Confer - continuing professional development, seminars and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists
new insights and therapeutic approaches
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Tuesday 17 January 2012
Dr Nuri Gene-Cos
Assessment, aetiology and diagnosis: treading a careful path through trauma and neurobiology
This presentation will consider the importance of both aetiology and neurobiology in diagnosing and understanding the psychiatric patient who is presenting with severely disorganised moods and behaviour. Using case material we will consider how we can apply an understanding of the neurological organisation of the emotional operating systems in conjunction with an assessment of the patient’s unique history to provide the most effective psychiatric/psychotherapy combined treatment.

Tuesday 24 January 2012
Dr Jean Knox
The role of shame in borderline patients
By its very nature, trauma or abuse objectify the victim, creating an unbearable sense of shame for the sufferer. This shame contributes to the pattern of behaviour and relationship in which the patient oscillates repeatedly between a kind of adhesive attachment to the therapist and a violent rejection in which the relationship with the therapist is smashed up or obliterated. Labelling this as BPD can be another way to objectify the patient with a diagnosis. The implications of these issues for our clinical practice will be explored in this presentation.

Tuesday 31 January 2012
Dr Felicity de Zulueta
Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and attachment: possible links with borderline personality disorder
In 1999 Dr de Zulueta wrote a review on the subject of borderline personality disorder (BPD) as seen from an attachment perspective. Ten years later, having worked with patients suffering from complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, she is struck by the similarities and links between their symptoms and those of patients diagnosed as suffering from a BPD. This presentation focuses on the psychobiological basis of their pathology in terms of attachment research and what clinical implications this may have in terms of their diagnosis and treatment.

Tuesday 7 February 2012
Dr Dianne Lefevre
Thinking together: what determines the development of a borderline condition rather than a psychotic condition?
Looking at infancy and early childhood we will first question what makes someone develop a borderline, rather psychotic psychological structure. Dianne Lefrevre will propose that in psychosis anything that causes unbearable interpersonal pain slips over into the psychotic personality, while in borderline that pain is handled via the mechanism of projective identification of unwanted features of the personality or objects onto others. She will argue that the characteristics of the borderline personality, that include narcissistic repudiation of the other as well as more primitive impulses arising from pre-genital aggression, can be traced to very early problems. However, precisely what leads to one or other structure is difficult to determine. Regardless of precise aetiology, the need to develop an observing self is essential. Therapeutic considerations will be discussed.

Tuesday 6 March 2012
Dr Judy Gammelgaard
Engaging the therapeutic frame with the borderline analysand
From its inception, psychoanalysis has sought to affect a cure through the therapeutic relationship between analyst and analysand. In this session we will look at what happens when the established framework of the psychoanalytic process is challenged by those with borderline personalities, and how we might understand the analysand who is unable to engage with therapy. We will consider how we might bring them to a point where they are able to do so.

Tuesday 13 March 2012
Dr Marco Chiesa
Effectiveness in the treatment of borderline personality disorder: a critical review of the evidence-base
In this presentation Marco Chiesa will review the evidence for effectiveness of a number of modalities of treatment for borderline personality disorder. He will concentrate on studies that evaluated psychodynamically-informed approaches (mentalisation-based treatment, transference focused psychotherapy, group psychotherapy and multi-modal approaches) as well as cognitive-based models (schema-focus therapy, dialectic behaviour therapy and cognitive-analytic therapy). A critical evaluation of what constitutes accepted evidence of effectiveness will be also discussed.

Tuesday 20 March 2012
Ruthie Smith
Clearing core traumas to facilitate integration of the BPD’s patient’s split off aspects
Clearing core traumas to facilitate integration of the BPD’s patient’s split off aspects the fragmentation characteristic of BPD poses challenges for containment and integration. Working from an attachment based perspective using the Jungian notion of archetypal energies can be fruitful in helping to integrate split off aspects of the shadow, engaging the client in a constructive relationship with their psyche and its processes. AIT, an energy psychotherapy developed by Asha Clinton offers a way of treating challenging aspects of the personality in a non shaming way. By working simultaneously with the person and their parts (such as The Victim, The Abuser, The Judge, The Witch, The Saboteur, and other ‘difficult’ archetypal energies/ internalised object relations), the distortions in the person’s development, compulsive patterns and intractable ‘personality grids’ can soften and dissolve . Through clearing core trauma, these archetypal energies/aspects of the self can be integrated, thereby strengthening the ego and reducing the BPD’s tendencies to be triggered by PTSD into dis-regulated ‘states’ of mind.

Tuesday 27 March 2012
Franklyn Sills
The borderline conundrum: from early ideas to present-thinking
What is known as the Borderline Personality covers a wide sphere of personality tendencies and forms. Its most striking aspects are those of suspicion, instability in relating and poor affect regulation. In this presentation, Franklyn will discuss some of the pioneers in the acknowledgment and exploration of this unstable personality form. He will look at ideas from Ronald Fairbairn, Donald Winnicott and Frank Lake, emphasising the territories of the early relational experience, object relation theory, pre- and perinatal psychology and the early care-giving environment.

Tuesday 3 April 2012
Jack Nathan
The use of benign authority with borderline patients: the need for attunement and limit setting
Jack Nathan will firstly explore the nature of borderline patients’ viscerally disturbing experiences. We will then consider what makes them different from the ‘normal-neurotic’ via the way this difference is embodied by the psychotherapist, for whom the countertransference reactions cause profound disturbances that resonate with those of the patient. Because losing one’s therapeutic equilibrium is axiomatic, I will detail the way in which benign authority, through attunement and limit setting, can support the therapist, especially when confronted by their own idiosyncratic limitations.

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