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Sladden, A. (2010). Introduction. Brit. J. Psychother., 26(1):3-5.
  

(2010). British Journal of Psychotherapy, 26(1):3-5

2008 BAP Conference: Rhythm and Response: The Dance of Psychotherapy

Introduction

Anna Sladden

The request which came to me from Council to organize the 3rd BAP Residential Conference was straightforward - appoint a small committee to help, choose a date, a venue, a theme and invite speakers to present papers. Peripheral to this would be to arrange discussion groups, three sessions of social dreaming matrix and entertainment.

The BAP is unique in that it comprises three different and distinct sections of training, Child and Adolescent, Jungian Analytic and Psychoanalytic. A residential conference provides the opportunity for members from all three sections to spend time together in dialogue and discussion so it is important to choose a theme that will have meaning and resonance for all. Once formed, the committee batted ideas around.

Rhythm has universal and primitive appeal. Does a baby not have his first experience of rhythm in the womb, listening to and feeling the mother's heart-beat? Later on, rhythmic breathing, intervals between feeds which in psychotherapy lead on to the intervals between sessions, breaks from the analyst and so on. Then we heard about a German educational documentary film entitled Rhythm Is It!

The film depicts the process of a project undertaken by the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Simon Rattle. He invited 250 under-privileged teenagers (from 25 different ethnic backgrounds) to join rehearsals over a period of six weeks for a specially choreographed performance of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring.

Grey tower blocks and snowy playgrounds set the scene from the start: this uninspiring, poor and bleak part of Berlin has no prospects to offer its youth. Through the eyes of three young protagonists, the project's development is explored.

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