Dangerous Desires, Inanimate Containers: understanding the psychodynamics of substance misuse A one-day workshop with Martin Weegmann London, 24 February 2018 (Saturday) 10:00am - 4:00pm
As therapists, whether we work directly with clients who misuse substances or face this challenge concomitant with other presentations, we realize that addiction as a defensive strategy is often too simple a generalisation. The underlying dynamics can be complex and difficult to comprehend – are we actually dealing with shame, guilt or resistance; attempts at management of self-esteem or avoidance of painful subjective states? Do we need to address substance misuse first before progressing with therapy and are we sufficiently equipped to do so? When is addiction simply a self-regulation failure and when does it step into the realm of a disorder? At this practical and interactive workshop that would be relevant for psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, Martin Weegmann looks at substance misuse from a psychodynamic viewpoint and helps us: Consider an accessible, comprehensive and contemporary psychodynamic understanding of addiction, particularly relevant to the misuse of substances Link psychodynamic understanding with wider addictive mechanisms in society and the history of fear and fascination towards substances - whether normal(ised), legal or illicit Understand a framework for the process of recovery from substance misuse Comprehend what the concept of recovery means to the family and friends of those affected by a client’s substance misuse Consider how Attachment Theory (e.g. Phil Flores), the Self-medication Hypothesis (Edward Khantzian) and Self-psychology (Martin Weegmann) can conceptually help us work with substance misuse Appreciate how psychodynamic approaches are complementary to other mainstream approaches, including motivational enhancement, relapse prevention and Twelve-Step facilitation Consider the dynamics of lifestyle change following the achievement of abstinence Martin will not only present material based on published evidence; but also use group discussion and clinical case studies as part of the workshop. Participants are welcome to bring vignettes of clinical material that can be shared and discussed within the normal boundaries of confidentiality.
About the speaker Martin Weegmann is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Group Analyst, who has specialised in substance misuse, personality disorders and complex needs, predominantly in NHS settings. Martin worked for 5 years as a ‘Non-Alcoholic Trustee’ with Alcoholics Anonymous. His recent books are: The World within the Group: Developing Theory for Group Analysis (Karnac, 2014), Permission to Narrate: Explorations in Group Analysis, Psychoanalysis & Culture (Karnac 2016), and, a new edited book, Psychodynamics of Writing (Karnac, 2018). He was the editor for Psychodynamics of Addiction (2002, Wiley) and Group Psychotherapy and Addiction (2004, Wiley), and published many papers in a range of journals. Martin is particularly interested in integrations of narrative with psychodynamic approaches.

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