Healing Broken Bonds: The Consequences of Traumatic Attachment A 2-day training workshop with Janina Fisher, PhD London, 24 & 25 January 2020, Friday & Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm on both days As therapists, we realise that our client’s capacities for affect tolerance, auto regulation and achievement of an integrated sense of self in adulthood are all dependent upon their early attachment experiences. (Schore, 2003). In the context of trauma however, attachment failure is inevitable, leaving behind a lasting imprint on all future relationships, including the therapeutic one. Rather than experiencing others as a haven of safety, traumatized clients are driven by powerful wishes and fears of relationship. Because the capacity to tolerate our emotions without becoming overwhelmed or shutting down depends upon secure attachment, the therapeutic work is often challenged by the client’s vulnerability to affect dysregulation. This two-day training workshop offers a practical, hands on approach to understanding the impact of traumatic attachment experiences on relationship and on the ability to tolerate emotions (one’s own and those of others). Using interventions drawn from a number of therapeutic approaches (including Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems, and Ego State Therapy), we explore the effects of traumatic attachment from a psychobiological perspective, considering how this opens up new ways of working with its relational legacy. We consider neuroscience research findings on the affects of both attachment and traumatic experiences on the brain and body, so that our moment-to-moment therapeutic experience reflects an understanding of not only the client’s verbalisations, but also the language of the brain and the body. Specifically, we learn how to focus on the sequence of emotional, bodily and cognitive responses to the trauma narrative. This workshop combines lecture, video, and experiential exercises to explore a neurobiologically-informed understanding of the impact of trauma on attachment behaviour, somatic interventions for challenging trauma-related relational patterns, and how we can use ourselves as “neurobiological regulators” of the client’s dysregulated emotional and autonomic states. Learning Objectives: To describe the effects of trauma-related attachment on affect regulation To identify the effects of disorganized attachment on interpersonal relationships To utilize Sensorimotor Psychotherapy interventions to address attachment and trauma-related issues in psychotherapy To employ interactive neurobiological regulation to help clients tolerate psychotherapy and be more effective collaborators
The Neuroscience of Therapeutic Attachment: How our clients recover their Inner Resilience and Well-Being through conscious, compassionate connection An online webinar with Linda Graham Online Webinar, 29 January 2020, Wednesday 6:30pm - 8:30pm The development of ‘Resilience’ is an experiential process. Early attachment relationships have the potential to catalyze (or de-rail) the development of the 3 R’s of resilience: Regulating the nervous system and emotions in response to stressors Relating to self and others as trustworthy refuges and resources in the face of adversity and Responding skilfully and flexibly to any disruption to well-being - from barely a wobble to serious sorrows and struggles As a re-parenting figure, regardless of theoretical orientation or therapeutic modality, the therapist plays a central role in catalyzing the recovery of brain functioning when patterns of coping have become dysfunctional, or even ‘stuck’ and maladaptive. We can achieve this by: creating the neuroception of safety in a mindfully engaged and empathic relationship that primes the neuroplasticity of the brain for learning and growth fostering the conscious reflection and deliberate choices that activate the client’s neuroplasticity in a wholesome direction guiding the client in conscientiously recovering the capacities of the 3 R’s in ways that are safe, efficient and effective But how do we achieve these objectives? At this practical, clinically-oriented webinar, Linda helps us identify empirically-validated therapeutic techniques that can be applied across modalities. Specifically, we consider how we can: Use body-based tools to help clients reverse the impact of de-railed resilience, returning to an inner sense of safety and equilibrium – their natural baseline of physiological equilibrium Explore the emotional comfort / discomfort in the therapeutic relationship to more skilfully navigate powerful negative emotions and experience the benefits (to the brain as well as the psyche) Use tools to strengthen the self-awareness, self-compassion, and self-acceptance that allow the adult client to rewire previously conditioned patterns of relating to the inner critic and the inner child Use their deepening skills of relational intelligence to recover skills in relating to others: reaching out for help, communicating without shame / blame, negotiating change, setting limits and boundaries, exiting the drama triangle, gaining a capacity for forgiveness Help our clients strengthen practices of conscious reflection to shift entire belief systems and mindsets about themselves, and their relationships with others Assist our clients in claiming their capacities to rewire less-than-optimal coping strategies and move into thriving and flourishing
Body Troubles: 2020 An evening seminar with Susie Orbach London, 30 January 2020, Thursday 6:00pm - 9:00pm As practising therapists and counsellors, we notice that the terrain of the body is rapidly changing. A plethora of new developments require new thinking: Cosmetic Surgery Apps for six-year olds, Selfies everywhere, Virtual Reality, Snapchat dysmorphia, The Kardashian effect, Implants and Sex dolls; just to name a few. Our clients may not be consulting us on body troubles specifically, but whatever their emotional predicaments and conflicts, concern for the body is nearly always folded into them. At this intellectually stimulating seminar, Susie Orbach explores our challenges as therapists in a culture where the individual is deemed accountable for his or her body and judged by it. She contends that there are two trends that will shape body discussions in the years to come: the difficulty of living in the bodies we currently inhabit, especially in an age of celebrity and influencer adulation – where the pursuit of ‘perfectibility’ keeps finding its way into our consulting rooms. The second trend is that artificial intelligence led cosmetic surgery (which allows beauty to be benchmarked against 200 attractive features currently) and Synthetic Biology make transformational tools available to individuals, while online and virtual reality existence allows for an almost body-free experience where your virtual avatar can perfect a chosen look. How is the ‘body’ perceived in such an environment? Susie looks closely at the implications for our therapeutic interactions and explains how the body will be front and centre in our consulting rooms. She argues that our therapeutic theories and practice need to expand to meet our client’s new concerns. To meet these challenges, the seminar explains a new theory of bodies that Susie has been developing and we also get a chance to discuss our own clinical examples. We consider how our countertransferential issues can help us meet the complex longings of the client.
