Workshops

Mentalization
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Mentalization

Most psychotherapy models assume that the client has an inner world, a self and the ability to relate- regardless of how inadequate or blocked those may be.

However, clinical experience has shown that we should not assume these attributes. Particularly borderline, psychotically  and psychosomatically organized clients manifest many problems in the area of mentalization and symbolization.

In this workshop we will focus on the work of Peter Fonagy and other attachment theorists to study the mentalization process which takes place during infantile life and leads to the formation of their inner world. We will also discuss clinical interventions to use with adult clients with inadequate mentalization skills, which may help them develop further those skills and deepen their inner world.

Chiron’s constellation: Loss and grief in our life
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Chiron’s constellation: Loss and grief in our life

Loss is an integral part of human life, however, several people cannot get over an intimate loss. In this workshop we will analyze the experience of loss

  • As a relational trauma
  • As a narcissistic wound
  • As an existential issue

Such an analysis reveals that not everyone is able to process their loss and be in touch with their feelings, therefore realistic goals and individually tailored interventions are a necessity.

We will also reflect on whether we can “cure” or “ get over” our past wounds; this is the existential dimension of loss, poignantly depicted in the myth of Chiron.

Family unconscious: Archetypes, family secrets and a child’s ‘destiny’
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Family unconscious: Archetypes, family secrets and a child’s ‘destiny’

In this workshop we will investigate the legacy of the family to its offspring. Not only talents but also traumas, secrets and unresolved conflicts passed down from one generation to the next.

These unresolved issues play a significant role in the formation of current family relations and the « destiny» of each individual family member.

Specifically we will examine:

  •   The archetypes emerging from the father and mother imagos
  •   The archetype of the black sheep and the scapegoat
  •   Incestuous themes in the family
  •   Motifs regarding jealousy, envy and death wishes aimed at the child
  •   Ways to deal with unresolved issues in our own family

Several clinical vignettes will  be presented and you can bring your own cases for discussion.

Dealing with borderline pathology
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Dealing with borderline pathology

The aim of this seminar is to introduce students to the particular challenges posed by clients with borderline personality structure and to provide information about expressive psychotherapy, a therapeutic approach developed for borderline clients by Otto Kernberg and the mentalization approach developed by Fonagy. Case material , both written and in role-playing, will presented to illustrate the points made at the seminar. Participants are welcome to present their own cases as well.

When therapy fails
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When therapy fails

Unfortunately, despite our best efforts, we occasionally fail our clients. We either get into a rut or the client, under the pretext of lack of money or time, leaves therapy prematurely.
In this workshop, we will examine the conditions indicating early in therapy that things may falter later on. Then we will see in actual clinical cases the impact of certain issues that are common in almost every treatment:

Self disclosure of the therapist
Client’s idealization of the therapist
The masochism of the therapist

Participants are welcome to bring their own cases for discussion.

Short term psychodynamic therapy
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Short term psychodynamic therapy

In this seminar we will explore Malan’s model of short term psychodynamic therapy. We will discuss the selection criteria and the clinical problems which are more suitable for this type of intervention. Valuable qualities of this perspective include the careful diagnosis; focus on a single aim; and the intensive working through of client’s issues in the transference relationship.

What is psychotherapy? Ten crucial questions
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What is psychotherapy? Ten crucial questions

This workshop aims to help participants find the answers to common questions they often raise as they begin to train as therapists. We use case studies and role-playing to elucidate the nature of the issues raised in this workshop.

What makes therapy different from other relationships?
How long should therapy last?
What qualities constitute a “ healing” relationship?
What is the role of the therapist?
Is it possible to change through therapy?
Is it always beneficial to express our feelings?
Do I run the risk to feel worse if I start therapy?
What theoretical approach works best?
How do I know that I am suitable for therapy?
What do I need to do to become an efficient therapist?

Ethical dilemmas in psychotherapy
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Ethical dilemmas in psychotherapy

Many therapists believe that ethical issues seldom rise in the course of a treatment. Furthermore, they believe that since they behave ethically in all aspects of their lives, naturally their behavior will not provoke ethical conflicts in their professional work.
However, many issues of ethics are so common and so subtle that they slip by unnoticed, having managed to corrode the therapy process. In this workshop we will discuss some of the more salient issues such as the therapist’s self-disclosure, boundary problems, confidentiality when working with more than one client; we will also discuss more subtle forms of ethics such as the conflict between the values of the therapist with those of the client.
Actual cases will be presented to highlight these points and you can bring your own for discussion.

Crisis intervention
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Crisis intervention

We often need to deal with crises in our private office. Situations such as severe physical abuse,
self -destructive behaviors, suicidal ideation, or psychotic breakdown call for a different intervention than the usual « psychotherapeutic» approach.
In this workshop we will examine common examples of crisis intervention through case studies and role playing. You are welcome to bring your own cases for discussion.