Dr. Estela V. Welldon is an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist in Psychotherapy at Tavistock Portman NHS Clinics. She is the Founder and Honorary Elected Honorary President for Life of the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy. In 1997, she was awarded an Honorary Doctorate in Sciences by Oxford Brookes University. Estela works privately as a psychoanalytical psychotherapist and organizational consultant. She is a Member of the British Association for Psychotherapy, the Confederation of British Psychoanalytic Council, the Institute of Group Analysis, the American Group Psychotherapy Association and the International Association of Group Psychotherapy. She is the author of Mother Madonna Whore, the Idealization and Denigration of Motherhood (1988), a book which had a major impact on the psychoanalytic understanding of female perversion. In her book on Sadomasochism (2002) she has explored the unconscious dynamics within sadomasochistic relationships drawing on clinical and theoretical sources. Welldon is the co-editor (together with Cleo van Velsenand) of A Practical Guide to Forensic Psychotherapy (1997).
This conversation between the renowned feminist psychiatrist, psychoanalytic psychotherapist and group analyst, Estela Welldon, and Sigal Spigel, is the second in a series of planned intergenerational conversations between what are usually termed second-wave feminists and what could be referred to as the ‘daughters’ of this generation. These conversations aim to elucidate what we see as inherent tensions in all articulations of the maternal - tensions, however that manifest themselves in particular ways in intergenerational contexts. As we have argued elsewhere, these dialogues offer opportunities for the ongoing work of tracing and creating maternal genealogies through the active consideration of cultural psychosocial constructions of the maternal as they become apparent within historical/generational and biographical contexts.