Me, Myself & I: working with narcissism and its pathological manifestations A one day seminar and discussion with Dr Gwen Adshead Discussions hosted by Dr Jan Hepburn London, 31 January 2020, Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm Narcissism has been described as pleomorphic, a multiheaded hydra with a multiplicity of forms (Gabbard & Crisp, 2018) – narcissistic clients don’t fit neatly into one category or another. While the concept of narcissism has always been of clinical interest, its importance for psychological dysfunction is under new scrutiny. Narcissism as a defence against vulnerability and distress, its linkages with emotional regulation & Attachment security and the neurobiological underpinnings of narcissistic disorders – are all areas of recent findings and research. At this practical and intellectually stimulating seminar, which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, Dr Gwen Adshead and Dr Jan Hepburn highlight and explain how, as therapists, we need to comprehend the spectrum of narcissism – from adaptive to malignant. We need to understand how the conceptual framework for narcissism has evolved, together with the clinical manifestations of narcissism (and its disorders) – so as to able to work therapeutically with its more sadistic and psychopathological expressions. Using illustrative case vignettes and discussions, the workshop explains theories of narcissistic disorders, showing that there is actually a spectrum of psychological dysfunction. Key discussion themes for the day include: The ever-shifting representations of narcissism – when the same behaviour may be considered developmentally natural in one setting but pathological in another The roots of narcissistic disorders and the symptomatology for Narcissistic Personality Disorder Narcissism as a defence mechanism – how the client faces up to vulnerability and / or distress Countertransference issues with narcissistic clients – from the client who looks-down on the therapist to the one who intensely scrutinises the therapist’s actions Ideas about healthy and pathological narcissism and how these are evolving today Clinical manifestations of narcissism and behaviours associated with narcissistic disorders Indicated treatments for these disorders and their problems
Trauma Skills Training Week A 5-day training programme with Christiane Sanderson, Arielle Schwartz, Miriam Taylor, Karen Treisman and Marcus West London, 3 - 7 February 2020, Monday - Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm on each day At this practical and skills oriented training programme, which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors; we aim to comprehend some of the most challenging aspects of therapy for trauma, in all its clinical manifestations – as single episodic trauma, post-traumatic stress disorder, complex trauma, developmental and relational trauma and C-PTSD. The training programme focusses on the therapeutic skills we need in our repertoire as Trauma Therapists and Counsellors and brings together globally acclaimed speakers and experts to explore: The mind-body therapies that we require for vagus nerve regulation and the specific therapeutic techniques that we can utilise for addressing dysregulated arousal states How we can utilise somatic interventions – looking at the experiential aspects of working with arousal, sensation and movement How our clients can recover sexuality after sexual trauma The specific clinical challenges inherent to PTSD and C-PTSD and avoidance of misdiagnosis with personality disorders, BPD and dissociative disorders The consequences of profound early relational trauma – with special focus on the psyche’s reactions and adaptations to Trauma as well as the psyche’s defences against narcissistic wounding Integrative, Mind-Body approaches to treating clients with chronic, repeated and / or developmental trauma What it means to be a Trauma-Wise Practitioner - psychoeducation skills, grounding skills and sensorimotor techniques An analysis of the language we use in our therapeutic interactions with Trauma clients – how our words can shape expectations and set the tone for impactful change Self-care strategies by which we can minimise vicarious trauma Each training day can be booked individually or as part of the whole 5-Day programme.
Trauma & the Power of Language A morning seminar with Karen Treisman London, 3 February 2020, Monday 10:00am - 1:00pm Dr Karen Treisman’s practical and intellectually stimulating seminar will explore the importance, power and influence of language - the words we use, and the way we describe and story people, in the context of trauma. Specifically, we will consider: How we start by acknowledging the power of language and storying – by thinking consciously and deliberately about the language used and the words chosen from a trauma-informed lens perspective How a key part of this is a shift away from asking ‘What is wrong with you?’ and instead getting to know / see the person behind the symptom. This includes the use of first-person language, curiosity and reflection about the question ‘What happened to you?’ Evaluating whether our services, structures, processes and systems as trauma practitioners might be unintentionally retraumatising, retriggering and activating. Considering whether there is an intentional effort and action around evaluating these, reflecting on these and actively trying to find ways to improve, develop and problem-solve around them? We will especially look at some of the words and labels used to describe those who have experienced trauma and adversity; as well as some of the language and acronyms that can be prevalent in the therapeutic alliance. We will also explore concepts such as attentional and confirmation biases; as well as self-fulfilling prophecy. Case examples and powerful stories and quotes will be shared throughout this presentation.
