SEMINARS & WORKSHOPS in Autumn 2019
Calming the Inner Critic: Working with Punitive Introjects, Ego States and Dissociative Parts in Trauma A one day workshop with Kathy Steele Dublin, 21 October 2019, Monday 10:00am - 4:00pm This workshop will offer a practical, integrative approach to understanding and working with a wide range of inner criticism, punishment, and harshness in the chronically traumatized individual. Everyone experiences an inner critic, based on negative messages from authority figures and from ourselves in reaction to feeling inadequate in some way. In complex trauma this natural phenomenon can become more intense, overwhelming, and sometimes more dissociated. This practical, one-day workshop which would be relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers will explore how these inner aspects develop, and understand their several functions of protection, avoidance, and attempts to cope with everyday life. Participants will have an opportunity to explore their own inner critic and befriend it as a step towards helping clients learn to deal with their own. Our ability to reflect on our own tendencies toward self-criticism and punishment will support our capacity to work with these experiences in our clients. The roles of chronic shame and re-enactments of trauma will be emphasized in maintaining inner critical parts. Participants will learn specific approaches for working with ego states and dissociative parts that have these punitive functions, employing compassion and curiosity. We will explore a continuum of inner critics, ranging from natural introjects, ego states, to more separate dissociative parts, and from mild inner critics to more sadistic and destructive ones. Through case-vignettes and examples, delegates will learn to: Be able to identify their own inner critic and ways to calm self-criticism, particularly in their role as the therapist Learn how the therapist’s inner critic can impact the therapy Learn the key functions of inner critics Identify the differences between hostile introjects, ego states and dissociative parts, and how treatment might differ among them Identify the importance of compassionate self-reflection in working with inner critics Learn specific approaches to calm the inner critic Work with the rigid logic of inner critics The workshop is consistent with and would be a beneficial adjunct to multiple modalities of psychotherapy or specialised trauma therapy (including analytical, dynamic and somatic approaches, cognitive behavioural and EMDR).
The Trauma Counsellor's Toolbox: Exercises to Aid Recovery and Healing from Complex Trauma A one day workshop with Christiane Sanderson London, 2 November 2019, Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm Complex trauma is often the result of persistent, repetitive traumatic experiences which may include multiple violations such as sexual abuse, physical violence, emotional abuse and neglect – in many cases at the hands of someone known to the victim. This cycle, where trust is repeatedly betrayed can manifest in a range of symptoms such as dissociation, alterations to sense-of-self and fear of intimacy in relationships. Working with survivors of such trauma requires a range of therapeutic techniques that involve both top-down and bottom-up processing. This is particularly the case when trauma has been split off and is not easily accessible through verbal recall. Moreover, as complex trauma is primarily stored in the right brain, practitioners need to be able to facilitate right brain engagement through a selection of creative techniques and exercises. This training workshop, which would be especially relevant for counsellors, psychotherapists and psychologists, across modalities – provides an opportunity for professionals working with survivors of complex trauma to add practical skills to their therapeutic repertoire. The aim is to enable practitioners to explore more creative ways of working with complex trauma and help them become more embodied, so they can facilitate post-traumatic growth for their clients. The workshop achieves this through a series of experiential exercises including: working with nesting dolls, soft toys and transitional objects, exploring family constellations using peg dolls and animals, modelling the trauma narrative with playdoh, making masks to explore the hidden faces of shame and sand tray work to access the unspeakable aspects of trauma. The workshop combines experiential aspects with grounding skills and relevant theory to specifically consider: Ensuring safety and control: we look at appropriate usages of anchors, oases and safe places; exercises that enable clients to be present, reflect and relax Skills that improve daily routine for clients: improving sleep, making the bedroom safe and regaining contact with the body Grounding skills: identifying triggers, managing hyper and hypo arousal states, sensory connections Skills for managing flashbacks, nightmares and anxiety: handling internal dialogue, gaining control over flashbacks, recording nightmares and the protocol for panic attacks Getting rid of negativity: mental filtering and reappraisal of thoughts Working with memory fragments: reducing over-processing, pacing memory work and recording memories Managing boundaries: understanding collapsed or rigid boundaries and drawing the optimal personal space
