Message from the Chair

Liz Grant
Chair of AJA

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I became Chair of AJA on 7 July 2018, taking over from Dr Arthur Niesser who was in post for three years. He always appeared to act in a calm and collegial manner, patient, attentive and full of integrity. A hard act to follow!

Previously, I have worked as a social worker in South London; spent 18 years in France, then trained as a psychosynthesis psychotherapist. In 2011 I joined a cohort of six AJA candidates: all of whom were trained psychotherapists with considerable clinical experience and all passionate about analytical psychology. After becoming a member of AJA, I was invited to join the Council as well as becoming part of the Training Committee. My intention on becoming a member of AJA had been to remain on the side lines; this didn’t happen!

Before becoming Chair, a colleague asked me ‘what is your vision for AJA’. My answer is still evolving but I can say my hopes are fourfold:

Firstly, I hope AJA will remain a space where members and others continue to grow as practitioners; where we resource and develop our understanding and knowledge of analytical psychology and where we can support and challenge each other so as to enhance our professional commitment.

Secondly, I hope our training will continue to evolve, adapt and attract interest from those coming from increasing diverse backgrounds. I would like to see us expand our on-line presence as well as looking at ways of exploring possibilities of offering shorter courses aimed at those who are wishing a dip a toe into the realm of Jungian concepts and approaches.

Thirdly, AJA is one five analytical societies in London and seeks to hold both developmental and archetypal dimensions of analytical psychology – maintaining a middle position. In fact, this is one of the reasons why many members, myself included, have been attracted to AJA. Past relationships between societies have at times been less than cordial but today there is a growing respect for the positions held by the different groups. I hope this respect will continue to grow so differences between us may become a source of creative energy and thus we will be able to use our energy to contribute to the wider field of psychological thought.

Fourthly, we are part of a disturbing, changing and exciting world. We are faced with constantly changing political, social and cultural circumstances and we cannot, must not, remain enclosed in an ‘analytical bubble’. How do we respond rather than just react to present day events? How can we join with those from other disciplines who are also seeking to bring some clarity to the complexity of the issues with which we are we are all faced in the present overheating climate.

I am looking forward to the coming three years with some trepidation but also excitement to see what changes and developments they may bring to all of us!

Liz Grant