Therapy Events

Therapy talks and workshops organised by Paul Melia as Chair of the North West Regional Psychotherapy Association. They take place a short walk from my office and all are welcome. For details please see the NWRPA website.

Lifespan Integration: a neurological tool for working with trauma

Humera Quddoos
Friday 14 June 2019, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

As scientific advances uncover the complex relationship between our brain, emotions and body, new approaches to integrating the neurological with psychotherapy are also developing. Just as your brain is changed in response to your past experiences with the world (attachments, deprivations, and traumas, for example), it will also change in response to future experiences. Lifespan Integration is one of these neurological change tools. Today’s presentation will provide an introduction to Lifespan Integration and show how this neurological approach can be integrated into the psychotherapeutic relationship.

Humera Quddoos is a Transpersonal Psychotherapist who has been working in private practice for over 15 years with a particular focus on trauma, sexual abuse, and complex PTSD. Humera discovered Lifespan Integration five years ago, and has been integrating it successfully into her client work since then.

Ageing and ageism in the therapy room

Alessandra Merizzi
Friday 10 May 2019, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

The scientific literature provides many studies showing the powerful influence of ageing stereotypes on the attitudes, decisions, actions as well as the holistic health of older people. Ageing stereotypes can be internalised during youth, be part of our belief system, and have an influence outside of our awareness. The aim of the workshop is to explore our own beliefs on ageing and how this may influence the way we perceive an ‘older’ client, our attitude towards them and the therapeutic relationship.

Alessandra is Gestalt Psychotherapist at the Manchester Gestalt Centre and a Clinical Psychologist at the Memory Assessment and Treatment Service in Oldham.

Beyond Doubt: Alfred Hitchcock’s Lina

Paul Melia
Friday 12 April 2019, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

This clinically orientated workshop facilitated by Paul Melia (practising analyst with the School of the Freudian Letter) is organised around clips from Alfred Hitchcock’s 1941 Gothic romance, Suspicion.

Following a ‘passage to a kiss’ – not a slap or niederkommt – Lina McLaidlaw marries Johnny Aysgarth. She compares him to the celebrated Rialto Bridge spanning the Grand Canal, Venice. After their honeymoon she reluctantly admits to herself her husband does not observe the moral law. Questions arise – why did he marry her? As doubts give way to suspicions the image of a broken footbridge appears, repetitively. Johnny eventually submits to the law, providing Lina – a keen horse rider – with the chance to metaphorically get the bit between his teeth. We will also pay attention to another passage – the film’s navel? – centred on Hollywood’s copy of Picasso’s 1931 painting, Pitcher with Bowl of Fruit.

A Psychotherapist Reads the Newspaper: we live in turbulent times

Frank Kelley
Friday 8 March 2019, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Some time last year Frank was reading his newspaper, The Observer. A number of articles claimed there is evidence that for most of us in this country and around the world life has been improving over the last two decades. The newspaper also carried stories warning of various impending Apocalypses that are epitomised by the title of this talk. Frank will explore the ways uncontained and escalating apocalyptic anxieties can affect the mental health of individuals and their political impact at the societal level. He will use Kleinian ideas of paranoid anxiety – as well as the related defence of splitting and projection – to understand these contradictory views of our world. 

Frank Kelley was a psychodynamic counsellor in the NHS and is now retired. 

What makes a trauma traumatic?

Owen Hewitson
Friday 8 February 2019, 6.30pm – 8.30pm

Trauma often appears to be a very broadly-spread notion in psychotherapy, leading ‘trauma’ to have been ascribed to all kinds of experience, from birth, to sex, to war, and even to love. This talk will argue that trauma is never simply about a single event, and that talking therapies reach a limit if they attempt to deal with trauma through speech alone. We will consider what the conditions for a ‘traumatic’ experience might be, the mechanism behind its action, and the most effective techniques for its handling in clinical settings.

Owen Hewitson is a PhD candidate in Psychoanalysis at the University of Middlesex and runs

Click here for details of past events.

Reading Groups

For several years I organised and facilitated reading groups for counsellors, therapists and members of related professions. Details of these groups can be found under the supervision page of this website.