Attachment Theory, Affect Regulation and Psychopathology A 2-day seminar at London with Dr Gwen Adshead London, 28 June & 29 June 2019 (Friday & Saturday) 10:00am - 4:00pm on both days
Our comprehension of Attachment Theory has evolved over the years, as evidence from neurobiological and relational studies has enhanced the original models of secure base representations to integrated approaches that lay emphasis on regulation of Affect. Such a broader understanding that incorporates affective somatic processes, biological development and relational transactions has the capacity to inform our therapeutic approaches, allowing us as practitioners, to clearly assess our clients’ defence strategies, dependency levels, patterns of self-representation and enhancements of agency. At this practical and therapeutically oriented seminar which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, Dr Adshead draws on modern interpretations of Attachment thought, recent neurobiological findings and her long-standing psychodynamic and clinical experience to help us comprehend: Attachment as ‘hidden regulator’ for physiological, psychological, sociological processes: revealed at times of threat, crisis, illness Attachment inscribed in body and brain Our clients’ ability to manage distress – how we can understand this from relational and neurobiological standpoints? What is it to be incapable of distress? The dandelion orchid hypothesis and how this links with developmental patterns Attachment patterns and their linkages with Affect Regulation strategies (including de-activation, hyper-activation and disorganised) Affect Regulation and Mentalizing – the relevance to mental health Attachment dysregulation and psychopathology: the relevance of mentalising Evidence of insecure attachment and poor mentalising in various disorders: especially personality disorder, substance misuse, somatic disorders Assessment and therapeutic implications What therapies are indicated for people with insecure attachment systems? Mentalizing failures and Therapy as learning to mentalize The impact on therapists: our own attachment systems Coming to terms with hate in countertransference Viewing Attachment based approaches through the lens of ‘an organised personality structure’, Dr Adshead explains how therapists can apply these learnings in clinical settings and allow for provision of relational security at multiple levels.
About the speaker Dr Gwen Adshead is a Forensic Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist. She trained at St George's Hospital, the Institute of Psychiatry and the Institute of Group Analysis. She is trained as a group therapist and a Mindfulness-based cognitive therapist and has also trained in Mentalisation-based therapy. She worked for nearly twenty years as a Consultant Forensic Psychotherapist at Broadmoor Hospital, running psychotherapeutic groups for offenders and working with staff around relational security and organisational dynamics. She is the co-editor of Clinical topics in Personality Disorder (with Dr Jay Sarkar) which was awarded first prize in the psychiatry Section of the BMA book awards 2013; and she also co-edited Personality Disorder: the Definitive Collection with Dr Caroline Jacob. She is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Forensic Psychiatry (2013) and the Oxford Handbook of Medical Psychotherapy (2016). She is also the co-editor of Munchausens’s Syndrome by Proxy: Current issues in Assessment, Treatment and Research. Gwen was visiting professor at Yale School of Psychiatry and Law in 2013; and also honoured with the President’s Medal for services to psychiatry that same year for her work on ethics in psychiatry. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by St George’s hospital in 2015; and was Gresham Professor of Psychiatry 2014-2017. She now works in a medium secure unit in Hampshire in a service for high risk offenders with personality disorder; and in a women’s prison. Seminar Modules Module 1: Attachment & Affect Regulation In the first session, we look at the fundamental tenets of Affect Regulation and its linkages with both Attachment Theory & Personality Development. Specifically, we consider: Ainsworth’s key findings and the establishment of patterns for future relationships Attachment as ‘hidden regulator’ Somatic representations of Attachment & Affect Distress management as key for self-regulation Module 2: Informing our therapeutic approach We look at therapeutic implications of our discussions and consider: negative transference and negative cognitions Processing ‘mini-traumas’ – co-regulating the here-and-now negative affect Therapeutic vantage points and impasse Module 3: Mentalizing Capacity Our discussion in this session examines how attachment security affects the development of an organised personality structure. We look at how attachment representations impact affect and arousal regulation, through the development of mentalizing capacity; and consider: Patterns of personality development – the influences of parenting & care-giving Stress & distress management by care-givers Attachment and ‘loss of contact with reality’ Toxic attachments Module 4: Attachment and Affect regulation strategies We further build our understanding of Affect Regulation and look at practical therapeutic applications through case vignettes. Our discussion specifically considers: Primary vs Secondary strategies From ‘protection from predation’ to affect regulation Acceptance of negative affect Co-regulation and affect Module 5: Insecurity of attachment and psychopathology We look at published evidence of the prevalence of insecure attachment in: Perinatal disorder Personality disorders Substance misuse Somatic disorders and eating disorder

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