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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
Character Pathology
Working with the Difficult-to-Treat Patient

A 2 day seminar led by Frank Lachmann

Saturday 27 & Sunday 28 June 2015

Saturday 27 June 2015
09.30   Registration and coffee
10.00   Infant research and adult treatment: what have we learned

From the empirical studies of mother infant dyads, three principles of organising experience have been reaped that have life-long applicability. These principles describe how from birth what we represent and what we remember, how we feel and how we behave are experiences that are co-created by our self in relation to other. When our understanding of early development, transference, and the organisation of the mind are applied to psychotherapy we require a broader conceptual and therapeutic perspective in order to integrate these principles into effective therapeutic technique. How we bridge these disciplines is the focus of this session.
11.15   Coffee
11.45   Transformation of narcissism: engaging affect and the role of empathy

Basic to lasting change through psychotherapy is the extent to which therapist and patient are affectively connected. For patients whose very pathology entails their difficulty in connecting with others, emotionally this is a central therapeutic challenge. Furthermore, to connect empathically with such patient can evoke strong negative feelings in the therapist that can impede the therapeutic process. The treatment implications delineated in the previous talk will be further illustrated.
13.00   Lunch break
14.00   Live supervision of a case with a difficult-to-treat patient

In this live supervision Frank Lachmann’s goal will be to acquaint the supervisee and the audience with the listening-thinking-articulating process that is central to supervisory listening, while helping a colleague with a challenging psychotherapeutic relationship.
15.15   Tea
15.45   Expectations: met, surpassed, and violated

Expectancies are a basic psychological structure, laid down in infancy, which enable the infant to develop a sense of predictable security, safety or danger. In adulthood, these expectancies, when met, provide a sense of continuity between self and the external world: when positive expectations are surpassed we may feel joy; when violated, we will feel traumatised or frightened. We will discuss this dynamic in relation to adult psychotherapy, with case illustrations.
17.00   End of day

Sunday 28 June 2015
09.30   Registration and coffee
10.00   Attachment, disorganized attachment and aggression

In this presentation, the two streams of research - infant research and attachment studies - are compared and joined together. Longitudinal studies now document that mother-infant interactions at 4 months are robust predictors of dissociation and borderline pathology at 18-years. The treatment implications of these findings are illustrated through clinical material.
11.15   Coffee
11.45   Goosebumps

Studies of mother-infant mammals have revealed that when babies wander away from their mothers they emit a particular high-pitched scream. When the mother hears this her body temperature drops and she seeks to reunite with her baby by making physical contact. The drop in temperature evokes the goosebumps that humans also feel when exposed to signals of separation and other violations of expectations. The role of goosebumps in response to interpersonal and other affective stimulation will be discussed.
13.00   Lunch (Lunch is not included at this event)
14.00   Dialogue with the Audience

Or everything you have always wanted to ask about working with personality disorder patients but were afraid to ask. This will be a free-wheeling give and take where participants can raise any issue – theoretical or clinical – and figure out how the topics addressed by the seminar did or did not address these issues.
15.00   Tea
15.15   Transformations through humour

Humour has had a bad rap in psychotherapy and this presentation aims at restoring its important role in human communication. Humour can create trust and intimacy, and facilitate transformation of rigid patterns of self-denial and anxiety through engaging affect in the most challenging of theraputic relationships. Two cases are discussed: One taken from the psychoanalytic literature of an unidentified, humourless analyst who is skewered; the other chosen to illustrate the therapeutic use of humour in the treatment.
16.00   Discussion
16.30   End

Click here to book
Payments are made on a secure partner website.
Please read our booking conditions before making your booking

William T. Ayton -

Self-funded: £240
Organisationally-funded: £390
CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 13.5 hours will be provided at the event

Tavistock Centre
120 Belsize Lane

09.30 Registration and drinks
10.00 Start
11:15 Coffee
13:00 Lunch
15:15 Tea
17.00 End

09.30 Registration and drinks
10.00 Start
11:15 Coffee
13:00 Lunch
15:00 Tea
16.30 End