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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

Online Resources

Confer's Online Modules are packages of videoed talks, audio tracks, slides, texts and references contributed by leading theoreticians to support your work.

Working with Sexuality: Bodies, Desires and Imagination

Online Module
This package of resources provides 17 hours of CPD on a range of contemporary clinical perspectives to help support practitioners in working more confidently with this vast and complex subject. It combines a rich archive of video and audio lectures and presentations, interviews and discussions, comprehensive supporting study guides (to come in April), research resources and therapeutic skills.

Speakers
Dr Galit Atlas, Dr Meg-John Barker, Dr Jessica Benjamin, Dr Thaddeus Birchard, Dr Andrea Celenza, Dr Christopher Clulow, Dr Ronald Doctor, Dr Anton Hart, Janice Hiller, Professor Brett Kahr, Cabby Laffy, Professor Dany Nobus, Chris Oakley, Professor Stephen Porges, Christiane Sanderson, Joyce Slochower and Estela Welldon.

CPD value: 17 hours
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Psychopathology: Theory and Practice

Online Module
This newly curated collection of presentations provides a glimpse into the field of psychopathology, ranging from severe manifestations of forensic psychological disorders to the more ordinary neuroses of everyday life. The collection combines 21 hours of edited audio or video material, which has been selected from our other online modules for its relevance to this theme. The package focuses on conditions that are described as mental illnesses, and which satisfy DSM diagnostic criteria but discussed via a range of different theoretical perspectives. For example, viewed as attachment issues, affect dysregulation or post- traumatic stress disorders.

Speakers
Rémy Aquarone, Lucy Biven, Dr David Celani, Dr Ronald Doctor, Mary Haley, Dr Onno van der Hart, Professor Jeremy Holmes, Professor Brett Kahr, Dr Jean Knox, Dr Ruth Lanius, The late Professor Gill McGauley, Dr Susan Mizen, Dr Phil Mollon, Ms Anna Motz, Dr Clara Mucci, Alexandra Richman, Dr Adah Sachs, Dr Allan Schore, Professor Mark Solms, Dr Celia Taylor, Dr Estela Welldon.

CPD value: 21 hours
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Fragile Selves: Working with Narcissistic and Borderline States of Mind

Online Module
This package of resources provides 19 hours of CPD on the subject of psychotherapeutic work with people who have received a diagnosis of a Narcissistic or Borderline Personality Disorder, or those who express personality traits often associated with those definitions such as difficulty regulating extreme affective states in relationships and of maintaining a stable, realistic view of the self and other.

Speakers
Susanna Abse, Dr Anne Alvarez, Dr David Celani, Dr Diana Diamond, Dr Jay Greenberg, Dr Jason Hepple, Professor Jeremy Holmes, Dr Frank Lachmann, Elizabeth Wilde McCormick, Dr Susan Mizen, Dr Phil Mollon, Dr Clara Mucci, Jack Nathan, Jenny Riddell, Dr Allan Schore, Ruthie Smith, Neville Symington and Marcus West.

CPD value: 19 hours
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Eco-Psychotherapy
Synthesising ecology and psychotherapy in practice and theory

Online Module
So much psychotherapy takes place within the confines of a consulting room. But what happens when therapy takes place in a natural setting - or when the natural world is invited into the narrative of self and other? This module brings together the practices of ecology and psychotherapy to illustrate how engagement with nature, which includes ourselves, is a powerful transformative tool, both in itself and - potentially - when integrated into any therapeutic approach.

Speakers
Guy Dargert, Caroline Frizell, Jo Hamilton, Dr Adrian Harris, Professor Paul Hoggett, Chris Johnstone, Emma Palmer, Paul Maiteny, George Marshall, Hayley Marshall, Rosemary Randall, Professor Chris Rapley, Mary-Jayne Rust, Nick Totton, Dr Maggie Turp, Sally Weintrobe, Joanna Wise.

CPD value: 16 hours
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Forensic Psychotherapy: Pathologies and Treatment Strategies for working with Violence

Online Module
The subject of this online module is the psychotherapeutic treatment of violent offenders and those with abusive tendencies or fantasies. Through 14 hours of videos, audio tracks and papers, we aim to illuminate why human beings can be dangerous, murderous or perverse, and how such tendencies can be psychotherapeutically treated.

