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Attachment perspectives on Borderline Personality Disorder

nscience UK

Saturday, 13 May 2017 from 10:00 to 16:00

Attachment perspectives on Borderline Personality Disor...

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Ticket Type Sales End Price Fee Quantity
Individual Ticket for London, UK 13 May 2017 £122.50 £0.00
'Bring a Friend Ticket' - 2 tickets with a 5% discount 13 May 2017 £232.75 £0.00
Access a recording of the workshop 14 May 2017 £122.50 £0.00

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Event Details

Attachment perspectives on Borderline Personality Disorder: implications for therapy

A one-day workshop with Dr Gwen Adshead

London, May 13th 2017, 10:00AM to 4:00PM


Attachment theory provides useful perspectives on emotionally unstable or borderline personality disorder (BPD); both in terms of how the disorder develops and in terms of therapy. Both clients and therapists may struggle with trust, high levels of negative affect, and therapeutic ruptures. Attachment needs in such clients are highly aroused and often extremely difficult to assuage. Understandably, BPD clients can not only struggle to participate in the therapeutic alliance, but can also view therapists as aloof, uncaring, antagonistic or unsympathetic.

At this practical and interactive workshop that would be relevant for psychotherapists, clinical psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, Dr Gwen Adshead will use a perspective based on attachment theory and the tenets of mentalisation to explore:

  • How the psychopathology of emotional instability develops
  • Hostile, helpless states of mind and epistemic trust
  • The relationship with disorganised attachment and its sequelae
  • How this understanding informs our therapeutic approaches
  • How this understanding influences the way we think about families and their therapeutic needs
  • Language and threat: use of ‘why’ questions, silence and poor mentalising
  • Preventing and managing attachment anxiety

Gwen will not only present material based on published evidence; but also, use group discussion and ‘live supervision’ of cases brought by participants as part of the workshop.  Participants are welcome to bring vignettes of clinical material that can be shared and discussed within the normal boundaries of confidentiality.

About the speaker

Dr Gwen Adshead  MBBS, MA, FRCPsych MSt is a forensic psychiatrist and psychotherapist.  She is trained as a group analyst and in mindfulness based cognitive therapy. She has worked in the NHS with a wide variety of clinical problems: including violence perpetrators, trauma survivors and mothers who struggle to care for their children.  She has worked in long stay residential secure care and in the community. Gwen writes papers and books about her work, and regularly gives public lectures about her work.  She was awarded the President’s medal for her work in psychiatry in 2013.


Workshop Schedule

10:00AM: Session 1: Attachment and personality development

In this first session we explore:

  • Brief overview of attachment theory and personality development
  • Attachment and Affect Regulation – developmental studies and fMRI findings
  • Insecure attachment and personality disorder: with emphasis on affect dysregulation
  • Mentalising and affect regulation

11:30AM: Coffee Break

11:45 noon: Session 2: Clinical implications

  • Why do people with PD struggle with therapy
  • Activation and deactivation of attachment systems
  • Repetition of Toxic attachments and lack of Trust
  • Mentalising strategies for therapists

1:00PM: Lunch (a light lunch is provided as part of the workshop)

2:00PM: Session 3: Psychotherapeutic implications

Our third session of the day builds on and continues the theoretical bases considered so far and illustrates practical therapeutic implications for practitioners. Clinical vignettes will be discussed here. Specifically, we consider:

  • Recognising when fragile mentalising capacities are overwhelmed by sudden surges of affect
  • Helping our clients with self soothing and other strategies needed to reduce arousal
  • Self-reflection and work with co-therapists

3:15PM: Session 4: Group reflection

In the concluding session of the day, Dr Adshead will invite participants to reflect on the day’s discussions and how these link with their experience as therapists.

 4:00PM: Close

© nscience UK, 2016 / 17

Do you have questions about Attachment perspectives on Borderline Personality Disorder? Contact nscience UK

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When & Where

Great Hall, King’s College London
WC2R 2LS London
United Kingdom

Saturday, 13 May 2017 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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