Training Programme for Child Psychotherapy: In its Tenth Year And Growing

The Tavistock Model Mumbai Course in Psychoanalytic Observational Studies is now in its 10th year. So far 80 students have completed the course. Among those who enrolled were paediatricians, psychiatrists, homeopaths, clinical psychologists, journalists, school teachers, MBAs, as well as some from the field of business and films. Of these, nine have entered the clinical training programmes to qualify as either child psychotherapists or as adult psychoanalysts. The remaining have returned to their former professions, equipped with a keener observation and greater understanding of human nature. This year, six more students have enrolled in the course. (Our observation-based seminars take a maximum of six students).

April 2006 saw three students qualify as Child Psychotherapists, bringing the total number of qualified Child Psychotherapists who have completed the Course in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy with Children, Parents and Young People to five. The three qualifying students were: Mrs Micky Bhatia (who had earlier qualified as an Adult Analyst), Ms Manju Mukhi and Mrs Mayavi Khandelwal. The convocation ceremony was held in July 2006. Chief guests Captain and Mrs Somesh Batra presented the certificates to the newly qualified students. The occasion was graced by families and friends of the qualifying students as well as supporters and well-wishers of PTRC. These included Mrs Mithu Alur and Mrs Varsha Hooja, both of the Spastic Society of India and Mr Zareer Cama of HSBC who had helped obtain a scholarship for one of the three qualifying students.

As part of PTRC’s efforts to strengthen links with the Tavistock Clinic in London, and to bring to our students some of the most experienced teachers from Tavistock and elsewhere, PTRC arranged the following events:

• In April 2006, a member of our visiting faculty from the Tavistock Clinic, Mrs Asha Phillips came for a week-long teaching visit. Mrs Phillips is a practicing Child Psychotherapist in London, and a tutor at the Tavistock Clinic, and is the author of the book titled Saying No – Why it is Important for You and your Child. She has worked extensively with very young children and families in child guidance settings as well as with newborns in neonatal care in paediatric departments of hospitals. Her week-long teaching included a Clinical Seminar and a Parent Work Seminar for our clinical students.

• For the Observation Course students Mrs Phillips held a very interesting seminar on Childrens’ Play, pointing out not just the social or the educational or the ‘fun’ aspects of a child’s play, but also the psychoanalytic view that all play is an expression of a child’s inner world and holds an important meaning for the child. She spoke of about how an infant’s first play is with the mother – it is the interaction during feeding, between the two, where the baby looks at mother, waits for her response, takes it in and suckles again. Play is always with another and therefore, as she pointed out, it is really an exploration of a relationship.

• Apart from these seminars, and as part of PTRC’s outreach programme aiming to bring psychoanalytic ideas to the community, Mrs Phillips gave two public talks to the parents and teachers of pre-Nursery and Nursery schools. One of our concerns at PTRC has been to look into the matter of progressively younger children (now as young as 18 months) being sent to either play schools or pre-nursery schools or day-care centres. Mrs Phillips’ talk touched on some of the difficulties children at this age face when settling in schools, like separation anxiety, excessive clinging, crying, etc. and how teachers and other care-givers can help them cope with this very important transition. One of these talks was for parents and teachers of the pre-Primary Section of Alexandra Girls English Institution, and was held in the school hall. The other was for pre-Nursery and Nursery School teachers from around 10 schools in the city. The talk was titled The Emotional Needs of Pre-school Children, and was held at the Bandra campus of the Spastic Society of India. Around 90 teachers attended. The talk was followed by a lively Q & A session, and a request to the PTRC to hold more of these in the future.

• In October, an analytical psychologist from the UK, Mrs Joan Lee, gave a talk on Psychological Process in Pregnancy and Postnatally: Predicting Who Might Have Difficulties to the students of our Observation Course. Mrs Lee spoke of her experience with a Pregnacy Research study being conducted in Greenwich in London. The study found evidence that the health of infants of depressed women is adversely affected, compared with infants of mothers who are well. This resulted in a psychotherapeutic service being made available to pre-natally and post-natally depressed women. Some of our students later expressed a wish to provide similiar services in our city. Besides this talk, Mrs Lee attended and participated in the Infant Observation and the Work Discussion seminars.

Forthcoming Events

Among PTRC’s forthcoming events, are two Child Study Days on January 4 and 5, 2007, preceding the India-Australia-Israel international conference in Mumbai. Mrs Margaret Rustin, Head of the Child Psychotherapy Department, Tavistock Clinic and our visiting faculty member, will hold seminars and supervisions for our students. Prof. Michael Rustin of the Tavistock Clinic and Professor of Sociology, University of East London, and also a member of our visiting faculty, will speak on Introduction to Research Issues in Psychoanalysis and States of Narcissism. Mrs Gillian Ingall, one of the seminar leaders at the Tavistock Clinic will give a talk on Questions Childrens Ask.
Work in School and Colleges

Over the last six years, our therapists and trainee students have been working in schools, providing psychoanalytic psychotherapy to children with emotional difficulties. A substantial amount of work has been done with children and parents, which otherwise they would not have had access to. In the coming months we will continue our work with schools and in addition, also plan to make our presence felt in colleges.

In January 2007, PTRC will participate in a Career Fair organised by Sydenham College. This will be the first time that we are attempting this and we hope that it will help to spread awareness, both of the courses we offer as well as our clinic services.

