Keynote Speakers

Keynote speaker: Joseba Achotegui

Joseba Achotegui

“A clinical and welfare view of the loss of language in migration"

That which is lost in translation
Referring to linguistic communication from the perspective of migration, I consider that there is a migratory loss in relation to the language, which is one of the 7 bereavements of migration. The immigrant must make the effort to learn a new language to be able to communicate, a fundamental element in mental health. Not being able to communicate or only to do so with difficulty produces feelings of loneliness and anxious and depressive symptoms. Keep in mind that more than 10% of the population suffers from hearing problems, dyslexia, dysgraphia, which further limits their communication. Or the problems of the elderly and / or illiterate people when communicating in another language. Also undocumented immigrants living in hiding, many of them with Ulysses Syndrome, have great difficulty communicating in the language of the host country. As an immigrant told me in the consultation when I asked him about the subject: Heh, the language? You know, Doctor, doing clandestine work one speaks very little.

But this loss is not only experienced by immigrants, but also by the natives, who must make an effort to adapt to other languages spoken in their environment. Although learning a new language has very positive aspects and is enriching, it is also an effort and more so when the native has not expressly sought that situation. I remember the case of a neighbour from the Raval area of Barcelona who told me in a community meeting: I used to live in this house surrounded by natives. Now up there live Chinese & Gambians, on the landing, Moroccans & Pakistanis, and downstairs Senegalese, Ukrainians ...... the stair meetings look like the UN, it is difficult to understand.

Joseba Achotegui, Doctor of Psychiatry, Professor at the University of Barcelona. Specialist in Mental Health and Migration, Community Mental Health, Evolutionary Psychology and Psychotherapy. He has been re-elected as General Secretary of the Transcultural Section of the World Psychiatric Association. Author of several books and a regular writer of a blog in the Public newspaper. He has received, among others, the following awards: Professional Trajectory and Investigation Award of the School of Public Health of The University of California, Berkeley (2019); Medical Excellence Award of the Official College of Physicians of Barcelona (2018); José Chávez Award from Hispanic immigrant associations in California for working with immigrants; Dean’s Team Award for Excellence by the University of California, Davis. Working group composed of Dr Achotegui and 5 professors from Californian universities who delved into the concept “Ulysses Syndrome” (2016)

Keynote speaker: Erica Burman

Erica Burman

"Frantz Fanon and revolutionary group praxis"

Frantz Fanon was a political revolutionary, and he remains a key intellectual figure in decolonisation debates and postcolonial studies. He was also a psychiatrist, continuing to practice, teach and explore new forms of community mental health and groupwork even in exile. In this talk, I explore convergences between Fanon’s institutional psychotherapy and group analysis to indicate how Fanon’s geopolitically-situated psychosocial analyses linking individual and social change can inform more politically engaged group analytic practice. More specifically, Fanon’s observations on language and power highlight how histories and legacies of colonialism infuse everyday interaction, structuring both relationships and bodily experiences. I argue that his insistence on the need to engage with power and privilege, and the ethical-political responsibilities of the therapeutic practitioner in mobilising their own practice to acknowledge and challenge these, remain acutely relevant to current group analytic practice.

Erica Burman is Professor of Education, Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society (where she was awarded an Honorary Lifetime Fellowship In 2016), and a Group Analyst in the U.K. She trained as a developmental psychologist, and is well known as a critical developmental psychologist and methodologist specialising in innovative and activist qualitative research. Erica co-founded the Discourse Unit ( ) a transinstitutional, transdisciplinary network researching the reproduction and transformation of language and subjectivity. Erica's research has focused on critical developmental and educational psychology, feminist and postcolonial theory, childhood studies, and critical mental health practice (particularly around gender and cultural issues). She currently leads the Knowledge, Power and Identity research strand of the Education and Psychology research group at Manchester Institute of Education.

She is author of Fanon, education, action: child as method (Routledge, 2019), Deconstructing Developmental Psychology (Routledge, 3rd edition, 2017), Developments: child, image, nation (Routledge, 2008, 2nd edition in progress), and is an Associate Editor of the SAGE Encyclopaedia of Childhood and Childhood Studies (forthcoming).

Flor de María Gamboa Solís


Flor de María Gamboa Solís. Psychoanalyst and feminist. PhD in Gender Studies, University of Sussex, Brighton, U.K. Professor and researcher in the Faculty of Psychology, University Michoacana of San Nicolas de Hidalgo, Morelia, Michoacán, Mexico since 2001. Founder and current coordinator of the Gender Academic Links Network of Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo. Coordinator of the Master Programme in Pyshcoanalytic Studies of Universidad Michoacana de San Nicolás de Hidalgo. She is a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in Morelia, Michoacan, Mexico.

Keynote speaker: José Miguel Sunyer

José Miguel Sunyer

"The psychotherapy group, an immigrant field"

It is proposed to see the various psychotherapeutic and care spaces as immigrant field. Each patient must emigrate, even for a few hours, from their home and family (her country) to another area in which he meets others with whom he must understand. All of them have to develop their own culture, that of the psychotherapy group, in which to develop new ways of speaking, of understanding their reality and those of others. The culture that is created there, the matrix, will be the one that will allow them to change their points of view and return to their "country", their family, with new learning and other ways of relating.