As the statutory and voluntary sectors attempt to deal with a reduction in funding increasing attention has been paid to how to develop ‘peer support’ initiatives much as interest in ‘renewable energy’ has increased as oil supplies decrease. In his recent roles Alex Duffield has been concerned with how to develop ‘peer support’ within and between groups. In this paper he will look at the concept of peer support from a psychodynamic viewpoint drawing on Sandor Ferenczi’s idea of mutual analysis, Winnicott’s ideas on transitional phenomena and Bion’s theories on the development of groups. He will also consider the idea that for a functioning ‘work group’ with ‘adult to adult’ peer relationships to develop requires that sibling as well as parental transferences be recognised and worked through.
About the Speaker
Alex Duffield is a sessional counsellor at SurvivorsUK working with men who suffered sexual abuse, assault or rape, an associate counsellor at Queen Mary College, a good practice officer supporting volunteer run and led groups, and has been a member of the executive committee of the Birkbeck Counselling Association for seven years. In 2011 he was also briefly the Clinical Group Facilitator for a peer support project in an NHS trust and recently worked as the peer support coordinator at a local Mind Association for two years.