Attachment Theory: An Integrationist Approach An interactive, evening discussion with Paul Renn (moderated by Jan McGregor Hepburn) London, 22 March 2018, Thursday 6:00pm - 9:00pm Research in the fields of Attachment, Developmental Psychology, Neurobiology and Cognitive Neuroscience are helping to deepen our understanding of the therapeutic relationship and the process of change. In this evening discussion, Paul Renn illustrates the way in which an integrationist perspective, with Attachment Theory at its core, may be applied to clinical work with adults. Drawing on research across Intersubjectivity, Trauma, Dissociation and Mentalization, while using a relational psychoanalytic approach, Paul highlights how practitioners can integrate the new findings from Attachment research and apply these to their therapeutic work. The discussion specifically explores Trauma from an Attachment and Neurobiological perspective while illustrating examples of ‘Attachment gone wrong’. About the speaker Paul Renn is a UKCP accredited psychoanalytic psychotherapist, training therapist and supervisor in private practice in London. He has a background in the National Probation Service where he specialized in working with violent individuals and couples. He subsequently trained at the Centre for Attachment-based Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy, recently renamed the Bowlby Centre. Paul has presented papers at international conferences and devised and facilitated seminars and workshops on attachment and trauma, violent attachments, sexuality in the consulting room, memory, trauma and dissociation in psychotherapy, and the internal world and the process of change. He is the author of a number of book chapters and journal articles published in the UK and translated for publication abroad. He is a member of the Forum for Independent Psychotherapists, the International Attachment Network, the International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy, the Society for the Exploration of Psychotherapy Integration, and the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. He is on the editorial board of Psychoanalytic Inquiry and is the author of The Silent Past and the Invisible Present: Memory, Trauma, and Representation in Psychotherapy (Routledge, 2012). further details & bookings
Existential Therapy: An Introduction A one day seminar with Professor Mick Cooper London, 24 March 2018, Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm With roots that can be traced back to the existential work of Søren Kierkegaard and Friedrich Nietzsche; Existential Therapy is a diverse, vibrant, and wonderfully rich tapestry of understandings and methods that has the potential to make a valuable contribution to the work of any counsellor, psychotherapist or psychologist. It is one of the oldest forms of therapy, and yet one of the most innovative and radical in its approach. Existential therapy is orientated around the development of a deep relational bond with clients, which allows clients to explore the most fundamental aspects of their existence. This includes questions like: ‘What is the meaning of my life?’ ‘What choices can I make?’ and ‘How do I face the limits of my circumstances?’ This workshop will introduce the existential approach to therapy, and focus on three particular aspects of existential work: Helping clients acknowledge their fundamental freedom and capacity to make choices Helping clients to face the givens of their lives, like death and the unattainability of perfect happiness Helping clients to find meaning and purpose in life The workshop will combine a mixture of personal development exercises, skills work, discussion and theoretical input. By the end of the workshop, participants will have developed a greater understanding of the existential approach, and will have developed ideas about how to incorporate existential understandings and methods into their own practice. further details & bookings
Perversity and the Human Condition: an examination of childhood sexual abuse in our current context A one day seminar with Anne Manne, Jan McGregor Hepburn and Frances Thomson Salo Melbourne, Australia 20 April 2018, Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm Childhood Sexual Abuse (CSA), the dark side of the human condition, is widely known about and yet consistently disavowed in all cultures and levels of society. More recently, an awareness of the grave harm this has caused has received global publicity – and as therapists and concerned citizens, we need to take another, focussed look at this global malaise. We witness multiple challenges around us and in our consulting rooms: The stigmatisation of survivors: while we know that some perpetrators have themselves suffered abuse, we also recognise that most survivors will not go on to offend or become perpetrators. The myth that most CSA victims will go on to offend themselves causes great harm to survivors, in addition to the abuse they suffered, creating unnecessary stigma and adding to their reluctance to coming forward Shame and embarrassment: We also know that a great number of mental health conditions in adulthood have CSA at their roots, and that shame and embarrassment, rather than belonging to the perpetrator, can be lodged in the victim; effectively silencing them. The Australian Royal Commission found, for example, that it can take an average of 33 years for a survivor to come forward While the ubiquity of CSA and recent publicity has resulted in the start of a global discourse – much more needs to be done. At this thought provoking and intellectually stimulating day, which would be especially beneficial for psychologists, counsellors and therapists, three experienced speakers come together to discuss and debate the implications of CSA, the shame and the stigmatisation; in the clinical setting and beyond: Using clinical material and a critical examination of psychoanalytic theory of human development, Jan McGregor Hepburn discusses the challenges we face when working with survivors of CSA. She evaluates therapeutic approaches that we can consider when working with survivors and with perpetrators Prof. Frances Thomson-Salo looks at CSA, specifically in the context of children less than 5 years in age and provides perspectives on how we can interpret their behavioural manifestations; their implicit and explicit representations of shame and guilt and their specific stigmatisation challenges Anne Manne draws upon her experience of being a witness to the recent commission hearings on institutional CSA and offers her thoughts on implications in an institutional setting This will be a rich but challenging day, and participants can expect to hear about difficult and painful matters, and to be asked to think about these. The day will be carefully contained and chaired so participants will feel supported as they work together and explore some of these issues. further details & bookings