The Missing Link: Working with the Traumatised Body A one day workshop with Miriam Taylor London, 4 February 2020, Tuesday 10:00am - 4:00pm Because trauma is fundamentally and implicitly stored in the body, major contemporary therapeutic approaches advocate somatic interventions. It is often the case that the body tells the story for which the client may not have found words yet, and we need to find ways to listen to the story behind the symptoms. For many therapists trained to work verbally or from the ‘top-down’, working with the body is unfamiliar and this workshop aims to encourage therapists to work from the ‘bottom-up’ as well. The workshop will introduce some of the ideas and techniques which can lead to understanding and resolving the somatic markers of trauma. 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 the case for therapists to adopt a body-sensitive approach to trauma. Starting from a theoretical base developed both from neuroscience and existential phenomenology, the body will be considered as the primary organiser and integrator of traumatic experience. A particular focus will be on experiential aspects of working with arousal, sensation and movement, and consideration will be given to trauma-based fears associated with connecting with the bodily self. Through experiential elements and case vignettes, the workshop helps us comprehend: The neurobiology of trauma – the triune brain, the vagus nerve, HPA axis and the window of tolerance; Hebb’s axiom Somatic memory – implicit and procedural learning The orienting response – assessment and possible interventions Embodied resonance and the therapist – reading the story Dysregulated arousal as a whole-body experience Understanding phobias of bodily experience The ambiguous relationship many trauma victims have with pain Shame and the body Reconnecting with the lived body – the phenomenological method Self-harm and the body Reclaiming sexuality after sexual trauma Trauma, self care and long term health
Conceptualising Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Complex PTSD A one day workshop with Christiane Sanderson London, 5 February 2020, Wednesday 10:00am - 4:00pm The focus of this training day is the conceptualisation and assessment of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD). We consider: The nature and main features of PTSD, including the main criteria and symptoms as identified by Diagnostic Statistical Manual version 5 (DSM-V) (APA, 2013) The recent addition of subtype: PTSD with Prominent Dissociative Symptoms will also be explored, and we will evaluate its link to dissociative disorders and childhood abuse In addition, the diagnostic category of C-PTSD by the World Health Organisation in the International Classification of Diseases version 11 (ICD-11; WHO, 2019) will be introduced and assessed. We will consider its robustness as a more inclusive and comprehensive formulation of PTSD that accounts for prolonged and repeated exposure to interpersonal trauma The myriad clinical challenges in diagnosing PTSD and C-PTSD will be unpacked including: the impact of subsyndromal PTSD the need to view PTSD on a spectrum and the value of reformulating it as Post Traumatic Injury rather than a disorder We will also consider the link between C-PTSD and personality disorder, in particular Borderline Personality Disorder, Dissociative Disorders, Somatic Symptoms and Related Disorders evaluating both comorbidity and misdiagnosis Participants will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with a range of assessment scales to measure the impact of trauma including: ICD-11 Trauma Questionnaire Traumatic Events Checklist (TEC) (Nijenhuis et al 2001) Trauma Symptom Inventory Dissociative Experiences Scale (DESII) & the Somatoform Dissociation Questionnaire (SDQ20) (Nijenhuis et al 1996) and the Somatic Symptom Severity Scale –PHQ-15 Through a number of case studies, participants will be encouraged to develop their own trauma focused case formulation to aid their practice and optimise the therapeutic process within a trauma framework Specifically, we cover: Conceptualisation of PTSD & C-PTSD and diagnostic criteria Predictors of PTSD including peri-traumatic dissociation, age at time of trauma and ability to process Clinical challenges such as sub-syndromal PTSD Co-Morbidity such as substance misuse, self-harm and depression Misdiagnosis including personality disorders, borderline personality disorder, bi-polar disorder, dissociative disorders, psychosis, and schizophrenia Familiarisation with a range of assessment scales Opportunity to develop our own trauma focused case formulation through a number of case studies
Early Relational Trauma and the ‘Traumatised Baby’ A morning workshop with Marcus West London, 6 February 2020, Thursday 10:00am - 1:00pm This seminar will explore some of the consequences of profound early relational trauma, where the infant’s basic needs to attach and to express their desires and distress have been unbearable or unacceptable to the caregiver. The ‘traumatised baby’ then becomes central to therapy and is co-constructed in the therapy relationship in a very powerful way. The seminar will explore some of the patterns of relating that follow and can typically lead to states of retraumatisation, profound regression (that Balint described as ‘malignant’), therapeutic impasse, and often the breakdown of therapy. It will explore how and why states of collapse, hopelessness, despair, envy, idealisation, shame, rage, destructiveness and suicidality, as well as sadistic and masochistic ways of relating, follow from these early experiences. We will consider how working with these states involves understanding and addressing the fundamentals of relating, as they manifest in the therapy relationship, and as they apply to both client and therapist. Using case examples, the seminar will explore how such early trauma triggers the primitive mammalian defences of fight, flight, freeze and collapse, related to Porges’ Polyvagal theory, as well as distortions to what the neuroscientist Jaak Panksepp calls the RAGE, FEAR, SEEKING and PANIC/GRIEF systems (plus the later-developing CARE, LUST and PLAY systems). This is particularly the case where, as in the situations we will discuss, the person to whom the infant would naturally turn to for comfort is also the source of threat, allowing disorganised attachment patterns to develop - with the person turning away from relationship whilst trying to co-opt the other through other relational means - withdrawal, control, avoidance and/or evacuation. The talk therefore explores both the psyche’s reactions and adaptations to the particular trauma(s) and the psyche’s intrinsic defences against narcissistic wounding. A particular focus will be on the period when, as Anne Alvarez describes in working with people with autism, what were once imperative defences are no longer necessary in the same way and simply become (unhelpful) ways of relating. At this point they can be challenged and new ways of relating begin to be developed. This is frequently keyed in by the analyst’s growing awareness of their own primitive, narcissistic, murderous-evacuative impulses which, if recognised, sensitively handled, and constructively utilised, can lead to growth and change (rather than causing an impasse or breakdown of the therapy relationship).
