Inter-parental Conflict and its Consequences: Breaking Cycles of Insecurity A one-day seminar with Susanna Abse and Dr Christopher Clulow London, 4 May 2018 (Friday) 10:00am - 4:00pm
Parental conflict, whether openly hostile or subtly discordant, has profound developmental implications. When faced with poorly resolved conflict between their parents, not only are children likely to experience stress, anxiety and emotional insecurity but also develop internal working models that affect their lives and relationships in adulthood. This one-day seminar enhances our understanding of each parenting partner’s internalised experience of conflict and how this shapes their own sense of security in adult and parent-child relationships. Drawing on research and intervention studies, and using attachment and object relations frameworks, the seminar considers implications for practitioners working therapeutically with individuals, couples and families. The seminar looks closely at the processes through which parental conflict can affect children and highlights ways of breaking negative intergenerational cycles. Specifically, we consider: The Evidence Base: what impacts parenting capacity and children’s attributions? We consider effective interventions and new areas of development Conflict, Divorce and Separation: we look at the impact on psychological processes and consider how mentalization based approaches can ameliorate post-separation conflict The Parental Couple in the Child: we consider the three pathways through which conflict between parents can affect children; the significance of the parental couple in transmission of attachment security and the developmental challenge of creating a triangular space The Child in the Parental Couple: we evaluate how couples are affected by becoming parents, consider the clinical challenges posed by parents in conflict and learn from successful intervention strategies
About the speakers Dr Christopher Clulow is a Consultant Couple Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist, registered with the British Psychoanalytic Council, and a Senior Fellow of the Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology, London. He has published extensively on marriage, partnerships, parenthood and couple psychotherapy, most recently from an attachment perspective. His two edited books in this area are Adult attachment and couple psychotherapy: The ‘secure base’ in practice and research (2001, Brunner-Routledge) and Attachment, sex and couple psychotherapy: Psychoanalytic perspectives (2009, Karnac). His most recent co-authored book, Couple therapy for depression: A clinician’s guide to integrative practice, was published by Oxford University Press in 2014. He is a Fellow of the Centre for Social Policy, Dartington, a member of the editorial board of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis and an international editorial consultant for Sexual and Relationship Therapy. He maintains a clinical and training practice from his home in St Albans and also in London. Susanna Abse is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist, executive coach and organisational consultant. She has worked in private practice with couples, parents and individuals since 1991. She was CEO of the charity Tavistock Relationships from 2006 until 2016 where she co-developed a mentalisation based therapy for separated parents. She is a member of the British Psychoanalytic Council and serves on its Executive Board. Alongside her therapeutic practice, she specialises in conflict resolution; whether that be between separated couples or within organisations where teams and managers have disagreements and unresolved differences which interfere with productive relations. She has published widely on couple therapy, parenting, and family policy and how these areas need to be at the heart of progressive welfare provision, a subject on which she lectures and teaches. Susanna is a Senior Fellow of The Tavistock Institute of Medical Psychology and a Fellow of the Centre for Social Policy at Dartington. She is also a Leadership Fellow at St George’s House, Windsor Castle, as well as a Member of the Editorial Board of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis, and Series Co-Editor of “The Library of Couple and Family Psychoanalysis” for Karnac Books. She is currently a member of the policy commission, “Closing the Mental Health Care Treatment Gap” for the University of Birmingham, examining the wider social determinants of mental illness.

Continuing professional development through seminars, workshops and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists.