Attachment Theory update for Clinicians: Practical Applications – Prof Jeremy Holmes


Date: 19th June 2021
Location: Live via Zoom*
Time: 9:30am – 4:45pm GMT (+1) / 4:30am – 11:45am EDT / 1:30am – 8:45am PDT
CPD/CE credits: 6
Speaker: Prof Jeremy Holmes

*This training will be recorded. The link to the recording will be made available for 90 days following the live event.

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The CPD/CE credits awarded can be used towards your declaration to any governing regulatory body in your state or country, provided the content is relevant to your discipline.

Course outline:

Psychotherapists have an ambivalent relationship with neuroscience. Demonstrating brain changes following successful therapy lends authority and validation to our work, but the latter-day phrenology of fMRI scanners and the amygdala seems many miles from the everyday realities of the consulting room. In this workshop I shall expound — comprehensibly I hope — a new dynamic model of brain function, the Free Energy Principle (FEP), developed by mathematical psychiatrist Karl Friston that has excited huge interest in the world if neuroscience and artificial intelligence research, but thus far has had little impact in psychiatry, psychology or psychotherapy. I shall show that FEP helps explain the ways in which therapy brings about change — both in CBT through encouraging agency and action, and in dynamic therapies through explicating the role of free association, dream work and transference analysis. As an attachment theory enthusiast I will also bring an attachment perspective. Clinically I will link FEP with Mentalisation Based Therapy (MBT) for personality disorders.

The workshop, which I would argue will be of interest to all open-minded 21st Century therapists, will fall into four sessions. In the opening morning session I will describe the origins and main features of FEP, and in the afternoon first session link it with the established techniques of psychotherapy. In my talks I will use ’share screen’ for my PowerPoint just as I would in a live lecture. The second half of both morning and afternoon will be devoted to ‘live supervision’, when we will discuss two cases each from volunteer delegates.

Learning Objectives:

1) To introduce delegates to Friston’s Free Energy principle (FEP), a new paradigm in interpersonal neuropsychology

2) To make links between the FEP and the everyday practice of psychotherapy, especially cognitive revision, free association, active imagination and dream analysis

3) To explore the links between the FEP and the attachment categories of secure, insecure and disorganised attachment

4) Through the process of ‘live supervision’ to apply these principles to actual cases

Rough Schedule: (GMT +1 time)

09.30 – 11.00 Lecture: Attachment for clinicians — recent advances
11.00 – 11.15 Break
11.15 – 12.45 Live supervision
12.45 – 13.30 Break
13.30 – 15.00 Lecture: The Free Energy Principle: implications for psychotherapy
15.00 – 15.15 Break
15.15 – 16.30 Live supervision
16.30 – 16.45 Plenary & feedback

Please note that the live supervision will not be recorded.

Speaker Information

Prof Jeremy Holmes
Professor Jeremy Holmes MD FRCPsych was for 35 years Consultant Psychiatrist/Medical Psychotherapist at University College London (UCL) and then in North Devon, UK, and Chair of the Psychotherapy Faculty of the Royal College of Psychiatrists 1998-2002. He is visiting Professor at the University of Exeter, and lectures nationally and internationally. In addition to 200+ peer-reviewed papers and chapters in the field of psychoanalysis and attachment theory, his books include John Bowlby and Attachment Theory, (2nd edition 2013), The Oxford Textbook of Psychotherapy (2005 co-editors Glen Gabbard and Judy Beck), Exploring In Security: Towards an Attachment-informed Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy (2010, winner of Canadian Goethe Prize), The Therapeutic Imagination: Using Literature to Deepen Psychodynamic Understanding and Enhance Empathy (2014), Attachment in Therapeutic Practice (2017, with A Slade), and The Brain Has a Mind of its Own: Attachment, Neurobiology and the New Science of Psychotherapy (2020). He was recipient of the Bowlby-Ainsworth Founders Award 2009. Gardening, Green politics and grand parenting are gradually eclipsing his lifetime devotion to psychoanalytic psychotherapy and attachment.

How to access our trainings?

1. Once you have booked a place for one of our trainings, you will receive a email confirming your order.

2. At least 24hrs prior to the start of training, you will receive an email containing the required details to enter the training. All trainings are held over Zoom.

3. If you are wanting to attend the training live, you then use these details to attend just before the specific start time.

4. However, if you are unable to attend the training live, a link to a recording of it will be emailed to you following the event. The recording is made available for 90 days after the live broadcast.

This means that it is not essential for the attendant to be present for the live training and one can refer back to the training if they wish within 90 days.

5. Within a week of the training, the training materials, including slides and notes, CPD certificate and feedback will be sent to you via Email.

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