Move this conference away from Jerusalem

Letters to The Independent,

We, psychotherapists, researchers and other mental health professionals, write to express our dismay at the decision of the Society for Psychotherapy Research (SPR) to hold its next international conference in Jerusalem.

Israel’s policies in the Occupied Territories, including house demolitions, movement restrictions and imprisonment without trial, cause insecurity, despair, helplessness and humiliation. They create family tension and widespread traumatisation, and disrupt child attachment. The calamitous impact of Israel’s occupation on the psychological health of the Palestinians is well documented.

This conference would be taking place a short walking distance from neighbourhoods where Palestinians are currently being dispossessed of their homes to make way for Israeli settlements, one among many strategies that pose a threat to their very survival in Jerusalem. SPR’s collective denial – or indifference –is evident in the conference publicity published on its website. Jerusalem is here pictured as “a city suspended between heaven and earth, East and West, past and present – parallel universes of flowing caftans and trendy coffee shops”.

We are shocked that, replying to concerns already raised, the organisers consider it adequate to promise to assist Palestinian psychotherapy researchers to attend the conference. This may ease SPR consciences but it is as nothing weighed against the political message they will be sending by meeting in this beleaguered city.

SPR’s name ought to be synonymous with intellectual honesty, independence, and a courageous resolve to deal with the truth. Hence we call for the conference to be moved to another venue, following the lead given by the World Association of Infant Mental Health in similar circumstances.

Andrew Samuels

Professor of analytical psychology, University of Essex; former chair, UK Council for Psychotherapy

Rita Giacaman

Professor of public health, Birzeit University, West Bank, Occupied Palestine

Samah Jabr

Psychiatrist, psychotherapist, Jerusalem

Yasser Abu Jamei

Psychiatrist, director-general, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme

Martin Kemp

Psychoanalyst, UK-Palestine Mental Health Network, UK

Ruchama Marton

Psychiatrist, founder Physicians for Human Rights-Israel

Susie Orbach

Psychoanalyst, UK

Khader Rasras

Executive director, Treatment and Rehabilitation Centre, Ramallah Palestine

Jessica Benjamin

psychoanalyst, USA

Steven Botticelli

psychoanalyst, USA

Ann D’Ercole

psychoanalyst, USA

Rita Giacaman

professor of public health, Birzeit University, West Bank, Occupied Palestine

Irwin Z Hoffman

psychologist-psychoanalyst, USA

Nancy Caro Hollander

psychoanalyst, USA

Samah Jabr

psychiatrist/psychotherapist, Jerusalem

Yasser Abu Jamei

psychiatrist, Gaza Community Mental Health Programme, Palestine

Martin Kemp

UK-Palestine Mental Health Network, psychoanalyst, UK

Lynne Layton

psychoanalyst, USA

Ruchama Marton

psychiatrist, founder Physicians for Human Rights-Israel, Israel

Susie Orbach

psychoanalyst, UK

Khader Rasras

director, Ramallah Treatment and Rehabilitation Center, Palestine

Andrew Samuels

professor of analytical psychology, University of Essex, UK

Stephen Soldz

psychoanalyst, co-founder, Coalition for an Ethical Psychology, USA

Arwa Aamiry clinical psychologist, Jordan

Ragnhild Aarrestad psychiatrist, Psychiatric Clinic Hospital, Telemark, Norway

Avigail Abarbanel psychotherapist, Scotland

Mona AbuHamda clinical psychologist, USA

Lana M. Ackaway psychoanalyst, USA

Mary Adams psychoanalyst, UK

Yasser Ad-Dab’bagh child and adolescent psychiatrist/psychoanalyst, Saudi Arabia and Canada

Walid A. Afifi professor of communication studies, University of Iowa, USA

Khaldoon Ahmed consultant psychiatrist, UK

Suzan Akasha clinical psychologist, Israel

Rotimi Akinsete counsellor, UK

Aida Alayarian psychotherapist, Refugee Therapy Centre, UK

Hasanen Al-Taiar psychiatrist, UK

Mohamed Altawil clinical pychologist, Director, Palestine Trauma Centre, Palestine/UK