When Abuse leads to Complex Trauma and Complex PTSD: clinical challenges and therapeutic approaches A 2-day training workshop at London with Christiane Sanderson London, 27 & 28 April 2018, Friday and Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days The repeated and systematic brutalisation seen in childhood sexual abuse, domestic violence and sexual exploitation can give rise to complex presentations that differ markedly from single-episode trauma. To effectively work with the clinical challenges in such presentations, as practitioners, we need to know therapeutic techniques that utilize both top-down and bottom-up processing; non-verbal approaches including art and play therapies; and sensorimotor techniques that enable survivors to live in the present rather than be catapulted into the traumatic past. At this practical and therapeutically oriented 2-day workshop, designed for counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists, we specifically consider the complex presentations triggered by repetitive abuse and evaluate a range of therapeutic approaches, aimed at providing survivors with a path to recovery and post-traumatic growth. We start by looking at the range of trauma experiences and distinguishing between the current conceptualisation of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), subtype PTSD with prominent dissociative symptoms and Complex PTSD – evaluating the clinical challenges inherent in assessment, including misdiagnosis and comorbidity. Emphasis will be placed on the role of dissociation in complex trauma and how this gives rise to a number of dissociative challenges (including somatic symptom related disorders). In addition, we will specifically examine the nature of shame and traumatic bonding, considering how the trauma bond impacts our client’s sense of self and relational worth. The focus on day one will be in understanding the nature and dynamics of complex trauma and its impact on the individual. The challenges of assessing for complex trauma will be highlighted, while considering the development of collaborative case formulation. On Day 2 of the workshop, we will focus on best practice when working with survivors – through a phased treatment, trauma focused model which promotes stabilisation, processing and integration. We will observe how the trauma focussed model is enhanced when supported by a relational approach in which mutuality and connection are prioritised to create a collaborative and non-hierarchical therapeutic relationship. Our goal in considering these therapeutic techniques is to reduce the replication of power, control and shame dynamics that are often axiomatic in complex trauma. The co-creation and management of therapeutic impasse will also be considered – with a view to minimising shame and retraumatisation. Our learning objectives over the two days will include: Day 1: Explore the range of trauma and the nature of complex trauma, as triggered by recurring abuse Distinguish between PTSD, subtype PTSD with dissociative symptoms and complex PTSD Clinical challenges in the conceptualisation of PTSD including sub-syndromal PTSD and PTSD as a continuum The conceptualisation of complex PTSD in ICD-11 draft The role of dissociation in complex PTSD, the range of dissociative disorders and somatic symptoms related disorders The role of shame in complex trauma The challenges of co-morbidity and misdiagnosis The range of assessment scales Developing a collaborative case formulation Day 2: The fundamental principles of the trauma focused model which emphasises a phased treatment approach that promotes stabilisation, processing and integration The importance of adopting a relational approach The need for mutuality and connection to create a collaborative and non-hierarchical therapeutic relationship The manifestation and management of shame in the therapeutic space How to minimise the replication of power and control dynamics and re-traumatisation How to ‘be with’ rather than ‘do to’ The use of both top down and bottom up processing The value of non-verbal approaches such as art and play therapies, and sensorimotor techniques The co-creation and management of therapeutic impasse The role of practitioner’s own unprocessed material and dissociation in the therapeutic relationship The cost of caring as seen in vicarious traumatisation, burn-out, compassion fatigue and secondary traumatic stress The importance of practitioner self-care Post traumatic growth further details & bookings
Working with Complex Trauma: A sequenced, relationship based approach An evening webinar with Christine A. Courtois, PhD, ABPP Author of 3 books on the treatment of complex trauma and one on spiritually-oriented psychotherapy for trauma Online, 3 May 2018, Thursday 6:00pm - 9:00pm, London, UK time Complex Trauma, which is often the result of prolonged and repetitive trauma – presents multiple challenges for practitioners. The nature of trauma can be layered; there might be attachment trauma and / or childhood abuse which needs to be considered. The presentation itself may be nuanced and indeed complex – with after-effects spanning neurobiological, psychological, interpersonal and spiritual domains. The observable impact may be lifelong or only appear periodically in rather disguised forms. At this evening, online webinar, Dr Courtois provides an overview of after-effects, specifically considering the neurobiological and dissociative aspects of Complex Trauma. A sequenced, therapeutic approach that extends beyond the treatment of posttraumatic symptoms will be described. The webinar then discusses more trauma-focussed strategies which are geared towards trauma processing, resolution and integration, aimed at countering dissociative obstacles. Dr Courtois explains how our approaches need to be relationship oriented where the therapist provides a catalyst as well as a container for therapeutic issues. Since interpersonal trauma can also be viewed as an assault on the spirit of the victim, the webinar also suggests how we can pay attention to spiritual aspects as part of our therapeutic approach. Learning objectives: Comprehend and describe multiple dimensions of complex trauma Describe the after-effects and complexities of complex trauma Consider the spiritual impact of trauma Outline a sequenced therapeutic approach Identify several evidence-based and evidence-supported interventions for complex trauma therapy further details & bookings
Inter-parental Conflict and its Consequences: Breaking Cycles of Insecurity A one day seminar with Susanna Abse and Dr Christopher Clulow London, 4 May 2018, Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm Parental conflict, whether openly hostile or subtly discordant, has profound developmental implications. When faced with poorly resolved conflict between their parents, not only are children likely to experience stress, anxiety and emotional insecurity but also develop internal working models that affect their lives and relationships in adulthood. This one-day seminar enhances our understanding of each parenting partner’s internalised experience of conflict and how this shapes their own sense of security in adult and parent-child relationships. Drawing on research and intervention studies, and using attachment and object relations frameworks, the seminar considers implications for practitioners working therapeutically with individuals, couples and families. The seminar looks closely at the processes through which parental conflict can affect children and highlights ways of breaking negative intergenerational cycles. Specifically, we consider: The Evidence Base: what impacts parenting capacity and children’s attributions? We consider effective interventions and new areas of development Conflict, Divorce and Separation: we look at the impact on psychological processes and consider how mentalization based approaches can ameliorate post-separation conflict The Parental Couple in the Child: we consider the three pathways through which conflict between parents can affect children; the significance of the parental couple in transmission of attachment security and the developmental challenge of creating a triangular space The Child in the Parental Couple: we evaluate how couples are affected by becoming parents, consider the clinical challenges posed by parents in conflict and learn from successful intervention strategies further details & bookings
