1 July, 2017 9:30 am - 2 July, 2017 4:30 pm The Metropole Hotel, MacCurtain Street, Cork

A Two-Day Workshop with Dr. Heward Wilkinson

180.00 Add to Cart

When: 1-2 July, 2017

Where: The Metropole Hotel, MacCurtain Street, Cork

Dr. Heward Wilkinson has lectured extensively on Projective Identification and Enactment, developing a rich and thoroughly considered approach to these topics, from which he has prepared a special two-day experiential workshop for Symposion. The Mysterious Connexion promises to be a memorable experience from which practitioners will draw in their work for years to come.

Projective Identification – the other side of its mirror is Counter-Transference! – is a mode of communication, found far beyond process work in therapy. It is alive and well in vast human communication processes, families, groups, and collective situations. Therapy process work is a uniquely powerful mode by which to tap into it. It is not merely the raw reactiveness of either therapist or client, but more, – profound interactive communication.

Dr Heward Wilkinson

And, as, in Eliot’s phrase, the ‘tentacular roots, reaching down to the deepest terrors and desires’ – and shames – of its underneath reachings, are expressed in process and in replications, we grasp that, – not merely various forms of ‘acting-out’ or ‘acting-in’, – but all therapy process modes, mentalised and/or embodied, are a seamless shot silk tapestry of Enactment. Enactment process actually defines and underpins the therapy processes of the narrative-relational therapies. Enactment is not simply regressive or defensive, but the all-pervasive medium of the work, rising to poetic epiphany. In and upon that rich medium, Projective Identifications play out subtly at all the levels – above, below, and in-between.

Both Projective Identification and Enactment are commonly oversimplified, even shrivelled down to reductive guises. But, they are both realities, – and powerful metaphors amongst many metaphors. We’ll seek to explore them together, in this workshop, in all their richness and many-sidedness, – mainly experientially, but against a modest background of theory, – and find out how taking them in in their deeper aspects alters our clinical work.

We need to re-vision the classical conception of Projective Identification. Those who have believed that there is something fishy, and also incomprehensible and utterly puzzling, about Projective Identification are quite right – in a way. The problem is in fact that, in one way or another, by being put into a conceptual enclave, Projective Identification has been rendered mysterious, when it is much closer to commonsense than is normally thought.

Who should attend?

Both advanced training students in psychotherapy and counselling, and experienced counsellors and psychotherapists who wish to deepen their understanding of a powerful dimension in the narrative relational psychotherapies.

What will be covered in the two days?

Against the background of a general understanding of communicative process and enactment in a generic sense, various processes on a continuum with classical models of Projective Identification (PI) will be explored.

Synopsis of the Workshop
This introduction seeks to integrate an analysis of ‘Projective Identification’, as classically understood within Kleinian psychoanalysis and its post-Kleinian offshoots, within a wider conception: a comprehensive concept of psychic communication.

This wider conception embraces, but is wider than Projective Identification as classically understood. Next we try to clear out of the way major obstacles to understanding ‘Projective Identification.’ This leads on to the positive account, in which we try to introduce, or more plausibly to sketch, an experiential method of presenting concepts in psychotherapy, both to compare and contrast. This then leads on to consideration of fairly familiar, and not so familiar, experiences which are expressions of this wider concept, embracing Projective Identification.

The whole thing is understood within a comprehensive understanding of ‘enactment’ as the foundation of process in psychotherapy – and literature and the arts and more widely – which, (like ‘Projective Identification’ itself), in the conventional psychoanalytic understanding of it as, broadly, ‘acting out’, is assimilated as a sub-set of a wider positive conception.

Theoretical and Philosophical Basis

The theory of projective identification is mainly developed in the Kleinian and Post-Kleinian traditions but also overlaps into such areas as the Gestalt concept of Confluence and Psychoanalytic concepts of Symbiosis, and even Rogerian notions like working at Relational Depth. The Jungian conception of the Wounded Healer process is also relevant. The narrowly psychoanalytic concept has misled Humanistic Practitioners but the broadened concept is equally relevant to their work. The philosophical approach to this workshop is based on the fundamental generic concept of enactment as the epistemic and ontological foundation of the Narrative-Relational Psychotherapies.

Notes on the Workshop

Further notes on the workshop can be downloaded here:



The format will be mainly experiential with some seminar/dialogue type teaching, and with a proportion of live demonstration work, supervision or live work.

Learning Objectives

To be able to work with understanding and eventually to articulate understanding of the core process concepts of projective identification and enactment in psychotherapy.

A certificate for 11 CPD hours will be awarded on completion of the workshop.

About Heward Wilkinson

Dr Heward Wilkinson, BA, MA, MSc Psychotherapy, D. Psychotherapy (b. 1945 and married), UKCP and EAIP Fellow, Hon. Member, EAP, Integrative Psychotherapist and Supervisor, is now trainer with Scarborough Counselling and Psychotherapy Training Institute, an MO of UKCP, and Guest Faculty Member with the Living Institute, Toronto, Canada. He is author of The Muse as Therapist: A New Poetic Paradigm for Psychotherapy, Co-Editor of two UKCP book series books, and Senior Editor of International Journal of Psychotherapy from 1994-2004. Previous Board Member of UKCP, and EAP, and Chair of HIPC/UKCP, he is now Vice President of the European Association for Integrative Psychotherapy (EAIP). He has been offering workshops and consultancy in Ireland for nearly 25 years, including with the UCC Higher Diploma and MA in Integrative Psychotherapy. Editor of the Leavis Society Newsletter, his emerging and growing field of enquiry is the understanding of Historicity/Historical Consciousness as primary paradigms for human existence.



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The Mysterious Connexion: Projective Identification and Enactment in Process Work 180.00

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