Shazad Amin consultant psychiatrist, UK

Murad Amro clinical psychologist, Palestine Counselling Centre East Jerusalem/Occupied Palestine

Zeina Amro former Research Assistant at Birzeit University- Institute of Community and Public Health Palestine/ UK

Riad Arar social worker/psychologist, Palestine

Francis Atkinson psychotherapist, UK

Paul Atkinson psychotherapist, UK

Ala Abu Ayash psychosocial supervisor, East Jerusalem YMCA, Palestine

Richard Bagnall-Oakeley psychotherapist, UK

Teresa Bailey consultant child psychotherapist, UK

Aaron Balick psychotherapist, UK

Lucinda Ballantyne psychoanalyst, USA

Lisa Baraitser reader in psychosocial studies, Birkbeck, University of London, UK

James Barrett psychotherapist, UK

Naheel Bazbazat women’s co-ordinator, YMCA Jerusalem, Palestine

David Bell psychotherapist, UK

Deborah Berger psychotherapist, UK

Elizabeth Berger child psychiatrist, USA

Dana-Jane Blair psychoanalytic psychotherapist, Scotland

Jon Blend psychotherapist, UK

Jacqueline Blyth clinical psychologist, UK

Trudy Bond psychologist, USA

Liz Bondi professor of counselling and psychotherapy, University of Edinburgh, Scotland

Ghislaine Boulanger psychologist/psychoanalyst, USA

Fanny Brewster Jungian analyst, USA

Mohammed O. Brighieth clinical psychologist/psychotherapist, founder and director, Center for Growth and Human Development, Palestine

Cynthia Brink clinical social worker/psychoanalyst, USA

Robin Gordon Brown psychoanalytic psychotherapist, UK

Steve Burchell psychotherapist, UK

Erica Burman professor of education, University of Manchester, group analyst, UK

Christabel Butler psychotherapeutic counsellor, UK

Jim Byrne counsellor, UK

Regina Burattin care manager/pedagogist, UK/Italy

George Bunting family therapist, UK

Julia Carne psychoanalyst, UK

Stefano Carta Jungian analyst, professor of psychology, University of Cagliari, Italy

Jeffre Phillip Chevreunt clinical psychologist/psychoanalyst, USA

Miles Clapham consultant psychiatrist in child and adolescent mental health, UK

Isabel Clarke consultant clinical psychologist, UK

Abigail Collins counselor, USA

Despina Constandinides, Clinical Psychologist Palestine

Jacqueline Conway psychotherapist, UK

Sarah Cooke Jungian psychoanalyst, UK

Sue Cowan-Jenssen psychotherapist, UK

Charles Crowley psychiatric technician, USA

Brenda Crowther psychotherapist, UK

Philip Cushman psychologist, professor, Antioch University, USA

Nadia Taysir Dabbagh consultant child and adult psychiatrist, UK

Alison Dale psychodynamic psychotherapist, UK

Deanna Dalrymple-Allen psychotherapist, UK

Emily Damron clinical social worker, USA

M. Fakhry Davids psychoanalyst, UK

Sonia Dettman clinical social worker, USA

Aisha Dixon-Peters clinical-community psychologist, USA

Danielle Douglas psychotherapist, Belgium

Fabrice Olivier Dubosc psychotherapist/clinical psychologist, Italy

Moira Duckworth psychotherapist, UK

Simon Duncan psychotherapist, UK

Peter T. Dunlap clinical psychologist, USA

Gina Dunstan Jungian analyst, UK

Christine van Duuren psychiatrist/psychotherapist, UK

John R. Van Eenwyk clinical director, International Trauma Treatment Program, USA

Liz Edwards psychotherapist, UK

R. Danielle Egan professor, St. Lawrence University, USA

Luise Eichenbaum Women’s Therapy Centre Institute, USA

Hazel Elliott psychotherapist, UK

Eugene Ellis director, Black and Asian Therapist Network, UK

Mabrouka Evans psychological therapist, UK

Rebecca Fadil clinical social worker, USA

Ida Fairbairn Jungian analyst, UK

Ruth Fallenbaum psychologist/psychotherapist, USA

Hassan Faraj clinical psychologist, Palestinian Counseling Centre, East Jerusalem, Palestine

