Attachment and Parenting: clinical implications A one-day seminar at London with Dr Gwen Adshead London, 26 April 2019, Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm The attachment bond is known to have significant influence on child development; specifically, on the origins of self-experience and the relational mind. Secure attachment for a child is known to be influenced by the parental state of mind, and there is now increasing evidence for the transgenerational transmission of attachment. At this intellectually stimulating and practically oriented one-day seminar, relevant for therapists working with children, adults or families, Dr Gwen Adshead explains how the parental state of mind is the key ‘environment’ that influences child development in the first 1000 days. However, there is also evidence (such as the orchid-dandelion hypothesis of child development: Ellis, 2008) that there are ‘environments’ that can damage even the most resilient children. Parental harshness, chronic hostility and a rejecting stance might form part of such hazardous environments; such ‘maladaptive parental behaviour’ is not just associated with high rates of child and adolescent psychopathology; but also, with higher manifestations of conduct and / or oppositional defiant disorders in children. Harsh or abusive parenting may be related to a parent’s own attachment system i.e. how the parent ‘sees’ the child and mentalises their behaviour. There is evidence that insecurity of adult attachment in parents does influence parental behaviour; and may also influence the development of parental mental health problems such as personality dysfunction, substance misuse, depression and the tendency to make dysfunctional relationships with partners. Our challenge in working with such parents and families however, is that parents with insecure attachment systems may be hard to engage; and may feel defensive and reluctant to building a trusting relationship over time with therapists. At this seminar Dr Adshead draws on her extensive clinical experience, recent neurobiological findings and relational thought to help us comprehend: How insecurity of attachment persists across the lifespan into adulthood The evidence of insecurity of attachment in parents and its relevance for offspring attachment The importance of mentalising skill and attachment Attachment insecurity in adults and mental health problems: personality disorders, substance misuse, domestic violence, anxiety How core parenting skills are affected by adult insecurity of attachment The evidence that shows the risk to child development, both in terms of genetic vulnerability and environmental stress factors Clinical interventions for parents with insecure attachment Maintaining the view that therapeutic interventions for parents with attachment problems are both effective and preventive, Dr Adshead explains how therapists can apply these learnings in clinical settings and allow for provision of relational security at multiple levels.
Attachment Narrative Therapy (ANT): Working therapeutically with children and families A 2-day training workshop at London with Prof Rudi Dallos London, 3 May and 4 May 2019, Friday and Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days Viewing attachment ideas as familial, instead of as a dyadic process, Attachment Narrative Therapy (ANT) brings together systemic therapy and Attachment Theory, to provide a clear framework for therapeutic action that: Helps our clients to name and regulate emotions Allows us as therapists, as well as our clients to view emotional states and actions from relational perspectives Increases understanding and tolerance for negative emotional states in intimate relationships Specifically focuses on patterns of comforting and self-soothing Enables the processing of emotional experience with a view to steering ourselves towards resilience and not distress Promotes an understanding of trans-generational patterns of attachment seeking and caring At this 2-day training workshop, which would be especially relevant for therapists and counsellors across modalities, who work with families, children and young people; Prof. Rudi Dallos draws on his practical experience in setting up ANT based interventions to discuss: How ideas from attachment theory, systemic family therapy and narrative therapy can be integrated into work with families, couples and individuals Illustrations of how the ANT approach offers new integrations between these three orientations Clinical examples including work with conduct disorders, self-harm, eating disorders and autism Complex attachment and systemic processes including the role of danger and traumatic states for families There will be opportunity for participants to consider their own cases and this will be facilitated by the use of formats for exploration, that allow application of the approach to participants’ own clinical contexts. Learning Objectives: Gain an understanding of contemporary developments in attachment, narrative and systemic therapies Understand how these are integrated in the ANT approach Appreciate the relevance of the ANT model for clinical formulation and intervention Be able to utilise the ANT framework to consider a range of clinical problems Gain knowledge of application of a range of ANT approaches / formats for working with clinical problems Gain an appreciation of the interaction between danger, trauma and family attachment dynamics Gain confidence in developing aspects of the model in our own clinical practices
