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Hamilton, D. Suss, L. (2020). Sian Ellis 1952-2019. Brit. J. Psychother., 36(2):321-322.

(2020). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 36(2):321-322


Sian Ellis 1952-2019

Dorothy Hamilton and Lawrence Suss

Sian Ellis, known and loved by so many in the profession, died on 13 October 2019 at the early age of 67 years. Her illness, just a few months long, was unexpected and her death left her friends, family and colleagues shocked and sad. Sian's warmth, intelligence and steadfast kindliness are irreplaceable.

It is difficult adequately to portray the contribution that Sian made to the life of the Association for Group and Individual Psychotherapy, to the wider world of psychotherapy, and to the many who knew her in the wide range of roles she undertook.

As a therapist Sian's theoretical outlook was broad, but her main orientation was Jungian, and Jung's thinking deeply informed her philosophy and practice. She trained at Agip in the late 1980s, and served as Chair of Council from 1999 to 2002. This was an unsettled period in our history, including separation from the Lady Balogh Trust to become an independent organization. Sian skilfully held and managed the anxieties attending separation, showing her considerable personal strengths and capacity for leadership. She had in fact cut her teeth as a teacher in an East London borough, leading a team specializing in handling disturbed adolescents - a tough and useful apprenticeship.

Subsequently Sian became a training therapist, served as senior tutor, and was personal tutor and supervisor to many trainees, warmly encouraging and supporting them to qualification. She was much valued as a teacher for her clarity in making the texts accessible, and for her direct, open and often very funny teaching.

[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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