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Working with Adolescents: Separation from Parental Figures & the Ending of Therapeutic Relationships

nscience UK

Saturday, 25 February 2017 from 10:00 to 17:00

Working with Adolescents: Separation from Parental...

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Individual Ticket for London, UK 25 Feb 2017 £122.50 £0.00
'Bring a Friend Ticket' - 2 tickets with a 5% discount 25 Feb 2017 £232.75 £0.00

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Event Details

Working with Adolescents: Separation from Parental Figures & the Ending of Therapeutic Relationships

A one-day training workshop with Professor Stephen Briggs

London 25th February 2017, Saturday

10:00 – 17:00

Working with the emotional and relational aspects of the separation process is central to therapeutic work with young people and their families. This workshop explores how an understanding of the separation process can helpfully inform therapeutic work; while highlighting how the ending of therapeutic relationships represents a significant experience of separation – and potentially of growth - for young people.  At this practical and therapeutically oriented workshop which would be especially relevant for psychotherapists, psychologists, student counsellors and psychiatrists, Professor Briggs draws on his long-standing psychodynamic and clinical experience to explore the specific challenges we encounter as therapists when working with the separation process. The workshop explains how we can: 

  • negotiate the experiences of loss, and defences against the pain of loss 
  • comprehend adolescents’ difficulties in becoming more separate from parents, and the emotional and developmental problems that can ensue
  • appreciate the complex and demanding situations where parents have difficulties in relating to adolescent emotionality
  • work with the emotional aspects of ending therapeutic relationships with young people
  • comprehend the impact of social media and the changing nature of transition to adulthood – and apply this in therapeutic interactions with young people


Overall, the workshop highlights how we can identify the positive developmental aspects of parental separation and allow this to inform our therapeutic work with young people. The workshop also explains how we can effectively manage the process of ending therapeutic relationships – a necessary stage which, though emotionally exacting for both therapist and young person, can significantly help a young person’s development.


About the Speaker:

Stephen Briggs is Professor of Social Work and Director of the Centre for Social Work Research at the University of East London. He worked for many years as clinician, teacher and researcher in the Tavistock Clinic’s Adolescent Department, where he also led the brief psychodynamic service in the Adolescent Department. He now runs training courses and provides supervision for Time Limited Adolescent Psychodynamic Psychotherapy (TAPP).   He is a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences (FAcSS) and the Royal Society of Arts (RSA). He has written widely on adolescent mental health, self-harm and suicide, infant mental health and infant observation. His books include: Working with Adolescents and Young Adults: A contemporary psychodynamic approach (2008), Growth and Risk in Infancy (1997), and Relating to self-harm and suicide; psychoanalytic perspectives on practice, theory and prevention (2008, edited with Alessandra Lemma and William Crouch). 


Workshop Schedule

09:30 Registration

10:00 Session 1.  Becoming more separate in adolescence

In the first session, we look at the vulnerabilities and opportunities of the process of becoming more separate in adolescence and use case vignettes to illustrate:

  • adolescent defences against the pains of becoming more separate including - remaining stuck in childhood ways of relating or alternatively heading into premature or precocious adulthood
  • therapeutic dilemmas: when to work with adolescents alone and when to include parents and families
  • working with the replication of difficulties of separation within the therapeutic relationship
  • how cultural differences and contemporary adolescent cultures affect the adolescent process


12:30 Lunch (a light lunch is provided as part of the workshop)

13:00 Session 2: Ending therapeutic relationships

In the second session, we work with examples that illustrate:

  • how to plan and work with the emotional experience and meaning of ending therapeutic relationships
  • working with the strong feelings that arise in both the young person and therapist
  • the process of ending in open-ended and time-limited approaches  


15:00 Coffee Break

15:15 Session 3: Change and growth

The last session will discuss how:

  • working with separation and endings leads to change and growth for young people    
  • helpful outcomes can be formulated and worked towards
  • delegates can make use of the themes and learning of the day to provide helpful and effective therapeutic interventions


16:30 Plenary Discussion

17:00 Close

© nscience, 2016

Do you have questions about Working with Adolescents: Separation from Parental Figures & the Ending of Therapeutic Relationships? Contact nscience UK

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When & Where

Kensington Close Hotel
Wrights Lane
W8 5SP London
United Kingdom

Saturday, 25 February 2017 from 10:00 to 17:00

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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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Working with Adolescents: Separation from Parental Figures & the Ending of Therapeutic Relationships
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