SEMINARS & WORKSHOPS in Autumn 2019
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.