Desiring Ideals, Facing Realities: Working With New Contexts

An online Group Relations Conference

  • Fri 5 - Sun 7 Mar 21


  • Online


  • Event speaker

    Chris Tanner, University of Essex

  • Event type


  • Event organiser

    Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies, Department of

  • Contact details

    Debbie Stewart

“When will things be back to normal?”. We hear the call, but we know that we’re living in times of huge change.

The current context has transformed the way we work and the way we relate. The boundaries we live by can change rapidly. And, as a consequence, how we take up our role, within our families, in friendships, professionally, and as citizens has become more complex. 

As we take stock, this experiential event offers an opportunity to explore the evolving realities of our personal and public lives. How do we perceive the context we are living and relating in? How does it restrain us? What opportunities does it present? How can we meet our desires? These are some of the themes of the conference.

A Group Relations Conference is an experiential event comprising of a series of large group, small group and inter-group formations. The staff team work to keep the boundaries of time and task. They also offer thoughts and questions to help learning. Learning may be related to discovering something about one’s impact on others, the impact of others on oneself, how groups form, focus, or unravel, and the associations this may have with personal, professional and societal context. We welcome people who have not previously attended this type of event.

The Organisers

Chris Tanner (Conference Director) is an organisational consultant and senior lecturer at the University of Essex Dept of Psychosocial and Psychoanalytic Studies.  This follows his earlier career in therapeutic communities.  In recent years he has led group relations events at OPUS, University of Essex, Birkbeck College and the Lithuanian GR  Society

Gwen Hanrahan (Associate Director) is an organisational consultant in leadership, culture and change. Her work and experience is in commercial sectors in Europe and North America, and more recently with public and NGO organisations. She is a visiting lecturer at the Tavistock Clinic and staffs on GRCs in the UK and abroad. 

The Fees

Essex Staff/Student/Alumni - £99

External Participants - £299

Bookings for this event have now closed.

For enquiries please contact Chris Tanner on chris.tanner@essex.ac.uk.

Related events