How to Become a Trauma Wise Practitioner: The Use of Trauma Informed Practice A one day workshop with Christiane Sanderson London, 7 February 2020, Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm This training day will introduce the fundamental principles of trauma informed practice which can enable clinicians to become trauma wise practitioners. The emphasis will be on how trauma informed practice acts as a scaffold for the primary model used by practitioners to aid their work when working with complex trauma, PTSD and C-PTSD. We examine: The importance of titrating exposure to trauma work by employing a three phased model which ensures stabilisation before processing traumatic experiences and moving towards integration The use of psychoeducation, grounding skills, and affect regulation to widen the Window of Tolerance – so as to facilitate somatic safety and distress tolerance when processing traumatic experiences Tried and tested techniques to manage trauma symptoms, flashbacks, intrusive memories, nightmares, dissociation and shame will be highlighted and evaluated Emphasis will also be placed on using both top down and bottom up processing skills and sensorimotor techniques, considering how we can make trauma-safe adjustments to body focused techniques such as breathing, mindfulness and body scans The importance of integration and reconnecting to self and others will be highlighted, and we will look at examples that show how this can be facilitated through the therapeutic relationship to allow for post traumatic growth Through a range of experiential exercises participants will have the opportunity to familiarise themselves with psychoeducation skills, grounding skills, and sensorimotor techniques, and practice how to apply these. In addition, they will able to explore how to create a customised recovery toolkit not only for their clients but also for themselves as part of their own self-care. Equipped with this, they will be able to facilitate post traumatic growth for their clients as well as minimise vicarious traumatisation and compassion fatigue to ensure they are able to remain present and embodied when working with survivors of complex trauma, PTSD and C-PTSD. Specifically, we cover: The fundamental principles of trauma informed practice to become a trauma wise practitioner The three phased model: Stabilisation, Processing and Integration The use of top down and bottom up processing techniques Psychoeducation and how to deliver it Grounding skills using sensory stimuli Affect regulation and window of tolerance Body focused techniques and trauma safe adjustments Somatic safety and managing trauma symptoms Processing and integration Creating a customised recovery toolkit Relational skills and the therapeutic relationship Practitioner self-care strategies to minimise vicarious traumatisation Practitioner vicarious post traumatic growth
Working with Goals in Counselling and Psychotherapy A one day workshop with Mick Cooper London, 8 February 2020, Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm What are ‘goals’ and are they important for counselling and psychotherapeutic work? Early psychoanalysts considered behaviour to be driven by unconscious forces and, therefore, direct inquiry into clients’ conscious objectives was considered redundant. Today, however, many therapies – such as brief solution-focused therapy and CBT – use goal-setting to establish a focus for the therapy, engender hope and energise the client towards their goals in therapeutic work. The use of goals in therapy, however, continues to evoke scepticism and debate in many circles, with goal-oriented work seen as focussing only on the surface-level needs of the client. At this workshop, Professor Mick Cooper draws on his internationally published research on the topic and his extensive clinical practice to explore the aspects of goal-oriented practices that can facilitate a more effective therapeutic engagement. The workshop is particularly oriented towards participants from a humanistic or integrative background: who are interested in an understanding of their clients as agentic and purpose-oriented beings, but wary of the more mechanistic or ‘outcome-oriented’ goal-based approaches. The workshop starts by introducing the concept of directionality—that human beings are always oriented towards future possibilities—and looks at how this can be applied to an understanding of self. The workshop then explores what has been learnt from the psychological research about the nature of goals and goal processes (for instance, distinguishing between 'approach' and 'avoidance' goals). It then goes on to a more practical exploration of working with goals, including skills practice and video demonstrations. Learning Objectives: Define the concept of ‘directionality’ and be able to apply this to an understanding of their own psychological processes Discuss the theory and evidence that relates 'goal actualisation' and goals types to psychological wellbeing and distress Apply basic goal-oriented practices in counselling and psychotherapy, including goal discussion and goal setting Use the Goals Form in an appropriate manner
The Therapeutic Use of Photographs: Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography in a Digital Age An online webinar with Del Loewenthal Online Webinar, 11 February 2020, Tuesday 6:00pm - 8:30pm Being a visual medium, photography would seem like a natural contender for therapeutic use and yet, its potential has been sparingly explored in clinical studies till now. In recent years, there has been renewed interest in Phototherapy techniques – especially for clients who are unfamiliar with therapy and those who find it easier to communicate through visual aids. The field is especially relevant today, in an era of smartphones where a visual narrative of the client’s feelings, memories, reactions and thoughts exists as a series of photographs – potentially available to share with the therapist as a catalyst for therapeutic communication. At this interesting and contemporary online webinar, Professor Del Loewenthal introduces us to the concepts, essential tenets and basic techniques of Phototherapy and Therapeutic Photography. Through discussions and case vignettes, he explains how we can effectively use these techniques as useful adjuncts to our primary modalities. He illustrates how the Therapeutic Use of Photographs has been found to be helpful across age ranges – from young people who may be adept at using social media platforms like Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram to elderly clients who can usefully reminisce through photographs. He demonstrates how we can use these techniques both with the help of photocards, ‘selfies’ / portraiture, photobooks and action plans, as well as by taking photographs. Learning objectives: Develop skills in using photography therapeutically to facilitate emotional learning Understand the history of, and be able to distinguish, phototherapy from therapeutic photography Examine the advantages and disadvantages of using photographs for emotional learning in a variety of contexts including voluntary organisations, private practice, schools, prisons and management / organisational development
