Confer - continuing professional development, seminars and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists
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Confer events held to date in 2009, including information and programmes from conferences, seminars and workshops.

Saturday 24 January 2009: TAKING OUR TIME - How long does it take for psychological change to occur?
We live in very fast times, attempting to digest vast quantities of information and to push ourselves ever harder and faster to assuage our anxieties about safety and status. Mostly, we subscribe to a 'time = money' equation that runs through each aspect of our lives; in western society we relate to time as a scarce resource.
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Saturday 28 February 2009: SUSIE ORBACH - A one-day psychotherapy seminar with 3 papers for discussion
In this first of three presentations Susie Orbach discusses the relationship between body and mind; the disturbing rise in the undermining of the body and eating and the technical issues it raises for handling eating and body image problems.
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Saturday 28 & Sunday 29 March 2009 : NEW PARADIGMS IN PSYCHOTHERAPY TECHNIQUE - An intensive seminar with Pat Ogden, with introductions by Margaret Wilkinson and Roz Carroll
We have the privilege of living in an epoch of theoretical development in the field of psychotherapy that is invigorating, inspiring and demanding. We know that it is helpful to have a foundation of knowledge in how the integrated brain-mind-body system works in order to understand advances in clinical technique.
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Monday 30 March 2009 : Graduate's Seminar with Dr Pat Ogden. Chairperson: Dr Liz Hall
This event is open to graduates of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy trainings in the UK, Ireland and America and signed up students in any of these schools. It is intended as an opportunity to work more closely with Pat Ogden and raise your own clinical concerns with her.
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Saturday 16 May 2009 : Dr Margot Sunderland - The neuroscience of childhood trauma and its treatment
This day of presentations aims to empower professionals with the latest research on the long-term effects of trauma on the child's developing brain. Effects on anatomical structures and biochemical systems will be addressed. Dr Sunderland will then consider implications for theories of change and therapeutic technique, with particular reference to the healing power of expressive rather than transactional conversation. She will consider how art, literature and language can be used to deepen affective and cognitive processing.
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Saturday 6 & Sunday 7 june 2009 : The Neville Symington Papers - Six presentations for discussion
Neville Symington will present papers for discussion on ideas and themes that have been important to him throughout his career. Neville Symington is a psycho-analyst with a special interest in psychosis. He has developed a view that there is an underlying pattern that generates all the different forms of mental illness. He believes that, "We clinicians at the moment are largely failing to heal the deeper level of disturbance because we have not got the right lenses with which to see what is in need of healing".
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16 Janruary - 26 june 2009 : Live Supervision Demonstrations - Six demonstrations on Friday evenings
These evenings will provide extraordinary insight into the inner processes of the consulting room by allowing us to observe the supervisory work of some of our most highly respected psychotherapists as they work to unravel the problems presented in a piece of clinical work of another psychotherapist.
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Friday 19 & Saturday 20 June 2009 : Working With Intimacy - A multi-disciplinary conference
The concept of intimacy combines a number of human needs and capacities: openness, transparency, close proximity and safety, which when combined allow for a deepened connection with another person. The notion of intimacy is very positive, associated with secure attachment and a special type of closeness to and knowledge of the self and other; it assumes a basis of sympathy and capacity to care about the object of one's intimate attachments.
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Saturday 5 September 2009 : Intergenerational Trauma Seminar - A one-day seminar and workshop on how we can intervene psychotherapeutically to
help people suffering from the effects of intergenerational trauma
This seminar, led by two leading American psychotherapists with a special interest in inter-generational trauma, will provide a space to consider how trauma is passed from one generation to the next. We will consider how the past traumas of parents or grandparents can manifest in the lives and psychological structures of their descendents and - most importantly - what skills we need to recognise intergenerational trauma, to work therapeutically to break the cycle and free the next generation. The workshop element of the day will pay attention to the ways in which our own past traumas impact on our clinical engagement with the client/patient's trauma.
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Thursday 10 - Sunday 13 September 2009: Intergenerational Trauma Conference - How can we intervene psychotherapeutically and socially to break the cycles of parent-to-child trauma and maximise healing for the future?
Hidden, and often shrouded in shame and silence, the traumas of our parents, grand-parents and ancestors are deeply woven into the psychological fabric of the living, operating within the psyche as an unseen but potent force, often manifesting as a psychological fixity that leads to vulnerability throughout life.
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Friday 25 - Sunday 27 September 2009: Landscapes of the Mind Conference - Does mental health depend on our relationship with the natural world?
As the planet is poised at the tipping point of irreversible climate change, we struggle to conceptualise this potential catastrophe and its consequences. Too awful, perhaps, to deeply contemplate the consequences of inaction, we bury this awareness in order to re-establish the emotional comfort zone of denial. Believing, perhaps, that we are individually helpless to impact on this terrifying escalation, this helplessness is often felt as despair and moral confusion.
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Saturday 17 October 2009: Playing on the Edge - Seminar with Jessica Benjamin
Jessica Benjamin will present her current thinking on these subjects
  • working with difficulty
  • using enactment to deal with dissociation
  • relational psychoanalytic approaches to working with trauma

Jessica Benjamin is an American psychoanalyst and feminist. She is currently on the faculty of New York University's Postdoctoral Psychology Program in Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy. Her early studies included social structure and feminism, but more recently she is known for her effort to explain the classical aspects of psychoanalysis using object relations, ego psychology, relational psychoanalysis, and feminist thought. She has made significant contributions to the concept of intersubjectivity in psychoanalysis.