Confer - continuing professional development, seminars and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists
9 seminars designed to illuminate what brings about those pivotal moments in a therapy relationship
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Monday 16 April 2012
Dr Joseph Schwartz
What is an intervention, exactly?
I will argue that there is no such thing as intervention as such, but that there is a process of relating, a process of speaking about what is happening in the consulting room - and not speaking about what is not happening in the consulting room. We will think about Dan Stern's concept of the "Now-moment" or the moment when attunement and authenticity reach deep emotional levels.
Monday 30 April 2012
Dr Bernard Barnett
Interpretation as Spontaneous Gesture
I assume that the spontaneity of the analyst's verbal and non-verbal response to the patient is not a random event arising from an unorganised mind, but rather a conscious (and partly unconscious) utterance and the product of a prepared mind. I assume further that the general aim of the psychoanalytic approach is to enable the analysand 'to reach something of his/her own making', 'to reach for some meaning out of himself' and to do so, as far as possible, in his/her own time. I shall suggest that the analytic process is one in which the 'interpretation' is therefore most usefully approached as neither 'right' or 'wrong', 'correct' or 'incorrect', but rather as 'helpful' or 'unhelpful' to the patient in achieving this aim. I will offer some clinical material to support this point of view and welcome further material from the participants at the meeting in order to illustrate the issues and the problems involved.
Monday 14 May 2012
Dr Maggie Turp
The right words at the right time? Bodily resonance and the quest for an effective intervention
Should I speak or stay silent? Which aspect of the patient's communication should I respond to? How should I frame my communication? These questions are the bread and butter of the practitioner's working life. There is, of course, no formula. The focus of this talk will be on tuning in to somatic communications, listening to, and with one's own body and attending to the inner landscape of one's own imagery. The speaker will be considering the way in which well-attuned parents read their baby's somatic communications in order to understand how things are with them. She will also be quoting instances from her own work where, whether by luck or judgement, she seems to have come up with the right words at the right time.
Monday 21 May 2012
Dr Begum Maitra
Making meaning across cultural worlds: the risks and benefits of ethnocentrism
However positive a therapists' position on multiculturalism might be, and however respectful of other cultural positions, we will ask to what degree respect is sufficient when there is little understanding of what underlies these 'other' positions. Using clinical material from her experience as a psychiatrist, psychotherapist and an expert witness in family proceedings, often areas in which a person's culture is most poignantly contested, Begum Maitra will examine some of the risks and benefits of being inside, outside, or marginal to mainstream British culture. How and when might interventions about cultural meaning be usefully made? What are the costs of failing to do so? To those who complain about the difficulties of considering culture this asks what therapy might be about and who it benefits if the crossing of cultural worlds is not a central undertaking.
Monday 28 May 2012
Dr Anne Alvarez
Future Perfect
I shall extend some previous ideas on the importance of other people being able to dream of a child's future, by examining other features in the role of internal figures in the growing child's sense of the future. How does the future seem to beckon for some people and not for others? Clinical material from interventions with despairing and apathetic patients, together with observations of babies' crawling and walking will be used to relate BIon's theory of knowledge to Panksepp's neuroscientific work on the Seeking System.
Monday 11 June 2012
David Mann
"I want you closer - I don't want you closer" - concrete and symbolic experiences of interpretations
I used to think that interpretation was the main agent of therapeutic change. Clinical experience has led me to revise this view. Using clinical examples I will illustrate my current experience that although interpretation is still very important, with some clients, especially with the borderline personality disorders, other factors play a significant role: for example, empathy, or the overt commitment to understand even when it is clear the therapist does not understand. In these instances interpretations appear to have little or no symbolic meaning but are often experienced very concretely by the client. When this happens interpretations appear to be experienced as either positive or negative depending on the level of intimacy or closeness the client (and perhaps the therapist) is able to tolerate. This talk will seek to explore the different levels of experience when both the client and the therapist realise that what has been interpreted does not seem to have the meaning that either of them expected or intended.
Monday 18 June 2012
Professor Jeremy Holmes
The balance between theory and spontaneity in the consulting room: interpretation as 'partially contingent mirroring'
I shall explore the ways in which 'interpretations' arise in the consulting room, based around two case examples. The first, informed by the work of Beebe, promotes the idea of 'partially contingent mirroring' both as a hallmark of secure parent-child relationships and 'good' analytic interventions. The second example looks in detail at 'not-so-good' and 'good' interventions in clinical practice. I shall then then consider ways of thinking about how the therapist arrives at an interpretation: as part of a theory-spontaneity dialectic (Bion/Klein); in terms of harmonious psychic function (Sandler); in terms of non-linear patient-therapist dynamic (Galatzer-Levy).
Monday 25 June 2012
Elizabeth Wilde McCormick is regrettably unable to give her presentation. She is replaced by Orit Badouk Epstein giving the talk, "Touching trauma: working relationally and safely with the unboundaried body"
Orit Badouk Epstein is a UKCP registered Attachment-based psychoanalytic psychotherapisr and a supervisor working in private practice. She works relationally with all client groups and has a praticular intrest and passion for working with individuals who have experienced extreme abuse and trauma displaying symptoms of dissociation. Orit is a co-writer with Rachel Wingfield Schwartz and Joe Schwartz of the book Ritual Abuse and mind control/manipulation of attachment needs (Karnac, 2011).
Monday 2 July 2012
Dr Lesley Caldwell
"I never became human ... I missed it." (Holding and Interpretation 1989:96).
This remark to Donald Winnicott, and his response, "All the time you are saying that you have no hope whatever of being loved", occurs in Holding and Interpretation, Fragment of an Analysis, a detailed account of six months of an analysis. This paper explores what analysis provides and what, for some patients, it cannot provide by wondering about 'pivotal moments' in Winnicott's account and how they are to be characterised. Reference will be made to the different responsibilities of patient and analyst in talking and listening in the analytic space.
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