The Web of Shame in the Therapeutic Space A 2-day workshop with Christiane Sanderson London, 28 & 29 February 2020, Friday & Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days As practitioners, we often witness that shame can become chronic or even toxic, having a crippling effect on our clients, especially those who carry the burden of intergenerational shame and are raised in shame prone families, or who have histories of abandonment, prolonged or systematic emotional, physical or sexual abuse, neglect or exposure to domestic violence. Our therapeutic interactions can be even more complicated if there exists practitioner shame that we are either not aware of or haven’t fully addressed. At this practical and unique workshop which would be relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists, across modalities, Christiane draws on her extensive experience in working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse to examine the complex nature of shame, its origins, its functions and its long-term effects, to explain how we can: distinguish between healthy and chronic shame, shame and guilt – while looking at their relationships to hubristic and authentic pride assist our clients through the process of defences against shame – these defences could be manifest as withdrawal, attacking self, avoidance and attacking others and bear linkages to self-harm, addictions, repugnant obsessions, perfectionism, narcissism, grandiosity, rage and violence identify our own patterns of shame and the impact these might be having on our therapeutic relationships build shame resilience for clients and ourselves through specific therapeutic techniques Through experiential exercises, case vignettes and emphasis on creative, right brain-based exercises such as the embodiment of shame, unpeeling the masks of shame, use of nesting dolls, re-apportioning shame and compassion focused exercises; the workshop allows us to promote healing, restore authentic pride and build shame resilience, while minimising the risk of re-shaming our clients.
Disrupted Attachment, Relational & Developmental Trauma Working with Children and Adolescents A 2-day workshop with Dr Karen Treisman London, 6 & 7 March 2020, Friday & Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days Children who have experienced relational and developmental trauma have usually lived through a matrix of multiple, overlapping and co-occurring traumas, losses and stressors ranging from physical, emotional or moral neglect to sexual and / or violent abuse. The impact of such traumas varies widely from individual to individual based on an array of variables – creating challenges for our therapeutic interventions. Moreover, since a majority of relational and developmental trauma experiences tend to involve interwoven types of abuse – clear differentiation can be difficult. Our task, as therapists, can be even more complicated when these trauma experiences have occurred concurrent with a weakly formed cognitive framework and / or severely disrupted attachments. At this practical and therapeutically oriented workshop, Dr Karen Treisman draws on her bestselling book on the topic and her extensive clinical experience to explore the multi-layered impact of trauma, neglect, toxic stress and disrupted attachment on children, adolescents and their surrounding adults. She looks at developmental and relational trauma experiences through the lens of the neurobiology of attachment, to distinguish between the impacts on the body (physical and sensory), brain (cognitive and neuropsychological), emotions, behaviours, learning and relationships. Through case-vignettes, metaphors, video clips and experiential exercises, Dr Treisman explains how we can: Comprehend the composite and overlapping nature of developmental traumas Consider and reflect on some of the trauma and loss experiences that many children face and the impact this has on their social and emotional age (vis-à-vis their chronological age) Consider the impact of such traumas on emotional-regulation, sensory processing, social interactions and impulse control Reflect on key elements such as behaviour as communication and build awareness of our own multi-layered triggers Understand the power around language and words Build a rational framework for a relationship-based, trauma-informed practice Learning Objectives: Develop further knowledge and understanding about the impact of early trauma and disrupted attachment on children’s developmental trajectories Gain further insight into the latest brain science and neurobiology around childhood trauma and neglect Link trauma and attachment theories to real life case examples Consider how emotional regulation develops in childhood, and how it can be influenced by trauma and disrupted attachment. Consider typical behavioural presentations within this client group and how these can be formulated from an attachment and trauma perspective Learn how to identify our client’s multi-sensory triggers and emotional hotspots Consider the impact of the words and language we use in our verbal and written communication with our clients Gain further understanding as to why therapeutic re-parenting and relationship-based trauma-informed practice is so fundamental to therapeutic progress
Working with Men: Meeting the Challenges of Orthodox Masculinity A one day workshop with Dr Michael Beattie London, 13 March 2020, Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm Every part of our lives, whether we are aware of it or not, is touched by gender identity and the cultural and contextual meanings made of it. However, perhaps because of the very pervasive nature of gendered experience, reflexivity around one’s own gender identity is rarely covered in much depth in professional trainings. Instead, gender is often either taken for granted or otherwise felt to be the preserve of ‘experts’ who work with populations where questions of gender are understood to be the principal presenting problem. This workshop starts from the position that we all have a gender identity and that we can all struggle with it to a greater or lesser degree at times. In particular we will focus on the psychology of men and the ways in which boys and men are socialised into manhood in Western culture. Using this understanding as a foundation we will go on to explore specific domains of men’s experience and some common content and process issues that arise in therapy with men. The aim is to deepen our understanding of how orthodox masculinity expectations shape the male psyche and the