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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

Psychopathology: Theory and Practice


19 September 2019 -  Professor Brett Kahr

Introducing Psychopathology: Historical and Contemporary Perspectives
In this introductory lecture, Professor Brett Kahr will provide an historical overview of the concept of psychopathology, exploring the ways in which our predecessors conceptualised the treatment of insanity from ancient Greece to the present day. Drawing upon the extensive research on the history of psychiatry, Kahr will consider the century-long tension between the conceptualisation of madness as either a spiritual curse or as a brain disease, unrelated to one's personal biography, or as a consequence of early childhood experiences, especially those of a traumatic nature. After reviewing medieval models of mental illness and its treatment, Kahr will focus on the landmark year of 1856 - the date of birth of both Emil Kraepelin (who would become the father of biological psychiatry) and Sigmund Freud (who would, of course, become the father of psychoanalysis). We shall conclude with a study of the anti-psychiatry movement of the 1960s and the critical psychiatry movement of the 1970s and beyond, exploring the tension between the biomedical model, the psychoanalytical model, and the deconstructive model which has questioned whether psychological distress should be conceptualised as a condition requiring treatment at all.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

26 September 2019 -  Professor Brett Kahr

No topic within the mental health field has generated as much controversy as that of schizophrenia. Since the publication of Professor Eugen Bleuler's ground-breaking monograph on schizophrenia in 1911, members of the medical and psychological professions have engaged in heated debate as to the origin and treatment of this severe form of mental distress. Professor Brett Kahr will introduce course participants to the different ways in which colleagues have conceptualised the signs and symptoms of schizophrenia, and he will help students to understand such aspects of schizophrenia as positive and negative symptoms; so-called "thought disorder"; catatonic retreats; and so forth. He will provide an overview of the theories of aetiology, ranging from genetic, biochemical, and neuroanatomical approaches, to those derived from social psychiatry and psychoanalysis and traumatology, prior to considering the psychoanalytical alternatives to traditional psychiatric treatment. Kahr will examine the pioneering contributions of both Sigmund Freud and Carl Gustav Jung, as well as those of more modern contributors such as Harry Stack Sullivan, Harold Searles, Herbert Rosenfeld, Bertram Karon, and many others, and will also discuss his own work on the role of early parental death threats in the aetiology of psychotic states, which he has come to understand as the "infanticidal attachment".

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

3 October 2019 -  Raffaella Hilty

Depression: A Psychoanalytical Approach
In view of the widespread use of antidepressant medication and time-limited cognitive-behavioural therapy as so-called treatments of choice for depression, many practising mental health professionals have lost sight of the landmark contribution of the early psychoanalysts who made great strides in the understanding of severe melancholia, more than one hundred years ago. Raffaella Hilty will provide a detailed overview of some of the most seminal psychodynamic contributions to the study of depressive illness, beginning with the pioneering work of Sigmund Freud, who, in his classic essay, "Mourning and Melancholia", formulated a profound theory of the impact of loss and bereavement. We shall also consider the contributions of other major psychoanalytical thinkers including Melanie Klein, René Spitz, Edward Bibring, Donald Winnicott, John Bowlby, and Edith Jacobson.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

10 October 2019 -  Elizabeth Wilde McCormick

Affective Disorders
The evening will look at the contribution of Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT) to disorders of mood such as anxiety, depression and bipolar disorder. CAT was pioneered by Dr Anthony Ryle in the 1980's at Guy's and Thomas' hospitals in London and is a therapy offered throughout the UK and in eight other countries. The model offers patients presenting with a wide range of difficulty a way of making sense of their learned responses. The emphasis is on a collaborative approach to change and to learning ways to manage shifts in mood. There will be an overview of the model and research, and an invitation for some live supervision and mapmaking. Please bring someone you would like to discuss.

Elizabeth Wilde McCormick has worked as a psychotherapist, supervisor, trainer and writer for nearly 40 years. Her professional background is in Transpersonal and Humanistic psychology; Mindfulness based stress reduction; Sensorimotor psychotherapy and Cognitive Analytic Therapy. She is the author of a number of books including Surviving Breakdown, Living on the edge, Your Heart and You and Change For The better, the CAT self help book now in its fifth edition.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

17 October 2019 -  Michael Knight

First, some thoughts and discussion about how we respond as therapists to a client at serious risk of suicide, a situation that tests the limits of the underlying robustness of our theory and practice and our relational resilience.

The main content of the presentation will then be on Maytree, a unique short stay (100 hours) respite (and therapy) centre for those in suicidal crisis, of which I was a co-founder, and the principal architect of its model. In expounding its genesis and vision, and the gap in services it fills, I will focus on its ethos and the core values of its practice, namely containment and compassion - the essence surely of all our work. Finally, we'll look at outcomes, successes, failures, inviting discussion on its merits and potential.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

7 November 2019 -  Marcus West

Borderline Personality Disorder
The term - Borderline Personality Disorder - has a long history, dating back to 1938 and Adolf Stern's definitive paper (although it has recently been supplanted in the psychiatric field by the term Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder). In this lecture, Marcus West will be tracing some of the ways the concept has been understood in both psychiatric and analytic fields, particularly focusing on Kernberg's and Fonagy's conceptualisations and contemporary attachment and trauma theories, which have afforded us further, and now widely accepted, ways of looking at the phenomena. West will explore the overlap between borderline and narcissistic organisations and ways of functioning, before focusing on the powerful and profoundly distressing clinical phenomena as they occur in the consulting room, understood primarily as sometimes near-unbearable (for both patient and analyst) co-constructions in the analytic relationship of early relational trauma. The clinical challenges, as well as the opportunities, opened up by these co-constructions will be explored using, amongst other things, a developed understanding of Jung's concept of the traumatic complex.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

14 November 2019 -  Dr Carine Minne

Forensic Psychopathology
In this talk there will be a brief introduction to forensic psychiatry settings, the Criminal Justice System and how these can interact. Some individuals suffering from mental disorders can end up involved in both systems. This talk will focus on the most prevalent disorders seen within these settings and suffered by the individuals. There is often a division and indeed, segregation, made between those suffering from psychoses and those suffering from personality disorders with dual and indeed triple diagnoses being made. Carine will describe the helpfulness of using a single entity diagnostic approach, illustrating the psychopathological presence of several features, some times more manifestly psychotic and at other times more manifestly personality disordered. An emphasis on the aetiological factors, particularly early environmental traumas, will be made. Many of the presenting features can evoke strong responses in others, which can influence the management and treatment of the patients and these will be referred to. There will be descriptions of the multi-disciplinary treatment approaches with special focus on the role of psychoanalytical psychotherapy.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

21 November 2019 -  Dr Richard Sherry

PTSD: The Past and Potential Future
In his lecture on PTSD Dr Sherry will take 20 years plus of expertise within the field of psychological traumatology that has literally taken him around the world and across multiple fields of training.

His psychological traumatology work has evolved from his seven years treating traumatized soldiers when he headed the Clinical Psychology section for US Military inpatients for Europe. As a Consultant Clinical Psychologist with neuropsychology training, he is a specialist in traumatology (ESTSS Cert and an EMDR Consultant), a licensed Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist (BPC Reg.); he will take these expert insights to shed light on this diagnosable condition from the assessment and treatment across modalities. Much of his work has looked at extreme environments including gender based violence (GBV) and genocide as well as this he did his ethics training focused on re-examining the core ethical approaches within a disaster.

In this lecture Dr Sherry will cover some of the history of what PTSD is, the assessment and diagnostic issues, including from a psychoanalytic vantage point, and the treatment issues including some of the innovations with very low resource environments. Much of his focus on PTSD will examine the question of identity and how can we transform issues of instability through expert leadership to create profound well-being.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

28 November 2019 -  Dr Maggie Turp

Making Sense of Self-Harm
Drawing on infant observation extracts, clinical practice and service user testimony, we will consider both the history and intentionality of acts of self-harm. With regard to history, a well-functioning capacity for self-care is identified as a protective factor in relation to the destructive and self-destructive tendencies that are part of our human make-up. We will endeavour to identify the building blocks of such a capacity within parental care and consider how psychotherapy practice can best address early damage or deficit in this area of development. With regard to intentionality - and bearing in mind that the most common reason given for self-harm is a desire to 'cope' - we will consider self-harm as an extreme attempt at self-regulation. Bick's theory of psychic skin functioning offers a perspective that links self-harm of various kinds to difficulties in the management of the psychic skin boundary between self and others, a perspective that will be explored with the help of clinical examples. We will also consider possible reasons for the gender imbalance in acts of self-harm and the recent increase in incidence among teenage girls.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

5 December 2019 -  Dr Adah Sachs

Dissociative Identity Disorder
There is a famous tale about a young Dutch boy who noticed a hole in the dike which protected his village from the sea. There was no one to call for help, and the rising waves of an approaching storm were threatening to flood the village. The boy pressed both his hands against the hole as hard as he could, and stood there all night in the storm, holding back the sea.

In Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID), a young part of the person is often in the role of the Dutch boy. Faced with collapsing boundaries and no help, he or she must put their own body in danger, sustaining injuries to body and psyche, to save others.

Does this role promote the persons sense of altruism, strength and purpose, or does it only entrench a reality of perpetual enslavement? Why does the hero part have to be a young one? And how can therapy support the growth of the young part, and the development of safety which does not depend on such sacrifices?

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

12 December 2019 -  Professor Brett Kahr

Hysterical Neuroses and Obsessive-Compulsive Neuroses
Although Sigmund Freud pioneered the theory and practice of depth psychology, based predominantly on his work with neurotic patients, especially those struggling with hysteria and with obsessive-compulsive disorders, the concept of neurosis has become increasingly marginalised within the fields of psychiatry, psychopathology and, even psychoanalysis itself. In this seminar, Professor Brett Kahr will review the classical foundations of the theories of hysteria and obsessive-compulsive illness and will argue for the importance of a detailed understanding of these ongoingly important characterological states. We shall begin by exploring Freud's original work on the Studien uber Hysterie - the Studies on Hysteria - co-authored by Dr. Josef Breuer, as well as his exploration of the famous case of the obsessional "Rat Man". We shall then consider more recent psychodynamic investigations of these foundational mental states.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

19 December 2019 -  Sian Morgan

Sian will draw on her research into phobias. She will mainly be focusing on claustrophobia and agoraphobia.

Claustraphobia as pathological fullness and agoraphobia as pathological emptiness, both defences against painful traumatic and unmourned losses, leading to a constriction of both internal and external space. She will explore the notion of transitional space within which loss and emptiness can be borne and transformed through the expression of creativity.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

9 January 2020 -  Dr Gwen Adshead

Attachment and Forensic Psychopathology
In this talk, Gwen will discuss the implications of attachment theory for the understanding of those mental states which are involved in the commission of violent offending. There is growing evidence that early childhood adversity is a potent risk factor for persistent and severe violent crime. Gwen will explore how childhood adversity leads to disorganised attachment systems; and the parallel disorganisation of how relationships and the people in those relationships are represented in the mind. Specifically, Gwen will discuss the importance of attachment narratives; and the language that offenders use to describe themselves, their offences and their victims. Gwen will conclude with what these findings might imply for interventions for offenders and the services in which they are provided; and discuss recent relevant research.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

16 January 2020 -  Dr Phil Mollon

Narcissistic Personality Disorder
Freud provided many interesting observations and perspectives in his classic 1914 paper On Narcissism. These were developed further in Kohut's 1966 paper Forms and Transformations of Narcissism, in which he proposed a separate line of development of narcissism, from primitive to mature. The concept of narcissistic personality disorder did not emerge until the writings of Kernberg and Kohut in the 1970s. These authors presented contrasting, and seemingly incompatible views, a confusion compounded by their use of the same term (grandiose self) to mean quite different things - for Kohut a natural feature of childhood, for Kernberg a pathological structure consisting of a fusion of images of actual self, ideal self, and ideal other. These contrasting visions of narcissism were later mirrored in Rosenfeld's concepts of "thin-skinned" and "thick-skinned" narcissists. Rosenfeld observed that treating the "thin-skinned" narcissist as if they were "thick-skinned" could be very damaging. During the 1980s and 1990s, cognitive therapists, and schema therapists, began to develop concepts of narcissistic personality disorder, and the term became increasingly widely used - sometimes pejoratively and simplistically. This teaching will outline some of the core narcissistic dilemmas we all must navigate during childhood - and how these can become particularly pronounced in certain conditions, including ADHD. The realm of narcissism also interfaces with problems of human identity - and the ubiquitous tendency to become falsely identified with culturally and familiarly presented images.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

23 January 2020 -  Martin Weegmann

Substance Use Disorders
Martin's illustrated talk is an accessible introduction to the psychodynamics of addiction, considering questions like: What relationships do people make with drugs? What consequences does (mis-)attachment to substances have? What if alcohol seems more reliable than people? How does addiction install itself at the centre, progressively displacing all other needs? How do extreme internal worlds, centred on inanimate substances, come about? He will also sketch pathways into, and phases of treatment, illustrated with brief examples, to which he will invite responses. Martin concludes with observations on the many, varied ways in which people can overcome addiction and find productive routes from the problematic identities and chemical careers that have trapped their lives. He has the pleasure of inviting Angie, an ex-patient, to talk about her (on-going) journey of recovery from substance misuse.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

