Confer - continuing professional development, seminars and conferences for psychotherapists, counsellors and psychologists
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Confer events held to date in 2010, including information and programmes from conferences, seminars and workshops.

Monday evenings 11 January - 22 March 2010: PSYCHOPATHOLOGY UNPACKED - 10 Lectures exploring contemporary interdisciplinary approaches to the concept and treatment of mental illness
Both psychiatry and psychotherapy are concerned with helping individuals in distress. Often, a very troubled individual receives help from both professions at the same time. And yet there can be misunderstanding and mistrust between the two professions, often fuelled by lack of knowledge about the other's approach.
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Saturday 23 January 2010: STATE REGULATION - THE ISSUES - A day to explore the impact of the proposed Health Professions Council regulation of psychotherapy and counselling and possible outcomes
The road towards the state regulation of psychotherapy and counselling has been extremely complex, involving numerous organisations, lobby groups, meetings and documents...
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Thursday evenings 28 January - 12 March 2010: LIVE SUPERVISION CLASSES - 6 live supervision demonstrations led by Dr Christopher Clulow, Dr Susie Orbach, Anne-Marie Sandler, Dr John Rowan, Dr Phil Mollon, and Dr Jean Knox
These evenings are designed to provide the observer with exceptional insight into both the psychotherapeutic process and how supervision is conducted. By following a discussion between a leading psychotherapist and a colleague who is struggling with a case, we enter the normally hidden domain of exploratory conversation and theory as they work together to find a way forward in the work.
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Saturday 27 February 2010: LEARNING FROM LIFE - A one-day seminar led by Patrick Casement
In his fourth and most personal book, Patrick Casement gives a fascinating insight into fundamental questions concerning the acquisition of analytic wisdom and how personal experiences shape the analyst's approach to clinical work.
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Friday 5 and Saturday 6 March 2010: THE BIG IDEA - Bold proposals, visionary ideas and inspiring concepts for the next decade of psychotherapy
This first decade of the 2000s has heralded an unmistakable shift of influence towards the body, neuroscience, and mind-body integration. On the foundations of intersubjectivity, relational and attachment theories, revisions in the way we view the therapeutic relationship have been widely discussed. Flourishing in the wings, newer discourses such as mindfulness, eco-psychology and Queer theory are making a gradual impact on the mainstream. On centre stage, mentalisation, CBT and trauma work, have become increasingly significant theoretical pathways.
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Wednesday 14 April - Wednesday 14 July 2010: STRUCTURES AND DISORDERS OF THE SELF - A seminar series for psychotherapists
The concept of the self is a subject of extensive theoretical debate, perhaps because of the great challenge of describing its characteristics and formation. Interestingly, within Western paradigms, the self is often understood through a relationship with its opposite: I and thou, self and society, true and false, inner and outer. And traditionally psychotherapy aims to strengthen these distinctions between self and other in the project of developing individuation and resilience.
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Monday 5 July - Friday 9 July 2010: TRAUMA SKILLS SUMMER SCHOOL - A programme of 10 seminars for psychotherapists designed for the development of technical skills and theoretical knowledge in working with trauma related disorders.
The aim of this 5-day programme is to present some of the most recent developments in the treatment of trauma related disorders. The 10 seminars, taught by several of the UK's leading specialists in the field, are designed for mental health practitioners interested in the following areas...
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Saturday 18 September 2010: SELF-HARM, SELF-CARE AND THE WAY BETWEEN - A training workshop led by Dr Maggie Turp.
This one-day training workshop is designed to support psychotherapists in their work with clients or patients who are on the self-harming spectrum from minor self-injury to suicide. Led by Dr Maggie Turp, author of Hidden Self-Harm: narratives from psychotherapy, we will be introduced to the concept of self-harm, its aetiology and function. We will explore the continuum model of self-harming behaviour, its roots in infancy, and be introduced to the concept of 'psychic skin functioning' - a way of thinking about self-harm as damage to boundaries around the self.
