This paper will describe the function of the GP practice in providing a secure base which can promote and sustain the development of a working alliance in the therapeutic work of counsellors practising in the setting and make a significant contribution to the therapeutic process. The contribution of the counsellor in facilitating the development of a secure base through the relationships and reflective spaces established with GPs and other health care professionals is highlighted. Therapeutic techniques deriving from the work of Michael Balint, that foster an essential equality in the therapeutic relationship and value the patient’s independent discoveries, are outlined and a case example illustrates how an analytic attitude based on these principles can on occasions result in a benign regression that results in a New Beginning for the patient.
About the Speaker
Jonathan Smith is a UKCP registered Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and Associate Lecturer in Counselling at Birkbeck College for the Foundation Degree in Psychodynamic Counselling and CBT. He is a Staff Counsellor for South London & Maudsley Mental Health Trust, and Student Counsellor at the Guildhall School of Music & Drama. He worked as a Senior Counsellor in Primary Care in several GP practices in South West London for over fifteen years and as a Manager and Supervisor of a Primary Care Counselling Service for West London Mental Health Trust. He is Book Reviews editor for Psychodynamic Practice, and has written several articles on Brief Dynamic Therapy and working as a Counsellor in the context of Primary Care.