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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
Psychopharmacology and Psychotherapy
With Professor Phil Cowen, Dr Diane Hammersley and Dr Susan Mizen

Saturday 8 November 2014

09.30   Registration and Coffee
10.00   Professor Phil Cowen

Listening to Prozac: Psychopharmacology for psychotherapists
Drug treatments are widely employed in psychiatric practice to treat severe mental health problems such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and refractory depression. Psychotropic medications, particularly antidepressants, are also widely used to treat less severe mental health conditions. However, for many of these disorders effective psychological treatments are available and are generally preferred on grounds of patient preference, longer term efficacy and better safety. The lecture will summarise the major classes of psychotropic drugs available, their indications, side-effects and what is known about their mode of action at a neuropsychological level, particularly where this is relevant to concomitant psychological treatment.
11.15   Coffee Break
11.45   Dr Diane Hammersley

The medical model, psychopharmaceuticals and the interface with psychotherapy
Drugs fit more easily with the medical model of mental health where symptoms define the diagnosis and drugs are there to alleviate symptoms. But terms like "anxiety", "depression" and "stress" say nothing about the causes of psychological distress and what might need to be addressed at greater depth. When a client is prescribed medication before they come for therapy, how do you explore their expectations and beliefs about both medication and therapy, and how can you negotiate continuing with medication or facilitate therapy with an agreement to integrate drug withdrawal?
13.00   Lunch (included)
14.15   Dr Susan Mizen

Affective neuroscience and a future integration of psychopharmacology and psychotherapy
The division between psychopharmacology and psychotherapy is the product of two points of view in the study of brain function: an objective neuroscientific perspective of the brain and the study of the mind as its subjective manifestation. Psychopharmacological interventions have not, as yet, been based on an integrated understanding of the mind and despite Freud's early venture - his Project for a Scientific Psychology - psychotherapists rarely think about their work in neuroscientific terms. I will argue that developments in neuroscientific and psychotherapeutic research allow a convergence of perspectives which open up the possibility of new understanding of the nature of mental life and its disorders, and of new therapeutic approaches in which pharmacological and psychotherapeutic interventions may facilitate one another. I will put forward a tentative hypothesis and explore the implication of such interdisciplinary thinking.
16.00   Tea and panel discussion
17.00   End

Full-time students: £68
Self-funded: £135
Organisationally-funded: £210
CPD Hours

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

The Tavistock Centre
120 Belsize Lane

Registration: 09.30
Start: 10.00
End: 17.00