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Dr Lynne Jacobs on Relational Aspects of Intersubjectivity Theory and Gestalt Therapy
Dr Lynne Jacobs
In this webinar, Dr Lynne Jacobs discusses the relational concepts and perspectives from Intersubjectivity theory which may be used to build Gestalt theory. Dr Jacobs will define and describe certain concepts from Intersubjectivity Theory, and critique them for their relevance and applicability to Gestalt therapy.
Understanding Dissociation and How to Work with It. (FREE WEBINAR)
Dr Nick Bendit
Dissociation is an area of mental health that few practitioners know much about. It is shrouded in mystery and controversy, but in the last 10 years there is an increasing literature of the science and clinical practice of dissociation. As a phenomenon of everyday mental health, it is much more common than we realise, and has an important impact on treatment outcomes for a range of psychiatric disorders.
Working with Borderline Personality Disorders
Dr Joan Haliburn
In this webinar Dr Joan Haliburn will discuss that single mechanism theories are insufficient, that co-morbidity must be taken into account, and that the forming of the therapeutic relationship – the singular necessity – depends on an understanding of attachment not only in the formation of the therapeutic relationship with safety and security, but also its effects on how the patient relates with the therapist and what the therapist must do in the face of sometimes inexplicable reactions and interactions.
Vulnerability & Grandiosity: Related forms of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.
Dr Joan Haliburn
The term narcissism is most often regarded as a triad of vanity, exhibitionism and arrogant ingratitude, but it also needs to be seen as a state of developmental arrest, vulnerability, where the sense of SELF lacks sufficient inner resources to give meaning to life, simply through living it fully. The role of relational trauma needs to also be understood in the precocious attainment of autonomy, early idealization and identification with the other, seen in the developmental psychopathology of some narcissistic personality disorders. They occur on a spectrum and cannot all be lumped together. We must develop this understanding in the psychotherapy of Narcissistic Personality Disorders. In this webinar, Joan Haliburn presents a developmental understanding of Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorders and the complexities of psychodynamic psychotherapy in these disorders.
Dr Nick Bendit on Working with suicidal patients (FREE WEBINAR)
Dr Nick Bendit
In this webinar Dr. Nick Bendit will provide some didactic information about suicidality, and then explore why patients become suicidal, and what the function of suicidal thoughts and urges are. Dr. Bendit will develop a general psychodynamic hypothesis about the origins of suicidal thoughts, and the relationship between deliberate self harm and suicidal thoughts. He will then differentiate between acute suicidality and chronic suicidality, and briefly outline the different treatment needs of each group. Dr. Bendit will also discuss how the fear of suicide structures the therapy, and influences the therapist’s response. Finally, some important prevailing myths about suicide prediction, assessment and prevention will be described.
New Directions in Self Psychology
Dr Daniel Goldin
Inthis webinar, Daniel Goldin will first describe the twin pillars of Kohut’s theory: empathy as /the/ mode of observation and the self-object concept. Second, he will elaborate ways self psychology has evolved to become more relational and constructivist, with a particular emphasis on what he calls the narrative turn in self-psychology. The analyst doesn’t simply provide a mirroring function for the patient through the application of empathy. Rather, the analyst enters into a narrative dialogue with the patient about their experiences, in the present as well as in their life-world. Kohut believed people know themselves as whole in two ways: by feeling cohesive in the moment and continuous through time. Unity through time, what Kohut called ‘the curve of life,’ is always a narrative unity that takes shape through a circular process of telling and enacting, a looping effect that is at the heart of therapeutic action and can be considered a self-object transference in its own right.
Case formulation: Options, engagement and (unavoidable) limitations
Dr Kevin Keith
Case formulation would appear to be a necessary skill for mental health practioners. Nonetheless, exactly how and when such skills are best applied may be more art than science. Case construction emerged from the historical practice of medical science. However, the transformation of psychotherapy into a form of “medicine” remains dissatisfying incomplete, if not a flawed endeavour. After a brief introduction into the history and evolution of case formulation, the webinar will turn to five challenges as defined by Eells (2007) inherent to engaging formulation in practice. A selection of current modality examples will be noted. In addition to exploring context and specific client needs/goals, considerations will also be given to cultural and social challenges. Focus will also be given to how we might practically apply formulations to the common practice of working in pluralistic multi-modality, when we lack any consensus on what might be considered an integrated therapy approach. The webinar concludes with a discussion of differential applications of formulations to a single model case. Individuals will be asked to generate observations and insights from the standpoints of at least four types of psychotherapy: (1) Traditional CBT, (2) third wave-like therapies (e.g., ACT, MBCT, DBT, CFT), (3) Psychodynamic and (4) the more Humanist. The goal is to demonstrate the possible benefits for each approach to formulation.
