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Attachment & Sexuality: Video Course


Speakers: Dr Gwen Adshead and Dr Anna Motz

Product: Video Course
Price: £135

CPD Hours: 5

Video course packs, including all notes are available immediately on booking. The access links are part of your ticket. Online video access remains available for 1 year from the date you receive the video course.

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Attachment and Sexuality, as central motivational systems don’t always work in lockstep, especially in couple / intimate relationships; often leading to sexual dysfunction, complex emotional complications, infidelity or ongoing couple conflict. The integration of attachment and sexuality is a developmental challenge that is met by different individuals and couples with varying degrees of success, depending, in part, upon their individual attachment patterns. As therapists, we are aware of the therapeutic challenges we can face when Attachment and Sexuality are working in mutually agnostic ways: attachment insecurities can hold-back sexual expression, couple relationships can become violent and relationships can work at suboptimal levels on account of sexual power games between partners.

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Full Course Information

At this intellectually stimulating and practically oriented workshop, Dr Gwen Adshead and Dr Anna Motz draw on research, attachment models and clinical case vignettes to explore how attachment issues play out in couple relationships; in terms of emotional intimacy and trust, sexual intimacy and couple conflict. The workshop views couple dynamics through the lens of Attachment Theory to talk about intimacy issues with different attachment styles, sexual (in)compatibility and sexuality as a power mechanism in couple relationships. Using case studies and examples, we specifically discuss:

  • The essentials of Attachment Theory as they apply to adult attachments and the formation of intimate relationships
  • How different kinds of attachment insecurity manifest in couple relationships across the life span
  • Sexuality, Attachment and the play of ‘power’ in couple relationships, gender-identity and roles
  • How violence becomes a sexualized solution in some couples
  • The complex interplay of attachment and sexual systems especially in borderline manifestations

Using illustrative case vignettes and discussions, the workshop offers clinical examples of therapy and examines the evidence base for interventions with couples, specifically drawing on Attachment Theory and psychoanalytic couple therapy.

About the speakers

Dr Gwen Adshead is a Forensic Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist. She trained at St George’s Hospital, the Institute of Psychiatry and the Institute of Group Analysis.  She is trained as a group therapist and a Mindfulness-based cognitive therapist and has also trained in Mentalisation-based therapy. She worked for nearly twenty years as a Consultant Forensic Psychotherapist at Broadmoor Hospital, running psychotherapeutic groups for offenders and working with staff around relational security and organisational dynamics. She is the co-editor of Clinical topics in Personality Disorder (with Dr Jay Sarkar) which was awarded first prize in the psychiatry Section of the BMA book awards 2013; and she also co-edited Personality Disorder: the Definitive Collection with Dr Caroline Jacob. She is the co-editor of the Oxford Handbook of Forensic Psychiatry (2013) and the Oxford Handbook of Medical Psychotherapy (2016). She is also the co-editor of Munchausens’s Syndrome by Proxy: Current issues in Assessment, Treatment and Research.

Gwen was visiting professor at Yale School of Psychiatry and Law in 2013; and also honoured with the President’s Medal for services to psychiatry that same year for her work on ethics in psychiatry. She was awarded an honorary doctorate by St George’s hospital in 2015; and was Gresham Professor of Psychiatry 2014-2017. She now works in a medium secure unit in Hampshire in a service for high risk offenders with personality disorder; and in a women’s prison.

Dr Anna Motz is a Consultant Clinical and Forensic Psychotherapist, who has worked extensively with women as instigators of violence. Her research and clinical interests include: self-harm, relationship difficulties, eating disorders, anxiety, depression and personality disorders. Formerly President of International Association for Forensic Psychotherapy, she lectures widely on topics covering toxic relationships and female violence. She is the author of The Psychology of Female Violence: Crimes against the Body (Routledge, 2008). She has also edited Managing Self Harm: Psychological Perspectives (Routledge, 2009) and Toxic Couples: The Psychology of Domestic Violence (Routledge, 2014).

© nscience, UK, 2020 / 21


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