First do no harm: reflections on gender dysphoria in children and young people – Dr David Bell

Thursday 24th November, 6.00pm.

Topic: First do no harm: reflections on gender dysphoria in children and young people

Speaker: Dr David Bell

This event will be held in-person (with the option for some to participate online concurrently, via Zoom). We would like to encourage as many of you as possible to join us in-person.

The sign-up for in-person attendance closes at 11.30pm on 22/11/22. The link for the online session will be made available to you, via Eventbrite, 30 minutes prior to the start of the talk. All tickets are free.

Location: ROOM TBC – Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience (IoPPN), 16 De Crespigny Park, London, SE5 8AF. Room location will be provided ahead of the day, please keep an eye on Eventbrite.

Please see here the PDF for pre-seminar reading.


Topic: During the last ten years or so there has been a massive explosion in the number of children and adolescents seeking transition and referred to gender services (an international phenomenon).

In this talk I offer some suggestions as what to what may underlie this phenomenon from both an individual and socio-cultural perspective. I will also offer some reflections on the highly charged contemporary context where it is exceedingly difficult to maintain a balanced clinical perspective.

Speaker details: Dr David Bell retired in January 2021 from the Tavistock where he led the Fitzjohn’s Unit, a service for the most complex and severe cases of adult psychopathology referred to the Trust. He is a past President of the British Psychoanalytical Society.

He lectures and publishes on a wide range of subjects including the work of Freud, Klein and Bion, and the understanding of severe psychological disorder. For his entire professional career he has deeply involved himself in interdisciplinary studies – the relation between psychoanalysis and literature, philosophy and socio-political theory and has lectured and written extensively in those areas.

Books include: Reason and Passion, Psychoanalysis and Culture: a Kleinian Perspective, Living on the Border, Turning the Tide (on the work of the Fitzjohn’s Unit) and one small book, Paranoia. During his professorial fellowship at Birkbeck College (2012–13) he focused on different forms of degradation of knowledge and thinking. He has published a number of papers and articles in Gender Dysphoria

He is one of the UK’s leading psychiatric experts on asylum and immigration.

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