Understanding the Intergenerational Transmission of Trauma & Abuse An evening webinar with Christiane Sanderson Online, 7 November 2019, Thursday 6:00pm - 9:00pm, London, UK time As therapists, we often witness the transmission of trauma (and abuse) across generations, either epigenetically or through deliberate parental behaviour / abuse. The aim of this online webinar is to enhance our awareness and comprehension of the ways in which such a cycle of trauma and abuse manifests in harmful behaviour and the long-term effects that we need to consider as practitioners. We distinguish between: Unintentional harm caused by challenging mental health conditions including PTSD, lack of emotional regulation, substance misuse and / or the inability to set boundaries and Deliberate acts of abuse and sexual violence as attempts to triumph over trauma or the normalisation of such behaviour over generations Using case vignettes and examples, Christiane explains how adverse childhood experiences, abuse and trauma can be re-enacted through parenting practices and how this impacts on future generations. She then identifies vulnerability and risk factors and the role of resilience, to help explain how such a cycle of intergenerational abuse can be circumvented and interrupted. Emphasis will be placed on the need for compassion for individuals who were themselves traumatised and who go on to do harm to their children, often unwittingly. With enhanced understanding of the processes that underpin intergenerational trauma and its manifestations, practitioners will feel better equipped to manage the tension of working with those who are both victims of abuse and who engage in abusive or harmful behaviours. The webinar will specifically look at: The epigenetic transmission of trauma Risk factors and vulnerability to intergenerational trauma Parenting practices and behaviours that can be harmful Acts of omission, acts of commission and role intentionality Resilience factors The role of compassion when working with those who are traumatised and engage in harmful behaviours Ways of interrupting the cycle of intergenerational transmission of trauma
Intimacy & Sexuality A 2-day Symposium with Christiane Sanderson, Dr Gwen Adshead, Anna Motz and Silva Neves London, 8 & 9 November 2019, Friday & Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days The dynamics of Intimacy and Sexuality in couple relationships are multi-faceted, often complex, and closely intertwined with adult attachment representations. As therapists and counsellors – our challenges can be compounded by the fact that apparent manifestations of couple conflict including anger, aggression and infidelity may have deeper roots in issues surrounding intimacy and sexuality; issues that couples may avoid explicitly talking about. At this practical symposium, which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, psychologists and counsellors; we aim to comprehend some of the most challenging aspects of couple intimacy and sexuality. The symposium draws on recent advances in developmental psychology and Attachment research to explore: Toxic dynamics in intimate partner relationships: are these attributable to disturbed attachment systems? What impact do these have on the individuals and their children? The role of Shame & Dissociation in the context of Compulsive Sexual Behaviour: what happens when a yearning for closeness is coupled with a fear of intimacy? How do we comprehend premature sexualisation and hyper-sexualisation in light of changing societal mores? What does caring mean in the context of adult intimacy, sexuality and eroticism? How does this relate to conflict and disharmony in couple relationships? What happens when couples have a disappearing sex life? Can there be coexistence between the Erotic and love? Through lectures, audience interactions, case examples and panel discussions, the symposium explores how therapists can be deeply affected by, and drawn into, the dynamics related to couple challenges pertaining to intimacy and sexuality. Specifically, we look at situations that can lead to impasse and how these can be worked through.