One Voice or Many? the challenging problem of Multiplicity A one day workshop with Dr Valerie Sinason London, 5 May 2018, Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm For individuals who have encountered multiple onslaughts of traumatic events, the developmental experience is defined by an overwhelming sense of being continually unloved – relentless neglect and / or abuse has often necessitated survival through dissociation and splitting into multiple selves – each with limited awareness of the other. When instances of severe interference, abuse and neglect are repetitive – defensive strategies have inevitably defined the manifestations we witness in the consulting room. As therapists, we may find our clients switching into states of altered reality – presenting myriad challenges for the practitioner. We may be receiving multiple (and often contradictory) threads of the trauma narrative for instance. The switching between multiple selves could itself cause a retriggering of painful memories. Our client may be struggling with the denial of primary attachment strategy – thus resisting posttraumatic growth. Or they may indeed be at differing points on the dissociative spectrum – making it imperative for us to unearth the multiplicity – so we can assist with the processing of unstable and dissociative phenomena. At the same time, uncovering of such multiplicity may result in rage and extreme anger being directed at the therapist. At this workshop, which would be especially beneficial for psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists, Dr Valerie Sinason helps us comprehend the unique challenges associated with multiplicity and we look at effective therapeutic options, while considering: Structured interventions – dynamic, systemic or behavioural Effectively addressing affective and trauma symptoms including fear, sadness, anger, anxiety and dysregulated affect Promoting the reflective process while still maintaining appropriate boundaries Deciding whether psychotherapeutic treatment is indicated or counterindicated Assisting the client in getting rid of the fear of repetition during the trauma narrative process Resolving maladaptive dissociative and avoidant manifestations, while staying in the present during the trauma narrative Working with the multiple transference of multiple selves Psychotic transference and hatred towards the therapist further details & bookings
The Trauma Counsellor's Toolbox: Exercises to Aid Recovery and Healing from Complex Trauma A one day workshop with Christiane Sanderson Dublin, 5 May 2018, Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm Complex trauma is often the result of persistent, repetitive traumatic experiences which may include multiple violations such as sexual abuse, physical violence, emotional abuse and neglect – in many cases at the hands of someone known to the victim. This cycle, where trust is repeatedly betrayed can manifest in a range of symptoms such as dissociation, alterations to sense-of-self and fear of intimacy in relationships. Working with survivors of such trauma requires a range of therapeutic techniques that involve both top-down and bottom-up processing. This is particularly the case when trauma has been split off and is not easily accessible through verbal recall. Moreover, as complex trauma is primarily stored in the right brain, practitioners need to be able to facilitate right brain engagement through a selection of creative techniques and exercises. This training workshop, which would be especially relevant for counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists, across modalities – provides an opportunity for professionals working with survivors of complex trauma to add practical skills to their therapeutic repertoire. The aim is to enable practitioners to explore more creative ways of working with complex trauma and help them become more embodied, so they can facilitate post-traumatic growth for their clients. The workshop achieves this through a series of experiential exercises including: working with nesting dolls, soft toys and transitional objects, exploring family constellations using peg dolls and animals, modelling the trauma narrative with playdoh, making masks to explore the hidden faces of shame and sand tray work to access the unspeakable aspects of trauma. The workshop combines experiential aspects with grounding skills and relevant theory to specifically consider: Ensuring safety and control: we look at appropriate usages of anchors, oases and safe places; exercises that enable clients to be present, reflect and relax Skills that improve daily routine for clients: improving sleep, making the bedroom safe and regaining contact with the body Grounding skills: identifying triggers, managing hyper and hypo arousal states, sensory connections Skills for managing flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety: handling internal dialogue, gaining control over flashbacks, recording nightmares and the protocol for panic attacks Getting rid of negativity: mental filtering and reappraisal of thoughts Working with memory fragments: reducing over-processing, pacing memory work and recording memories Managing boundaries: understanding collapsed or rigid boundaries and drawing the optimal personal space further details & bookings
Challenges in Working with Attachment and Dependency in Complex Trauma A one day workshop with Kathy Steele London, 10 May 2018, Thursday 10:00am - 5:00pm While therapy for complex trauma often focuses on the integration of traumatic memories, an even more challenging problem is the profound relational distress of clients. This typically becomes a major difficulty in the therapeutic relationship itself. The client is unable to maintain a stable relationship with the therapist and subsequently experiences him or her as hostile, uncaring, or unhelpful, and sometimes even abusive, despite the best intentions of the therapist. Conflict ensues, and the therapist may unwittingly participate by becoming defensive and withholding or by appeasing the client. Designed to be of practical value to psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, this one-day workshop by Kathy Steele, focuses on an understanding of and an integrative approach to resolving attachment and dependency issues in clients with complex trauma. We will explore: the underlying evolutionary and biological origins of attachment in the face of threat, how these manifest in therapy and can serve as a basis of practical therapeutic approaches Dependency in the client, which will be discussed at length The reasons for intense dependency yearnings and specific ways to use the therapeutic relationship to contain and resolve this painful experience without overwhelming the client or the therapist A specific model of therapeutic relationship, with implications for therapy Our learning objectives at this workshop will include: Participants will be able to describe the basic underlying neurobiological and evolutionary foundations of attachment and dependency problems in complex trauma Participants will be able to employ at least five strategies to effectively manage dependency in therapy with complex trauma survivors Participants will be able to describe a specific model for the therapeutic relationship that can be effective in containing and treating relational difficulties in complex trauma The workshop includes discussions of case vignettes illustrating the practical implications of our theoretical discussions. further details & bookings