Speakers
Dr Jamie Bennett, Dr Ronald Doctor, Dr Sandra M Grant, Mary Haley, Professor Brett Kahr, The late Professor Gill McGauley, Ms Anna Motz, Dr Adah Sachs, Richard Shuker, Dr Celia Taylor, Dr Estela Welldon, Dr Jessica Yakeley.

CPD value: 14 hours
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Embodied Approaches to Psychotherapy

Online Module
This new collection of videos and papers brings together the work of an extraordinarily diverse and talented group of psychotherapists - from psychoanalysts to body psychotherapists - who see the body as central to the therapeutic process.

Speakers
Julianne Appel-Opper, Shoshi Asheri, Bill Cornell, Morit Heitzler, Dr Pat Ogden, Dr Susie Orbach, Dr Asaf Rolef Ben-Shahar, Dr Yorai Sella, Jon Sletvold, Michael Soth, Dr Kathrin Stauffer, Nick Totton.

CPD value: 16 hours
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Neurobiology and its Applications to Psychotherapy - II

Online Module
This combination of videos, audio tracks, papers and references provides 12 hours of recorded presentations plus notes, papers and research resources on the subject of neurobiology when applied to the practice of psychotherapy.

Speakers
Lucy Biven, Dr Nessa Carey, Dr Ruth Lanius, Dr Dianne Lefevre, Dr Dan Siegel, Professor Mark Solms, Dr Sharon Stanley, Professor Oliver Turnbull, Dr Alan Watkins.

CPD value: 14 hours
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The Applications of Attachment Theory to Psychotherapy

Online Module
This package of online presentations provides over 14.5 hours of new videos plus additional resources on the subject of applying attachment theory to clinical expertise.

Speakers
Dr Christopher Clulow, Linda Cundy, Dr Sarah Ingrid Daniel, Professor Pasco Fearon, Tirril Harris, Professor Jeremy Holmes, Dr Dan Hughes, Dr Frank Lachmann, Dr Mario Marrone, Paul Renn, Dr Daniela Sieff, Professor Miriam Steele, Dr David Wallin, Kate White.

CPD value: 20.5 hours
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Advances in Relational Psychotherapy

Online Module
The vast influence of Relational Psychoanalysis in the last 25 years has evolved into one of the most significant paradigm shifts in the field, impacting on almost every psychotherapy modality. This package offers a set of videoed talks on relational theory and practice, presented by some of most influential author-practitioners, and is designed to illustrate relational theory as it is applied to clinical technique.

Speakers
Dr Neil Altman, Shoshi Asheri, Dr Jessica Benjamin, Dr Doris Brothers, Roz Carroll, Dr Muriel Dimen, Professor Maria Gilbert, Dr Adrienne Harris, Dr Nancy McWilliams, Dr Jeremy Safran, Professor Andrew Samuels, Dr Donnel Stern, Dr David Wallin.

CPD value: 20.5 hours
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Psychotherapeutic Work with Intergenerational Trauma

Online Module
This package of online presentations provides 10 hours of new videos plus additional resources on the subject of working with the psychological effects of intergenerational trauma. We are delighted to be hosting these internationally distinguished author-clinicians as our presenters:

Speakers
Dr Pamela Alexander, Dr Aileen Alleyne, Dr Doris Brothers, Prophecy Coles, Dr Françoise Davoine, Dr Dori Laub o Dr Isha Mckenzie-Mavinga, Dr Clara Mucci, Professor Franz Ruppert, Lennox Thomas, Maya Jacobs-Wallfisch, Dr Estela Welldon.

CPD value: 20 hours
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Neurobiology and its Applications to Psychotherapy

Online Module
This combination of videos, audio tracks, papers and references provides 18 hours of recorded presentations plus notes, new papers and research resources on the subject of neurobiology when applied to the practice of psychotherapy.

