only). Doors open at 10.45 a.m.

Squiggle Members £25.00, Non-members £30.00, Students £15.00 (includes coffee & light lunch)

Enquiries to The Administrator, The Squiggle Foundation –