implications this has for our therapeutic work with men. The workshop is scheduled as three modules: Module 1: Psychology of Men and Masculinities This is an introductory session that looks at current theory and research on how men come to understand their gender identity, the norms they have to follow to be considered ‘real men’ and how this can create masculine gender role stress. It introduces the idea of an orthodox masculine gender identity and considers the impact on presenting issues and the therapeutic relationship. Module 2: Unpacking the Lived Experience Having identified the norms that govern orthodox masculinity we unpack and explore the lived experience for men in key domains of their lives and how these norms can give rise to psychological distress and maladaptive coping mechanisms: Young Men: The experience of boys and adolescents, in particular the role of bullying and shaming in identity formation and how this can create chronic maladaptive manifestations Family Men: How men experience and are challenged by their role as husband and father, including issues to do with sexual intimacy and love, perceived failings of masculinity and being judged as primary breadwinners for the family Working Men: One of the core tenets of orthodox masculinity is the ‘primacy of work’ and many men’s principal experience self-worth comes through work – how can this create challenges in relationship – particularly at times of redundancy and retirement? Other Men: Orthodox masculinity involves the stratification of men against an ideal by which they can be measured to determine the extent of their manliness – what is life like for ‘othered’ men, including gay and trans men? Module 3: Key issues in Working with Men The final session explores some of the principal process issues that men are likely to present with in counselling as a result of struggling with orthodox masculine expectations and suggests ways in which practitioners can work effectively with them: Restricted emotionality and shame Anger and aggression Compartmentalisation and the challenge of integration Working with the masculine narrative
Working with Families: A Systemic Approach A one day seminar with Prof. Rudi Dallos London, 14 March 2020, Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm Whether we are working with families directly or with couples and individuals, we acknowledge that family dynamics – both ongoing and historical – have the capacity to create challenging conditions. Our clients may be finding their relationships overwhelming, stress provoking and unmanageable or they may need our assistance in breaking out of old, unhelpful patterns – a systemic approach can be most helpful in such cases. Systemic Family Therapy, which can be a helpful adjunct to any of our primary modalities, utilises specific conversational, client participation and therapeutic techniques, which allow individuals and families the chance to articulate and assess their feelings in a safe, non-judgmental environment (facilitated by the therapist). At this practical and engaging seminar, which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors, Prof. Rudi Dallos highlights and explains how, as therapists, we can draw on family life-cycle theory and Attachment Theory to comprehend the patterns and relationship difficulties that evolve in families. Using illustrative case vignettes and discussions, the workshop introduces us to some of the core techniques of systemic family therapy: Tracking Circularities: how we can identify repetitive patterns of interaction between family members, with a view to understanding relationship difficulties Mapping Genograms: an approach that goes beyond the conventional family tree, allowing clients to visually comprehend the psychological factors that influence their relationships. We discuss how we can facilitate this for our clients. Family Sculpts: a technique borrowed from psychodrama that often reveals family dynamics visually, in a manner that words may not encapsulate. We look at examples that explain this technique. Circular Questioning: a conversational technique that allows us, as therapists, to elicit as well as introduce information into the family system. The workshop explains how we can utilise this technique. Re-storying and Externalising: techniques by which we can help our clients to engage with their family story and assist them in new interpretations for old narratives, where required The workshop will consider clinical work with a variety of problem presentations, using examples from eating disorders, couple conflict and conduct disorders and also provide us with an opportunity to reflect on our own clinical material.
Reviewing the Stories We Live By: How reconsidering the personal narrative can have a life changing impact An online webinar with Joanna Fortune Online Webinar, 19 March 2020, Thursday 6:00pm - 9:00pm The stories we live by, especially the stories that run in our families, can either mobilize or immobilize us in our lives. Using creative and narrative-based psychotherapeutic techniques we can support our clients to reconsider and reassess the stories they live by, and in doing so set a new trajectory for emotional resilience and well-being. This engaging and intellectually stimulating online webinar with Joanna Fortune starts with the premise that our sense of well-being is highly reliant on our family narrative – the stories we’ve been told, the stories we’ve understood and perceived, the stories we’ve used to pattern our behaviours. This webinar will explore how we can reclaim editorial control over our personal, family narratives and what psychological benefit is to be gained from doing so in terms of emotional resilience. Joanna will draw upon, and make reference to, the use of narrative play in early child development and how gaps in this stage of developmental play can be practically repaired later in life. We will discuss how it is not simply the content of our family narratives that matters but also the process in which those narratives were shared / told and by whom. Through discussions and case examples, we will explore a variety of therapeutic techniques that can be applied to explore a client’s inter-generational self and gently challenge the stories a person lives by. Our aim will be to support a client in making their own edits to redirect the trajectory their default narrative has set them on. Joanna will evaluate a variety of psychotherapeutic tools that aim to engage a client’s personal narrative and explore their applications and effectiveness. From story-stem techniques to art / mosaic and sand-tray to Lahad’s 6PSM (6 Part Story Making) we will consider the value of supporting clients in finding their own words to say it - whatever it might be. Participants will also be invited to engage in a self-reflective exercise to establish their own baseline inter-generational narrative.