Speakers
Lucy Biven, Dr Mona DeKoven Fishbane, Professor Vittorio Gallese, Dr Jean Knox, Dr Ruth Lanius, Dr Terry Marks-Tarlow, Dr Iain McGilchrist, Dr Jaak Panksepp, Professor Stephen Porges, Dr Allan Schore, Dr Dan Siegel, Professor Mark Solms, Dr Alan Watkins, Dr Felicity de Zulueta.

CPD value: 21.5 hours
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Trauma and Dissociation

Online Module
This combination of videos, audio tracks, papers and references provides 16.5 hours of recorded presentations plus notes, new papers and research resources on the subject of psychotherapeutic work with trauma and dissociation.

Speakers
Rémy Aquarone, Dr Philip Bromberg, Dr Doris Brothers, Dr Onno Van Der Hart, Professor Brett Kahr, Dr Jean Knox, Dr Isha Mckenzie-Mavinga, Dr Pat Ogden, Alexandra Richman, Dr Allan Schore, Dr Daniel Siegel, Dr Valerie Sinason, Dr Donnel Stern and Dr Felicity de Zulueta.

CPD value: 20.5 hours
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Online Events

Learning from Life: the acquisition of psychoanalytic wisdom

Patrick Casement
3 video lectures

In his fourth and most personal book Learning from Life Patrick Casement gives us a fascinating insight into fundamental questions concerning the acquisition of analytic wisdom and how personal experiences shape the analyst's approach to clinical work. In this 3-part seminar he talks to us about how the psychoanalytic self comes into being, and how our own emotional truths consciously or unconsciously shape our work. These presentations will have a fresh and emergent quality that cannot be summarised in abstracts. Participants can expect to hear inspiring, personal insights that illuminate the practice of psychoanalysis and the engagement with life.

This combination of video lectures provides 2.5 hours of recorded presentations..


CPD value: 3 hours

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Live Events - Conferences and Seminars

Confer's live events are seminars and conferences held in the UK at which we aim to present the cutting edge of research and theory in order to deepen our understanding of the mind and best practice in mental health disciplines.
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Psychotherapy in the Natural World
Healing ourselves and our planet

Saturday 7 and Sunday 8 September 2019 - Ireland
With speakers Angela Cotter, Mike Delaney, Marian Dunlea, Shirley Gleeson, Joanne Hanrahan, Matthew Henson and Lucy O'Hagan

For millennia people have travelled to "the valley of the two lakes" to deepen their connection with nature, a beautiful place in the Wicklow Mountains that inspires a sense of ancient worship, the numinous and the wild. This conference is an opportunity to come back to these roots with other psychotherapists to explore different ways in which we can enrich and expand our therapy practice. Together we will be thinking and experiencing our way back to our ancestral selves in an understanding of the other-than-human world and all that it provides us with.

Our speakers will offer inspiring talks and workshops about integrating our work in the rest of nature; on orienting ourselves within our ecosystem so that we can draw on the self-regulating properties of our bodies, psyches and the world that surrounds us. Body therapy, forest dreaming, Celtic myths, and the use of horses in healing will all be explored in both presentations and experiential sessions. Sessions on foraging and ritual or shamanic practices will also be offered.
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Working with Repetition Compulsion
The re-enactment of unconscious childhood trauma

Saturday 14 September 2019 - London
(SOLD OUT)
A one-day seminar with Dr David Celani

One of the most perplexing psychological problems faced by psychotherapists is the apparently normal patient who seeks out one abusive partner after another. This common phenomenon, an attachment to "bad objects", is at the very core of the analytic model developed by W.R.D. Fairbairn (1889-1964). Fairbairn recognised that the child is absolutely dependent on their parents for all of their physical and psychological needs. The child raised in an uncaring family cannot tolerate "knowing" that they are being neglected or abused as this would endanger their emotional attachment to the desperately needed parents. One psychological solution that they have is to dissociate memories of abuse or neglect, thus preserving the attachments and creating a sense of security. More information >>

Confer's Annual Psychgeist Conference
Is Psychotherapy a Relationship or a Cure?

