Keynote Speakers

2nd September 2020 - Opening lecture

Keynote speaker: Álex Grijelmo

Álex Grijelmo

"Identity Languages"

The title refers to the lexicons (often exclusive) that are creating certain communities. There was an identity lexicon of Nazism, there is now in Catalan secessionism, it was also created in ETA, it was also used in anti-Franco groups, we also have it in Podemos, in feminism ... Some identity languages are bad and others good.

Álex Grijelmo (Burgos, 1956) has a PhD in Journalism from the Complutense University of Madrid and a degree in business management (PADE) from IESE. He worked on the newspaper, La voz de Castilla, in the Europa Press agency and, for 16 years, on El País. He coordinated the edition of the book of style of that newspaper (1988), and has written The Style of the Journalist (Taurus, 1997), which is used as a textbook in the faculties of Journalism in Spain and America, Passionate Defence of the Spanish language (Taurus, 1998), The Seduction of Words (Taurus, 2000), The Tip of the Tongue (2004), The Genius of Language (Taurus, 2004), Decomplicated Grammar (Taurus, 2006), Dying Words (Taurus, 2011) and is co-author, together with José María Merino, of more than 555 million we can read this book without translation (Taurus, 2019). He chaired the Efe agency between 2004 and 2012. In 2007 he was elected president of the World Agency Council for a three-year term. In 1999 he received the Miguel Delibes national journalism award, and in 2006 the honorary degree of the ESERP university foundation for his business management, as well as the Golden Antenna of the Association of Radio and Television Professionals for his collaborations on program language of RNE ‘It is not an ordinary day’, directed by Pepa Fernández.

3rd September 2020 - theme: ‘Lost in Translation’

Keynote speakers: Jorge L. Tizón García & Joseba Achotegui

Jorge L. Tizón García

"Mental, group, macrogroup: Notes about a controversial translation"

Jorge L. Tizón García: Doctor of Medicine, psychiatrist, psychoanalyst (SEP-IPA), psychologist and neurologist. He directed the Mental Health Unit of the neighborhoods of La Verneda, La Pau and La Mina in Barcelona. Professor at the Ramon Llull University (Barcelona).

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)

4th September 2020 - theme ‘Language and Power’

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.

5th September 2020 - theme ‘Meeting through Language’

Keynote speaker: Kathrin Albert

Kathrin Albert

"Translation in small and large groups: The same language isn’t always the same one"

In this lecture I would like to reflect on different types of translation that we encounter in life and that determine our existence in all large and all small groups. On the one hand, I am talking about how different languages depend on the fine art of translation in order to be heard. What is significant is that the process of translation is at the same time an everyday act, even if we speak the same language - or at least believe we speak the same language. We translate what is spoken into what is heard and we understand it in very different ways, so that many different translations exist side by side in groups. How do we deal with the desire to connect, within ourselves and with others?

In our groups it becomes tangible how processes of understanding are composed of an understanding of both the words and of non-linguistic, physical and situational messages, the symbolic meaning of which we can search for. I see translation as an aspect of resonance. If we promote playful individuality in the group, it soon becomes apparent how all speaking, listening and translating is rich in traces of a "dragged along" matrix that influences what is to be expressed and what is to be hidden. It seems encouraging how a group-analytical attitude can help determine the extent to which trust can grow in this space between private and social being.

Kathrin Albert Dipl.-Psych. is a psychoanalyst and group analyst with her own practice in Berlin. She is a small and large group conductor, lecturer and supervisor in clinics and public institutions. Kathrin is currently Chairwoman of the Berlin Institute for Group Analysis (BIG e.V.).

Pere Mir


Pere Mir. Clinical Psychologist, Psychotherapist and Group Analyst. Editor of the Complete Works of S. H. Foulkes in Spanish.