Attachment, MBT & Toxic Couple Relationships A one day workshop with Dr Gwen Adshead and Anna Motz London, 20 March 2020, Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm Toxicity in Couple Relationships is often the underlying factor in a number of manifestations – in visible forms including physical, sexual and emotional abuse and in not so apparent linkages with chronic depression, habitual anxiety and individual psychological morbidity. When toxicity is manifest as violence in intimate relationships, it is also a key risk factor for serious harm including child maltreatment and fatal violence. At this practical and intellectually stimulating workshop, which is aimed at therapists working with couples whose relationships have turned toxic, as well as victims and perpetrators of intimate partner violence, Dr Gwen Adshead and Anna Motz integrate psychological and criminological data with clinical illustrations to examine the complex manifestations and specific causes of toxicity in couple relationships. The workshop draws on perspectives from Attachment Theory to evaluate the roles played by the individuals involved and examines the addictive nature of these damaging relationships; while demonstrating and explaining mentalisation based therapeutic techniques that we can use, when working with couples. Looking through examples and discussing specific case examples, our aim is to assimilate the therapeutic approaches that work best in such cases. Interactive exercises will also allow delegates to evaluate their own case materials. Key discussion themes for the day include: A review of theories that explain how intimate relationships develop in humans; with particular reference to Attachment Theory and the development of mentalisation skills The effect of intimate relationships on affect regulation and how this explains linkages between personal and social identities The influence of cultural and social stereotypes on how intimacy is conceived and perceived – and how this affects couples The addictive force and power of violent relationships – the roles of passion, destructiveness, jealousy and a wish to control one’s partner The forces that keep toxic relationships going, with reference to intra-psychic as well as social factors How early experiences of disturbed attachments are repeated and re-enacted in toxic relationships We discuss a typology of violent relationships, looking at the destructive dynamics that maintain these and the unconscious fantasies of security and love that underlie them Using illustrative case vignettes and discussions, the workshop offers clinical examples of therapy and examines the evidence base for interventions with violent couples, specifically drawing on MBT and psychoanalytic couple therapy.
Working Practically with Dissociation Therapeutic Tools for Trauma Professionals A 2-day workshop with Dr Jamie Marich London, 25 & 26 March 2020, Wednesday & Thursday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days Dissociation can present us with a perplexing and overwhelming array of manifestations – from being a coping and defence mechanism to inducing altered states of consciousness. Our challenges, as Trauma Professionals are compounded by the fact that while dissociation is our clinical ally in some forms, in other instances it impedes all attempts at therapeutic progress. This training workshop, which would be especially relevant for counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists, across modalities – provides an opportunity for professionals working with single-instance trauma, PTSD and complex trauma to add practical skills to their therapeutic repertoire. The aim is to enable practitioners to explore more creative ways of working with dissociation and help them become more embodied, so they can facilitate post-traumatic growth for their clients. Dr Jamie Marich draws on the latest findings from neuroscience and evidence-based techniques to: Debunk the myths surrounding dissociation and provide us with a practical and sensitive orientation to how the dissociative mind works Especially draw attention to strategies suggested by expressive arts and mindfulness-focused practices and evaluate their potential for therapeutic work Provide us with a primer on working with grounding skills in stabilisation and preparation phases of trauma work Help us expand our knowledge of conceptualising and healing dissociation within a trauma-focussed clinical practice Provide an overview on the theory of structural dissociation and help with the exploration of our own dissociative profile and system of parts She shares strategies for translating this knowledge to practice settings and making the best clinical decisions possible, particularly in treatment planning, case conceptualization and working with extreme emotional distress. Our learning objectives over the two days include: To define dissociation in a trauma-focused manner and explain the multi-faceted manner in which signs of dissociation may manifest To list and discuss five common myths about working with dissociative clients in psychotherapy To explain the theory of structural dissociation and utilize at least two metaphors to explain it to a client To describe one’s own dissociative profile as an individual and translate this learning about the self into better understanding the internal world of a dissociative client To implement at least 2-3 strategies from expressive arts therapy and mindfulness-informed approaches into early phases (Stabilization/Preparation), particularly for grounding and building awareness, and in later phases (Closure) for safely concluding and linking sessions To apply at least 2-3 strategies learned through the previous objectives for enhancing case conceptualization and managing abreactions To apply expert consultation in conceptualizing difficult cases with dissociation components (from a variety of theoretical perspectives) To decrease overall apprehension and increase personal confidence in working with dissociative clients in professional settings
EMDR Therapy & Mindfulness for Trauma-Focused Care A one day seminar with Dr Jamie Marich author of ‘EMDR made simple: Four approaches to using EMDR with every client’ and co-author of ‘EMDR therapy and mindfulness for trauma-focused care’ Dublin, 28 March 2020, Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) has been recommended as an effective psychotherapy for PTSD and other trauma and stressor-related disorders by organisations worldwide including US, Britain, France, the Netherlands and Israel; and practitioners have increasingly started incorporating EMDR techniques as viable additions to psychoanalytical and cognitive approaches. Mindfulness practice meanwhile has formed the basis of a wide range of psychotherapeutic techniques that have found application in alleviating the manifestations of depression, stress, anxiety and addictions. Dr. Francine Shapiro, the now-deceased developer of EMDR therapy was a mindfulness meditation practitioner and student of mind body medicine. Part of Dr Marich’s work is drawing on these mindful roots of EMDR therapy to help practitioners obtain a better understanding of and insight into EMDR therapy. At this practical and clinical application-oriented training seminar, Dr Jamie Marich explains how we can build a mindfulness-informed therapeutic practice, guided by the EMDR approach, specifically when working with Trauma and its myriad variations. Dr Marich especially demonstrates how trauma-focussed skills can be adapted for clients who traditionally ‘resist’ affect regulation and stabilization strategies. Uniquely, she doesn’t present these skills as alternatives to our existing modalities but instead highlights how we can incorporate simple, effective, mindfulness and EMDR-informed approaches into our existing clinical models. Through lecture, discussion, demonstration, and experiential exercises we explore: The foundations of mindfulness practice and how these can be translated into clinical settings An initial orientation to how the EMDR approach to psychotherapy views trauma, with a close look at how Francine Shapiro drew upon mind body strategies in her development of EMDR therapy Ways to use bilateral stimulation / dual attention stimulus as exercises in moving mindfulness How a mindful practice can improve clinical outcomes For participants not trained in EMDR therapy, this seminar provides an orientation, while for participants already trained in EMDR, this seminar introduces methodologies that allow for bolstering elements of mindfulness practice; all with a view to enhancing our efficacy in delivering EMDR therapy, particularly when it comes to improving attunement to clients and honing clinical decision making.