Integrating and Working with PTSD, Complex PTSD and Adverse Childhood Events from an Attachment Perspective A 2-day training workshop at London with Dr Felicity de Zulueta London, 11 & 12 May 2018, Friday and Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days This practical workshop, led by Dr Felicity de Zulueta – one of UK’s leading experts on PTSD and complex PTSD – begins by discussing the latest diagnostic criteria for PTSD, and its dissociative manifestations, as they are presented in the new DSM V and in the current version of ICD-11. The workshop highlights how these diagnostic criteria ignore the existence of a wide range of presentations that arise in survivors of childhood abuse and emotional neglect as well as those who have suffered from chronic and severe exposure to traumatic events, a condition unofficially referred to as ‘developmental or complex PTSD’ and increasingly included within the domain of research on Adverse Childhood Events. Such a state of affairs can leave therapists treating these clients / patients with little or no guidance in relation to the aetiology, diagnosis, assessment and treatment of their symptoms and makes research in the field very difficult. Dr Zulueta demonstrates how an understanding of these disorders from an attachment perspective, enables one to make sense of both the psychological and somatic symptoms clients / patients present with and the recent epigenetic findings relating to transmission of PTSD down the generations. By integrating her clinical experience with Attachment research, Dr Zulueta outlines the process by which psychotherapeutically trained practitioners can assess and prepare traumatised clients for the ‘journey of therapy’ whilst bearing in mind their need for emotional regulation and a sense of security. The workshop discusses different therapeutic approaches to stabilisation & treatment of PTSD and the way severe traumatic attachments can lead to resistance to change. Viewing the assessment and treatment of PTSD through the lens of Attachment Theory, the workshop helps practitioners understand how a rupture in the neurobiological capacity to attune and the capacity to mentalise is fundamental to our understanding of traumatised individuals, while also providing practical new approaches to therapy for both complex and developmental PTSD. Utilising a series of video vignettes and clinical case examples, Dr Zulueta helps us comprehend the linkages between complex PTSD, so-called Borderline Personality Disorder, dissociative disorders and violent behaviour. further details & bookings
Attachment Issues in Grief Therapy An evening webinar with Dr Phyllis Kosminsky and Dr John R. Jordan authors of Attachment Informed Grief Therapy: The Clinician’s Guide to Foundations and Applications Online, 17 May 2018, Thursday 6:00pm - 9:00pm, London, UK time Attachment security is one of the very few factors that have been consistently identified by researchers seeking to understand the underlying causes of complicated vs. normal grief. In this webinar, Drs. Kosminsky and Jordan will look at what research and clinical practice have taught us about the development of a secure vs. insecure orientation to attachment, and how attachment orientation impacts emotional health across the lifespan, with an emphasis on response to loss. The presenters will explain the significance of contemporary perspectives on attachment and interpersonal neuroscience that are critical to understanding variations in peoples’ adaptation to loss, and will outline the implications of these insights for the practice of therapy with bereaved individuals. The core principles and practices of grief therapy have been consolidated in attachment informed grief therapy, an approach that emphasizes the centrality of the therapeutic relationship and the role of the therapist in helping the bereaved client re-regulate in the aftermath of significant loss. This approach is guided by an appreciation of the ways that attachment styles both mediate mourning and influence the therapeutic process. In order to understand how early attachment experience influences emotional and interpersonal functioning, Kosminsky and Jordan will begin by reviewing recent developments in neuroscience related to brain development and affect regulation. They will elaborate on the implications of these findings for our understanding of grief, particularly the phenomenon of complicated grief, and will demonstrate how contemporary neuroscience and modern attachment theory, in conjunction with new models of grief and loss, can help us make sense of a given individual’s grief response, their methods of coping with the strong emotions that accompany bereavement, and how they make use of grief therapy. Having established the basis and rationale of an attachment informed approach, the presenters will expand on the elements of grief therapy and the core clinical skills of the grief therapist that comprise this model. These principles and skills will be illustrated with clinical vignettes and client videos. This clinically orientated presentation, specifically explores: Our emerging understanding of the impact of early attachment experience on how people form relationships and how they manage strong emotions The significance of recent findings about attachment security as a factor in adaptation to loss Customising therapy to the client’s attachment orientation What it means to adopt an attachment informed approach to grief therapy, and the benefits of this approach for building a strong therapeutic alliance with bereaved clients further details & bookings
Postnatal Anxiety & Depression A one day seminar with Dr Stella Acquarone London, 19 May 2018, Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm A psychoanalytic understanding of the mother-baby dyad has particular relevance for practitioners. In this practical seminar that would be of value to psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, Dr Stella Acquarone first demystifies the aetiology of post natal anxiety and depression; providing us with an understanding of contributing factors. This introduction leads to a discussion on therapeutic implications including effectively assessing and working with manifestations of severe anxiety, depression, mood swings, extreme stress and suicidal tendencies for mothers. The seminar then builds on our psychoanalytic understanding to discuss practical implications for clinical work including: What factors trigger the feeling ‘I have a beautiful baby but I just want to die’ Postnatal anxiety & depression: signs to look out for How can we distinguish between Postnatal anxiety and depression Triggering factors for both Differences in therapeutic interventions for postnatal anxiety and depression Post traumatic delivery & special needs Therapeutic interventions for cases of early child abuse With the aid of video vignettes and examples, Dr Acquarone explains how therapists can enhance their client’s capacity for consistent childcare and help them avoid the negative repercussions of poor coping strategies. further details & bookings