Juliana Farha psychotherapy student, UK

Annette Feld-Groag psychoanalyst, Israel

Brian Fenton psychotherapist, UK

Ruth Finar psychotherapist, UK

Linda Finlay psychotherapist, UK

Diane Fletcher psychologist, USA

John Fletcher psychotherapist, UK

Jane Dianne Flint psychotherapist, UK

Sukey Fontelieu psychotherapist, USA

Heather Formaini Jungian analyst, Italy

Lynn Alicia Franco Jungian psychoanalyst, USA

Laura Fulcher child and adolescent psychotherapist, UK

Leslie Gardner visiting fellow, Centre for Psychoanalytic Studies, University of Essex, UK

Jill Gentile psychologist/psychoanalyst, USA

Katie Gentile psychologist/psychoanalyst, professor, Department of Interdisciplinary Studies, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, USA

Yoad Ghanadry clinical psychologist, Palestinian Counseling Centre, East Jerusalem, Palestine

Lynne Giles psychotherapist, UK

Jaleh Gitiforoz psychotherapist, UK

Mayte Gómez counsellor Spain/Canada

Roger Gordon psychotherapist (retired), UK

Liz Grant Jungian analyst, UK

Colin James Green emeritus professor of surgery, UCL, UK

Ramon Greenberg psychiatrist, USA

Zeyn Winston Green-Thompson consultant psychiatrist, UK

Erika Gsell psychoanalytic psychotherapist, Italy

Sapna Gupta psychiatrist, UK

Marc Gurvitch psychiatric nurse, USA

Susan Gutwill psychoanalyst, USA

Margaret L. Hainer psychotherapist, USA

Andy Halewood chartered psychologist, senior lecturer in counselling psychology,

University of the West of England UK

Cerdic Hall nurse consultant, UK

Weeam Hammoudeh researcher affiliated to Institute of Community and Public Health, Birzeit University, Palestine

William Hansen nurse, Jungian analyst in training, former Capt. USAF, USA

Joan Rothchild Hardin psychologist, USA

David Harrold Palestine Trauma Centre, UK

Jenny Heinz psychotherapist USA

Deborah Hellerstein psychotherapist, USA

Matthew Henson existential therapist, Ireland

Jenny Heron counsellor, UK

Gottfried M. Heuer Jungian analyst, Germany/UK

Alison Hill registered mental nurse, UK

Scott J. Hill International Association for Jungian Studies, Sweden/USA

Paul Hoggett psychotherapist, emeritus professor of social policy, UWE, UK

Phyllis Holmes counsellor, UK

Carl F. Hoppe psychoanalyst, USA

Jonathan House psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, USA

Philip V. Hull psychologist, U.S.A.

Scott William Hyder Jungian analyst, Switzerland/USA

David Ingleby professor, Centre for Social Science and Global Health , University of Amsterdam, Netherlands

Daniela Iorio Jungian analyst, Italy

Maria Iturri psychotherapist, UK

Merna Jaraiseh psycho-social worker, Jerusalem

Adib Jarrar psychotherapist/clinical psychologist, Palestine

Salwa Jayyusi, Psychodynamic Psychotherpist UK

Michael P. Jenkins psychotherapist/psychoanalyst, USA

Robert Jenkins psychotherapist (retired), UK

Noel M. Jette clinical social worker, USA

Riva Joffe psychotherapist, UK

Ruth E. Jones psychotherapist, UK

Michele Julien psychoanalyst, UK

Constance Kaine psychotherapist (retired), UK

Desmond J. Kennedy psychotherapist, UK

Ian B. Kerr consultant medical psychotherapist, UK

Lama Khouri psychoanalyst, USA

Emilija Kiehl Jungian analyst, UK

Thomas B. Kirsch Jungian analyst, USA

Laura Kogel Women’s Therapy Centre Institute, USA

Deborah Kory psychologist, United States

Lydia Khuri psychologist, USA

Elana Lakh art psychotherapist, Israel

Jody Leader clinical psychologist, USA

John Lees psychotherapist, senior lecturer in mental health, University of Leeds, UK