Forgiveness: The Double-Edged Sword of Trauma Therapy An online webinar with Dr Robert T. Muller Online, 12 November 2019, Tuesday 6:00pm - 9:00pm, London, UK time Forgiveness has become a popular topic in mental health writing and discussions. Popular media seems to suggest that forgiveness is a quick and easy process. But in practice, when people have suffered from interpersonal trauma, often at the hands of those they trusted most, forgiveness can be easier said than done. This webinar will take a detailed look at forgiveness in trauma therapy and consider the ways in which it serves as a double-edged sword. Sometimes helpful and necessary, sometimes not. Using case vignettes and examples, Dr Muller discusses: rushed forgiveness and how it affects trauma clients apologies and their role in authentic forgiveness how it can be helpful for clients to view forgiveness as a process, rather than a virtue Finally, the workshop will address self-forgiveness, and how sometimes in trauma work, clients and therapists struggle to forgive themselves. Throughout the webinar, clinical material will be used to illustrate concepts, and delegates will be invited to participate. Our learning objectives at the webinar will be: To distinguish between authentic forgiveness and rushed forgiveness To consider the process of forgiveness in trauma therapy To appreciate the role of apology in the forgiveness process To understand the role of self-forgiveness in trauma work
Attachment and Relational Neuroscience informed Therapeutic Conversations A 2-day training workshop at London with Professor Jeremy Holmes and Graham Music London, 15 Nov and 16 Nov 2019, Friday and Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days Recent developments in attachment theory and relational neuroscience suggest a move from fixed intrapsychic representations to dynamic interactional models that acknowledge the social aspect of our brains. At this practical, interactive and intellectually stimulating workshop, Professor Jeremy Holmes and Graham Music start with the premise that the essence of therapy is dialogue – evaluating how such attachment-informed, relational models can influence the effectiveness of our therapeutic conversations. Professor Jeremy Holmes first looks at the science, and then the art, of therapeutic conversation. Explaining the concept of duets for one, he specifically considers: The developmental psychology of the care-giver-infant protoconversations Attachment and the Relational Brain – what we know from research on client-therapist interactions Affect regulation, sensitivity and mentalising and their respective roles in psychotherapeutic practice Using attachment ideas to foster resilience and tailor interventions to the degree of client disturbance The emergence of complex and nuanced narratives over the course of therapy Attachment as hidden regulator and Attachment across the life cycle: mature dependency Defensive exclusion and avoidance of negative affect in insecure attachment Neuroplasticity and its relevance to therapy – how therapy may precipitate change Graham starts by looking at the roots of relational attunement and mismatches in early parent-infant interaction, drawing parallels with the therapeutic relationship. Building on this theoretical base, he specifically considers: Key features of good therapeutic relationships, including bodily, brain and psychological synchrony - all vital components of successful psychological development and effective therapeutic outcomes Why psychic states and behaviours which can seem maladaptive have generally taken root for sensible reasons and how we might gently and respectfully help our clients to let go of these The role played by Trauma and neglect, their links with the nervous system and states including dissociation and hyperarousal How contemporary trauma theory has been challenging traditional psycho-dynamically informed practice by demanding an emphasis on body and autonomic states The importance of developing safe inner resources and positive affect states Jeremy and Graham present this workshop while engaging in dialogue – with each other, with the audience, and indirectly with the audience’s clients via live supervision. They both share a passionate interest in attachment theory and the psychosocial dimensions of psychological distress. Over the course of two days, each will present two talks, interspersed with reflective practice. The workshop also includes a ‘live supervision’ section illustrating the practical implications of these theoretical discussions.
