EVENT FULL | Clinical Skills for Working with Trauma – its Impact Upon the Client, the Relationship and the Therapist

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Date(s) - 17/06/2017
8:30 am - 5:00 pm

Friends House, London


CPD Hours seven


08:15 – Registration

09:00 – AGM

09:40 – Welcome and conference opening
Peter Saddington

09:50 – Vicarious Trauma – protecting ourselves from crashing and burning
Presented by Sally Openshaw
Chair: Corinna Furse

10:40 – Tea | Coffee | Exhibitors

11:10 – Using Compassion Focused Therapy with traumatised clients
Presented by Chris Irons
Chair: Andrew Yates

12:10 – The Past in the Present: working with disassociation
Presented by Miriam Taylor
Chair: Tim Blackstone

13:00 – Fellowship presentation

13:10 – Lunch | Exhibitors

14:00 – A complex emerging trauma in gay men
Presented by Dominic Davis
Chair: Dana Braithwaite

15:00 – Tea | Coffee

15:20 – The impact of traumatic life events on intimacy
Presented Bo Mills
Chair: Peter Saddington

16:15 – Conference Close & Thanks

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Vicarious Trauma – protecting ourselves from crashing and burning
Abstract: The plan for this session is to ask us each to start our day looking at our own practice of self-care.  To begin by highlighting the rewards that can inflate us as therapists, followed by the hazards that can dent our resilience. Through discussion and self-reflection, I will ask individuals to consider if their personal selves are in good shape for practice.  Research evidence on helpful strategies to develop care of ourselves, both personally and professional, will be considered.

Presented by Sally Openshaw, a qualified Sexual and Relationship Psychotherapist. She has been active in both UKCP and COSRT at a governance level and has had a role of Chair in both Organisations. She has been offering Counselling and Psychotherapy to couples and individuals from a private practice In Devon since 1996.   At this centre, she manages a student run voluntary counselling services for those who cannot afford the fees for counselling.

She has built up a training organisation called Towerhouse Counselling and with a team of other trainers, now provides counselling and supervision skills training from level 2 to level 6. BACP accreditation for the Diploma in Counselling was awarded in 2012 and all other courses have CPCAB approval.

Sally regularly provides training for other learners on specific issues at conferences or study days in the UK and Europe.   Sally is an External Verifier for CPCAB to ensure high standards in five other training centres in the South West of England.

She is a qualified supervisor and provides sessions to her regular counselling supervisees but also to the Doctors in two local GP practices.  Last year, she created and now runs Supervision training.

Sally has done additional training in EMDR as she found that many clients were reporting complex trauma issue in therapy. She has also just completed a Diploma in Sex Addiction in response to the increasing demand for work from this client group.

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Using Compassion Focused Therapy with traumatised clients
Abstract: A variety of psychotherapeutic models have been developed to understand and work with complex PTSD (e.g. exposure, reliving). However, most of these work on the principle of fear being the principle emotion within the trauma. However, emerging evidence suggests that shame and self-criticism linked to the trauma, and shame based flashbacks, may not respond to standard approaches to trauma. This presentation will discuss a way of understanding the nature of shame in complex trauma, how many people with shame based presentations in trauma struggle to engage self-soothing and affiliative based positive emotion, and how Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT) may represent an effective way of working with complex trauma

Presented by Dr Chris Irons, a clinical psychologist, researcher, writer and trainer. He is co-director of Balanced Minds, a London based organisation providing compassion-focused psychological interventions for individuals and organisations. He also works for the Compassionate Mind Foundation, a charitable organisation aiming to: “Promote wellbeing through the scientific understanding and application of compassion”, and as a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Derby. Alongside Professor Paul Gilbert and other colleagues, Chris has been involved in the development of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT; Gilbert, 2009; Gilbert & Irons, 2005) and compassion-based approaches to working with organisations. He regularly presents to academic, professional and lay audiences on Compassion Focused Therapy and more broadly, the science of compassion. He is interested in how compassion may improve individual well-being, relationship satisfaction, and facilitate positive group and organisational change.

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The Past in the Present: working with disassociation
Dissociation as a common response to trauma is by its nature difficult to identify, understand, and work with. Therapists can be confused by what is happening for their client and in the therapeutic relationship. This presentation looks at these dynamics with a focus on the idea of dissociation as relational. Providing a brief theoretical background we will try to make sense of what is happening and why, considering dissociation as a healthy adaptation to severe threat. Different phenomena that come under the umbrella of dissociation will be defined and clinical examples given. Some practical strategies will provide a taster of how to work safely with dissociative experiences. Finally, we will consider the ways therapists also get caught in dissociation, again providing some ways of working.

