This talk will be focussing on the concept of the ‘in-crowd’. Examples will be taken from the prevalence of celebrity culture, as well as teenage experiences, as the feeling of fitting in, or not, becomes particularly crucial in adolescence and can frequently be an enormous influence, sometimes good, sometimes not. Envy, omnipotence and idealisation form the basis of my thinking around this subject – what it might mean to feel ‘in’ or ‘out’ and what can happen when in adult life the importance placed, consciously or unconsciously, on fitting in can be a very destructive force, as well as there being a natural and creative wish to be part of something which is good. The individual’s experiences and perceptions at different stages in life partly depend, I would suggest, on the individual’s internal image of the sexual oedipal couple; in the light of this, I will also present a brief clinical example of an adult who took to the ‘swinging’ lifestyle, a very particular kind of ‘in crowd’, as a way of feeling part of something which provided a
perverse and ultimately self -destructive way of coping with a breakdown, which can be related back to early abusive childhood experiences.
About the Speaker
Sarah McMichael qualified from Birkbeck with an MSc in Psychodynamic Counselling with adults 5 years ago. At present she works in the NHS part-time as an honorary psychotherapist; she also teaches classes to expectant parents, counsels new parents around feeding issues with a new baby and is a mother of 3 teenagers.