Ronnie Lesser psychoanalyst, USA

Hilary Lester Jungian psychoanalyst, UK

Susanne Levin psychotherapist, Sweden/UK

Judy A. Levitz clinical psychologist, USA

Maggie Lomax counsellor, UK

Michael Losoff psychologist, USA

David Lotto psychoanalyst, USA

Julian Lousada psychoanalyst, UK

Frank Lowe consultant social worker and psychoanalytic psychotherapist, London UK

Sissy Lykou psychotherapist, senior lecturer in dance movement psychotherapy, University of Edge Hill, UK

Anna Lyons-Roost Jungian analyst, USA

Lorna Marchant honorary fellow, British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy, UK

Eamonn Marshall psychotherapist, UK

J. Colby Martin clinical psychologist, USA

Carola Mathers Jungian analyst, UK

Ian McCabe psychologist, Ireland

Kathleen McCreery counsellor, Ireland

Daniel McQueen consultant psychiatrist, UK

Afaf Mahfouz psychoanalyst, USA

Janet de Merode psychologist, Belgium/USA

Bozena Merrick psychotherapist, UK

Julia Miles psychotherapist, UK

Beatrice Millar psychotherapist, UK

Luke Mitcheson consultant clinical psychologist, UK

Leigh Morgan psychodynamic psychotherapist, UK

Stuart Morgan-Ayrs psychoanalyst, Scotland

David Murphy psychotherapist, senior lecturer in person-centred experiential counselling & psychotherapy, University of Nottingham, UK

Katherine Murphy psychotherapist, New Zealand/UK

Nadine Obeid clinical psychologist, USA

Els van Ooijen psychotherapist, Holland/UK

Ian Parker psychoanalyst, professor of management, University of Leicester, UK

Eva Pattis clinical psychologist/Jungian psychoanalyst, Italy

Dharma Paul psychotherapist, UK

Roderick Peters Jungian analyst, UK

Susan Phillips psychologist, USA

Eliana Pinto consultant psychoanalytic psychotherapist, retired UK

Rachel Pollard psychotherapist, UK

Stephen Portugues psychoanalyst, USA

Gillian Proctor assistant professor in counselling, Nottingham University, UK

David Quarmby psychotherapist, UK

Tamara Qumseya PhD candidate, Victoria University of Wellington, Palestine

Issa Rabadi social worker, Palestine

Nadia Ramzy psychoanalyst, USA

Dermot Reilly psychotherapist, UK

Paul Reynolds psychologist/psychotherapist, USA

Gavin Robinson counsellor, UK

Eleanor Roffman professor emerita of counseling and psychology, Lesley University, USA

Voytek Rogowski psychotherapist, UK

Amanda Root student of psychotherapy Birkbeck, University of London, UK

Anna Rose psychotherapist, UK

Steven Rose emeritus professor of neuroscience, Open University, UK

Cathy Rostas psychotherapist, UK

Terry Chen Rothchild clinical social worker USA

Samantha Russell-Small psychotherapist, UK

Uta Saatz psychotherapist, UK

Noha Sadek psychiatrist, USA,

Rakhshanda Saleem psychologist, USA

Anna Maria Sassone Jungian analyst, Italy

David Sanders emeritus professor, school of public health, University of the Western Cape South Africa

Nicola Saunders psychoanalytic psychotherapist UK

Nabil Sayed-Ahmad Beiruti psychiatrist, Spain

Christopher Scanlon consultant psychotherapist, visiting professor of psychosocial studies, University of East London, UK

Leslie Scarth child psychiatrist (retired), UK

Polly Scarvalone psychoanalyst/psychologist, USA

Maggie Schaedel consultant psychoanalytic psychotherapist, UK

Marjorie Scheer psychotherapist, USA

James Schindler-Ord psychotherapist, UK

Christine Schmidt clinical social worker, USA

Erica Schoenberg psychologist/psychoanalyst, USA

Lynne Segal professor of psychosocial studies, Birkbeck University of London, UK

Mahmud Sehwail consultant psychiatrist, president and founder, RamallahTreatment and Rehabilitation Center, Palestine

Arianne Shahvisi lecturer in ethics and medical humanities, Brighton & Sussex Medical School, UK

Alice Shaw psychoanalyst, USA

Darian Shaw counsellor, USA

Lara Sheehi professional lecturer of clinical psychology; George Washington University, USA

