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Attachment-informed Psychotherapy: an integrative neuroscience-based model

nscience UK

Saturday, 3 March 2018 from 10:00 to 16:00

Attachment-informed Psychotherapy: an integrative...

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Individual Ticket for London, UK 3 Mar 2018 £145.00 £0.00

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Event Details

Attachment-informed Psychotherapy: an integrative neuroscience-based model


A one-day workshop with Professor Jeremy Holmes

London, March 3rd 2018, 10:00AM to 4:00PM


21st Century psychotherapy is a practice in search of a theory.  Despite competing and seemingly irreconcilable narratives and theoretical differences, empirical evidence suggests that the most potent agents of change are ‘common factors’, rather than specific theoretical techniques.  Attachment Theory provides the evidence-base which helps to explain this.  But what does attachment-informed therapy look like in the consulting room, and can its ideas and techniques be incorporated into existing models such as CBT, psychoanalytic, systemic and integrative therapies? 

At this practical and interactive workshop that would be relevant for psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, Professor Holmes distils key features of Attachment Theory, viewing these through the lens of an integrative, neuroscientific model, to explore:

  • affect regulation, sensitivity, and mentalising and their respective roles in psychotherapeutic practice
  • neuroscientific implications of attachment and their therapeutic relevance
  • using attachment ideas to foster resilience and tailor interventions to the degree of client disturbance
  • how attachment-informed radical acceptance helps promote change in working with adults, children, couples and families
  • the role of mentalising / ‘mind-mindedness’ in child development and in the therapist-client relationship; and
  • the emergence of complex and nuanced narratives over the course of therapy

The workshop includes a ‘live supervision’ session illustrating the practical implications of these theoretical discussions.


About the speaker

Professor Jeremy Holmes MD FRCPsych BPC is a psychiatrist and psychoanalytic psychotherapist. For 35 years he worked as Consultant Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist in the NHS, focussing especially on people with Borderline Personality Disorder.  He was Chair of the Psychotherapy Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 1998-2002.  Now partially retired, he teaches on the Masters and Doctoral psychoanalytic psychotherapy training and research programme at Exeter University, where he is visiting Professor; and lectures nationally and internationally. He has written more than 200 peer-reviewed papers and chapters in the field of Attachment and Psychoanalytic psychotherapy.  His many books, translated into 7 languages, include The Oxford Textbook of Psychotherapy (co-editors Glen Gabbard and Judy Beck, 2005), Storr’s The Art of Psychotherapy (Taylor & Francis 2012; ‘highly commended’, bma medical books of the year) and Exploring in Security: Towards an Attachment-informed Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (Routledge 2010; winner Canadian Psychological Association Goethe Award).  A 6-volume compendium of the most important papers in Attachment (Benchmarks in Psychology: Attachment Theory, SAGE), co-edited with Arietta Slade, and the second edition of his classic John Bowlby and Attachment Theory (Routledge) are his most recent publications. 2014 books includeThe Therapeutic Imagination: Using Literature to Deepen Psychodynamic Understanding and Enhance Empathy, and Attachments: Psychotherapy, psychotherapy, psychoanalysis (both Routledge).  He was recipient of the 2009 New York Attachment Consortium Bowlby-Ainsworth Founders Award.


Workshop Schedule


10:00AM: Session 1: lecture / discussion

In this session, we explore

  • Attachment and Affect Regulation – developmental studies and fMRI findings
  • The ‘transmission gap’: how does parental sensitivity translate into secure attachment? 
  • Role of mentalising and ’mind-mindedness’
  • Attachment across the life cycle: mature dependency
  • Attachment as a ‘hidden regulator’
  • Linguistic and epistemological connotations: security & ‘truth’
  • Defensive exclusion and avoidance of negative affect in insecure attachment
  • Neuroplasticity and its relevance to therapy – how therapy may precipitate change


1:30PM: Lunch (a light lunch is provided as part of the workshop)

2:30PM: Session 2: Live Supervision

Two volunteers will present clinical material, discussed in a ‘goldfish bowl’ format with the presenter, in the presence of the wider observing audience. The aim is to deepen our theoretical and practical understanding through the discussion of case material.

4:00PM: Close

© nscience UK, 2017 / 18

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When & Where

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel London
2 Bridge Place
SW1V 1QA London
United Kingdom

Saturday, 3 March 2018 from 10:00 to 16:00

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nscience UK

nscience is an independent organisation that seeks to explore the interdisciplinary richness of mental health disciplines. Through a series of seminars, workshops and conferences that are conducted throughout the year, we aim to present the latest advances in theory and research to practitioners; with a view to furthering their continuing professional development.

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