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Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 October 2010: SPIRITUAL NARRATIVES IN PSYCHOLOGICAL THERAPIES III - The contribution of meditation to the practice of psychotherapy: Offering and sustaining presence. Conference and workshops
This conference-workshop focuses on one specific contribution of Buddhist meditation to the Western practice of psychotherapy: the concept of presence and the capacity to be fully attendant to the moment with the client with 'clear seeing'. We will focus on the embodied nature of that state of awareness, difficulties in our capacity to be present to another and the therapeutic value of mindful atunement when it is achieved.
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Saturdays 5 June, 26 June, 25 September, 6 November 2010: 4 CONTEMPORARY VIEWS ON WORKING WITH TRANSFERENCE - 4 mini-conferences exploring the psychotherapy of transference dynamics
Transference cannot be discussed without reference to countertransference, and this set of four morning mini-conferences is twinned with afternoon counterparts. This way of organising the discussion may be seen as participating in a false dichotomy. However, the structure enables participants to engage with both traditional and contemporary theoretical approaches. Not all of the speakers agree that transference theory can be replaced by intersubjective theory and we anticipate a rich revitalising of ideas in the range of presentations.
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Saturdays 5 June, 26 June, 25 September, 6 November 2010: COUNTERTRANSFERENCES, INTERSUBJECTIVE FIELDS AND ENACTMENTS - 4 mini-conferences exploring the psychotherapy of countertransference dynamics
This series of lectures will be a forum in which therapists can explore and deepen their understanding of countertransference experiences. Bringing together four panels of exceptional speakers we will be given both a window onto their challenges with this phenomenon, and the ways in which they have learnt to utilise it as an essential tool in their work. We will explore its profound impact on the therapist's sense of self, body and intellect, some ways of understanding this intensity. We will consider how new relational possibilities can be offered to the patient/client through an understanding of our emotional responses to their lives.
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Friday evenings - 25 June, 24 September, and 5 November 2010: ONE CASE: THREE PERSPECTIVES
At these three, newly conceptualised seminars we aim to explore how different approaches to psychotherapy are illuminated by three different responses to a case presentation. Beginning each evening with a detailed assessment, a case presenter will consult with three senior practitioners on the underlying psychological issues and the therapeutic approach that would be most likely to help the person coming into therapy.
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Monday evenings, 27 September to 6 December 2010: IS THERE SUCH A THING AS AN IMPOSSIBLE PATIENT? - A seminar series for psychotherapists
In this seminar series we are exploring the concept of the 'impossible patient', asking who might be considered unsuitable for therapy and why some therapy relationships fail. Our nine speakers, each highly experienced psychotherapists, will consider the dilemmas they have faced and ways that they have found to make sense of psychotherapeutic relationships that are particularly challenging.
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Saturday 30 October 2010, Dublin: SHAME - THE UBIQUITOUS YET HIDDEN CORE OF MENTAL PAIN - A one-day seminar led by Dr Phil Mollon
Dr Phil Mollon rose to fame with his early writings on shame, narcissism and disruptions to the sense of self. He has continued to elaborate his thinking on these clinical themes - so prevalent in the consulting room in shame-based cultures. This one-day seminar will provide psychotherapy practitioners with a thought-provoking and inspiring exploration of how we can help people work through the damaging effects of this painful affect.
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Friday (evening) 26 November and Saturday 27 November 2010: BRAIN MAPPING - A 2-day conference - How does our current understanding of neuropsychology lead us to good psychotherapy practice?
In the past decade psychotherapists have been making extraordinary discoveries about the biological basis of psychological structures and emotional patterns. In response, a new and highly creative intellectual project has emerged in our field: to connect the insights of neuroscience and psychotherapy and to try to reconcile psychotherapeutic and neuropsychological understandings of the mind.
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Saturday 11 December 2010: FROM MELANCHOLY TO DARK ABYSS - Active and contemplative approaches to psychological work with depressed patients A one-day seminar for psychotherapists led by Elizabeth Wilde McCormick
This seminar is led by the highly regarded psychotherapist Elizabeth Wilde McCormick, whose work is recognised for its attention to compassion, for providing a mindful spaciousness in the therapy relationship and an embodied quality to the work. Her work embraces a wide range of psychotherapy theories and approaches, including cognitive analytic therapy (CAT), and contemplative psychotherapy.
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