Workshop 3rd March 2023: The politics of responsibility in psychotherapy

1 Day live workshop Cardiff 9.30-5.00

Psychotherapy was born out of European middle to upper class society. No surprise, therefore, that it tended initially to be insensitive to differences – in gender, class, wealth, race, culture, education, and so on.  More than a century on there is a radical change in perspective and developing and applying an intersectional lens in the therapeutic milieu is regarded as crucial.

This workshop aims to explore the issue of responsibility in connection to such contexts, that we can define as intersectional:

  • What does it mean to take responsibility when addressing concerns of gender oppressions/inequalities, violence, racism?
  • How can we locate our embodied experience at centre stage? Therapists and clients each enter therapy not with “a” body, but with our unique body: this embodied encounter influences the whole course of therapy.
  • Who is influencing or, even, directing our responsibility beyond the requirements of the profession – wider political sphere, micro political domains, power in therapeutic relationship inside and outside sessions?
  • What are the thresholds for accessing services?
  • What responsibilities are afforded to clients for their own lives? And wherein lie, instead, the social and political responsibilities that cannot be assigned to the initiatives of individuals and families?

We would like to address these by trying to change our perspective, although we cannot escape the simple fact that, by being therapists, we are positioned (by society) as privileged, and this has consequences: the personal is the political.

The workshop aims to consider these questions from a practical as well as theoretical point of view; connecting intersecting contexts that pertain to the materiality of life with the actual material condition of doing therapy.  Besides using our own clinical experience, we would like to draw from questions, cases, and dilemmas arising within the participants’ own clinical practice. In order to facilitate and enhance participants’ awareness of how they embody their presence, this workshop is offered as a live in person event person rather than online.

BOOK HERE price includes coffee and tea  and lunch


Paolo Bertrando is a psychiatrist and a systemic-dialogical therapist, who was trained in Milan systemic therapy by Luigi Boscolo and Gianfranco Cecchin. He is the author of several books and articles: among them, The Times of Time (1993) and Systemic Therapy with Individuals (1996), both co-written with Luigi Boscolo, The Dialogical Therapist (2007) and Emotions and the Therapist (2015). He has travelled widely holding workshops and seminars on several topics related to systemic therapy in Europe, Asia, Oceania, and Latin America.




Claudia Lini is a psychologist and a systemic-dialogical therapist. She has worked several years as the consultant for the Milan Women Centre, where she developed her sensitivity on gender and diversity issues, and on the impact of technology and social media on gender roles.


Together they have developed the systemic dialogical approach, merging practices from the Milan systemic tradition with a new dialogical sensibility, centred on emotions, positioning in social and cultural contexts (“finding one’s place”), and relational responsibility. In the current geopolitical climate, central to their stance is how present-day society with its challenges and intersections shapes people lives and problems.