The Shameful Self – Its Restoration in Psychotherapy
Dr Joan Haliburn
Shame is Relational. Shame can be seen as a spectrum of feeling – embarrassment, shame, humiliation, mortification – and is different from guilt. Why a spectrum? When you look at shame that one feels because you judge yourself as inadequate it is qualitatively different and has different implications from the shame caused by sadistic abuse. Embarrassment is mildly related to shame, and mortification is at the level of wanting to die, in the moment of shaming. Guilt does not weigh in about one’s self-worth, its about regretting something one has said or done. Contempt and grandiosity are both reactions to actual or potential shaming and loss of sense of self. Contempt for self – that self is less than worthwhile is often difficult to hear and seemingly impossible to challenge. When we look at Shame as a spectrum, we are better able to tailor our reflections in a proportionate manner and appreciate the extent to which physiology and affectivity are highly linked. As therapists we need to take care to be in a certain frame of mind, create a shame-free frame, with empathy and a sense of not knowing, being non-judgemental, aware of our own shame, and a readiness to create a right-brain interaction, in order to give Shame, light and air (DeYoung, 2015) and restore in varying degrees a sense of Self. In this webinar Dr Joan Haliburn discuss Shame, the spectrum of Shame, identifying and working with shame in psychotherapy. Dr Joan Haliburn will also look at what happens when Shame is Dissociated or when Shame blocks the process of therapy, and how one proceeds to rectify this and restore Self.
Dr. Lynne Jacobs on Dialogue and Double-Consciousness
Dr Lynne Jacobs
Gestalt therapy emphases on dialogue and on the paradoxical theory of change are supports for us to do this learning directly within the context of the therapeutic relationship. As Martin Buber described, genuine dialogue takes us in surprising directions. When we surrender to dialogue, the conversation we intend is always different from the conversation that happens. Developing a double-consciousness as a therapist changes the nature of Gestalt therapy dialogue subtly. It means that the dialogue is always occurring between people who are raced, who are placed in specific locations regarding power, privilege, and oppression. In this webinar, Dr Lynne Jacobs focuses on encouraging white therapists to practice living with double-consciousness.
The Storied Self: The Search for Coherence Amidst Constant Change
Dr Daniel Goldin
When children come to therapy, they come to play. Children organize their experiences by pretending and enacting incidents in the here and now. When adults come to therapy, they come to tell their stories, constructing a unitary, continuous sense of being by matching feelings to events and events to sequences in the immediate medium of another’s mind. In this webinar Daniel Goldin will focus on how narrative emerges from breaks in the canonical ways of a culture, whether it is the culture of the home, the workplace, or a way of being together that emerges in the clinical situation. We will look at narrative first from a developmental perspective, considering how children start by describing “timeless” routines of their surround and move only gradually to elaborating particular episodes that have to do with violations of these routines. We will look at telling experiences as falling along a continuum, on one end chaotic and nonlinear, on the other rehearsed and rigidly adhering to a cultural template. We will then consider the ideal middle ground of the coherent narrative that remains stable and yet open to revision. We will also examine how an ever-evolving self emerges from this process. Lastly, we will consider applications of these ideas to the clinical situation, advocating an elaborative rather than an interpretive stance.
Short Term Dynamic Interpersonal Psychotherapy (STDIP). To relieve distress & reduce morbidity.
Dr Joan Haliburn
Time is of the essence in most people who come for help from mental health clinicians, and STDIP has been proven to help such individuals in 10-20 weekly 50-minute sessions. Based on the Conversational Model, and on a long history of short- term dynamic psychotherapies, Short Term Dynamic Interpersonal Psychotherapy (STDIP) is an integrated, contemporary, relational and dynamic model, suited to the needs of adolescents and adults who present with anxiety and depression and associated relational difficulties. It is also trauma-informed and can be successfully used in those with suicidal ideation and self-harm. As an active, structured, flexible, phase-oriented, focussed and time-limited approach, STDIP provides therapists with additional skills to work with individuals in a goal-oriented manner. STDIP has been proven to help such individuals in 10-20 weekly 50-minute sessions. In this webinar, Dr Joan Haliburn will introduce Short Term Dynamic Interpersonal Psychotherapy (STDIP) using case examples.
Therapist Self-care (especially in adverse times) (FREE WEBINAR)
Dr Kevin Keith
Sharing the burdens of our clients in today’s uncertain times has been shown to be challenging for mental health practitioners. Therapists must contain a client’s increased distress—anxiety, uncertainty, experiences of violence, financial hardship and/or trauma/distress. Equally, regular existential reminders of the impact of increasing societal risks arising from COVID, political turmoil and climate change require caring assistance on behalf of our clients. Not surprisingly, a review our own professional and personal self-care would seem a regular requirement to meet such challenges. This webinar will look at a few well-researched work-stress related concepts such as burnout, compassion fatigue, vicarious trauma. How might these conditions generally manifest amongst professionals, especially in light of the challenges noted above? At a more personal level, which stressors and conditions seem more relevant as possible risks for each of us? The webinar will identify options for addressing work-life balance. What self-care tactics might we employ that provide some relief from work stress, distress, trauma and enhance our private subjective well-being (i.e., happiness as a more optimal balance of positive and negative affect). Finally, the alternative, complementary notion of eudemonic well-being (i.e., happiness as purposefulness, self-actualisation, pursuance of the good) might also be useful for our more strategic self-care. The webinar will also enquire as to our own motivations to provide care along with a sense of meaning and purpose. What matters most? We will conclude with a discussion of reflections on clinical and professional experiences relative to our experiences.