Attachment and Co-Regulation in Therapy: An Integrative Approach to Healing An evening webinar with Dr Arielle Schwartz Online, 21 November 2019, Thursday 6:00pm - 9:00pm, London, UK time Attachment trauma is the result of parenting patterns that are unpredictable, neglectful and / or abusive during infancy and young childhood. Attachment injuries have been categorized as insecure ambivalent, insecure avoidant or disorganized. While these states arise as manifestations of survival strategies – these are, by no means inflexible or fixed for life. As therapists, we can create a conducive environment for addressing such attachment injuries through the therapeutic relationship; so as to help clients create satisfying lives and relationships in adulthood. We also need to be mindful of the fact that just as there is no such thing as the perfect parent, there is also no perfect therapist. In order to work with early childhood trauma successfully, therapists must be aware of how personal, unresolved attachment injuries can contribute to clinical blind spots. At this engaging and practical webinar, Dr Arielle Schwartz discusses how therapists can help their clients reclaim their lives from the costs of childhood trauma, by deepening compassion and reducing shame that often accompanies developmental wounds. Dr Schwartz presents a Resilience Informed Approach, which applies research on trauma recovery to form a strength-based, trauma treatment model that includes EMDR therapy, somatic psychology, parts-work and relational psychotherapy. Specifically, we discuss: Co-regulation and mutual regulation as the foundations for healing attachment trauma Examples of top-down and bottom up interventions in trauma treatment How to assess for dissociation and identify client’s parts or ego states Learn effective strategies to help us work with preverbal memories Articulate the six stages of trauma responses within the neurobiology of PTSD as it relates to clinical treatment Explore relational Interventions for shame
Therapy for Clients with Complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorders: An advanced workshop with focus on Phases 1 & 2 A 2-day training workshop at London with Dr Suzette Boon London, 22 Nov and 23 Nov 2019, Friday and Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days A phase-oriented therapy model is widely accepted as the most successful amongst therapists working with Complex PTSD and Dissociative Disorders. However, even while working within this efficient and well-planned model, therapists can often feel overwhelmed by the complex presentations of clients who have been chronically traumatized. This practical workshop will offer in-depth skills to understand and work with clients with such challenging presentations, specifically through phases 1 and 2 of therapy. At this clinically oriented, two-day workshop which is relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, clinical psychologists and psychiatrists; we follow a step-wise journey through the first two phases of this model (stabilization and trauma processing). Through case-vignettes and examples, delegates will learn how we can: Conduct effective assessment and case formulation, to prepare for the stabilisation stage Work with careful pacing and regulation of arousal – especially since a number of clients can be phobic to therapy Obtain a working alliance with our clients, some of whom may have severe attachment problems Work with angry, aggressive and self-destructive parts, which can often dysregulate the therapeutic relationship Work with difficult conditions – when feelings of guilt, rage, shame, humiliation, helplessness and incompetency are disruptive to the therapeutic process The workshop then specifically looks at challenges that we can face in such a phase-based approach, including: What do we do when none of our stabilising techniques work? How do we work with clients who dissociate throughout therapeutic sessions? What do we do when a client starts hurting himself / herself in session? What do we do during therapy if we find out that abuse may still be continuing? How do we know that we have completed enough stabilising work in preparation for Phase 2? How and where do we start in Phase 2 therapy? What are the practical steps needed in Phase 2? The workshop also highlights that while therapeutic techniques are important, a consistent and predictable therapeutic relationship is also a primary factor in whether and how clients improve. Participants will learn how to maintain optimal relational closeness / distance with clients who simultaneously experience the therapist as both needed and dangerous; as well as how to repair frequent ruptures in relationship. Multiple case examples will illustrate specific approaches and interventions.
