Confer - continuing professional development, seminars and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists
A programme of 9 seminars
This link takes you to a secure, partner website where your booking will be processed.
Tuesday 17 April 2012
Dr Alan Watkins
Mapping the subject of psychoneuroimmunology (PNI)
This seminar will introduce current understandings of the interaction between psychological processes, the nervous and immune systems of the body. We will examine how the immune system and the brain talk to each other through signalling pathways. The psychosomatic roots of diseases where it has been shown that the nervous system is an aetiological factor will be considered. We will consider this dynamic in relation to autoimmune diseases, hypersensitivities, inflammatory response, immune deficiency and neurodegenerative disorders such as Parkinson's and MS.
Tuesday 24 April 2012
Professor Frank Hucklebridge
The role of the HPA axis in the mind-immunity interaction
It has been known since the pioneering work of Hans Selye over 70 years ago that stress induces increased adrenocortical activity and elevated glucocorticoid secretion can induce certain forms of immune suppression. We will explore the abundant evidence that chronic, prolonged periods of psycho- social stress can impair inflammatory and T helper Type 1 cell mediated immune activity, compromising immune defense against viral infection and processes such as wound healing. We will explore how the immune system is balanced between T helper Type 1 (cell mediated) and T helper Type 2 (antibody mediated) activity, and unpack the role of cortisol in regulating this balance. But brain - immune system communication is bidirectional. The immune system can be considered a sensory organ that alerts the brain to pathogenic threat. This and more will be discussed.
Tuesday 1 May 2012
Dr Kate Hamilton-West
The role of the autonomic nervous system in the mind-immunity interaction
Psychoneuroimmunology (PNI) is concerned with relationships between the nervous, immune and endocrine systems. These three systems can be considered as components of a triangle, each regulating the function of the others. In this seminar we discuss the role of the autonomic nervous system (ANS) within the PNI triangle. Taking a historical perspective we consider how early research focusing on the role of the ANS in responding to threat has contributed to our current understanding of mind-immune interactions.
Tuesday 15 May 2012
Dr Neil Harrison
Types of immunity, hypersensitivity, allergies and autoimmunity
In this seminar we will start with an overview of the basic mechanisms of the immune response and associated types of hypersensitivity response (Types I-V). Disease groups covered by each type will be introduced, including allergies, immune complex diseases such as lupus and autoimmune syndromes such as type 1 diabetes. We will discuss how changes in innate immunity e.g. inflammation modulates emotion, cognition and motivation and conversely how immune responses may be disrupted by stress. Finally we will consider the possible role of stress in the onset of such illnesses as diabetes mellitus and inflammation in the aetiology of depression.
Tuesday 22 May 2012
Dr Maggie Turp and Jane Ryan
Developing a theory of interpersonal neuro-immunology - the work of psychotherapy?
In this presentation, the speakers will explore the role of psychotherapy in relation to psycho-somatisation. They will propose that a healthy response to pressures on the mind-body system is a whole-organism response that displays a wide range of psychological and somatic signals; that ideally these expressions will be shared between the emotional, cognitive and physiological resources of the individual and that more severe problems arise when stress is over-managed by either psyche or somatic responses. The presenters will consider if an integration of psyche and soma is a core task of psychotherapy and, if so, how that may be achieved.
Tuesday 29 May 2012
Dr David Beales
The power of mind over physiology
This seminar will explore the evidence for the importance of individual characteristics on the development of disease or restoration of health. It will include some discussion of the placebo effect and the power of the mind that is known to influence the pathways of disease. We will then look at the role disposition and emotional stance - such as hope, desire for life, sense of agency, self-esteem - and the role that these characteristics may or may not have in the development of illness. These will be contrasted with illness traits that are more apparent in people with depression, anxiety, chronic systemic dysregulation, or PTSD. What does this tell us about the immune system?
Tuesday 12 June 2012
Michael Ash
Brain, Gut, Mind
Bidirectional signalling between the gastrointestinal tract and the brain is vital for maintaining health and homeostasis. This is crucial area in the study of psychoneuroimmunology because bacterial colonisation of the intestine plays a major role in the post-natal development and maturation of the immune and endocrine systems. These processes are key factors underpinning central nervous system (CNS) signalling. Recent research advances have seen a tremendous improvement in our understanding of the scale, diversity, and importance of the gut microbiome and its relationship to our mental health and visa versa. These findings will be explored.
Tuesday 19 June 2012
Dr Dianne Lefevre
PNI and psychotherapeutic theory
Psychotherapists are only too aware that in organisms as complex as humans stress takes on abstract meanings with highly subjective qualities. In this seminar we will examine the capacity of unconscious psychological factors to cause a pro-inflammatory response in the body. Exploring a bridge between psychoneuroimmunology and psychoanalysis, we will explore how an intersubjective interpretation of the unconscious or other psychotherapeutic intervention that brings repressed material to light, would be expected to restore healthy immune response, and why.
Tuesday 26 June 2012
Dr Ruth Sewell
Working psychotherapeutically with the cancer patient within a theoretical framework that includes PNI
In this final seminar we will address the complexities that currently face our understanding of the psychosocial origins of cancer in relation to other factors such as environment and genetic makeup. We will consider how these inform the type of psychotherapy that is effective in (a) making remaining life as good as possible and (b) potentially extending life beyond the prognosis. The speaker will reflect on the importance of non-psychological aetiological factors and how we map out such distinctions with the patient. She will also discuss the challenge of finding a place in the therapy for the subjective meanings that the illness holds for the patient.
This link takes you to a secure, partner website where your booking will be processed.