Adult Analysis Training: Moving Ahead Steadily

The clinical training programme for adult analysis has been steadily gaining momentum. Not only are there new applicants, but with all our efforts at outreach, such as participating in college festivals and career fairs, the newsletter and participation in the Marathon, many more people are aware that this training is available in Mumbai.

Over the last year three students applied for the adult training programme, bringing the total number of students in clinical training for adult analysis to six.

One of our members, Mrs Micky Bhatia, visited Kolkata this year to further our links with the Indian Psychoanalytic Society (IPS) there. She met with the Secretary, Mr Arup Ghoshal, and also with members, Ms Sarala Kapoor and Ms Suvra Chunder. These meetings enabled her to learn of the training programmes in psychoanalysis run by the Kolkata group. Currently, there are 14 students in training in Kolkata and the group also runs a charitable clinic on some days of the week. Mrs Bhatia discussed various issues like funding, city and society specific ways of practice, and ways of forging closer ties between the Kolkata and Mumbai groups, as well as other psychoanalytic associations within India.

Over the year, the Mumbai Chapter of the IPS has also been in more regularly touch with the International Psychoanalytical Association (IPA) and for the first time, the events page of the IPA website carries an announcement of our forthcoming India-Australia-Israel Conference.

In October 2006, Prof Schmuel Erlich and his wife Mira Erlich -Ginor were in India on a three-week visit. They were officially designated by the IPA to get to know the workings of the various Indian Societies affiliated to the Indian Psychoanalytical Society. Prof. Erlich is the current chair of the IPA Eduation Committee and a representative on the IPA board with link responsibilities for India. Mrs Mira Erlich-Ginor is the chair of the EPF Working Party on Education.

Prior to their visit to Mumbai they visited Kolkata and Delhi. In Mumbai they met with our senior analysts as well as our pre-clinical and clinical students. There was a mutual exchange of information about the courses conducted in Israel and India and the path ahead. They made various helpful suggestions and acknowledged that our standards were very much in line with standards demanded of the International Psychoanalytical Association.

Upcoming Conference

PTRC’s India-Australia-Israel conference will be held from January 6-8, 2007. The theme of the Conference this time is Disorders of Thinking. We have received a very good response not just internationally but also from within India. This will be a closed door conference, with 15 participants from Australia, two from Israel and four from U.K. In addition, we also expect participants from Kolkata, New Delhi and Ahmedabad.

Dr Pine’s Visit

In January 2007, Dr. Fred Pine, who is visiting India, will be in Mumbai for a few days. He is currently Emeritus Professor at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine (New York), Department of Psychiatry, a Training Analyst of the IPA, a faculty member at The Columbia Center for Psychoanalytic Training and Research, at the New York Freudian Society, and at the New York University Postdoctoral Program in Psychoanalysis.

Dr. Pine has a full practice in psychoanalysis and psychotherapy, including private clinical seminars and individual supervision. He is the co-author of one and author of three books: The Psychological Birth of the Human Infant (with Margaret S. Mahler and Anni
Bergman) (1975), Developmental Theory and Clinical Process (1985), Drive, Ego, Object and Self: A Synthesis for Clinical Work (1990), and Diversity and Direction in Psychoanalytic Technique (2003).

His writings have been predominantly in two areas: the intersect between developmental theory and psychoanalytic theory, and integration of the multiple models of mind present in psychoanalytic writings today. While in Mumbai, Dr Pine will meet colleagues and students of the Mumbai group, as well as give a talk that will include a substantive introduction to his thoughts on theoretical and technical diversity and integration in psychoanalysis today.

The Horniman Circle Therapy Centre: An Update

In June 2005, The Horniman Circle Therapy Centre began with three patients. In the course of this year we have seen over100 cases at the Centre, including parents, children, adolescents and adults. Apart from psychoanalytic therapy we have also conducted psycho-educational assessments for school children.

In the period since the Centre began its work, we became aware of a gap in the services that we were providing. Bearing this in mind, in April 2006, the Horniman Circle Therapy Centre started an additional service called the Young People’s Counselling Service (YPCS), geared exclusively towards helping young adults between the ages of 16-30 years.

We felt that we needed to offer this age group an alternative to more intensive therapy or analysis, and so we decided to offer them 4-6 confidential counselling sessions. Once this service was in place, we designed a YPCS brochure which has since been widely distributed in high schools and colleges.

Although both schools and colleges were welcoming of a service geared towards young people and happy to put up our posters, referrals have trickled in slowly. Clearly, the idea of actually referring students to a clinic is still not easy to accept. We found, instead, that the educational institutions preferred that we go to them and set up counselling units within the school/college premises. It is a concept that we are currently reviewing as a possible addition to the Centre’s activities.

In order to spread awareness of the YPCS, in December 2006 we participated in the annual Sydenham College Festival, which attracts students from colleges all over India. The Centre set up a stall for 6 days to impart information and to interact with students. We hope that in future we will be able to participate in more such events in both colleges and schools.

It’s Mumbai Marathon Time Again!

Come January 21, 2007 and the citizens of Mumbai will be out in the thousands to participate in the Mumbai Marathon again. Encouraged by the response we received during last year’s Marathon, we at PTRC have decided to participate in this event as well. We already have an encouraging response, with friends coming forward to represent PTRC in the Dream Team, the Corporate Challenge and the Dream Run. We hope the donations will be as generous as they were in the last Marathon, to enable us to carry on our activities. We take this opportunity to thank all those who are helping us raise funds through this event.