Camilla Bosanquet obituary | Psychology

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My friend Camilla Bosanquet, who has died aged 100, was a Jungian analyst and psychotherapist. Chair of the Society of Analytical Psychology from 1972 to 1975, she played a leading role in the formation of the Guild of Psychotherapists in 1974.

BBBorn in Lancing, West Sussex, she was the daughter of Sir Harry Ricardo, an engineer who played a big part in the development of the internal combustion engine, and his wife, Beatrice (nee Hale).

After attending Benenden school, Kent, followed by Brighton Technical College, she studied throughout the second world war at Newnham College, Cambridge, where she met fellow student David Bosanquet in her first term.

David joined the army in 1940 and they married in 1941. She graduated in 1942 and started her clinical training at University College Hospital in London while her new husband was stationed in Scotland. When the bombs began to rain on London she was pregnant with her first child, Robin, and so moved to Oxford to be with her family, qualifying as a doctor in 1945 before having two more children – Joanna and Annabel.

Most therapists would admit to being “wounded healers”, and Camilla was no different. She suffered a depressive breakdown after the birth of Annabel, and after successful psychoanalysis at the Maudsley hospital in London she decided to find ways to reach out to others who had suffered similarly.

Retraining in psychoanalysis at the Society of Analytical Psychology, she first worked in the field at Oakwood hospital in Maidstone, Kent (1956-58), and then at the asthma clinic of University College Hospital, where she held a part time post as a psychotherapist for 20 years.

While devoting the bulk of her time to private practice, over the years she filled various other part time positions, including as a psychiatric adviser to the London School of Economics (1969-81) and Kings College London (1976-81), in both cases mainly involved with counselling students.

In 1988 she wrote an article, The Confusion of Tongues, in the British Journal of Psychotherapy, calling for less rivalry and more dialogue between the different strands of psychotherapy. The piece was influential, and was one of the factors that led to the creation in 1993 of the UK Council for Psychotherapy, an umbrella body for practitioners and organisations working in the field.

Camilla retired in 1981, aged 60, from her student counselling and hospital jobs, but continued with her private practice until her early late 70s. She was fascinated by spirituality and the overlap with psychotherapy, and held regular meetings with bishops and analysts to discuss this, as well as with groups of GPs. She was also interested in neuropathy, and attended lectures on neuroscience and attachment theory after she retired.

David, a solicitor, predeceased her in 1995, and Annabel died in 2010. She is survived by Robin and Joanna, five grandchildren and eight great-grandchildren.

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