HDS Alumni meeting March 2023


Thursday 30 March 19:30 to 21:00


This is an online event that will take place on Zoom


For this meeting, we welcome Debbie Hindle and Gita Ingram who will make a presentation for discussion:

In the Shadow of War: Tove Jansson’s Comet in Moominland

In this paper, the authors consider one of the Finnish author and artist, Tove Jansson’s, early publications, Comet in Moominland, written during and after the Second World War. The story depicts the threat of a comet hurtling towards Earth and the many ways in which the inhabitants of Moomin Valley respond to this potentially devastating threat.

Prompted by the current conflict in Ukraine, which resonates in many ways with Finland’s experience, the authors describe significant influences in Jansson’s early life, as well as Finland’s unique and tragic position during and after the Second World War.

Reflecting on the story from a psychoanalytic perspective raises many issues in relation to catastrophic anxiety – how it is responded to and defended against. The significance of a secure base is highlighted, as Moomintroll is helped through his ordeal by his internalised Moominmamma, even in her physical absence. Further thought is given to the threat of nuclear war as written about by Hannah Segal, and Melanie Klein’s response to war. The story also highlights the characters’ reflections on the beauty and wonder of the natural world, so perilously close to destruction in the face of the approaching comet, making parallels with current pressing concerns about Climate Change.

Dr. Debbie Hindle is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, trained at the Tavistock Clinic. For ten years before she retired, she was Head of the Clinical Training in Child Psychotherapy at the Scottish Institute of Human Relations in Edinburgh and worked clinically in a specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Glasgow for children who were fostered or adopted. She has written extensively about fostering and adoption, loss, sibling relationships and also psychoanalysis and the arts. She continues to teach, supervise and lecture.

Gita Ingram is an Occupational Therapist and graduate of the Therapeutic Skills with Children and Young people: Psychoanalytic Observation and Reflective Practice course at the Scottish Institute of Human Relations. Previously Team Leader of Lothian CAMHS team for looked after and accommodated children (LAAC) and, earlier, Head Occupational Therapist in Lothian CAMHS, she is currently working as an independent trainer and supervisor. She is an experienced clinician and trainer and has written on psychodynamic approaches and play in occupational therapy. 


  • Welcome and introductions
  • Presentation by Debbie Hindle and Gita Ingram
  • Discussion
  • Closing remarks and thanks


No cost - this is a free event.


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Alumni meeting Mar 2023

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