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Murdin, L. (2008). Introduction: Why Spirituality?. Brit. J. Psychother., 24(4):469-471.

(2008). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 24(4):469-471

WPF Conference: ‘The Forgotten Fountain’

Introduction: Why Spirituality?

Lesley Murdin

Analytic psychotherapy can have many aims and one of the outcomes that it aims to achieve is to enable the patient to establish his own personal morals and perhaps his own relationship with the eternal and transcendental truths to which we may aspire even though they remain for ever out of reach.

WPF is particularly concerned with this area of human experience and has been since its foundation in 1969 by the Revd William Kyle, a Methodist minister, who set up a clinical service and training to help his clergy who were running into difficulties in advising and counselling their parishioners without having had any serious training to help them. In particular he wanted to help them set appropriate boundaries. To do this, he enlisted the help of a group of supervisors and trainers who were analysts and analytical psychologists from the Institute of Psychoanalysis and the Society of Analytical Psychology. In keeping with this tradition, and as part of an analytic therapeutic training lasting about seven years on average, WPF offers a module on ontology. This is the study of being or what constitutes the subject. Each developing psychotherapist examines assumptions about politics, gender, philosophy, sociology and religion. Each candidate in training is asked to discover the contributory elements of his or her sense of self: the construction of the I.

As part of this endeavour, WPF organized a conference on the theme of ‘The Forgotten Fountain’ in September 2007. This fountain is perhaps the spring that provides life to each individual and may have a numinous quality to it, or it may be something purely mundane and more closely physiological like the life-force.

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