Shame, Obsession & Habitual Worrying: A Perspective from Relational and Integrative Psychotherapy A 2-day training workshop at London with Dr Richard G. Erskine London, 29 Nov and 30 Nov 2019, Friday and Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days Shame and self-righteousness can be viewed as protective dynamics that help avoid vulnerability to humiliation and the loss of contact-in-relationship with others. When our clients have experienced a relationship with another person which is tainted by criticism, ridicule, blaming, ignoring or humiliating behaviours; they face an increased vulnerability in all of their relationships – accompanied by shame, self-righteousness and a loss of self-esteem. Obsession, habitual worrying and repetitive fantasising, either independently manifest or concomitant with shame, absorb much of our clients’ mental activity – interfering with their spontaneity, intimacy and living joyfully in the present. The compounded and continual reinforcement of the belief ‘something is wrong with me’ presents the therapist with complex challenges which are specific and unique to the psychotherapy of shame, obsessions and habitual worrying. Both unresolved archaic shame and introjected shame for example, potentiate the pain of any current criticism, adding a further layer of toxicity to our clients’ reactions. At the same time, the juxtaposition of the therapist’s inquiry, listening and attunement with the client’s memory of a lack of interpersonal contact in previous significant relationships, produces intense, emotional responses from the client. Rather than experience unmet relational needs again, the client may react defensively to the interpersonal contact offered by the therapist with fear, anger, more worrying or increased shame. At this workshop, we use lecture, case-discussions and live demonstrations to first look at the interpersonal and intrapersonal dynamics of shame and the psychological defence of self-righteousness. We will examine the relational disruptions in the origin of shame as they occur in family situations, in school, on the playground, in groups and in one’s intimate relationships. Through demonstrations of both individual therapy and the Relational Group Process, we will examine how the healing of shame can occur through respect, contact, authenticity and involvement. Drawing on object relations and integrative approaches, Dr Erskine then presents a six-point therapeutic plan for the psychotherapy of clients who engage in obsession, habitual worrying and repetitive fantasising. We will explore the psychological functions, script beliefs, processes of avoidance, archaic experiences, relational-needs and self-responsibility that form the foundations of repetitive fantasising, habitual worrying and obsessions. Our six-point plan evaluates how obsession is often an attempt to disavow affect and engage in intellectualisation rather than feel emotions. We will discuss how methods of cognitive understanding, behavioural change, affective expression and relational psychotherapy can be applied in therapy planning – with a view to reclaiming of our clients’ sensitivities to others and their personal sense of contentment.
Developmental Attunement, Relational-Needs and Therapeutic Presence A one day workshop with Dr Richard Erskine Dublin, 2 December 2019, Monday 10:00am - 5:00pm “The healing of cumulative neglects, traumas, and attachment disruptions occurs through a contactful therapeutic relationship” A contact-oriented and Relational psychotherapy through inquiry, attunement and involvement responds to the client’s current needs for an emotionally nurturing relationship that is reparative and sustaining. The aim of such therapy is the integration of the affect-laden experiences and an intrapsychic reorganization of the client’s beliefs about self and others while acknowledging, validating and normalizing the client’s essential relational needs. As therapists, how do we allow affective, behavioural, cognitive and physiological dimensions to inform our therapeutic direction while effectively interpreting whether ego state regression, activation of the intrapsychic influence of introjection and presence of defence mechanisms are indications of contact deficits that seek fulfilment? At this unique and practical training workshop, Dr Richard Erskine draws on an integrative therapeutic approach and explains Relational Psychotherapy as a process of making whole: taking disowned, unaware, unresolved aspects of the ego and making them part of the cohesive self. He especially highlights how ‘developmental attunement’ is key to this reparative process – through which, we as therapists can sensitise our therapeutic responses to a client’s regression, while remaining aware that such regression allows clients to access defended memories and experience otherwise forbidden affect. Through lecture, case vignettes, videos & therapy demonstrations and clinical discussions, the workshop helps us comprehend a series of psychotherapeutic methods that include: the creation of interpersonal contact; the formation of a healing relationship; the therapeutic use of phenomenological inquiry; the relational centrality of attunement to the client’s affects and rhythm; the timing of relational-inquiry; the significance of resonating with the client’s level of emotional development; the affirming use of acknowledgement, validation, and normalization; the distinction between a reactive and responsive countertransference; the centrality of therapeutic presence Keeping in mind the therapeutic challenges we face as psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, Richard describes the Eight Relational-Needs essential for human development and wellbeing. He focusses on the centrality of an involved therapeutic relationship while emphasizing the in-depth methods of a psychotherapy that integrates the client's affect, cognition, physiology and behaviour.

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.