Addressing Personal and Clinical Challenges in Therapy A one-day seminar with Susie Orbach London, 20 January 2018 (Saturday) 10:00am - 4:00pm
Last year, as part of Radio 4 series In Therapy, Susie Orbach discussed a wide range of clinical dilemmas that we witness, as practising therapists and counsellors – the dynamics of the first session, dealing with erotic transference, perplexing and conflicting client behaviour and the challenges that come with client dyads. In 2018, Susie is releasing an expanded and updated version of her new publication In Therapy and this workshop presents some new challenges and dilemmas that we face at both personal and clinical levels. Through interactive engagements with participants and seminar sub-sections, we specifically consider: Deconstructing anger: What does the therapist need to consider in the face of intense anger from the client? How do we engage the client, so as to gain comprehension of the underlying palate of emotions which have found expression through anger? What practical steps can we take, as therapists, to work with a more complex and textured sense of self that the therapeutic engagement is presenting in such cases? Also, what sense do we make of our own transferential responses? Dealing with the aftermath of illness: Our cultural story about illness sees it as a crisis, with heroic overtones associated with fighting back. The inner experience for our clients however can range from despair to survivor guilt to exhilaration. What happens after recovery? What is thrown up post illness? Are there ways to minimize the kind of discomfort that illness can cause the therapist and the client? Therapy for the elderly: Therapeutic engagement with the elderly can present unique challenges. For example, how do we reflect on and manage an unexpected single life when death or dementia takes one’s partner away. We look at the effective use of therapeutic techniques that work best in such cases. Cross-generational Challenges: Cross-generational challenges come in different configurations: trauma transfer across generations for instance. As an example, we might be faced with dynamics in a mother-daughter relationship in which the daughter’s struggle to differentiate, and the mother’s struggle to let go, can implode. What are the pitfalls in cross-generational work and how can we best avoid these? These dilemmas are made even more challenging by the fact that our intended interventions may have multiple, and indeed co-existent objectives – our words may be directed at facilitating the client’s narrative or at slowing down the narrative and assisting our client in her thought process. At this intellectually stimulating and practical seminar, Susie Orbach relies on a psychoanalytic and developmental approach and draws on therapeutic case examples to help us closely examine the challenging facets of our client interactions. The aim of the seminar is to get as close to the experience of a therapy session as possible. To facilitate the process at the seminar, we will hear excerpts from the two recent Radio 4 series In Therapy which span a variety of clinical situations. We will then dissect parts of the sessions to understand what was said by the therapist and why. Susie will also facilitate similar dissection of clinical material brought by participants with a view to elucidating the crucial aspects of our interventions that make these effective. She explains the best practices that therapists employ to overcome these commonly occurring dilemmas while providing interventions that: focus on affect and examine the complexity of feelings our clients may be experiencing challenge our client’s conceptions of events when these appear out of kilter with the inner world effectively get behind defence structures About the speaker Susie Orbach first wrote about the body in Fat is a Feminist Issue in 1978 bringing the issues of compulsive eating and body troubles to a wide audience. Despite writing books on many other topics, she’s returned to the theme of the body many times. In 1986, she published Hunger Strike, in 2002 she published On Eating and in 2009 the award winning Bodies in The Great Ideas series. She has written many professional papers and popular articles on the topic and been the Keynote Speaker at Government conferences in Australia, Austria, Germany and the UK. She is author of a recent Government paper Two for the Price of One and an expanded version of her new publication In Therapy is being released in 2018. She sits on The Government’s expert panel on Body Confidence and gave testimony to the APPG Inquiry in 2013. Together with her colleagues in New York, Susie has developed the BODI – Body Observational Diagnostic Interview – an instrument that enables therapists understand the issues of embodiment more deeply. Susie sees clients for individual and couple therapy and has been an advisor to the NHS, The World Bank and Unilever. Seminar Schedule 9:45AM: Registration 10:00AM: Session 1 11:15AM: Coffee Break 11:30AM: Session 2 1:00PM: Lunch (a light lunch is provided as part of the workshop) 2:00PM: Session 3 4:00PM: Close

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