Psychotherapist’s cafe to open up psychology to public

A psychotherapist is launching a psychology debating network for the public who will meet in cafes.

Café Psychologique follows the philosophy of Café Scientifique which aims to debate science in cafes, and so make science more accountable.

The first Café Psychologique, where issues around psychology, mental health and psychotherapy will be discussed, will open at Seven Arts Centre in Chapel Allerton, Leeds, on Tuesday 25 January.

Café Psychologique was the idea of Chris Powell, a Leeds-based psychotherapist and former head of psychological therapies at the The Retreat mental health service in York.

Powell said he set up the cafe out of concern that the pursuit of psychology and psychotherapy was closed to many people.

“Sometimes it seems as though the only help to be had is from professionals in consulting rooms, or oversimplified magazine articles and exploitative television programmes,” said Powell.

“Guest therapists and psychologists will help the discussion along but people can talk about whatever they want.

“Café Psychologique allows real people to meet together to discuss ideas and concerns in a relaxed setting with professionals on hand.

“The conversation will go wherever people take it – relationships, creativity, ageing, sex, parenthood, consumerism, the arts, death or cricket.”

Like Café Scientifique, there will be no lectures or seminars.

Instead, ideas are floated to stimulate discussion. People are invited to bring along issues they want to discuss.

It is hoped the cafe will inspire others to be set up around the country.

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