Saturday 21 September 2019 - London
With speakers Shoshi Asheri, Dr Anne Alvarez, Dr Richard Gipps, Dr Carine Minne, Professor Dany Nobus, Dr Jay Watts and Judy Yellin

Last year we asked the thought-provoking question What is Normal? as the topic for our think-tank conference to celebrate our 20 anniversary. Somewhat beyond our expectations, the question generated some brilliant, fresh and new perspectives about the therapy process. And so we have posed another challenging question for our speakers to answer: is psychotherapy a relationship or a treatment? Our aim is to explore the dichotomy between the medical model of assessment, treatment, cure in contrast to its antithesis - a process of exploration between two people, one which focuses on the needs of one but in which each participant draws on their own subjectivities and histories. More information >>

Developing and Repairing Trust
An Attachment-based Model of Family Therapy

Friday 27 September 2019 - London
A One Day Workshop with Dr Dan Hughes

The theories and research of attachment, intersubjectivity, and neurobiology have created a strong foundation for a model of family therapy that creates both the safety needed for parents and children to be openly present in the sessions as well as the patterns of engagement and exploration needed to create new family relational patterns. Parenting is very challenging, being influenced by the parent's own attachment histories as well as by evolving models of family and community life. Finding a middle way between permissive and authoritarian approaches to parenting is often difficult when parents do not have their own attachment history as an effective guide. Parents are supported to remain open and engaged with their children while addressing the challenges of family living. More information >>

In the Name of the Father

Saturday 5 October 2019 - Dublin
A one-day conference with Dermot Bolger, Professor Andrew Samuels, Professor Ross Skelton, and Brendan Staunton SJ

The theme of this day is, in part, inspired by Sigmund Freud's observation that the death of the father is the most significant moment in a man's life. This must surely be true for many, but Freud's concept of the Oedipus complex is now considered problematic. Written in a time and place radically different from contemporary Ireland, his view of the boy's emerging sexual identity within the traditional family now requires a fresh theoretical framework to explain the many meanings of fatherhood today, and the developmental task of becoming a man.

This is a vast topic, but this one day series of talks we will touch on some of our speakers' fascinating experiences of fathers and insights into the role. And we are inviting our audience of psychotherapists to think freshly about new types of fathers and the identities that men are now expected to occupy, many of which are ambiguous, shifting and contradictory. How does the contemporary father, caught in a multiplicity of roles, position himself in relation to society, his children, his own father, or even priest?
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The Psychotherapy Supervision Lab

Saturday 12 October 2019 - London
With Professor Mary Hepworth, Professor Jeremy Holmes and Ann Shearer

This day will provide a unique opportunity to discover the extent to which different psychotherapists diverge in their theory and technique when we compare them through the lens of live supervision. Our three presenters have been chosen both for their extensive experience as therapists and supervisors. By working before the audience with a case presenter acting as supervisee, we will gain a glimpse into the normally hidden world of supervision. Each session will begin with an outline of our presenters' understanding of the supervisory role, followed by a brief introduction by their guest supervisee to their case. This will be followed a 50 minute unrehearsed live supervision. Together, each supervisory couple will explore what breakthroughs in the treatment might emerge. More information >>

Working with Gender Diversity

Saturday 19 October 2019 - Ireland
Led by Dr Meg-John Barker
We are in the midst of a massive moral panic about gender. We know that it is closely related to mental health struggles such as high rates of suicide, addiction, and violence among men, and high rates of depression, anxiety, body image, and self-esteem issues among women. However, attempts to question rigid binary notions of gender or to see gender as something that can be more flexible and fluid are often regarded as highly threatening.

This day will endeavour to clarify what gender is, how it works, and how it relates to the mental health of our clients, drawing on the most recent scientific, historical/sociological, and therapeutic thinking in this area. It will provide a safe-enough space to ask all your questions about this complex, confusing, and fast-changing area. It will consider what gender-affirmative therapy might look like for all clients - cisgender or trans, male, female or non-binary.
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The Pleasures and Perils of a Psychotherapeutic Career

Saturday 2 November 2019 - London
A One-Day Workshop with Professor Brett Kahr

The psychotherapist can help restore broken marriages and mend shattered families. The psychotherapist also has the potential to save people from killing themselves. Yet the burdens of working psychotherapeutically can be immense, not only emotionally, but, also, medically across the life cycle. In this specially constructed one-day workshop, Professor Brett Kahr will share his extensive forty years of experience, investigating both the pitfalls and the pleasures of this unusual but vital profession. Providing a first-hand glimpse into the entire life cycle of the psychotherapist from the early years of training to preparation for retirement and death, the workshop will offer participants a privileged glimpse into his thinking about the factors which either facilitate or inhibit our creative growth across our working lives. More information >>

