Monday, 6th March from 7 to 9pm
Juliet Rosenfeld - Affairs - Why Do People Have Them and How Do We Understand Them In the Consulting Room?
Outside the consulting room it is hard to think about the more complex dynamics in play when someone breaks a contract with an existing partner to begin another relationship in secret with another person. As a society we tend, understandably, to view this behaviour as both destructive or negative to the abandoned partner, family or others.
Yet inside the consulting room and to the therapist, illicit relationships of one kind or another are frequently brought, sometimes with the aim of seeking help, and sometimes not. This talk will consider how common affairs are, how and what we might think about them ourselves as practitioners and whether it is possible to suspend moral judgement in trying to understand what is really going on.
Juliet Rosenfeld looks at why people have affairs and the childhood roots that are so often at the heart of these complex relationships. She uses psychoanalytic themes and ideas to explain the behaviour, thoughts and feelings of couples she interviewed and was in detailed discussion with over two years. She chose volunteers rather than her own patients for this research which she has written about in her upcoming book Affairs, to be published in Autumn 2023 .
JULIET ROSENFELD is a UKCP registered psychotherapist working with couples, based in London. She studied at Oxford and had a first career in advertising and briefly the civil service before beginning to train originally in Organisational Consultancy at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Trust in 2004. Deciding that working with patients rather than institutions was what she wanted to do she has had a diverse clinical training, first at the Tavistock and then at Regents University where she qualified in 2012 in Integrative Psychotherapy, becoming accredited by the HIPC ( Humanistic and Integrative Psychotherapy College) of UKCP. She was an honorary psychotherapist for 5 years at Camden Psychotherapy Unit before starting in private practice in London. Juliet has worked with couples and individuals for the last ten years and was elected a Trustee of the UKCP in 2019 and Clinical Trustee of the Freud Museum London in 2021. She has written for a variety of publications in the UK on subjects relating to mental health and emotional perspectives, and is particularly interested in how we think about grief and love, mourning and recovery. Her first book, The State Of Disbelief was published in 2020 (Short Books UK, Hachette US 2022) and is part memoir, part clinical experience and theory of how we survive close bereavement.
Monday 5h June from 7 to 9pm
Anne Power - Contented Couples - how do they do it?
Working with unhappy couples made me dubious about the effectiveness of romance as a method of mate selection and so I started to look more closely at the other broad categories of courtship: arranged marriages and self-arranged relationships. I became aware that the similarities between these different ways of starting were, in the long run, greater than the differences and this refocussed my research onto the basic question of 'What makes couple relationships work?' Having recruited couples from each tradition I was able to hear reflections which have deepened my existing understanding of couple dynamics.
Attachment theory provides a powerful explanation of the couple bond in which partners are reciprocal attachment figures – even when they are very unhappy, this is essentially an attachment relationship, albeit an insecure, disorganised one. Psychodynamic thinking gives us an understanding of projection and the unconscious processes at play when we first choose a mate. Over the years those initial projections can harden and amplify or may be, to some extent, retracted if the individuals can own part of what was initially carried for them by their partner. Systemic thinking gives us an invaluable framework for understanding the mutual impact of partners and supports the therapist to hold an evenly balanced curiosity about what is going on. The emerging practice of Emotionally Focussed Couple Therapy (EFT) combines these threads and this is the approach which I have been developing in my practice.
I hope this account of my research and what I learnt can be useful to individual therapists who often work ‘with the couple in mind’ as clients bring troubles in their relationship or their lack of relationship.
ANNE POWER has qualifications from The Bowlby Centre, Westminster Pastoral Foundation, Tavistock Relationships and Relate. Her clinical work has been in voluntary settings, in the NHS and in private practice in London where she now works online with couples and supervisees. She has taught on a number of therapy trainings in London. Contented Couples: Magic, logic or luck? was published in 2022 and reflects on interviews with eighteen long-term couples.
Anne’s first book, Forced Endings in Psychotherapy, investigated the process of closing a practice for retirement or other reasons. Her published papers explore attachment meaning in the consulting room and in the supervision relationship.
Monday 11th September from 7 to 9pm
Prof Fuschia Sirois - Understanding and addressing procrastination: Implications for health and well-being
Procrastination is a prevalent and pernicious problem that can undermine productivity as well as erode health and well-being. This is especially the case when avoiding unpleasant tasks becomes a habit. The first part of this talk will present evidence that highlights procrastination as harmful form of delay that confers risk and vulnerability for health-related outcomes, including mental health, health behaviours, sleep, stress and coping, and even chronic disease. The second part of the talk will then focus on the science behind why people procrastinate using evidence from observational, longitudinal, and experimental studies which support a central role for emotions in procrastination. The talk will conclude with a discussion of evidence-based strategies for reducing the risk for procrastination and for helping your clients get back on track if they have procrastinated.
FUSCHIA SIROIS, PhD, is a Professor in Social and Health Psychology at Durham University, and a former Canada Research Chair in Health and Well-being.
Prof Sirois’ research focuses on understanding the psychological factors and qualities that confer risk or resilience for physical health and well-being outcomes through self-regulation and emotions. For over 20 years she has researched the causes and consequences of procrastination, and in particular the health consequences of procrastination, as well as how emotions play a key role in explaining why people procrastinate. Her research also examines the role of positive psychology traits, states, and interventions for supporting self-regulation and enhancing health and well-being.
She has authored over a 120 peer-reviewed journal papers, over 200 conference papers, and edited two books. She has also recently authored a self-help book on procrastination titled
Procrastination:What It Is, Why It's a Problem, and What You Can Do About It published by the American Psychological Association.
Her research has been funded by a number of national funding agencies including the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council, Canada, The Economic and Social Research Council (UK), and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (UK).
Follow her on Twitter at @FuschiaSirois.
Monday 13th November from 7 to 9pm
Prof Amanda Giordano - Understanding Pornography and Cybersex Addiction: Assessments and Treatment Considerations.
Behavioral addictions such as gaming, gambling, sex, pornography, social media, and food affect a substantial number of clients, yet many counselors have not received formal training regarding how to treat behavioral addictions. In this webinar, attendees will learn how to recognize and respond to behavioral addictions with a specific emphasis on pornography and cybersex addiction. Specifically, the presenter will describe the etiology and progression of pornography and cybersex addiction, criteria for pornography and cybersex addiction, and specific treatment considerations for clinical work with clients struggling with compulsive pornography or cybersex use.
AMANDA L. GIORDANO, PhD, LPC is an associate professor at the University of Georgia who specializes in addictions counseling. She is the sole author of a clinical reference book titled, A Clinical Guide to Treating Behavioral Addictions,co-author of a textbook titled, Addiction Counseling: A Practical Approach, and developer of an online course, Working with Behavioral Addictions, in partnership with the Mental Health Academy. Dr. Giordano works to advance the counseling field with rigorous research and has published over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters and conducted 122 presentations. In 2018, Dr. Giordano received the Addictions/Offender Educator of Excellence Award from the International Association of Addictions and Offender Counselors (IAAOC) and in 2022 she was awarded the Russell H. Yeany Jr., Research Award from her college. Dr. Giordano collaborates with domestic and international organizations to provide trainings to increase awareness related to behavioral addictions. She maintains a blog called Understanding Addiction for Psychology Today and has been a guest on several podcasts.
Amanda created an online course with Mental Health Academy on behavioural addictions in the UK which provides 38 continuing education hours and lots of content related to a variety of addictive behaviours. You can find out more about it here: https://www.mentalhealthacademy.co.uk/credential/addictions/enrol