Presented by Miriam Taylor, a UKCP registered Gestalt psychotherapist, supervisor and international trainer who has been in private practice since 1995. Her background was in adult education before training as a counsellor and psychotherapist.  Working as clinical lead of a young peoples’ service  pointed her towards specialising in trauma, and for several years she worked in a specialist trauma service. Miriam’s particular interest is in the relational integration of trauma and the role of the body. She teaches in the UK and internationally, is an Academic Consultant and examiner for Metanoia Institute, London, and is an associate of Relational Change. Publications include  ‘Trauma Therapy and Clinical Practice: Neuroscience, Gestalt and the Body’ published by the Open University Press in 2014.

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A complex merging trauma in gay men
There is a syndemic affecting the gay male community which is a result of trauma (and shame) and itself creating more trauma. The Chemsex syndemic constellates intense drug fuelled experiences amongst gay men, risk of HIV and Hep C infection and is situated against a backdrop of AIDS trauma from the last 30 years. Whilst people aren’t dying in the numbers they did during the AIDS epidemic, there are many deaths and increasing rates of HIV infections amongst this population.

The Chemsex syndemic is fuelled by geolocation apps like Grindr which offer rapid, anonymous meetings 24 hours a day and which, leaving aside the Chemsex aspects, Apps like Grindr have changed how gay men do intimacy and relationships in ways we’re still trying to understand.

This presentation will explore the impact of these traumas on gay men and offer some thoughts about how we sex and relationship therapists might work with them.

Presented by Dominic Davies, Founder and CEO of Pink Therapy. He has worked as a psychotherapist, clinical sexologist and practice consultant for over 35 years. He is also a Senior Accredited Psychotherapist with the National Council of Psychotherapists. In 2015 he was the first non-psychologist to be awarded the Practitioner award from the Sexualities Section of the British Psychological Society. In 2016 He was made a Fellow of the National Counselling Society. He is a member of World Association for Sexual Health (WAS) and World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). He has pioneered the development of Gender and Sexual Diversity Therapy in the UK and Europe and is course director for the Post Graduate Diploma in Gender and Sexual Diversity Therapy. dominic@pinktherapy.com twitter: @DominicDavies1

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The impact of traumatic life events on intimacy
Abstract – Topics being covered:

  • Brief outline of components of traumatic life events
  • Understanding the impact of trauma on individuals
  • Exploration of impact of trauma on couple relationship using the framework of Mills classification of intimacy
  • Simplified neurobiological explanations that could be shared with the individuals and couples.
  • Gain an understanding of various psychological models and techniques that would benefit the individuals and couples following traumatic life events
  • Different coping strategies used under different cultural settings
  • Protection for the therapist with stress  management techniques.

Presented by Dr Bo Mills, a Consultant in Psychosexual Medicine and Relationship Therapy, as well as a Consultant in Stress Management. He works at No.1 Harley Street, London and in Battle, East Sussex.

He is a Director of Bo Mills Associates and Prospect International. Having worked as a surgeon in the war torn north Sri Lanka in the early 1980’s he came to the UK in 1985 and trained in Psychiatry followed by Couple Therapy at The Maudsley Hospital, London. Bo worked for 18 years as the Clinical Director for the department of sexual and relationship therapy at the Priory, Ticehurst House, East Sussex. He also works for various governmental and non-governmental organisations and was involved in the psychological rehabilitation process following the Tsunami in Sri Lanka.

Bo was a Trustee of COSRT and a fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine. He has done a lot of work and research over the last 25 years with individuals, couples and families with traumatic life events and its impact on intrapsychic and interpersonal intimacy. He developed The Mills Classification of Intimacy which was first published in 2001.

Bo has written chapters and books, edited journals and has lectured nationally and internationally on impact of traumatic life events on intimacy. www.bomills.co.uk

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Terms and Conditions

The full fee for attending the conference is £95 for COSRT members and £110 for non-members.

Cheques should be made payable to COSRT in GB pounds sterling. Payment must be received by COSRT before the conference. Confirmation and details of your booking will be emailed to you.

Cancellations must be made in writing. There is an administrative charge of £20 per person for cancellations received up to six weeks prior to the conference. Thereafter no refund is possible. To substitute a delegate please call the COSRT office (020 8543 2707) at least seven days prior to the event.

COSRT reserves the right to change the venue or speakers due to unforeseen circumstances. In the unlikely event of the conference being cancelled, a full refund will be made, but COSRT disclaims any further liability.

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