Skip to content

Attachment, MBT & Toxic Couple Relationships e-learning course

e-learning course 

Speakers: Dr Gwen Adshead & Gerry Byrne

Product: e-learning course
Price: £125

CPD Hours: 5

Instructions on how to access the e-learning course will be included in a downloadable document in your booking confirmation email (under ‘Download’). The e-learning course becomes available within 24 hours from placing the order and online access remains available for 2 years from the date you receive the e-learning course.

Toxicity in Couple Relationships is often the underlying factor in a number of manifestations – in visible forms including physical, sexual and emotional abuse and in not so apparent linkages with chronic depression, habitual anxiety and individual psychological morbidity. When toxicity is manifest as violence in intimate relationships, it is also a key risk factor for serious harm including child maltreatment and fatal violence.

Select your currency

All of our course times are shown in GMT / BST so check what time this course will be on in your time zone using the time zone checker.

Print or Share this page

Full Course Information

At this practical and intellectually stimulating e-learning course, which is aimed at therapists working with couples whose relationships have turned toxic, as well as victims and perpetrators of intimate partner violence, Dr Gwen Adshead and Gerry Byrne integrate psychological and criminological data with clinical illustrations to examine the complex manifestations and specific causes of toxicity in couple relationships. The course draws on perspectives from Attachment Theory to evaluate the roles played by the individuals involved and examines the addictive nature of these damaging relationships; while demonstrating and explaining mentalisation based therapeutic techniques that we can use, when working with couples. Looking through examples and discussing specific case examples, our aim is to assimilate the therapeutic approaches that work best in such cases. Interactive exercises will also allow delegates to evaluate their own case materials.

Key discussion themes for the day include:

  • A review of theories that explain how intimate relationships develop in humans; with particular reference to Attachment Theory and the development of mentalisation skills
  • The effect of intimate relationships on affect regulation and how this explains linkages between personal and social identities
  • The influence of cultural and social stereotypes on how intimacy is conceived and perceived – and how this affects couples
  • The addictive force and power of violent relationships – the roles of passion, destructiveness, jealousy and a wish to control one’s partner
  • The forces that keep toxic relationships going, with reference to intra-psychic as well as social factors
  • How early experiences of disturbed attachments are repeated and re-enacted in toxic relationships
  • We discuss a typology of violent relationships, looking at the destructive dynamics that maintain these and the unconscious fantasies of security and love that underlie them

Using illustrative case vignettes and discussions, this e-learning course offers clinical examples of therapy and examines the evidence base for interventions with violent couples, specifically drawing on MBT and psychoanalytic couple therapy.

About the speakers

Dr Gwen Adshead is a psychotherapist, group analyst and forensic psychiatrist. She trained as a psychiatrist, and then as a forensic psychiatrist after completing a master’s Degree in medical law and ethics at King’s College, London. She was lecturer in victimology at the Institute of Psychiatry, where she studied interpersonal trauma and its effects; then trained as a psychotherapist, with a particular interest in Attachment Theory. She first started work at Broadmoor Hospital as a senior psychiatric trainee in 1990; and over the last twenty years has worked as a responsible clinician, as well as a consultant psychotherapist.

Her research interests include moral reasoning in psychopaths and antisocial men; the attachment narratives of abusive mothers; and how psychotherapies work with violent people. Gwen has published over 100 papers, book chapters and commissioned papers; co-edited three books and is working on three more.

Gwen’s principle training is group dynamic; but she also has experience of cognitive approaches to therapy, DBT, and mentalization based therapies.

Gerry Byrne is Head of Attachment and Perinatal Services for Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust, including the Family Assessment & Safeguarding Service (FASS Oxford, Wiltshire and Bath & North East Somerset), the Infant Parent Perinatal Service (IPPS) and the ReConnect Service (Buckinghamshire). The FASS and ReConnect services offer multidisciplinary, expert witness assessments and NHS treatments for severe parenting problems, including child abuse and neglect (physical, sexual, psychological maltreatment, and fabricated and induced illness). Gerry is also Clinical Lead for Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy for the Trust for Oxfordshire and Buckinghamshire. He has worked in CAMHS for over 30 years, and since 1990 he has specialised in the assessment of parent-infant relationships and attachment, and the individual assessment and treatment of parents who have abused their infants/children.

He is the originator of the Lighthouse Mentalization Based Treatment-Parenting Programme, an innovative application of MBT, which aims to prevent child maltreatment by promoting sensitive caregiving in parents. He has trained clinicians in the programme in the UK, Ireland, Germany, Denmark and Australia.

What Our Customers Say

We are excited to announce the launch of our brand new e-learning platform for mental health practitioners.

Our easy to search directory website lists the services offered by mental health practitioners throughout the UK.

Get up to 20% off on our new programmes

Be the first to receive ‘early-bird’ offers!

View our Privacy Policy