What do women (& men) want today in intimate relationships? A contemporary look at relationships and their challenges in the Consulting Room A one-day seminar at London with Susie Orbach and Luise Eichenbaum London, 11 May 2019, Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm The last three decades have redefined intimate relationships like never before. Not only has the cultural space opened up new longings, but desire is now more visible – as a necessary imperative for a ‘successful’ life. New genders and sexualities are being expressed, new demands are on the table – all creating new confusions (and sometimes shame) about vulnerability, need and attachment expectations. Moreover, the cultural landscape within which intimate relationships are defined, keeps changing all the time. Dating rituals, on-line relationships, sexting, sexual expression ‘apps’ and the notion of happiness as a ‘must-have’ – are just some of the defining inputs for new forms and rules for relationships. It can be perplexing, and this perplexity is showing up in our consulting rooms. Increasingly, as therapists, we are encountering the effects of a screen culture that can offer false forms of attachment, while simultaneously engendering a sense of both promise and insecurity. How does this social phenomenon alter the very real, face-to-face therapy relationship? Are there new challenges facing the psychotherapist as we engage our clients’ desire for, and fear of connection and intimacy? Are there two subjects in the consulting room… in the bedroom? Does a merged attachment blur the boundaries between self and longed for other? What does the analytic process offer in the shift from defended need and desire to an achievable separated attachment? At this unique and intellectually stimulating seminar, Susie Orbach and Luise Eichenbaum take a relational/attachment informed look at contemporary relationships, exploring the ways in which social constructs of gender continue to permeate those attachments. The speakers recognise that neither ‘merged attachments’ nor ‘separated attachments’ are official categories of the Attachment canon but explain how these concepts contextualize our understanding of secure, insecure, avoidant and ambivalent categories and deepen our clinical work. Session 1: The Cultural Moment Session 2: Mapping longings and the struggle for recognition through merger Session 3: Defences against intimacy Session 4: Achieving separated attachments
Addressing Bereavement after Traumatic Loss An evening webinar Dr. Phyllis Kosminsky and Dr. John R. Jordan, authors of Attachment Informed Grief Therapy: The Clinician’s Guide to Foundations and Applications Online, 15 May 2019, Wednesday 6:00pm - 9:00pm, London, UK time Mental health professionals are routinely called upon to deal with bereavement as a presenting issue, and most feel comfortable doing this. However, working with traumatic losses – i.e. grief that emerges after the sudden, unexpected, and often violent death of a loved one, such as a suicide, homicide, accidental death – is often a daunting challenge for clinicians. In this webinar, we will address some of the challenges that are universal in the mourning process after traumatic deaths. In the first half of the webinar, we will explore in depth the impact of suicide on the survivors as one obvious example of a traumatic loss. Dr. Jordan, whose specialization for many years has been working with suicide bereavement, will discuss what we know from the clinical and research literature about the after-effects of losing a loved one to suicide. Topics to be discussed include the themes of suicide bereavement that are common after suicide (as well as most other traumatic losses); the tasks that are involved in psychologically integrating this type of loss; and some of the clinical challenges that may be common to work with suicide loss survivors. In the second half of the webinar, Dr. Kosminsky will widen our lens to discuss some of the procedures and clinical techniques that are likely to be useful in work with survivors of almost any type of traumatic loss. These include clearing cognitive obstacles, restoring mentalization functions, and strengthening the emotional regulatory capacities of the bereaved individual. Dr. Kosminsky will draw on her many years of practice with traumatic loss survivors of all types. Throughout the webinar, the presenters will use case examples from their own active practices of grief therapy to illustrate the emotional issues and clinical techniques that can be useful in facilitating healing after a traumatic loss. The webinar will also draw on the ideas and methods described in the recent book published by the presenters on Attachment Informed Grief Therapy (2016). While focused primarily on doing individual grief therapy with a client, it will have applicability to anyone seeking to provide grief support services to clients who are mourning the traumatic death of a loved one. Ample time will also be allotted for questions and discussion with the webinar audience.
Calming the Inner Critic: Working with Punitive Introjects, Ego States and Dissociative Parts in Trauma A 2-day workshop at London with Kathy Steele London, 17 May and 18 May 2019, Friday and Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days 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, 2-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 reenactments 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 Identify the functions of sadism Learn how sadistic parts differ from angry or critical parts, and how to work with them 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).