The Relationship is Your Most Powerful Tool (& Biggest Pitfall): Relational Strategies to Effectively Treat Challenging Trauma Clients A 2-day workshop with Dr Robert T. Muller London, 24 & 25 April 2020, Friday & Saturday 10:00am - 5:00pm on both days Note: Workshop registrations include a complimentary copy of Dr. Muller's book: Trauma & the Struggle to Open Up: From Avoidance to Recovery & Growth. The book complements the workshop, providing material for attendees to further their learning. This practical workshop, led by Dr Robert T. Muller—a leading expert on therapy for Trauma and globally-acclaimed author of the psychotherapy bestseller: Trauma & the Avoidant Client - is aimed at building our understanding of the psychotherapy relationship with challenging trauma clients. As therapists, while all of us try to maintain a strong and healthy therapeutic relationship, this can be often easier said than done. Trauma clients struggle to trust the therapist; many minimize their own traumatic experiences or become help-rejecting. Others rush into the work, seeking a “quick fix,” despite a long history of interpersonal trauma. Drawing upon attachment theory and research, and upon a wealth of clinical experience, Dr Muller explains how, as psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, we can work with such hard-to-treat clients, how we can find points of entry and ways in which we can make contact. Using a relational, psychodynamic approach, the workshop discusses and demonstrates strategies for developing the therapeutic relationship, such that we can assist the client regain a sense of trust in others. We explore therapeutic techniques through which the client is encouraged to take interpersonal risks, to mourn losses, and to face vulnerabilities. Dr Muller follows the ups and downs of the therapy relationship with trauma survivors and specifically looks at: How do we tell when we’ve unknowingly compromised safety in the relationship? What happens to the relationship when clients or therapists rush into the process, and how can this be addressed? And how can subtle conflicts in the relationship become useful in treatment? Dr Muller points to the different choices therapists make in navigating the relationship – choices, that often have a strong impact on outcome. The workshop also acknowledges that recovery from Trauma is a deceptively complicated process. When clients reveal too much, too soon, they may feel worse – making the pacing of therapy critical. Here too, the key is in the therapist-client relationship. Dr Muller walks us through the relational approaches that help pace the process of opening up –so that clients find the experience helpful, not harmful. Throughout the workshop, theory is complemented by case examples, practical exercises, and segments from Dr Muller's own treatment sessions. The workshop focuses on clinical skills that are directly applicable in our work as therapists.
Engaging Traumatized Clients who Avoid Attachment, Closeness & Painful Feelings A 2-day workshop with Dr Robert T. Muller Dublin, 27 & 28 April 2020, Monday & Tuesday 10:00am - 5:00pm on both days Note: Workshop registrations include a complimentary copy of Dr. Muller's award winning book: Trauma & the Avoidant Client (winner of the 2011 ISSTD award for the year’s best written work on Trauma) This practical workshop, led by Dr Robert T. Muller – a leading expert on therapy for Trauma and globally acclaimed author of the psychotherapy bestseller: ‘Trauma & the Avoidant Client, Attachment-Based Strategies for Healing’ – is aimed at building our therapeutic understanding of clinical work with avoidant clients. While there has been considerable research into treatment of trauma, surprisingly little work has focused on specific intervention strategies to help traumatised clients who are avoidant of attachment. Many clients cope with traumatic intra-familial experiences by minimising painful feelings, by becoming emotionally distant, and by devaluing interpersonal closeness, intimacy and feelings of vulnerability. With individuals who adopt a self-protective help-rejecting stance, psychotherapy can prove extremely challenging for client and therapist alike. Drawing upon attachment theory and research, and upon a wealth of clinical experience, Dr Muller explains how, as psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, we can work with such hard-to-treat clients, how we can find points of entry and ways in which we can make contact. Using a relational, psychodynamic approach, the workshop discusses and demonstrates strategies for developing the therapeutic relationship, such that we can assist the client regain a sense of trust in others. We explore therapeutic techniques through which the client is encouraged to take interpersonal risks, to mourn losses, and to face vulnerabilities. Uniquely, Dr Muller illustrates how the frustrating challenges that arise in the therapeutic relationship can in fact be used as a productive force in the therapeutic process. Throughout the workshop, Theory is complemented by case examples and segments from Dr Muller’s own therapeutic sessions. The workshop focusses on clinical skills that are directly applicable in our work as therapists. Course aims The course aims to provide an integrative training approach that enables practitioners using different therapeutic modalities to integrate the relevant elements of Attachment Theory and Research with their existing skills, which they can then apply to their work, so as to: recognise characteristics of avoidant attachment productively use trauma-related symptoms maximise client engagement throughout the process work with affect recognise and utilise client transference plan for the termination phase of therapy

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.