Being Present with Suffering

Saturday 23 November 2019 - London
A one-day seminar led by Nigel Wellings and Elizabeth Wilde McCormick

There is something about everything that makes it not quite satisfactory. Even things we really love are spoilt by not being quite enough or - the opposite - going on too long. People entering psychotherapy want to feel better - more authoritative, less anxious or depressed, more whole - and although it can help, an enormous amount of difficult and painful emotions continue to arise. After years and years of therapy many of us feel as mad as ever. There is no 'happy ever after'. This all begs the question; what is the place of suffering in human experience and how best can we be with it?

This day picks up this question and answers by saying that discontent and unhappiness are inevitable parts of our human experience but there are ways to avoid adding further unnecessary suffering. By becoming mindfully present, accepting and kind, we may enfold what hurts us in a more spacious and meaningful way. Together we will cultivate our ability to be present with emotions felt in the body and maybe get a glimpse of how emotions dissolve in the open space of awareness.
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Disordered Eating: Working With and Through the Body/Mind of Patient and Therapist

Saturday 30 November 2019 - London
With Yeva Feldman, Morit Heitzler and Susie Orbach

This conference will be grounded in the most up to date thinking on eating problems, as well as offering some substantial and inspiring assistance to those working with this challenging client group. Traditionally, the term "eating disorder" is a medical expression encompassing the various psychiatric diagnoses referred to in the DSM 5. Our speakers will problematise the diagnostic criteria for a wide range of eating issues (Anorexia Nervosa, Bulimia Nervosa, Binge Eating Disorder, Pica, Rumination Disorder and Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder) to help us navigate this complex interaction between emotional issues and food. Whether these symptoms can best be understood as an illness, as an expression of relational pain or a response to the demands of our times will be considered. We will examine what makes one eating disorder pathway more compelling than another for the patient/client, and why. More information >>

Moving Out of the Chair: Freeing up Creative Potential in the Therapeutic Relationship

Saturday 7 December 2019 - London
With Roz Carroll, Yeva Feldman and Sissy Lykou

How often do you feel 'stuck' in the chair when working with a client? Would you like to bring in other elements that support a transition into using the space? Many practitioners lack a sense of permission or training to know how to track micro-movements and to use kinaesthetic empathy to enable the client to take these further. We will draw on recognised approaches in psychotherapy which focus on embodiment and share ways of exploring the co-created relationship outside the confines of the chair. In this one day workshop, we will invite curiosity about the experience of moving out of the chair and integrating relational movement awareness. We will explore what holds us back and how to keep the potential for movement alive in every moment of the interaction. We will be considering this from a variety of process perspectives including embodied, somatic and kinetic countertransference. Whilst some of these terms overlap, we will differentiate, track and unpack them individually. More information >>

The Therapeutic Frame: Is it Central to the Cure?

Saturday 14 December 2019 - London
With Dr Maria Luca, Professor Alistair Ross, Maktuno Suit and Nick Totton

The therapeutic frame has evolved over 130 years, from being a practical appointment system for a meeting between analyst and patient, to a key component of the practitioner's skill. Traditionally, it has been seen as providing consistency, reliability, confidentiality; of preserving a screen of anonymity around the psychotherapist, which allows the patient or client the freedom to freely roam their transferences and projections onto that person. It offers a dependable structure for that relationship, one with a quality of safety and predictability - something that is of great importance to those who suffer from inner or outer chaos in their lives. The frame creates safety and inhibits the danger of the therapist's use of the client. It offers a set of limits which, in themselves, can engage the patient with creative boundary pushing which illuminates their unconscious desires and fears. Yet, if held too rigidly, these limits can be experienced as deeply persecutory; they can exclude moments of deeper connection. The email that arrives between sessions, the early arrival for a session, the probing personal question about the therapist's life: these interruptions may contain great potential for a therapeutic breakthrough if allowed some breathing space. More information >>