Somatic Psychology as Integrated into Evidence Based Trauma Treatment A 2-day workshop at London with Dr Arielle Schwartz London, 13 June and 14 June 2019, Thursday and Friday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days On these two days, Dr Arielle Schwartz offers an experiential workshop on Somatic Psychology and how it interfaces with evidence-based trauma treatments. When clients suppress emotions, they can present somatically. Traditional approaches to therapy attend to the cognitive and emotional aspects of clients’ lives, while the somatic experience is often left out of the room. “Talk therapy” can have limited effectiveness for clients with somatization symptoms, developmental trauma, dissociative defenses, or debilitating feelings of shame. It is therefore, important for therapists to become skilled at working with client’s nonverbal and somatic communications. Interventions to enhance embodiment in trauma treatment expand the therapeutic experience beyond where words can take a client. Somatic Psychology brings the body into therapy by highlighting physiological patterns and their influence on human behaviour. In this workshop, we look at the history of somatic psychology and foundational principles that underlie this work. Interventions are drawn from a wide range of somatic psychotherapy modalities including Integrative Body Psychotherapy, The Hakomi Method, Body-Mind Psychotherapy, Authentic Movement, Formative Psychology, Focusing, The Moving Cycle, Somatic Experiencing and Sensorimotor Psychotherapy. Most importantly, you will be introduced to the underlying principles that comprise a unified approach to somatic psychology as a trauma treatment. We also look at the science of embodiment and why somatic psychology is essential for helping clients work with dysregulated affect and arousal states that accompany PTSD. We will explore how to integrate body-centred interventions into existing and evidence based trauma treatment approaches including relational, trauma focused CBT, narrative exposure, EMDR and parts work therapies. Throughout the 2 days, somatic interventions will be explored didactically and experientially allowing participants to experience first-hand the value of interventions that enhance embodiment in trauma treatment. Dr Schwartz will discuss specialized treatment considerations that allow clinicians to address preverbal trauma memories, attachment trauma, somatization symptoms, and chronic pain. We conclude with a focus on somatic approaches to self-care for therapists to address vicarious traumatization and burnout. Learning Objectives discuss a phase oriented, evidence-based approach to trauma treatment as a structured approach to therapy describe at least three principles that are part of the unified approach to somatic psychology recognize how polyvagal theory provides an essential foundation of understanding arousal states as related to trauma reprocessing explain how mutual regulation serves as a precursor to self-regulation in treatment engage practical mind-body therapy tools to help clients feel resourced and prepared for trauma processing. describe how to help clients build affect and sensation tolerance in preparation for trauma processing recognize how working within the “Window of Tolerance” can help reduce the likelihood of re-traumatization describe how “top-down” and “bottom up” interventions can speed up or slow down the pacing of trauma treatment practice at least three interventions for working with somatic symptoms in trauma treatment recognize how client’s “parts” related to early developmental trauma can contribute to somatic symptoms understand how to work with preverbal memories by attending to somatic sensations identify self-care practices for therapists to manage somatic countertransference and vicarious trauma
Helping Clients ‘Get Past the Impasse’: Brain-Wise and Body-Based Approaches for Overcoming Trauma A 2-day workshop at London with Dr Cathy Malchiodi London, 21 June and 22 June 2019, Friday and Saturday 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days When working with Trauma, there are often critical moments in psychotherapy when clients inevitably get stuck and are unable to express their thoughts or feelings. This training explains brain-wise, body-based, action-oriented and trauma-informed approaches that can help our clients communicate; while providing a variety of practical strategies that can help individuals to safely express their implicit (non-verbal) and explicit (verbal) experiences associated with traumatic events. While the emphasis at this workshop is on addressing acute and chronic trauma in children, adults, and families, the material covered in this presentation is applicable to a wide range of psychotherapeutic challenges that disrupt our clients’ emotional regulation, cognition, and interpersonal relationships. The workshop includes lecture, short films, discussion and hands-on experiential exercises to demonstrate actual strategies that practitioners can immediately apply to their work with a variety of individuals, couples and families. Learning Objectives Establish a foundation for safe and attuned communication; Identify your client’s window of tolerance for implicit and explicit expression of feelings and memories; Enhance therapeutic resonance, synchrony, polyvagal response and empathetic attunement between therapist and client through non-verbal approaches; Understand how adverse childhood experiences and developmental trauma impact expression, imagination and communication styles throughout the lifespan Utilize the body and gesture to get past the talk and access inner narratives to tell without talking Describe and apply the Expressive Therapies Continuum [ETC] as a framework for brain-wise and body-based psychotherapy; Describe and apply neurodevelopmental models as frameworks for clinical decision-making Increase clients’ creative vocabularies through play, mindfulness, bilateral work, response writing and body-based strategies Apply innovative methods such as the Don Draper Gambit and You’ve Got Mail to individual and group work Identify what is unusual in clients’ non-verbal communications as a source of understanding Determine when to respect silence in psychotherapy and how to respond to it Restore a sense of mastery and play in clients to support calm, connection and confidence Develop personal clinical intuition through brain-wise and body-based strategies
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

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.