Bipolar Disorder: psychological models and treatment A one-day seminar with Professor Matthias Schwannauer London, 21 September 2019 (Saturday) 10:00am - 5:00pm
Bipolar Disorder is a severe and enduring mental health problem, often first manifest in adolescence and early adulthood, characterised by episodes of deep depression, hopelessness and mania, while having a profound impact on an individual’s development. Clients with bipolar disorder exhibit dramatic swings in mood and energy levels ranging from very low depressive periods to extremely high manic episodes. Bipolar Disorder, however, suffers from a history of being seen as a biologically driven disorder, with the assumption likewise that the treatment has to be biologically driven; consequently there is a relative lack of research into psychological models or psychotherapeutic interventions for this highly vulnerable client group. As therapists, we may thus feel ill-equipped to manage and address our clients’ ongoing vulnerabilities of mood instability and dysregulation, stress reactivity and interpersonal sensitivity. At this practical workshop, which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, we start with a fundamental premise that Attachment Theory and models of interpersonal functioning offer a promising, psycho-developmentally grounded framework for understanding onset, help seeking, adaptation and resilience in the experience of bipolar disorder. Through discussions and case examples, the seminar helps us understand: The impact of trauma on first presentations of bipolar disorder The role of affect dysregulation and other related psychological processes The developmental processes and psychopathology instrumental in bipolar disorder Life experiences and transitions that might heighten an individual's vulnerability to the development of a bipolar disorder How positive attachment experiences including positive psychotherapeutic engagement can aid the development of reflective function and mentalisation, serving as catalyst for improved self-regulatory processes The processes that are essential to any psychological formulation of a bipolar disorder episode By considering the above, our aim is to present a case-driven psychological intervention targeting emotional recovery and relapse prevention. The seminar outlines an overall psychological framework for developing individually-tailored strategies for case formulation, recovery and staying well, that primarily focus on emotional and interpersonal adaptation to bipolar disorder.
Workshop Schedule 10:00AM: Session 1: Bipolar Disorder, essential psychological and developmental factors relevant for onset and maintenance 11:30AM: Coffee Break 12:00 noon: Session 2: Attachment and the Developmental Psychopathology of Bipolar Disorder 1:00PM: Lunch Break (a light lunch is provided as part of the seminar) 1:45PM: Session 3: Providing Therapeutic Interventions 4:30PM: Plenary Discussion 5:00PM: Close About the speaker Matthias Schwannauer graduated with first degrees in Philosophy and Psychology from the University of Marburg in 1994. In 1998 he completed his applied clinical psychology training at the University of Marburg with internships in Marburg, Berlin and Edinburgh. His first position as a qualified clinical psychologist was in the Adolescent Mental Health Services in Greater Glasgow NHS. He moved to NHS Lothian and the University of Edinburgh in January 2000. During this time, he completed his PhD research into psychological interventions for bipolar disorders. This research involved the implementation of a randomised controlled trial of Cognitive Interpersonal Therapy and an investigation of the role of interpersonal and cognitive factors in mood regulation in bipolar disorders and the recovery process. Currently he is based at The University of Edinburgh as Professor of Clinical Psychology and Head of the School of Health in Social Science at the University of Edinburgh. He also maintains a practice as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist at NHS Lothian.

Continuing professional development through seminars, workshops and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists.