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Attachment perspectives on Borderline Personality Disorder: implications for therapy e-learning course

e-learning course 

Speaker: Dr Gwen Adshead

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.

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.

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Full Course Information

At this practical e-learning course 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

Course Schedule:

Attachment and personality development

  • 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

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

Psychotherapeutic implications

This session 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

About the speaker

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.

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