Keynote address Royal College of Psychiatrists, Evolutionary Special Interest Group.
London, Friday October 29, 2021 – Taking place on Zoom
In Western culture, both the lay public and mental health professionals tend to believe that mothers evolved to love all their children instinctually and unconditionally. In contrast, any mother who feels ambivalence or hostility towards her child is typically seen as unnatural, and a mother who maltreats her child is seen as behaving pathologically.
This talk draws on evolutionary research to challenge this widespread view of motherhood. In particular, it describes how raising children has required mothers to negotiate a series of complex, precarious and layered trade-offs, and argues that maternal negativity and child maltreatment can arise from this.
The goal of this talk will be to foster a more evolutionarily valid, nuanced and compassionate understanding of motherhood.
Such an understanding has the potential to contribute to clinical work with faltering mothers, and also to programs focused on the preventing maternal maltreatment of children.
Webinar for “Our Birth Journey’.
7pm (UK time) October 14th 2021, via Zoom
SUMMARY: See talk of same title which I am giving to Royal College of Psychiatry
C.G. Jung Public Lectrue Series, Bristol, UK
Either in Bristol or on Zoom (Covid dependent)
December 11, 2021
Jungian analyst, Marion Woodman, defined the archetypal Death Mother as the energy that wishes that we, or some part of us, were dead. This energy can take many different forms. In my previous presentation to this group I discussed infanticide as an expression of Death Mother. In this presentation, I will explore Death Mother in the guise of toxic shame.
Toxic shame says there is something about us which makes us fundamentally flawed, unacceptable, and inferior. It is a deeply painful state of being. It is also a state of being that is shot through with anxiety and fear.
Being toxically shamed is like being caught in the Medusa’s stare: we are paralyzed, petrified and turned to stone.
If we are repeatedly shamed, then Death Mother is internalised and woven into the very fabric of our own psyches and bodies. Before long, our perception is disfigured. We start shaming ourselves; we begin projecting our shame onto others. We become shame’s new nursemaids.
This presentation will explore both how toxic shame takes hold and how we can break the cycle of shaming.
Podcast Guest on ‘Our Bight Journey – Families Podcast’
The Story Party, Salisbury Literary Festival, UK.
Public Lecture, C.G. Jung Club, London, UK.
Clinical Forum, The Bowlby Center, London, UK.
C.G. Jung Public Lecture Series, Bristol, UK.
Community Library Event, Kingsclere Hamshire.
Video (edited) available at http://bit.ly/Sieff_Kings2016
Plenary Lecture, Pacifica Graduate Institute, California, USA.
At conference, ‘Coming Home to the Body: The Legacy of Marion Woodman’.
Plenary Lecture, Cambridge (UK) Jungian Circle.
Journal of Analytical Psychology International Conference, Boston, USA.
Scientific Meeting, Tavistock and Portman Trust, Tavistock Clinic, London, UK.
European Association of Body Psychotherapy Conference, Cambridge, UK.
Marion Woodman Foundation BodySoulRythms® Conference, Chicago, USA.
Department of Biological Anthropology, University of Cambridge
Department of Biological Anthropology, University College London.
Institute of Biological Anthropology Oxford University
American Anthropological Association, Phoenix, Arizona
Evolution and Human Behavior conference, University of Michigan