Therapy for Depression: A view from both sides
A one-day workshop with Professor Linda Gask
Dublin 22 October 2016
10:00 – 16:30
Professor Linda Gask utilizes a pragmatic bio-psychosocial approach in understanding depression and in her psychiatric education underwent training in psychodynamic therapy. Uniquely, she had the opportunity to be the ‘client’ when she sought therapy for depression & anxiety herself – an experience that she has written about in her new book: ‘The Other Side of Silence- A psychiatrists’ memoir of depression.’
Bringing a deep understanding of both therapist and client experiences to the table, Dr Gask helps us in this workshop to focus our attention on how a client experiences the therapeutic process; highlighting what we can learn when a therapist becomes a ‘client’. Aimed at building a deeper comprehension of the multiple facets of depression, the workshop explores:
- The range of different subjective experiences that the term ‘depression’ embodies
- Different models for understanding depression and how it is treated- including managing risk
- Barriers encountered in accessing care and in particular, psychological interventions
- Experiencing psychological therapy for depression- including insights from a therapist who has experienced different types of therapy during her own life
- The importance of active ‘engagement’ in developing the therapeutic alliance and the key skills required
- Issues arising when working with mental health professionals presenting with emotional distress
The workshop will aim to examine and challenge assumptions about how and why people seek help, and what their expectations are of therapy.
About the Speaker:
Linda Gask is Emerita Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manchester and a retired consultant psychiatrist. She has extensive experience in the management of depression in primary care and specialist settings and is internationally very well known as a researcher in primary care mental health and communication skills including as a co-founder of the STORM suicide prevention skills training initiative. She utilizes a pragmatic bio-psychosocial approach in understanding depression and in her psychiatric education underwent training in psychodynamic therapy, however she has also been involved in setting up and providing clinical supervision for an IAPT step 2 psychological therapy service. She has personal knowledge of a variety of treatments for depression and anxiety, which she has experienced intermittently for most of her adult life. She has recently written about the parallels between her own problems and those of some of the patients she treated during her career before retiring from clinical work in her new book: ‘The Other Side of Silence- A psychiatrists’ memoir of depression.’
10:00 Session 1. What does it feel like to be depressed and undertake psychological therapy?
In the first session we consider how depression is experienced by the client, the different paradigms for understanding depression, accessing treatment for it, and what that treatment should be. How is the problem of potential risk to self (and others) addressed and managed? Professor Gask will share her own experience of undertaking both extensive psychodynamic therapy and (briefer) cognitive behaviour therapy and discuss the particular insights she gained from this as a therapist. There will be opportunity for discussion in this session to respond to the ideas Linda Gask shares with the group.
12:30 Lunch (a light lunch is provided as part of the workshop)
13:00 Session 2: Developing the therapeutic alliance- the therapist’s role
In this session we will consider how therapists work towards developing a therapeutic alliance and explore our views, in role-play, on the role of the therapist in actively trying to engage the client in a working relationship- a key theme that emerges from session 1.
14.00 Session 3: Working across different paradigms- when, how and why?
How flexible should the therapist be in being prepared to work across different treatment paradigms? How rigidly should they conform (and also expect the client to only work within) to their own model? For example, what if the client begins medication? What if he or she gets into serious debt? Through discussion of case scenarios we will consider when and how it is important to shift between treatment paradigms in order to develop and maintain the therapeutic alliance and aid the client’s recovery.
15.00 Afternoon tea/coffee break
15.15 Session 4: Working with professional clients
In this final session we will explore the potential pitfalls and problems of working with mental health professionals (and other health professionals) who present with emotional problems and undertake therapy (not as part of their training) through group case discussion.
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