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Filling the Void: The Paradox of Social Media: Video Course

Filling the Void: The Paradox of Social Media: Video Course

Over a relatively short span of time, Social Media in its various embodiments has become embedded in multiple positions in our lives and the lived experiences of our clients. Social Media can function as a transitional object, providing succour, comfort, and validation; it can also be seen as a transitional space that encourages play, where safe experimentation, fantasy and mediated living occur. It can open innumerable portals for staying connected with family, friends and peers and provide a platform for stress release.

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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$164.72

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Course Credits

CPD: 6 / CE: 6

Speaker(s)

Christiane Sanderson, Jo-Ann Cruywagen

Course length in hours

6 hrs

Full course information

Paradoxically, it can also create environments of extreme isolation, feelings of disconnection, loneliness and isolation; it can be the key causative factor of stress, generate feelings of inadequacy, fuel ongoing self-doubt, create addictive patterns, mimic situations of collective bullying, reinforce negative self-beliefs, drive a harsh inner critic, perpetuate a negative body image and thwart therapeutic efforts. How do we navigate these multiple paradoxes and how do we assist clients for whom these incongruities are accentuating attachment anxiety, creating resistance for repair, compounding traumatic symptoms and eroding self-esteem?

This intellectually stimulating and practical webinar over two evenings allows us to consider how:

  • Digitally enabled social connections can have a positive impact on our mental well-being -via their capacity to reduce stress, boost our sense of self-worth, validate beliefs and values, provide pleasure and reduce loneliness or sense of exclusion
  • Social media, apps and devices can act as a transitional object and a form of self-soothing which can offset broken attachments or loss of connection
  • While simultaneously acting through a sense of social comparison, intrinsic to the use of social media and the impact it can have on shame and the decline in self worth
  • Excessive social media can increase vulnerability to becoming addicted to apps and devices, as they facilitate immediacy, alleviate boredom and allow considered self-perception that changes beliefs about body and appearance and make our clients (and ourselves) feel more dissatisfied with themselves and their lives, exacerbate loneliness and link to mental health problems

The workshop draws on Attachment Theory and Object Relations to frame a neurobiological understanding that corresponds to Social Media use. This helps us understand social media interactions as a reward-driven response system together with an attachment based coping behaviour and the implications we can draw for clinical work. We also use case vignettes and discussions to specifically focus on the ‘social comparison’ facet of social media to:

  • Discuss how social media provides an opportunity to curate our lives in sharing aspects of ourselves that we value and allows us to have a sense of belongingness. However, concomitantly in sharing aspects of our lives there is an increased risk of exposure and intense scrutiny by others which renders social media a potent instrument for social comparison, and thus a source of shame.
  • Comprehend how ‘continuing scrutiny’ of the social media gaze prompts shame-based anxieties manifest in behaviours including curating and editing profiles, airbrushing and filtering pictures – which in extremity conditions can have severe consequences including hazardous body-modifications, depression and an increased risk of suicide
  • Understand how the use of social media has become a powerful substitute for the reflection and mirroring of the primary caregiver as a way to validate our sense of self and to seek approval from others
  • Evaluate how these paradoxes present in the clinical space and can be worked with and understood from an attachment perspective
  • Understand the ‘language of shame’ and its connections with social media dynamics – we will also understand when ‘therapist gaze’ can accentuate the feelings of scrutiny that the client experiences

© nscience 2022 / 2023

What's included in this course

What you’ll learn

The workshop draws on Attachment Theory and Object Relations to frame a neurobiological understanding that corresponds to Social Media use. This helps us understand social media interactions as a reward-driven response system together with an attachment based coping behaviour and the implications we can draw for clinical work.

Learning objectives

  • Discuss how social media provides an opportunity to curate our lives in sharing aspects of ourselves that we value and allows us to have a sense of belongingness.
  • Describe how ‘continuing scrutiny’ of the social media gaze prompts shame-based anxieties manifest in behaviours including curating and editing profiles, airbrushing and filtering pictures – which in extremity conditions can have severe consequences including hazardous body-modifications, depression and an increased risk of suicide
  • Identify how the use of social media has become a powerful substitute for the reflection and mirroring of the primary caregiver as a way to validate our sense of self and to seek approval from others
  • Describe how these paradoxes present in the clinical space and can be worked with and understood from an attachment perspective
  • Discuss the ‘language of shame’ and its connections with social media dynamics

About the speaker(s)

Christiane Sanderson BSc, MSc. is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton, of London with 35 years of experience working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence. She has delivered consultancy, continuous professional development and professional training for parents, teachers, social workers, nurses, therapists, counsellors, solicitors, the NSPCC, the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Committee, the Methodist Church, the Metropolitan Police Service, SOLACE, the Refugee Council, Birmingham City Council Youth Offending Team, and HMP Bronzefield.

She is the author of Counselling Skills for Working with Shame, Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma: Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse, Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 3rd edition, Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse, The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse, and Introduction to Counselling Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She has also written The Warrior Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Sexual Violence; The Spirit Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Religious Sexual Abuse Across All Faiths and Responding to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: A pocket guide for professionals, partners, families and friends for the charity One in Four for whom she is a trustee. Her next book, The Taboo of Sibling Sexual Abuse: Working with Adult Survivors is out soon with nscience publishing house.

Jo Cruywagen is a senior lecturer at the University of Roehampton and a UKCP integrative psychotherapist in practice. Having worked in universities most of her working life, Jo is passionate about training the next generation of psychotherapist and working clinically with complex client presentations. She is currently completing a PhD utilising Winnicott to reframe the use of digital devices. In thinking about the complex relationships we form with media devices and the role that our devices play within broader culture, where culture becomes a potential space that resides between the internal world of the self (psychic reality) and the external world of the other (material reality), this webinar will aim to challenge some of the pathologizing language of our media object use.

nscience UK is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. nscience UK maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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