Contextualism in Therapeutic Practice: Working Intersubjectively
Dr David Schreiber
Psychoanalytic theory is continually evolving, with deep and lasting changes regularly occurring in the way clinicians conceptualize psychopathology and treat patients. Intersubjective-systems Theory (otherwise known as Phenomenological Contextualism) has played a major role over the past four decades in bringing attention to the contributions of both the analyst and the patient in the clinical setting, cementing into place the two-person psychology mindset which has been concurrently (and at times conjointly) developed in the broader, contemporary, relational psychoanalytic tradition. As developed by George Atwood, Bernard Brandchaft, Donna Orange, Robert Stolorow and many other collaborators, Intersubjective-systems Theory has evolved more recently into both a philosophically-influenced understanding of the psychoanalytic process, and a reconsideration from a contextualist and phenomenological perspective of all the major themes in psychoanalytic treatment, including unconsciousness, trauma, psychoanalytic action and affective experience. n this introductory webinar we will explore the theory itself, along with consideration of the practical implications for treatment. We will also take into account the broader context of the development of psychoanalytic theory, and where Intersubjective-systems Theory differs, and is similar to, other contemporary psychoanalytic models.
Dr Darren Haber on Language Games & Psychotherapy
Dr Darren Haber
“To describe a language game is to describe a form of life.” – Wittgenstein
All language, including that of emotionality, assumes meaning within specific contexts and instances of use. Our understanding of emotional experience takes shape via mutually created language games that are intersubjectively situated; we learn spoken meaning in lived contexts. But what happens with patients raised in accommodative or misattuned surrounds, coerced into speaking the scripts of others—alienated from their own mother tongue? Here the therapist may also find themselves estranged, from familiar language worlds of empathic attunement and curiosity, shunted aside in favor of spoken prescriptions or metaphysical ‘cures.’ ‘Talk therapy’ is a misnomer; we are attempting nothing less than transforming patients’ ways of living, a context lived rather than distantly described or conceptualized. In this webinar Dr Darren Haber will explore how Wittgenstein revolutionized our understanding of language, underscoring its bewitchment via our intelligence, when words and phrases carry assumed ‘truth’ through repeated use and familiarity. He will introduce new ways of thinking about the language world of patients, and what hidden assumptions may be at play in what is or is not being said; describe how both participants are vulnerable to reifying bewitchment; and examine how our own theoretical languaging can make us susceptible to becoming frustrated, confused, or otherwise frozen in dyadic processing.
Dr Lynne Jacobs on Hope, Fears and Enduring Relational Themes
Dr Lynne Jacobs
Our capacity for presence, our attention to contacting, our commitment to dialogue, are our therapeutic foundation. But questions always arise; “is my presence in this moment facilitating or inhibiting our dialogue?” “Is our contacting supporting us to develop a relational style that serves the clients further development over time?” Understanding Enduring Relational Themes (ERT) supports therapists to determine the most clinically relevant forming figures. Hopes and fears, configured in enduring relational themes, comprise the background of our life choices, passions, ambitions, and relationships. They also shape the therapeutic relationship. The Enduring Relational Themes (ERT) are evident and best worked with, as they show up in the therapy process, primarily in the hopes and fears clients experience regarding the therapeutic relationship. Attention to enduring relational themes and their implications for the dialogue between therapist and client provide context for presence and contacting. In this webinar, Dr Lynne Jacobs will describe in detail Enduring Relational Themes (ERT), and the clinical benefit of working with Enduring Relational Themes in therapy. We will also explore together some of our own Enduring Relational Themes with a discussion on how to work with them.
Dr Joan Haliburn on Attachment Security and Therapeutic Relationship
Dr Joan Haliburn
The importance of the therapeutic relationship has occupied scholars, researchers and clinicians for decades; no consensus has been reached as to what comprises the therapeutic relationship; however, a substantial body of empirical research now supports its importance in predicting change in psychotherapy. Transference, countertransference, therapist ruptures and therapist self-disclosure, have been the basis of some studies attempting to describe the process of psychotherapy and the role of the therapeutic relationship, but each is subject to different variables, which need to be further studied. The concept of the therapeutic relationship went mainstream when it moved from psychoanalysis to the field of general psychiatry, namely goals, tasks and bonds and more recently to other approaches, where the relationship is now considered important.
