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Coltart, N. (1990). Attention. Brit. J. Psychother., 7(2):164-174.

(1990). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 7(2):164-174

Arbours Association 20th Anniversary Lecture


Dr Nina Coltart

It was very pleasing to me to be asked to give the paper tonight for the celebration of the 20th Anniversary of the Arbours Association. I have been one of their supporters from the beginning, and for ten years I had the privilege of being on their Training Committee. During that time I had a special function which meant that I came to know a large number of them in a very special way. It linked up directly with one of my other interests which had been the building up and running of a consultation practice at home: nearly 30 years ago now, it struck me that there was a gap in the London scene where it seemed that a sort of broker was needed. There were not as many good psychotherapists around then as there are now, but even so there were quite a few, and quite a few analysts who too often were short of patients. On the other hand, when I was still working in the NHS, I not only discovered that it is almost impossible to do good, detailed, long therapy there, but also that there were plenty of potential patients for such therapists and analysts and that many of these patients could get together the price of a couple of sessions a week, simply by deciding that having some therapy might be more important than two or three nights in the pub or a visit to the movies. So I started the consultation practice to try to bring the two together and ‘match’ them if possible, a process I became more interested in as time went by. When I worked for Arbours, all the students to be trained were of course carefully selected by members of the Admission Committee; then they would come and see me for a single long discussion, after which I would place them with an analyst for what is the central feature of their three-year training as therapists, the training analysis which they committed themselves to, three times a week or possibly more, for anything up to eight years.

[This is a summary excerpt from the full text of the journal article. The full text of the document is available to journal subscribers on the publisher's website here.]

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