Guy Shennan solution based therapist, UK

Herbert Schreier psychiatrist, USA

Maureen Sheehan psychotherapist, UK

Brian Simpson counsellor, UK

David Sperlinger clinical psychologist, UK

Yara Steel psychotherapis, UK

Elizabeth C. Stevenson Jungian analyst, USA

Martin Stone Jungian analyst, UK

Derek Summerfield psychiatrist, UK

Bonita Sutin clinical social worker, USA

Lynda Tait chartered scientist/psychologist, UK

Yael Tal-Barzilai clinical psychologist, Israel

Georgios Taxidis counsellor/psychotherapist, UK

Philip Thomas former professor, Institute of Philosophy, Diversity & Mental Health, University of Central Lancashire, consultant psychiatrist, UK

Agnes Jean Thomson Jungian analyst (retired), UK

William Thomson associate professor emeritus, Dept. of Behavioral Sciences, University of Michigan, psychologist, USA

Ellen Tibby psychologist, USA

Jennifer Tolleson clinical social worker/psychotherapist, USA

Nick Totton psychotherapist and trainer, former chair of Psychotherapists and Counsellors for Social Responsibility, UK

James Traub psychoanalyst, USA

David Trimble psychologist, USA

Cathy Troupp child and adolescent psychotherapist, UK

Peter Trower professor, School of Psychology, University of Birmingham, UK

Isobel Urquhart psychoanalytic psychotherapist, bye-fellow, Homerton College, University of Cambridge, UK

Alan G. Vaughan professor of psychology, Saybrook University, USA

Cristian Mauricio Vilches Guerra psychologist, Chile

Mara Sanadi Wagner psychoanalyst, USA

Imran Waheed consultant psychiatrist, UK

Tracy Wallach, LICSW, Clinical Social Worker, Professor, U Mass Boston, Boston, MA, USA

Revd Dr. Sue Walrond-Skinner, Family Therapist Association for Family Therapy UK

Julie Ward, MEP, European Parliament Mental Health Ambassador UK

Mary Watkins, Professor, Community Psychology/Liberation Psychology/Ecopsychology, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, CA USA

Martin Weegmann, Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Group Analyst UK

Jeremy Weinstein, Psychotherapist and Supervisor UKCP UK

Joel Weishaus, Artist-in-Residence and Lecturer Pacifica Graduate Institute, Cal. USA

Tina Weishaus, Clinical Psychiatric Nurse Private Practice, USA

Tom Wengraf, ex- Senior Lecturer in Social research Methods, Middlesex University Sociological Methodology Consultant UK

Bill White, Clinical Psychologist UK

Ruth Williams, Jungian Analyst CAP, AJA, UKCP UK

Stefania Williams, Psychotherapist/Counsellor, UK

Susan L. Williams, Clinical Psychologist USA

Everard Jacob Windgassen, Consultant Psychiatrist, latterly in Private Practice, UK

Naomi Woodspring, Research Fellow, Bristol Ageing Better, University of the West of England UK

Adrian Worrall, Head, The Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Centre for Quality Improvement, London, UK

Bernadette Wren, Consultant Clinical Psychologist London, UK

Cristina Levine Martins Xavier, Psychologist, CRP: PhD Student in Psychoanalytic Studies at Essex University, Brazil UK

Oksana Yakushko, Ph.D., Psychologist, Core Faculty, Chair and Faculty, Clinical Psychology Program, Pacifica Graduate Institute, Carpinteria, California USA

Rachel Young, Director, Banbury Therapy Centre, Oxfordshire, Gestalt Therapist UKAHPP UK

Claudia Zanardi, Psychologist-Psychoanalyst, Adjunct Clinical Professor New York University, Italy

Heba Zaphiriou-Zarifi, Jungian Analyst GAP-UKCP-IAAP USA

Ali Zarbafi, D An Psych Jungian Analyst, Psychotherapist & Supervisor Member: SAP, IAAP, BAPPS, BPC UK

Luigi Zoja, Psychoanalyst Milan Italy

Elizabeth Zoob, LICSW, Clinical Social Worker, Women’s Mental Health Collective, Cambridge, MA, USA