Parenting and Personality Dysfunction An interactive, evening discussion with Dr Gwen Adshead (moderated by Jan McGregor Hepburn) London, 24 May 2018, Thursday 6:00pm - 9:00pm The ‘orchid-dandelion’ hypothesis of child development (Ellis, 2008) suggests that there are some ‘environments’ that can damage even the most resilient children. Parental harshness, chronic hostility and a rejecting stance might form part of such hazardous environments – the incidence of which may be more common in parents with personality disorders. Evidence shows that such ‘maladaptive parental behaviour’ is not just associated with high rates of child and adolescent psychopathology; but also with higher manifestations of conduct and / or oppositional defiant disorders in children. As therapists, we also realise that parental personality dysfunctions can have attachment implications. Frightened or frightening parenting behaviours lead to disorganised attachment in children, which in turn is symptomatic of a range of abnormal childhood behaviours. Our challenge in working with such parents and families however, is that abusive parents with personality disorders are often hard to engage. They may feel defensive and reluctant to building a trusting relationship over time with therapists. This evening discussion with Dr Adshead specifically explores, how therapists can apply these considerations in clinical settings and allow for provision of relational security at multiple levels. About the speaker Dr Gwen Adshead is a psychotherapist, group analyst and forensic psychiatrist. She trained as a psychiatrist, and then as a forensic psychiatrist after completing a master’s Degree in medical law and ethics at King’s College, London. She was lecturer in victimology at the Institute of Psychiatry, where she studied interpersonal trauma and its effects; then trained as a psychotherapist, with a particular interest in Attachment Theory. She first started work at Broadmoor Hospital as a senior psychiatric trainee in 1990; and over the last twenty years has worked as a responsible clinician, as well as a consultant psychotherapist. Her research interests include moral reasoning in psychopaths and antisocial men; the attachment narratives of abusive mothers; and how psychotherapies work with violent people. Gwen has published over 100 papers, book chapters and commissioned papers; co-edited three books and is working on three more. Gwen’s principle training is group dynamic; but she also has experience of cognitive approaches to therapy, DBT, and mentalization based therapies. further details & bookings
The Shape of Trauma: effectively working with the multiple dynamics of the trauma narrative A one day workshop with Miriam Taylor London, 25 May 2018, Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm In order to listen more deeply to trauma, we need to be able to get behind the story. Although traumatic events may be experienced as random and meaningless, they always happen in a context. The hidden story of how trauma weaves its way into many aspects of life is every bit as clinically relevant as the one the client is aware of. Faulty perception of the whole situation can result in a perpetuation of splits, dissociation and hopelessness, and limit the effectiveness of therapy. Essential also is to take account of ourselves as agents within the traumatised relational field, and we will open some ideas about this dynamic. At this practical and clinically oriented workshop which would be relevant for all practitioners working with Trauma (including PTSD, Complex Trauma and Dissociative Disorders), Miriam Taylor highlights how we can juggle, and indeed balance, the myriad threads of the trauma narrative – the evident and the hidden dynamics, the manifest presentations and the comorbid factors, the expressed and the repressed. She explains how one of the most important dynamics of working with the trauma narrative is the juxtaposition of the two personalities in the therapeutic encounter – the client and the therapist, each of whom bring their own interpretations into the consulting room. She explains how we can remain cognizant of these undercurrents, while identifying some recurring trauma patterns – with a view to supporting the creation of a more coherent narrative. Through experiential elements and case vignettes, the workshop helps us comprehend: A systems perspective on trauma A neurobiological model for intervention and meaning making Key features of trauma responses The concept of ground trauma Defensive systems Holding patterns Intergenerational trauma Traumatised organisations Collective traumas Bearing witness Attentional shifts, hypervigilance and mindfulness Identifying splits and parallel processes Power, splits, shame and inclusion in the therapeutic relationship Self-awareness and care for the therapist further details & bookings
Transference from an Attachment Perspective: a new understanding through the lens of biological and interpersonal systems A one day workshop with Dr Una McCluskey and Michael O’Toole London, 2 June 2018, Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm This workshop, based on the speakers’ new book, starts with the premise that our emphasis on classifying an individual’s attachment style has removed focus from what it means for a person’s physical and mental health when the goals of biological, individual and interpersonal systems are not met – or in other words, when aspects of the self fail to reach their biological goals. The workshop considers five such aspects of the self: careseeking, the caregiving self, the defensive self, the sexual self and the interest-sharing self. At the core of this workshop is the assertion that when aspects of the self get aroused, the behaviour that follows is only logically and meaningfully connected when the self-system reaches its goal. When the meaningful connections between the system and behaviour are lost – then crucial information is in an undiscovered state for the person and those around them (including the therapist). Crucially, the workshop uses this premise to extend the concept of transference from its original meaning – to explain how our clients can communicate these disconnections (between their behaviour and the arousal of particular systems), in narrative form and through the feelings they project onto the other person. Using case illustrations and discussions, we explore how, as therapists, we can not only process this narrative but also assist our clients in considering whether their behavioural and / or emotional manifestations could be linked to unprocessed material embedded in the restorative process (RP). (and how this is linked to the working of the seven interdependent biological systems that make up the RP). Specifically, we consider: Understanding the lost connection between behaviour and the underlying system that is aroused but unassuaged – dictating all transferential phenomena How non-fulfilment of biological ‘goals’ can distort transferential manifestations – obfuscating the meaning, both to the client and to the therapist Comprehending the different, yet inter-connected selves – the caregiving self, the defensive self, the sexual self and the interest-sharing self How do we interpret the workings of the restorative process, as postulated by Heard and Lake (2009) What is the ‘Relating Brain’ and how does it influence transference Overall, the workshop discusses what might constitute a therapeutic dynamic. In other words, what steps can a therapist take to facilitate the recovery of clients’ lost function, competence and a sense of real-meaning in their lives. further details & bookings
