Consultancy and training
Main Publications
Spielrein biography

Welcome to johnlauner.com, the website of Dr John Launer

To contact John, email johnlauner@aol.com

Follow him on Twitter @johnlauner

For "Conversations Inviting Change" website, click

"Reading John Launer’s 'Narrative-Based Practice in Health and Social Care' gave me a powerful surge of hope.  John finds words to express our deepest thoughts and visions for a truly respectful and effective health care. His transparent prose brings his reader to experience the clarity and value of narrative practice. Reading John Launer, awakened by his purity of thought, falling under the spell of his idealism, charged by his optimism, I feel myself in the presence of those giants of vision and faithful representers of 'the other.' We all gather, with John as host, in the clearing of a narrative path toward wholeness. If you care for the sick, read this book."
Professor Rita Charon, Director of the Narrative Medicine Programme at Columbia University, New York.

John Launer is a doctor, educator and award-winning writer. With a dual professional background in general practice and family therapy, as well a degree in English literature, John's interests range across the borders of health care, systems thinking, and the humanities. They include clinical supervision for the health professions, team development in the health service, and narrative medicine. 

John's current roles include lead for educational innovation in primary care for Health Education England in London. His other posts include honorary senior lecturer in primary care at University College London, honorary lifetime consultant at the Tavistock Clinic, faculty member at ISTUD business school in Milan and honorary president of the Association of Narrative Practice in Healthcare He is a founder member of the International Association for Spielrein Studies and on its steering group.

Teaching and consultancy

John was the originator, with Caroline Lindsey, of "Conversations Inviting Change" (CIC). This is a narrative-based model for interactional skills, used in encounters with patients, clients and families, as well as for individual and group supervision, mentoring, coaching, team facilitation and conflict resolution. John has given presentations and workshops on "CIC" in every region of the UK and in Europe, Israel, Japan, the United States, Canada and Australia. Visits in 2018 included Palestine, Denmark and Italy. Forthcoming visits include teaching in Italy and Greece.

For a short podcast where John describes and demonstrates "CIC", click here.

To hear Professor Roger Kneebone interviewing John about his teaching, clinical work and writing, in the "Countercurrent" series, click here

To see John's presentation on "CIC" at a Masterclass in Sydney, click here (works best using Firefox)

To watch John's address at the "white coat ceremony" at McGill Medical School in Montreal in 2016, click here.

To see a lecture by John to the  Swedish Association for Narrative Medicine, click here

For further details of consultancy and training, click on the menu at the top left of the page.

Books and writing

A new edition of John's acclaimed textbook "Narrative-Based Practice in Health and Social Care: Conversations Inviting Change" has just been published (see cover image above). This is a core text of narrative practice applied to all health and social care. Drawing on ideas from narrative studies and family therapy, it provides a theoretical framework and practical skills for dealing with individual consultations, family work, clinical supervision and teamwork, offering a comprehensive narrative-based approach to the whole range of work in in health and social care. You can order it direct from Routledge here or from Amazon here.

John's award-winning book "How Not to Be a Doctor: and other essays" is has also been reissued in a new edition and can now be ordered here. It was originally published by the Royal Society of Medicine Press in 2008 and was named as a Book of the Year by the British Medical Association.

John has published a full length biography of the psychiatrist Sabina Spielrein: "Sex Versus Survival: The Life and Ideas of Sabina Spielrein." You can purchase as a hardback in the UK edition, or as either a hardback or softback in the US edition.  Its launch was marked at the Freud Museum in London, and at the New York Psychoanalytic Institute. For more details, click on "Spielrein biography" at the top of this page.

John's has also edited  the following books:

Clinical Uncertainty in Primary Care: The Challenge of Collaborative Engagement' (with Lucia Sommers)

Supervision and Support in Primary Care (with Jonathan Burton)

Reflecting on Reality: Psychotherapists at Work in Primary Care ( with Dilys Daws and Sue Blake)

John's latest academic papers include:

"Carl Jung's relationship with Sabina Spielrein: a reassessment" in the International Journal of Jungian Studies.

"Sex and sexuality: an evolutionary view'"in the US journal 'Psychoanalytic Inquiry'.

"How evolution can help us understand child development and behaviour" in the British Journal of Psychiatry Advances.

"How evolutionary thinking can help us understand ADHD" in the British Journal of Psychiatry Advances

John is an associate editor of the Postgraduate Medical Journal and writes a monthly column called "On reflection" on topics related to reflective practice and medical humanities. He was a columnist for Doctor and Hospital Doctor for over twenty years, and contributed the Coda column to the international medical journal QJM for seven years. Articles by him have appeared in the BMJ, British Journal of General Practice, Journal of Family Therapy and other major journals.

Further details of John's books and a list of key articles appear on the Publications page: click on the menu at top left.