30 January 2020 -  Dr Valerie Sinason

Intellectual Disabilities
Children and adults with an intellectual disability are more vulnerable to external trauma. In addition, the disability itself is difficult to emotionally process. This seminar reveals the key seminal themes that emerge from talking therapy with children and adults with mild, severe and profound multi-disability.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

6 February 2020 -  Richard Curen

Asperger's Syndrome and Autism Spectrum Disorders
The world appears to be split into those that can be classed as neurotypicals and those that are neurodivergents. People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) are a part of the neurodivergent group and people with Asperger's Syndrome are part of the spectrum of people with ASD. There is a long history of misunderstandings and mistreatment of people with ASD across the medical profession and often in the consulting room. This seminar will present current thinking about ASD from a psychoanalytic perspective and suggest applications of that thinking in the treatment of individuals.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

13 February 2020 -  Marian O'Connor

Psychosexual Disorders
Clients in psychotherapy may be happy to talk about relationship problems, but may find it difficult to talk about psychosexual concerns. Should psychotherapists encourage clients to open up about sexual difficulties? Is there a danger that talking about sex might stimulate erotic transference or voyeurism or expose the therapist's ignorance about sexual functioning. This lecture will look at some of the blocks that might prevent the client or therapist talking about sex and will also provide information about sexual anatomy and common psychosexual dysfunctions.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

27 February 2020 -  Em Farrell

Eating Problems
A baby if placed on his or her mother's abdomen after birth, given time, crawls to the breast and will root for the nipple. We are programmed to eat to survive. In this seminar we shall look at the genetic factors in eating difficulties, the sustaining physiological and biological factors once an eating problem is established and the different ways of helping individuals who have them. We will look at the extremes, where life is threatened by how an individual uses or misuses food and what it is like to live with this. We will consider psychiatric and physiological interventions and their relative benefits before looking at psychological interventions with a particular emphasis on psychodynamic understandings. We shall lastly explore clinical techniques that are most helpful when working with this group of patients.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

5 March 2020 -  Professor Brett Kahr

Sub-Clinical Psychopathy
Men and women diagnosed as suffering from personality disorders or those described as psychopathic or sociopathic commit the vast majority of serious offences, whether murder, arson, rape, paedophilia, or theft. But many individuals who do not function as formally identified forensic patients will, nevertheless, often perpetrate "unconscious crimes", expressing violence - often deadly violence - through so-called "accidents", whether by pushing loved ones down staircases, by transmitting infectious diseases, by killing family members through neglect, and so forth. In this seminar, Professor Brett Kahr will introduce the notion of "sub-clinical psychopathy", exploring the unconscious motives and the manifestations of those who struggle with profound death wishes and who, in spite of a lack of a formally diagnosable mental illness, will, nevertheless, cause great harm.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

12 March 2020 -  Maria Pozzi Monzo

Neurodevelopmental psychotherapy and mindfulness with parents and babies
Neurodevelopmental psychotherapy studies the birth, the developing and the maturing brain and nervous system of the infant. It explores both the links with the environment, i.e. with the carer's capacity to attune with the infant as from utero and the containing and transforming bonding relationship with her after birth. Parents and babies are seen together to explore their relationships and where things have become stuck.

Mindfulness consists in "paying attention in a purposeful way in the present moment and no-judgementally" (J Kabat-Zinn, Full Catastrophe Living 1990). It is a popular, highly researched intervention with many applications that are demonstrated to have clear effects on the immune system and brain functioning. It can reduce stress and depression and is used also to treat addictions and reduce criminality. Mindfulness, as I use it in my work, guides parents to tune in finely with their own feelings, sensations and thoughts as well as with their babies, held in arms or observed on a cushion on a mat, where we usually position ourselves during sessions. This mindful, observing stance helps to foster better bonding and healthy separateness, freeing the baby from parental anxieties and projections.

This approach combined with more traditional parent-infant psychotherapy, is unique and innovative as it is also informed by neurodevelopmental studies and discoveries.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

19 March 2020 -  Dr Arnon Bentovim

Family Psychopathology
The language of family psychopathology was established by the pioneering group of professionals working with Gregory Bateson in the 1950s who used the perspective of General Systems Theory as the basis of their observations to establish the 'Double Bind Theory' of schizophrenia. Concepts such as boundaries, homeostasis, reciprocal transactions, symmetrical and complementary communication, feedback loops, alliances, triangulation have entered shared language. The Family Therapy Movement differentiated from the pervasive psychodynamic orientation in the US, but as practitioners trained in psychodynamic approaches we attempted to link psychodynamic and systemic thinking.

