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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.

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.

When does therapy end?
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When does therapy end?

At what point is a client ready to leave therapy? This important question puzzles not only beginners but also experienced clinicians and its appropriate resolution determines to a large extent the ultimate success of therapy.
In this seminar we will discuss:
Early indications for a client’s premature flight from therapy
Appropriate management of issues surfacing at the end phase of therapy ( what if the client gets worse? What if the client claims that she is ultimately disappointed with therapy? Are we going to slowly wean the client or continue having regular sessions till the last minute? Are we going to schedule regular follow-ups?)
Presentation of clinical cases where therapy gets into a rut or ends prematurely.
Advantages and disadvantages of short term vs long-term therapy.

The shadow of loss in our life
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The shadow of loss in our life

Loss is an inevitable experience in human life and sometimes the after-effects of significant losses can touch much deeper layers of our psyche than those described by our favorite psychological theories.
We, as therapists, do our best to help clients work through their losses, but how many of those clients can actually process the loss?
In this seminar we will cover:

Different types of loss ( anticipated, traumatic, diffuse) and their respective effects.

Which clients have the capacity to work through their loss

The conditions that either facilitate either hinder the process of mourning.

Transference
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Transference

Some psychotherapy schools emphasize and explore the therapeutic relationship while others take it for granted. In this workshop we will find out how a transference relationship develops early in the therapeutic process independent of the theoretical perspective espoused by the therapist and the conscious feelings of the client for the therapist. Transference reactions which are not recognized as such block the therapeutic process, so it is useful for a therapist to be able to understand and work with these reactions as well as his/her own countertransferance feelings to the client.

The use of imagery in medical problems
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The use of imagery in medical problems

Imagery is a powerful clinical tool with a wide range of applications in medical and psychosomatic problems. Many patients experience considerable difficulty in affective expression and description of their inner states. Imagery can provide an alternative route of self expression which facilitates self-reflection and enhances communication of inner states.