Inaugurated in 1990, the Northern Ireland Institute of Human Relations is a member organisation of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy, and is responsible for the accreditation and ongoing professional development of psychoanalytic psychotherapists across Northern Ireland. A registered charity and a limited company, the Institute provides a dynamic and engaging forum for the discussion and advancement of psychoanalytic approaches to the understanding of personal and social difficulties. Institute members work in both public and private settings - and provide individual, couple and group psychotherapy, supervision and consultation.
The Institute acts as a focus of interest and commitment for those whose primary professional concern lies in psychoanalytic psychotherapy and related fields. It also offers public events for those who wish to explore the relevance of psychodynamic thinking to a variety of different contexts.
Over the course of the academic year, the Institute runs a full programme of events, covering a diverse range of issues - including clinical seminars, public lectures and conferences, a clinical and theoretical reading group, a psychoanalytic film club and a group analytic section.
The founding members of the Institute are Dr John Alderdice, Mr Jarlath Benson, Dr Raman Kapur and Dr Clare Adams. Lord Alderdice is the esteemed Patron of the Institute, and Honorary Members include leading psychoanalyst and author Susie Orbach.
NIIHR members are qualified psychodynamic and psychoanalytic psychotherapists, accredited by the Psychoanalytic Section of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy (ICP). Members work in both private practice and the public sector, and are interested in developing psychodynamic approaches to the understanding and treatment of emotional distress in individuals, groups and organisations.
Psychoanalytic or psychodynamic psychotherapy is a clinical approach that helps individuals towards a deeper understanding of profound emotional difficulties. It is focused on engaging the individual in a secure therapeutic relationship that explores unconscious aspects of his or her problems; that is, aspects of emotional life which may be obscure from conscious knowing, yet have a strong impact upon both how life is experienced and the nature of any corresponding distress.
This particular form of therapy involves helping individuals to gain an intimate knowledge of their unconscious inner world, and facilitating a growing recognition of how this will inevitably impact upon their day-to-day relationships. A well-trained, highly-sensitive psychotherapist provides a consistent, reliable and safe space in which an individual can begin to develop the confidence required to be able to express and explore their deepest concerns. Through an open, free-flowing engagement with a skilled and experienced psychotherapist, an individual may be helped to understand troublesome, often repetitive relational patterns - with a view to realising his or her potential to try out new, healthier and ultimately more satisfying ways of being.
NIIHR offers different categories of membership.
Full Membership is open to suitably qualified psychoanalytic or psychodynamic psychotherapists, who have completed a full clinical training in psychoanalytic psychotherapy to at least Masters level. Additional clinical experience and training may be required, depending on both the duration and the depth of the completed training.
Associate membership is open to individuals working in mental health arenas with an interest in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
Applications will be considered from individuals not currently engaged in the field of mental health, who nonetheless wish to pursue an interest in psychoanalytic thinking.
Trainee Membership is open to students on recognised clinical training courses in psychoanalytic psychotherapy.
The NIIHR is a member organisation of the Irish Council for Psychotherapy, and full members of the Institute are committed to their continuing professional development. This corresponds with the guidelines set out by the European Association for Psychotherapy, and is monitored by the Institute's Committee on an ongoing, annual basis. The Institute provides its members with a diverse range of CPD opportunities throughout the academic year.
The Reading group meets monthly to consider psychoanalytic papers and engage in lively conversation and debate.
Our clinical seminars (5 times a year) offer members opportunities to think together about the practice, art and craft of psychotherapy, and to share experience from the wide variety of contexts in which our members are practising.
The Film Club meets five times a year, screening a movie before discussing it from a psychoanalytic perspective. Details of forthcoming screenings are included on the Events page.
The Group Analytic Section of the NIIHR meets monthly between September and June. It is a forum for members of the NIIHR, who are qualified or training in Group Analysis, to meet and reflect on issues relating to their work or training.
Each meeting has 2 components. Firstly, a 90 minute Group Analytic supervision section, where members have the opportunity to discuss their work or training in a group context.
Secondly, a business meeting to discuss issues relating to Group Analysis and to plan a calendar of CPD activities e.g. seminars, process groups etc.