Based on our research on family functioning we introduced the Family Assessment model which provides the tools for practitioners to work with families. It describes the Family System as being made up of parts or sub-systems such as the parental partnership, and the parent-child subsystem which all contribute to the working or functioning of the system as a whole. Properties include how family members communicate, the nature of family alliances including attachments, and the management of boundaries and feeling states affect how the family system operates. The family system is more than the sum of its parts and there are characteristic patterns and core ways of relating and being - not so much cause and effect, but patterns of interaction. Families are located within the wider social system of extended family, local community and cultural norms and expectations.

Conflict is inherent in family life as a result of significant differences in gender, age, and developmental stage of family members. The basic structure of the family needs to work optionally to manage differences. The experiences of the parents as children - inter-generational effects - have a profound impact on the way the family functions. Parents with a history of trauma, abuse and dysfunction may have distorted, complex relationships with partners - and children, with mutual dependence and high levels of conflict. Traumatic events 'organise' relationships justifying harsh, abusive or neglectful responses. Children may be organised into caring roles for parents with mental health and substance abuse, children with special needs can organise the lives of the family around their needs.

A variety of therapeutic approaches have been developed to work with families including the SAAF Assessment approaches to determine whether the family is via-ble as an organisation or whether there is a potential for positive outcome, strengths which can be built on, goals which can be met. It is essential that practitioners develop skills to engage with children, young people and family members, joining, managing conflict in the here and now, using a variety of tasks to promote communication, allowing all family members to have a voice. "Structural approaches' aim to intervene to change dysfunctional patterns, block dominating controlling voices, and promote and reinforce alternate patterns. Solution Focused approaches look for instances of appropriate responses - care rather than criticism, and helps the family to build on the positive - the solution. Attachment based approaches promote positive responsive, reflective key relationships to develop security and organisation of relationships. Mentalisation based approaches aims to help family members to begin to put themselves in each other's shoes, and develop relationships based on understanding rather than beliefs.

The Hope for Children and Families approach takes the key practice elements therapeutic procedures across the field to provide the practitioner with a step by step approach to working with families. The seminar will use video examples to explore the concepts of family psychopathology and introduce approaches to intervention.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

26 March 2020 -  Tamsin Cottis

Introduction to Child Psychopathology
This lecture will outline the structure of provision of current UK child mental health services

A number of the most frequently diagnosed child mental health disorders (eg ADHD, ASC, Conduct Disorder, Eating Disorders, Childhood Depression,) will be identified and briefly described, drawing on the most up-to-date diagnostic criteria of DSM 5 and the ICD 10/11 (ICD 11 due to be adopted in May 2019).

Information will be critically considered with reference to ordinary child development and in the light of up to date research regarding the development of the brain in infancy and childhood. Close consideration will be given to what is known about how trauma and adverse childhood experiences may impact on a child's emotional, relational, cognitive, behavioural and relational development. Bessell van der Kolk's Model of Developmental Trauma Model (2005) will be considered.

As well as talking about medication-based treatments, we will explore how child psychotherapy, informed by Attachment Theory and Object Relations Theory, may be an effective response to childhood disorders which have their roots in traumatic experiences.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

2 April 2020 -  Dr Matthew Hagger

Geriatric Psychopathology
My talk will initially cover the common signs and symptoms of mental disorder in older people within the traditional psychiatric framework, including approaches to treatment and management within the biomedical model. A large part of working in old age psychiatry is working with the 3Ds as conditions ie depression, delirium and dementia. However I will also discuss and explore the wider backdrop of ageing and older people and how these factors and many others can affect someones individual mental health. This will lead into discussion about ways to understand and approach mental health in older age. I have a long term interest in psychodynamic approaches in working with patients, families and staff and will also discuss this in relation to older adults.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

23 April 2020 -  Jenny Riddell

You're driving me mad, I can't get through to you!
The subject of this paper is emotional and psychological violence in couple relationships. "Emotional and psychological violence" is defined as the interaction between a couple which causes distress to one or both in the couple, to an extent that the impact is at the level of trauma.

The clinical setting of working psychoanalytically with couples will be described.

The hypothesis that is offered is that the unconscious motivation for such violence can either be developmentally or pathologically driven. These drives will be illustrated and explored through clinical material. The ideas explored in the paper of Harold Searles' (1959) on "The Effort to Drive The Other Person Crazy", written from the perspective of individual therapy, will be applied to the couple in couple therapy and illustrated using disguised material from several clinical cases.

It is hoped to stimulate thinking rather than offer didactic ideas and questions will be welcomed as will the experience and thoughts of other clinical work.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

30 April 2020 -  Professor Stephen Briggs

Introduction to Adolescent Psychopathology: disturbance, defence or development?
Mental health problems in adolescence cause concern worldwide; adolescence is notable for the emergence of distinctive difficulties of varying severity and uncertain duration, including; self-destructive relatedness; depression; eating disorders. Diagnoses and prognoses are volatile and unreliable. Most adult disorders begin in adolescence, up to 75% by the age of 24; yet most mental health difficulties are resolved during adolescence. Diagnostic approaches therefore need to be supplemented by other ways of formulating understanding of adolescent mental health issues.

Unprecedented social changes have transformed the social and cultural worlds young people live in and created new contexts for development. The momentous and radical developmental process in adolescence makes demands on young people to bear loss and re-evaluate relatedness, to adapt to the emerging adult sexual body and become more separate from parental figures. It forms a necessary turbulence; mental health difficulties arise through disturbances to the developmental process and internal relatedness. The seminar will focus on understanding different aspects of the developmental process for individuals, distinguishing between developmental breakdown, communications of states of mind, including through acting and projecting; defences against the pains and turbulence of change; and processes of making developmental changes and gains.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

7 May 2020 -  Gabrielle Rifkind

Global Psychopathology
"Global psychopathology - how war monsters people" - why empathy fails in the conditions of war and how a theory of managing radical differences has more to offer.

War creates the conditions for human regression. The conflict parties have often done terrible things to each other. These are not the conditions for self-awareness. Instead, it is far more likely to find the parties in a deep state of denial, particularly as to the horrors they have committed on the enemy, and the suffering they have caused their own people by not finding a solution earlier. This kind of denial often creates a rigid mindset where the leadership needs to believe in the rightness of their cause. Within this state of mind there are a number of psychological states and interests which will be obstructive to peace making. What can be done?

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

14 May 2020 -  Raffaella Hilty

Enactment in Borderline and Narcissistic Disorders: "The Smelly Patient"
In this seminar Raffaella will deliver on the topic of enactment in borderline and narcissistic disorders, meaning any mutual acting out that arises in the therapeutic relationship in the context of the challenges faced in counter-transference work.

In order to address this topic, a clinical case will be presented where meaningful aspects of the difficulties faced in receiving and making sense of the patient's use of primitive defences, to communicate preverbal and un-symbolised experiences of early physical and emotional neglect, will be described, especially highlighting their expression through a very uncomfortable symptom: the client's bodily odour.

The link between disorganised-attachment, characterised by a mix of avoidant and ambivalent states of mind, and the development of adult psychopathology, characterised by a fragmentation of the self, will be explored in the context of contemporary research evidence, whilst specific elements of therapeutic technique, providing containment and facilitating understanding, will also be highlighted for the discussion.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

21 May 2020 -  Dr Joel Oberstar

In this presentation, Dr. Oberstar will review the current understanding of the biological basis for certain psychopathology. Consideration will be given to the role of neurotransmitters in the expression of psychiatric symptoms. Commonly used psychiatric medications will be reviewed with a particular emphasis on "class" mechanisms of action and common effects and side effects.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL

4 June 2020 -  Professor Brett Kahr

Final Plenary Session
During the final meeting of this thirty-week training in psychopathology, participants will have an opportunity to review the course in detail with the members of the core teaching team. Professor Brett Kahr and his colleagues will review some of the principal findings of the course, and participants will have an opportunity to assess and reassess their current views and understandings of the concept of psychopathology and begin to examine how each of us might develop our education in this field more extensively in the months and years to come.

Venue: The October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, London WC1N 3AL


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Core staff

Senior Course Director: Professor Brett Kahr
Director of Confer: Jane Ryan
Course Manager: Cressida Moger
Deputy Course Tutors: Raffaella Hilty and Dr Richard Sherry

CPD level:
£495 (or 12 monthly payments of £45)

Certificate level:
£1,185 (or 12 monthly payments of £100)

Diploma level:
£1,895 (or 12 monthly payments of £160)


The October Gallery
24 Old Gloucester Street

19 September 2019 - 4 June 2020

Thursday evenings, 19:30-21:30