Skip to content

David Malan Memorial Conference
27 October 2023
The Royal Society of Medicine
Wimpole Street London W1G 0AE

Celebrating the Life and Work of Dr David Malan

This conference will be a celebration of the life and work of Dr David Malan. From his early days as a psychiatrist, psychoanalyst, and scientist, through to his making the work of Habib Davanloo accessible to a wider audience, David was central to the development of Dynamic Short-Term Psychotherapy (ISTDP) in the UK.

Jennie Malan, David’s wife, will join in conversation with practitioners who knew him, counted him as a colleague, and learnt from him. Dr Robert Neborsky, Dr Susan Hajkowski and Alexandra Knowles will show videos of their clinical work to demonstrate ISTDP in action and to illustrate one of David’s many achievements, that of dispelling the ‘myth of superficiality’*

One of David’s ambitions was to embed ISTDP in the NHS. Dr Leo Russell, Dr Javier Malda Castillo and Dr James Ayyamkulam will discuss their use of ISTDP in the NHS and how they have adapted it in different settings.

A true scientist and researcher, David Malan worked in the Adult Department of the Tavistock Clinic between 1956 and 1982, where he led innovative research into the effectiveness of brief psychotherapy. His focus was to find a talking therapy that resolved a patient’s neurosis, giving a resolution of both the current presenting and deep-seated underlying problems in a timely and cost-effective manner. He applied his research findings to therapeutic techniques and developed the ‘science of psychodynamics’, as described in his 1979 book Individual Psychotherapy and the Science of Psychodynamics. His publications are used in courses throughout the UK.

David and Jennie organised the Oxford Conference in 2006 to showcase the theory and therapeutic techniques he had researched with Davanloo over decades. Out of this ground-breaking conference, ISTDP-UK was born. We have gone from a handful of lone therapists to an active growing community of ISTDP practitioners with an ever-increasing number of people seeking ISTDP therapy and a thriving Core Training and ongoing development opportunities.

*(that Brief Psychotherapy could only be helpful with superficially ill patients).