Along with historical information, Dr Joan Haliburn will embark on another aspect of the therapeutic relationship which has not been pursued to any great length, and quoting Bowlby: “the psychotherapist may become a temporary attachment figure for the patient by becoming a reliable and trustworthy person in the patient’s exploration of his/her experiences – a secure relationship”. Dr Joan Haliburn will, with the use of case examples, explore this idea further, drawing from developmentalists – Daniel Stern, Colwyn Trevarthen, Michael Basch and her own interest in this area both as a psychotherapist and supervisor for more than 30 years, and raise discussion around attachment security and the therapeutic relationship – a new experience
Dr. Lynne Jacobs on I-Thou Moment: Dialogue in Gestalt Theory
Dr Lynne Jacobs
“To exist is to be in relation”
Buber saw the meeting between I and Thou as the most important aspect of human experience because it is in relationship that we become fully human. The I–Thou relationship is characterized by mutuality, directness, presentness, intensity and ineffability. Therapists view the client – therapist relationship as the foundation of all therapeutic growth because it fundamentally affirms of human connection, validation and participation. The attempt at understanding the subjective inner world of the client is not a one-way street because the therapist must account for their own influence upon the client as both participants come into psychological contact. The I–Thou is a relational event that is co-created; it does not fully reside in one participant or the other. This interpersonal encounter contains wonderful potential that far exceeds two separate people in conversation.
Dr Phillip Graham on The Hierarchy of Engagement.
Dr Phillip Graham
In this webinar, Dr Phillip Graham will demonstrate the utility of applying Hughlings Jackson’s hierarchy of consciousness to an understanding of certain aspects of the psychotherapeutic process. This hierarchy represents a movement from lower to higher levels of psychic organization. The movement up the hierarchy reflects an expansion of consciousness. At the apex of the hierarchy a sense of Self is emergent. This sense of Self is dualistic in nature and can be thought of in the sense described by William James, as a flow of a particular kind of inner life. Contemporary theorist and researcher Prof. Russel Meares has elaborated this view. These conceptualizations have important developmental and clinical implications. From within this perspective, optimal psychic development unfolds in relation to the provision of an adequately responsive environment, resulting in a sustainable position high in the hierarchy. Compromised development, on the other hand, may result from exposure to an adversely responsive environment, and is reflected in the failure to either gain or sustain this level. Under these circumstances a sufficiently robust sense of Self fails to emerge and one of the varieties of disorders of the Self may be manifest.
Dr Joan Haliburn on Eating Disorders in Adolescents
Dr Joan Haliburn
Eating Disorders are common in Australia. The conceptualization of eating disorders has expanded rapidly in the last ten years to include binge-eating disorder (BED) and Avoidant-Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID) in addition to the existing Anorexia Nervosa (AN) and Bulimia Nervosa (BN). Adolescence is occurring much earlier nowadays and includes children from 10 to 18 years of age and is a time for first occurrence of any of these eating disorders. They are characterised as disabling, chronic and relapsing conditions with high relapse rates, particularly for those treated as in-patients. In this webinar, Dr Joan Haliburn will discuss the clinical features of these disorders and emphasise the need for their early recognition as well as their co-morbidity, the latter often leading to failures in treatment if unrecognized. Treatments will be briefly looked at, and there will be time for discussion.
Take Your Therapy Practice Online
Dr Kris Rao
The current worldwide Covid-19 pandemic has seen many professionals transition to working online, and away from offices and organisational sites. Even prior to the pandemic, there were already moves worldwide toward online-based therapy; from SMS- and chat-based crisis support to teletherapy using teleconferencing apps like Skype and Zoom. As a therapist or counsellor, you may already be considering moving your practice online. What is online therapy really like? What are the pitfalls and advantages? What should you do to:
Continue working effectively with clients online?
Implement best practice standards online?
Protect client privacy and safety?
Protect your business as an ongoing concern?
This 120-minute webinar, created and delivered by psychotherapist Kris Rao, will cover key aspects of setting up your online therapy practice; including:
What online therapy looks and feels like; the best practices and what to avoid.
Transitioning existing face-to-face clients to online engagement.
Technology to maximise accessibility, privacy, and business continuity.
Appropriate legal protections for your business.
Special ethical considerations in an online environment.
Responding appropriately to likely emergencies.
Best-practices discussed include:
How to explain and demonstrate teletherapy to clients.
Online therapy tips for clinicians
Protect client privacy on your computer and online.
How to manage rapport interruptions from technology failures.
Understand your legal responsibilities with international/interstate clients.
Complimentary materials provided:
Effective online therapy checklist
Online therapy tips chart
Ethical decision-making display chart
Professional Development Portfolio