- Stephen Porges: “The Polyvagal Theory: The Transformative Power of Feeling Safe”
Safety is critical in enabling humans to optimize their potential. The neurophysio-logical processes associated with feeling safe are a prerequisite not only for so-cial behavior but also for accessing both the higher brain structures that enable humans to be creative and generative and the lower brain structures involved in regulating health, growth, and restoration. The Polyvagal Theory explains how social behavior turns off defenses and promotes opportunities to feel safe. It pro-vides an innovative model to understand bodily responses to trauma and stress and the importance of the client’s physiological state in mediating the effecti-veness of clinical treatments. From a Polyvagal perspective, interventions that target the capacity to feel safe and use social behavior to regulate physiological state can be effective in treating psychological disorders that are dependent on defense systems.
- Daniel Siegel: “The Science of Consciousness and the Future of Psychotherapy” (live video conference)
The advances across a range of disciplines—including brain science, psychiatry, at- tachment theory, quantum physics, and spirituality to name just a few—have expanded our conception of consciousness and their implications for the practice of psychother- apy. Once we offer a definition of the mind, a new view of mental health emerges, one that involves an embodied and relational regulation of energy and information flow as the mind self-organizes our lives. What self-organization is, and how consciousness can be integrated within psychotherapy to cultivate well-being will be explored.
- PANEL: 2 Hour Panel
- Vittorio Gallese: “Emotions in action. Emotion regulation and recognition in traumatized and neglected young individuals”
According to a widely shared perspective, experiencing and expressing a given emotion are two different and independent processes. I’ll propose an alternative perspective: the behaviour connected to a specific emotion is part of the emotion itself. In my talk I will present and discuss recent neuroscientific studies showing the link between emotion experience and expression. I will also present recent empirical research on the impact of trauma and neglect on emotion regulation and recognition in children and young adolescents
- Allan Schore : “The growth-promoting role of mutual regression in deep psychotherapy”
Dr. Schore will discuss his ongoing theoretical and clinical work on therapeu-tic expertise in facilitating structural changes in the patient’s early developing right brain attachment and stress regulating systems. He will focus on right brain systems of the deep unconscious, and how they can be directly accessed in treatment. Expanding his neurobiological studies of interpersonal creativity and clinical intuition he will present neuropsychoanalytic models of both structural and topographic regression in the treatment of early attachment trauma, and will differentiate clinical work with spontaneous enactments and controlled mutual regressions at different stages of therapy. He will argue that the concept of re-gression, banished at the end of the last century, needs to return to the clinical literature.
- PANEL: 2 Hour Panel
- Peter Levine: “Physiology of Bonding and Attachment : Renegotiating/Restoring Broken Connection”
Those first, complex interactions and processes that both parent and infant will ex-perience profoundly shape the child’s larger perspectives of the world throughout the developmental arc of their lives. When there is a disruption in bonding, such as what occurs in trauma, these perceptions become distorted, and our capacity for confidence, happiness and drive for connection and attachment becomes dimini-shed as we are cut off from our social mammalian heritage. Trauma is the product of overwhelming stress that locks the mind and body in a state of perpetual dan-ger, tension and hyper-activation or “shutdown.” Utilizing body-based tools can allow the infant and child to gradually access these difficult sensations so that they can be integrated and transformed. By employing a graduated (titrated) appro-ach, the evolutionary based bonding physiology can “come back online.” This way distortions and fragmentations of the infant-self can be renegotiatedas child and parent emerge together stronger and closer. Dr. Peter A Levine has written several bestselling books on trauma including two books on children and trauma: Trauma Proofing Your Kids: A Parents Guide to Instilling Confidence, Resilience and Joy; as well as Trauma Through a Child’s Eyes: Awakening the Ordinary Miracle of Hea-ling. During this presentation, Dr. Levine will provide a tour of the evolutionary brain structures that are involved in stress responses, as well as a guide to how the brain develops in utero, showing how these structures interrelate and provide a coherent strategy for effective treatment.
- Robin Shapiro: “Identifying, unzipping, and reassigning “protector” parts in dissociated clients”
This practical talk shows how to use ego state therapy (and EMDR, if you know it) to work with entrenched and often self-destructive parts that may “protect” clients from uncomfortable (negative or positive) affect, intimacy, or new, positive expe-riences in their healing process.
- Diana Fosha: “The Neurobiology of Healing: A Framework for Undoing Aloneness and Doing Transformational Work in AEDP”
Four foundational aspects of AEDP (Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy) allow it to reliably do transformational work and transform suffering into flourishing: (1) Its healing orientation, and its belief, supported by neurobiology and recent advances in neuroplasticity, that we are all self-righting organisms wired with an innate motivational tendency, towards health, healing and growth, which in the right environments, can be potentiated into clinical action; (2) Undoing the alone-ness that people feel in the face of overwhelming emotional experiences through an attachment-based stance and dyadic affect regulatory techniques; (3) Mobi-lizing subcortical affective systems specialized to adapt to environmental chang-es by rapidly transforming behavior through its experiential interventions and transformational work with intense emotions; and (4) Metatherapeutic processing techniques, where, by experientially working with the experience of transformation, and the positive emotions invariably as-sociated with moments of change for the better, non-finite upward spirals of positive emotions are systematically activated. The positive emotions that fuel the self with energy and vitality, are the vehicles of neuroplasticity that, in effect, re-wire the brain. AEDP emphasizes the co-creation of safety: with accompaniment, patients can risk revisiting past trauma and suffering. Healing and neuroplasticity areset in motion through fully experiencing previously feared emotions in a secure relationship, and through gentle, yet focused, explicit attention to the experience of healing within the patient-therapist relationship. Processing both traumatic and restorative emotional experiences to completion, the AEDP process culminates in vitality, energy, and the non-finite positive emotion-fueled spirals of resilience, well-being and creativity that are so highly correlated with health. Clinical videotapes of AEDP in action will be used to illuminate how, through undoing aloneness and experiential work with transformational experience, emo-tional suffering can be not only ameliorated, but systematically and reliably trans-formed into resilience, flourishing, and well being.
- PANEL: 2 Hour Panel