Embodied Relational Therapy: A new integrative modality A one day seminar with Nick Totton London, 8 June 2018, Friday 10:00am - 5:00pm Embodied-Relational Therapy (ERT) is an integrative, holistic approach focusing on two central facts about human beings: we are embodied and in relationship. To be alive, we need to be a body; to be alive, we need to relate to others - our greatest challenges and our greatest joys follow from these twin facts. As human beings, we integrate body-mind-spirit; and on the whole, we find this condition hard to manage. Our nature seeks to express itself freely, while at the same time protecting itself, in conditions sometimes of great difficulty. This double task of expression and protection makes us often subject to contradictory pulls, and offering double messages about what we feel, want and need. Through a relationship which is challenging but supportive and non-invasive, it is possible to disentangle our doubleness and allow our process to unfold. ERT offers a profound trust that whatever is trying to happen, in someone's life or in the wider world, needs to happen. The ERT approach cultivates a playful and spontaneous response to what we observe phenomenologically. It understands symptoms not as problems to be solved, but as a valuable stimulus to change and growth. ERT aims to support connection and integration between estranged aspects of ourselves, and between ourselves and the wider world – the communities of human and other-than-human beings. It thus has elements of both a political and a spiritual practice. This seminar combines a theoretical account of embodied relating, drawing on psychotherapy, neuroscience, philosophy, sociology and more, with a description of a style of clinical practice which embodies this theory. Participants can expect an enrichment of both their overview of therapy, and their clinical toolbag: many aspects of ERT can be integrated easily with other approaches and modalities. Among the topics to be addressed are: How to integrate attention to embodiment into verbally-oriented psychotherapy The reciprocity between embodiment and relationship Working creatively with issues of power and difference How to work with material without having to understand it first The role of a playful attitude in therapy Moving fluidly between different channels of experience – e.g. sensation, emotion, thought, relationship, fantasy, movement, external events (‘the world channel’) The concept of character and its value for therapy further details & bookings
Advanced Therapeutic Techniques using Attachment Theory A 2-day training workshop at London with Dr Gwen Adshead London, 15 & 16 June 2018, Friday and Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days Equipped with a core understanding of Attachment Theory concepts, practitioners can assess a client’s Attachment representations. An effective incorporation of such assessments in our therapeutic approaches however requires a deeper comprehension of the clinical applications of Attachment Theory. At this practical and in-depth two day training course, that would be of value to psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors, health care professionals and psychiatrists, Dr Gwen Adshead draws on her long-standing psychodynamic and clinical experience to help us comprehend the development of Attachment bonds & Psychopathology (Day 1) and the Applications of Attachment Theory in clinical practice (Day 2). On Day 1 of the course, we review the building process of Attachment patterns, styles and representations; looking at supporting factors, the impact of traumatic events, the relationship with temperament and the rupture and repair of Attachment across the life span. We also look at the development of mentalization as it relates to the underlying Attachment representations and specifically consider parental mentalization; and the relevance of childhood attachment for adult attachments; especially in terms of care giving and care eliciting behavioural systems. We also start looking at connections with psychopathological manifestations as preparation for Day 2 of the course. Day 2 of the training course focusses on the applications of Day 1’s concepts for therapeutic processes. We compare and contrast the literature on mentalization led therapies and other therapeutic schools, while looking at the relevance of Attachment Classifications for therapeutic interactions, therapy as a ‘Strange Situation’, Attachment and Transference and the implications of ruptures in therapeutic attachments. The two day course uses theoretical discussions and case vignettes to explain the value and challenges of an Attachment led therapeutic approach and equips delegates with a deeper understanding of practical therapeutic applications. About the speaker Dr Gwen Adshead is a Forensic Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist. She trained at St George's Hospital, the Institute of Psychiatry and the Institute of Group Analysis. She is trained as a group therapist and a Mindfulness-based cognitive therapist and has also trained in Mentalisation-based therapy. She worked for nearly twenty years as a Consultant Forensic Psychotherapist at Broadmoor Hospital, running psychotherapeutic groups for offenders and working with staff around relational security and organisational dynamics. Gwen also has a Masters' Degree in Medical Law and Ethics; and has a research interest in moral reasoning, and how this links with 'bad' behaviour. Gwen has published a number of books and over 100 papers, book chapters and commissioned articles on forensic psychotherapy, ethics in psychiatry, and attachment theory as applied to medicine and forensic psychiatry. She is the co-editor of Clinical topics in Personality Disorder (with Dr Jay Sarkar) which was awarded first prize in the psychiatry Section of the BMA book awards 2013; and she also co-edited Personality Disorder: the Definitive Collection with Dr Caroline Jacob. She is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Forensic Psychiatry (2013) and the Oxford Handbook of Medical Psychotherapy (2016). She is also the co-editor of Munchausens’s Syndrome by Proxy: Current issues in Assessment, Treatment and Research. Gwen was visiting professor at Yale School of Psychiatry and Law in 2013; and also honoured with the President’s Medal for services to psychiatry that same year for her work on ethics in psychiatry. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by St George’s hospital in 2015; and was Gresham Professor of Psychiatry 2014-2017. She now works in a medium secure unit in Hampshire in a service for high risk offenders with personality disorder; and in a women’s prison. further details & bookings
