Attachment Theory, Affect Regulation and Psychopathology A 2-day workshop at London with Dr Gwen Adshead London, 28 June and 29 June 2019, Friday & Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days Our comprehension of Attachment Theory has evolved over the years, as evidence from neurobiological and relational studies has enhanced the original models of secure base representations to integrated approaches that lay emphasis on regulation of Affect. Such a broader understanding that incorporates affective somatic processes, biological development and relational transactions has the capacity to inform our therapeutic approaches, allowing us as practitioners, to clearly assess our clients’ defence strategies, dependency levels, patterns of self-representation and enhancements of agency. At this practical and therapeutically oriented seminar which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, Dr Adshead draws on modern interpretations of Attachment thought, recent neurobiological findings and her long-standing psychodynamic and clinical experience to help us comprehend: Attachment as ‘hidden regulator’ for physiological, psychological and sociological processes: revealed at times of threat, crisis, illness Attachment inscribed in body and brain Our clients’ ability to manage distress – how we can understand this from relational and neurobiological standpoints? What is it to be incapable of distress? The dandelion orchid hypothesis and how this links with developmental patterns Attachment patterns and their linkages with Affect Regulation strategies (including de-activation, hyper-activation and disorganised) Affect Regulation and Mentalizing – the relevance to mental health Attachment dysregulation and psychopathology: the relevance of mentalising Evidence of insecure attachment and poor mentalising in various disorders: especially personality disorder, substance misuse, somatic disorders Assessment and therapeutic implications What therapies are indicated for people with insecure attachment systems? Mentalizing failures and Therapy as learning to mentalize The impact on therapists: our own attachment systems Coming to terms with hate in countertransference Viewing Attachment based approaches through the lens of ‘an organised personality structure’, Dr Adshead explains how therapists can apply these learnings in clinical settings and allow for provision of relational security at multiple levels.
The Cost of Caring: Secondary Traumatic Stress and Practitioner Self-Care A one-day seminar at Cork with Christiane Sanderson Cork, Ireland, 29 June 2019, Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm Care provision and therapy for survivors of traumatic experiences, can inevitably be emotionally and physically draining. At each interaction, the practitioner is exposed to the risk of Secondary Traumatic Stress (STS) – which can potentially shatter our own assumptions about the world, human nature and the meaning of life and death. It is essential that through self-care and preservation of their own well-being, professionals ensure that they remain compassionate and are truly able to accompany the survivor on his or her journey to recovery. Current research indicates that vicarious traumatisation is just one part of STS. Direct exposure to emotionally distressing Trauma narratives can severely impact practitioners at multiple levels, with STS symptoms being close in presentation to those seen in PTSD. Therapists at the risk of STS may experience re-enactments of their own personal trauma, experience hyper / hypo arousal, suffer from alterations to memory and depletion of self-confidence. They may potentially develop mistrust of client interactions and exhibit avoidance behaviour. Needless to say, STS can impact us both personally and professionally. It is critical that practitioners in a wide range of mental and physical health settings have a good understanding of the impact and long-term effects of STS and how this manifests in a range of clinical settings, so that they are able to respond appropriately. This seminar, which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists, aims to enhance our comprehension of STS, its impact and long-term effects on our personal and professional well-being, while explaining how, as practitioners, we can work to restore vitality, enthusiasm, and energy in ourselves, to restore control and to allow for the effective processing of the Trauma narrative. Using illustrative case examples, the seminar will present a range of skills, experiential exercises and self-care strategies while helping us identify the first signs of STS. Specifically, we will consider: Differentiating between STS, Vicarious Trauma and Burnout The role and restoration of Compassion with a recognition of compassion fatigue Minimising the impact on our therapeutic relationships Who is at risk and are there specific forms of trauma with a higher correlation to STS? Assessment measures that can provide us with early warnings Identifying our own vulnerability to STS and ensuring we remain present and engaged in our work Striking the right balance between personal and professional lives – what does this mean for therapists? How do we ensure that we see clients with different presentations – does this really help? The impact of STS on individuals as well as organisations – can organisations take proactive steps to minimise such impact? Retaining our zest for life and assisting our clients with post traumatic growth
Advanced Workshop: Living in a Fog: Dissociation, Complex Trauma and PTSD A one day seminar with Christiane Sanderson London, 5 July 2019, Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm Dissociation is a highly adaptive survival strategy, especially in the presence of systematic and prolonged trauma, characteristic of child sexual abuse (CSA) and / or domestic violence. In the presence of repeated traumatic experiences in which there is no escape, dissociation becomes the default setting, making it hard to remain present in the body. As a result, many survivors of CSA, rape and domestic abuse numb all affect, disconnect from or delete their body and retreat into their head. This can lead to a range of symptoms which are currently subsumed under subtype Post Traumatic Stress Disorder with Prominent Dissociative Symptoms. To fully understand the role of dissociation in complex trauma, it is essential to understand the psychobiological mechanisms that underpin peritraumatic dissociation through the release of a cascade of neurochemicals and the disruption in the usually integrated functions of consciousness, memory, identity and perception; which are the core features of secondary dissociation and structural dissociation. We also need to comprehend how these produce dissociative states and symptoms seen in: Dissociative Disorders Dissociative Disorder Not Otherwise Specified (DDNOS) and Other Specified Dissociative Disorder (OSDD) Many survivors do not initially present with dissociative states or are not aware of the signs or symptoms of dissociation, making it imperative that clinicians are able to link client experiences of ‘living in a fog’, ‘wading through mud’, ‘sieve like memory’ and ‘feeling as through someone else is in control’ as dissociative states. At this practical and unique seminar which would be relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, psychologists and psychiatrists, across modalities, Christiane draws on her extensive clinical experience to examine the complex nature of dissociation, its origins, its functions and its long-term effects, to explain how we can: Identify clues to dissociation such as distortions in time, perception and memory, changes in verbal and non-verbal communication, bodily sensations and cognitive processing, as well as depersonalisation and derealisation – with a view to helping survivors understand the symptoms of dissociation and how these can be managed more effectively Be aware of our own capacity for dissociation when bearing witness to traumatic experiences and how to ensure that we remain present and embodied, especially when faced with a deep sense of somatic countertransference or somatic empathy Comprehend what dissociation looks like in practice and how we can translate survivors’ reports of their experiencing of the world into clinical formulation of dissociation - and how this can best be managed in the therapeutic setting Work therapeutically with structural dissociation, including parts work Overall, the aim is to facilitate reconnection of mind, body and brain and integration of disavowed parts, to restore presence and embodiment in both client and therapist.

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.