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
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
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 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.

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.