Sexual Assault: the impact on the psyche and therapeutic considerations A one day seminar with Prof. Fiona Mason London, 22 June 2018, Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm Sexual violence can have a deep-rooted and debilitating impact on a survivor – across the psychological, emotional and physical domains. The lifetime risk of attempted or completed rape is up to 20% for women. Rape is a deeply damaging, serious crime, and while many new policies and practices have been developed to assist survivors, implementation can often be patchy – leaving survivors with inadequate help and therapeutic support. When sexual assault survivors seek therapeutic help, it is imperative that those interacting with them understand the significant physical and psychological morbidity resulting from sequalae such as depression, anxiety, loss of self-worth, guilt and shame & stress related disorders – conditions which can have long lasting impact on their wellbeing, their relational health and future functioning. Dr Mason was an advisor to the former Solicitor General on issues regarding rape and regularly teaches clinicians and members of the judiciary, CPS and police services on issues relating to rape and sexual assault. At this practical and clinically focused workshop, Dr Mason draws on her extensive experience to not just build our empathetic awareness towards the damaging physical and psychological impact of sexual assault, but also equip us with the appropriate therapeutic understanding, that will assist and improve our practice. The workshop specifically considers: Myths and stereotypes Psychological reactions during rape and sexual assault Post traumatic responses Pre-trial therapeutic interventions Memory and trauma Therapeutic interventions Trauma, self-care and long-term health Survivors of sexual assault can be of either sex, and any age, however the majority are women; therefore, whilst not forgetting child victims or male survivors, the seminar will be presented with a focus on adult women, including survivors of childhood sexual abuse. further details & bookings
Resilience: Learning to Bounce Back from Disappointment, Difficulty, even Disaster An evening webinar with Linda Graham Online, 27 June 2018, Wednesday 6:30pm - 8:30pm, London, UK time Dealing effectively with life’s challenges and crises is at the core of resilience and well-being. Helping clients develop flexible and adaptive strategies for coping with everyday disappointments and difficulties, even extraordinary disasters is at the heart of the therapeutic process. At this online webinar with Linda Graham, we consider neuroscientific evidence and focus on the ways in which our clients can harness the brain’s processes to rewire their defensive / dysfunctional coping strategies. Modern neuroscience has shown how we can use the brain’s innate neuroplasticity to modify coping behaviours, even when these appear to be seemingly ‘stuck’ or intractable. At this webinar, we will look at the tools and techniques that work best when we want our clients to: Reverse the impact of stress and / or trauma Come out of anxiety, depression, grief, loneliness, guilt and / or shame Deepen self-compassion and empathy that connects them to inner resources Strengthen their resonant relationships that foster perseverance and Shift their perspectives through mindful awareness Linda helps us identify therapeutic techniques that can be applied across modalities. Specifically, we look at: The Neuroscience of Resilience: Impact of attachment conditioning, including early developmental trauma on brain functioning and resilience Somatic Intelligence: Body-based tools that help regulate the nervous system’s automatic survival responses and return the body-brain to its natural physiological equilibrium; Use of the brain’s social engagement system to manage surges of emotions, generate a neuroception of safety, and prime the brain’s plasticity-receptivity to learning Emotional Intelligence: Practices of mindful empathy and self-acceptance as an antidote to the brain’s negativity bias, healing toxic shame and retiring the inner critic; Cultivating positive, pro-social emotions to shift the functioning of the brain out of contraction and reactivity to more openness and receptivity Relational Intelligence: helping our clients balance autonomy with intimacy; Skills of resonant relationships: reaching out for help, setting limits and boundaries, repairing ruptures, resolving conflicts and negotiating change that allow them to navigate their world with skill, trust, and love Reflective Intelligence: Practices of mindfulness – knowing what you’re experiencing while you’re experiencing it - that strengthen the brain’s flexibility for therapeutic change; Tools to create the coherent narrative of experience that leads to post-traumatic growth Lifestyle Choices that protect the brain and avoid compassion fatigue further details & bookings
A Practical Introduction to Neuropsychoanalysis: Clinical Implications A 2-day training workshop at London with Mark Solms London, 29 & 30 June 2018, Friday and Saturday 9:00am - 4:30pm on both days Neuropsychoanalysis starts from the assumption that the brain and mind are the same thing, considered from two different observational perspectives (objective and subjective, respectively). This implies that everything we have learnt about the brain has implications for how we conceive the mind, and vice-versa. It is evidently dichotomous to have two different and incompatible theories about the same part of nature. In this workshop, the two perspectives are reconciled with each other, and the practical implications for our clinical work as psychoanalysts and psychotherapists are discussed in detail. The first session discusses how basic psychoanalytic concepts can be translated into basic neuroscientific concepts and vice-versa. Then it focuses on one important respect in which the two sets of concepts cannot be easily translated, because they contradict each other. This contradiction concerns the fact that the part of the brain which performs the functions that Freud called the id is not unconscious, as Freud had claimed. The session explains how, the id, is the fount of all consciousness. The second session focuses on the parts of the brain that correlate with what Freud called the unconscious. We consider the implications for our understanding of this central psychoanalytic notion that arise from new findings about the functions of these parts of the brain (for example, the finding that the unconscious memory systems do not contain representational images). This culminates in a radical new conceptualization of repression. The third session outlines modern knowledge about the basic drives and instincts of the human brain, which requires substantial modification of Freudian ‘instinct theory’. This knowledge also has many important implications for our understanding (and classification) of various psychopathologies. The fourth session (first session of the second day) draws together the implications that the three innovations introduced on the first day have for the clinical practice of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. The emphasis here falls on the implications of three important points: (1) the ‘talking cure’ cannot revolve around dragging the consciousness of words down into the unconscious id, thereby rendering it thinkable, since the id is in fact conscious from the outset; (2) the ‘talking cure’ also cannot revolve around the undoing of repressions for the reason that repressed unconscious memories cannot be recalled in the form of