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 a 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. Schedule 5:40PM: Registration 6:00PM: Disorders of Relational Capacity? 6:45PM: Impact on parenting skills and outcomes 7:30PM: Break 7:45PM: Therapeutic Considerations 9:00PM: Close

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