Message from the AJA Chair
Chair of AJA
COVID 19 has, in a very short space of time, turned our life upside down: non-essential shops are closed; public transport is limited; streets and roads are almost deserted. Many people are self-isolating and all of us are trying to practice distancing and we are all changing the way we communicate with each other.
AJA and all other analytic associations have been shaken out of our ordinary ways of proceeding. Last night I dreamt I was at a monthly member’s meeting at our premises in Eton Avenue – except it wasn’t Eton Avenue, it was a much larger space. Reflecting on the dream, I became aware how COVID 19 has done what we have been trying to do for the last year: move into amore spacious environment. This has not happened in the way we had imagined, but the virus has made it necessary to change. We have moved into cyber space where our meetings have a surprising intensity.
Our training the Jungian Analytic Training for Qualified Psychotherapists (more information about which can be found elsewhere on the website) has moved online. Our committees already taken place in the same way and now we are having regular collegial meeting to share how we are adapting to a new situation and to listen to what is emerging from the unconscious. A social dreaming matrix took place and others are planned.
Most AJA analysts have begun seeing their patients online, thus avoiding an interruption to the analysis. Whilst this is new for some of us, for others it is a way of working which they have practised for several years. Supervision sessions, tutorials and other forms of consultation can continue. And it works! Of course, a dimension is lost and there is a screen between us, but the analytic encounter can also be intensified through an added immediacy and focus.
We at AJA are also very aware of the responsibility of those who are working on the frontline in the NHS and other agencies who offer support to those who are the most vulnerable. One of our members has enabled us to become involved in a project which offers psychological support to senior doctors and nurses in the NHS. And there are many other such projects throughout the country and as I write this, I can hear clapping and cheering outside as people come out of their isolation for a few moments to express their thanks to those working so hard.
COVID 19 has meant we have had to close out premises, our building, but AJA is not closed. We are learning from the present situation as we seek to find ways of containing our fears and anxieties in the hope new thinking may find space in us.
Chair of AJA