representational images; (3) the aims and mechanisms of psychotherapy and psychoanalysis are reformulated in the light of modern drive and instinct theory. The fifth and sixth sessions illustrate all of these clinical implications, especially for technique, with reference to two case presentations by members of the audience, discussed ‘live’ by Mark Solms. About the speaker Mark Solms is best known for his discovery of the forebrain mechanisms of dreaming, and for his integration of psychoanalytic theories and methods with those of modern neuroscience. He holds the Chair of Neuropsychology at the University of Cape Town and Groote Schuur Hospital (Departments of Psychology and Neurology) and is President of the South African Psychoanalytical Association. He is also currently Research Chair of the International Psychoanalytical Association and Science Director of the American Psychoanalytic Association. He was the Founding Editor of the journal Neuropsychoanalysis in 1999 and founded the International Neuropsychoanalysis Society in 2000. He is the authorized editor and translator of the forthcoming Revised Standard Edition of the Complete Psychological Works of Sigmund Freud (24 vols), and the Complete Neuroscientific Works of Sigmund Freud (4 vols). His most recent books are The Feeling Brain (Karnac) and Beyond Evolutionary Psychology (Cambridge). His earlier book, The Brain and the Inner World (Karnac) was a best-seller which was translated into 13 languages. further details & bookings
Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Self-Alienation A 2-day training workshop at London with Janina Fisher, PhD London, 21 & 22 September 2018, Friday and Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm on both days Childhood abuse necessitates self-alienation: we must disown the humiliating ‘bad child’ and work harder to be the ‘good child’, acceptable to our attachment figures. In the end, we survive trauma at the cost of disowning and dissociating from our most wounded selves. While longing to feel safe and welcome, traumatized individuals find themselves in conflict: alternating between clinging and pushing others away, experiencing self-hatred or hostility toward others, yearning to be seen yet yearning to be invisible. Years later, these clients present in therapy with symptoms of anxiety, depression, low self-esteem, diagnoses of bipolar and borderline personality disorder, and a distorted or absent sense of identity. This two-day training workshop offers a practical, hands on approach to working with traumatized clients who experience self-alienation and self-hatred, by helping them to recognize how the trauma has left them fragmented and at war within their own minds and bodies. Participants will learn how to help their clients observe the parts they have embraced and identified with as ‘me’ as well as the trauma-related parts they have disowned and judged harshly. Using interventions drawn from a number of therapeutic approaches (including Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems, and Ego State Therapy), the focus is on helping clients observe and accept all aspects of the self with mindfulness-based interest and curiosity. As their young parts are identified and understood as ‘heroes’ in their own individual stories of survival, clients are able to feel more warmly toward them, often for the first time. Techniques will be demonstrated that increase the capacity to feel for, and with, each part; that foster a sense of caring, and that pave the way for growing 'earned secure attachment'. Even when our clients are unable to tolerate emotion, extend themselves compassion, or take in someone else’s caring, they can still learn to feel protective of their younger selves and even to welcome home these ‘lost souls’ with warmth and self-compassion. Learning Objectives To identify signs and symptoms of fragmentation and internal conflict To facilitate mindful tracking of fragmented parts of the self To decrease client phobias of emotion and inner experience by increasing mindfulness-based dual awareness To utilize somatic interventions for regulating autonomic arousal and affect dysregulation to calm the body To integrate interpersonal neurobiology and social engagement techniques into the treatment To increase self-compassion through growing empathy for wounded child parts To foster ‘earned secure attachment’ further details & bookings
The Psychophysiology of PTSD and Trauma: how we can make Trauma Therapy safer A 2-day workshop at London with Babette Rothschild London, 31 October and 1 November 2018, Wednesday and Thursday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days PTSD can be viewed as a condition where the body and mind have not, yet, recognized that a traumatic event is over. The body’s nervous system continues to mobilise for defensive fight / flight or protective freeze. At the same time, PTSD can be seen as a failure of mindful dual awareness, which results in over reliance on, and hypervigilance for internal cues and symptoms and an inability to recognise the present as different from the past. This practical, two day workshop which would be relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers is aimed at equipping delegates with neurophysical and psychophysical theory, principles and tools – which allow us in our therapeutic interactions to help our clients: Enable the nervous system to recognise when trauma is over; by understanding, reducing, containing and halting traumatic hyperarousal, including flashbacks and benefit from body-oriented interventions that assist in integrating traumatic memories, with a view to increasing stability and improving quality of life Through case-vignettes and examples, delegates will learn to: distinguish between clients who will benefit from the processing of traumatic memories and clients who will not – we consider specific therapeutic skills for helping both groups comprehend the structure of the body’s nervous system and understand how we can employ the sensory nervous system for mediating flashbacks and nightmares effectively utilise the autonomic nervous system for moderating arousal levels Discern relaxed (muscular states) from calm (nervous system states) Incorporate mindfulness, yoga and physical exercises in our therapeutic approach Clearly delineate between traumatic stress, post-traumatic stress and post-traumatic stress disorder Gain tools for protecting ourselves from vicarious trauma and compassion fatigue The workshop is consistent with and would be a beneficial adjunct to multiple modalities of psychotherapy or specialised trauma therapy (including analytical, dynamic and somatic approaches, cognitive behavioural and EMDR). Participants will each receive a laminated version of the new 6-colour ANS table to keep and continue to use in their work and for their own self-care. further details & bookings

nscience UK is an independent organisation that seeks to explore the interdisciplinary richness of mental health disciplines. Through a series of seminars, workshops and conferences that are conducted throughout the year, we aim to present the latest advances in theory and research to practitioners; with a view to furthering their continuing professional development.

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Continuing professional development through seminars, workshops and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists.