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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
Neuroplasticity: Implications for New Clinical Technique
Dr Ruth Lanius and Dr Mark Solms

Saturday 29 November 2014

09.15   Registration and Coffee
09.45   Dr Mark Solms

The basic emotion circuits of the brain and their implications for psychopathology
Recent research into the brain mechanisms of emotion has identified the primitive 'natural kinds' of mammalian emotion. This research reveals some surprising findings about the emotional circuitry of the human brain, which radically change our classifications of the basic emotions, and which have substantial implications for our understanding of psychopathology. This talk will summarise the relevant findings and will discuss the clinical implications, in relation to, for example, addiction, mood disorders, anxiety disorders and thought disorders, and more generally for theories of human sexuality and aggression.
11.15   Coffee Break
11.45   Dr Ruth Lanius

The neurobiological underpinnings of social cognition in chronically traumatized individuals, with implications for specific, integrated treatment approaches
Childhood maltreatment has been associated with profound deficits in the sense of self frequently leading the traumatized individual to become isolated and estranged in the secrecy of their trauma. Both intimate and non-intimate relationships frequently either become a way of re-enacting the past or appear unreachable. How do mind, brain, and body prevent traumatized individuals from engaging in social interactions, and how does this affect the therapeutic process? This lecture will describe the neurobiological underpinnings of social cognition, including theory of mind and eye gaze in chronically traumatized individuals and relate these findings to clinical case examples. An integrated approach to treatment of brain, mind, and body, including interventions geared to prevent the intergenerational transmission of trauma will be described.
13.00   Lunch (please note that lunch is not included at this venue)
14.15   Dr Mark Solms

Brain mechanisms of emotional consciousness: implications for clinical technique
Most forms of psychoanalytical psychotherapy conceptualise therapeutic change as a process whereby the unconscious parts of the mind are rendered conscious. Classically this involves a clinical technique which endeavours to attach words to preverbal and nonverbal mental processes. This is the essence of the 'talking cure'. In this presentation, new findings regarding the brain mechanisms of consciousness will be reported which require us to turn the classical conceptualisation of talking therapy on its head. The parts of the brain that generate 'instinctual' ways of thinking and behaving are the same parts of the brain that generate all consciousness. The parts of the brain that are associated with verbal cognition, by contrast, are intrinsically unconscious and are only capable of generating conscious thinking to the extent that they are activated by the more primitive, instinctual-emotional parts of the brain. Some implications of these findings for psychotherapeutic technique will be discussed.
15.30   Tea
15.45   Dr Ruth Lanius

Neuroscientifically-based effective therapeutic interventions for patients displaying altered states of consciousness following trauma
Four dimensions of consciousness, including time, thought, body, and emotion often become drastically altered as a result of traumatic experience. Even though such alterations in consciousness can be adaptive during the encounter of traumatic events, they can frequently lead to tremendous hardship in the aftermath of the trauma. How do we recognize such alterations in consciousness? Is there a dissociative versus a non-dissociative presentation of each dimension of consciousness? What predicts the occurrence of altered states of consciousness? How can we intervene effectively to overcome such altered states and how are those changes represented in mind, brain, and body? This lecture will describe a four dimensional model (4-D Model) outlining a dissociative and a non-dissociative dimension of each of these four dimensions of consciousness. Furthermore, the neurobiological underpinnings and a detailed approach to treatment of each dimension of consciousness will be described.
17.00   End

Self-funded: £160
Organisationally-funded: £300
CPD Hours

Certificates of Attendance for 7 hours will be provided at the event

8 All Saints Street
N1 9RL

Registration: 09.15
Start: 09.45
End: 17.00