The London Diploma

Therapists as well as teachers are often seen as significant others in their clients or students’ lives. Many of us will have been both witnesses as well as catalysts of those pivotal moments of change which continue to impact on those we work with for the rest of their lives. It is not uncommon for a client or student to have a forensic memory of a particular intervention we placed in the work: “I remember when you said…”. It is part of our work as therapists and teachers to be recipients of all sorts of projections – the good, the bad and the ugly and to know that it is part of our work to accept those, at least for a while.  “I shall be what you need me to be, so that you can do your work”. For a while! And we become what students or clients need us to be, at times idealised, at times denigrated… the font of all wisdom, the lover, the abuser, the constant holder, someone who may be perceived as predatory,  the one always available, the one who knows what’s  best. This may result in some of us in an elevated sense of importance, be that as a good or bad guy. We forget at our peril the distortions that come with it. Are we really that good, all the time ? Or that bad, all the time ?

Ultimately these experiences live on borrowed time since, at some stage, be that at the end of therapy or at the end of our time as teachers, projections will fade, memories become more distant and we therapists, trainers relinquish our roles – and resume, in divesting ourselves of these projections, what we once were – our usual selves. 

The London Diploma has been many things, over more than 3 decades to all sorts of people. We have been, for some, the “very best”, for others we may have been too much, too little, too combative, too ‘vanilla’. Others, strangely, omit from their CVs that they have been trained by us. A form of patricide, killing off the parents? 

The London Diploma will close, having trained our last intake in 2025 up to completion in 2027. Speaking for the course directors Judi and Bernd there is delight in reclaiming our selves as what we are. Fallible, human, funny, cross, ghastly, endearing. We look forward to meeting our students person to person once we have completed our current tasks. We shall do so, as ever, with aplomb, passion and drive.

– Bernd Leygraf, Course Director LDPRT

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