Understanding and Working with Early Relational Trauma and Borderline States of Mind
A one-day workshop with Marcus West
When: Saturday 6th October; 9:30 am – 4:00 pm
Where: The Imperial Hotel, South Mall, Cork
Cost: €90.00 – CPD Hours: 5.5 – Includes tea and coffee
This practical workshop will explore how advances in our understanding of trauma, and early relational trauma, in particular, throws vital light on some of the areas with which psychoanalysis has traditionally struggled – particularly in narcissistic and borderline presentations. Despite years of antipathy, psychoanalysis and trauma theory both need and complement each other.
The workshop, which will be especially relevant for psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors, psychiatrists, and psychotherapy/psychology students, will assist practitioners to understand the underlying dynamics behind clients’ apparently destructive ways of relating, beliefs, and affective-somatic reactions. We will explore the primitive roots of experiences such as nihilism, despair, regression, suicidal impulses, anxiety, and murderousness. A main focus of the day will be on how the patterns associated with early relational trauma – frequently of an unbearable, conflictual or ‘impossible’ nature – emerge in the consulting room and how they can be worked with more safely and effectively. An exploration of Jung’s concept of the Complex will be central to this understanding.
A second thread for the day will be exploring the way these early relational patterns are co-constructed between therapist and client, and how and why the therapist can be deeply affected by and drawn into the dynamics. We will examine the kinds of pressures on the therapist that can lead to impasse or breakdown of the therapy, and how these can be worked through, particularly issues around idealisation, retraumatisation, the erotic transference & self-disclosure. The therapist’s personality and attitudes play a significant role in the course and outcome of the therapy, thus requiring the therapist to become more aware of their own primitive reactions and experiences within the frame of early relational trauma.
Recent advances in trauma therapy, relational (psychoanalytic) theory, infant development theory, and attachment theory will be explored and there will be an opportunity for participants to explore and discuss their own clinical material.
Marcus West is a Training Analyst of the Society of Analytical Psychology and is on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Analytical Psychology. He is also a trained EMDR practitioner. His latest book, Into the Darkest Places – Early Relational Trauma and Borderline States of Mind, was published by Karnac in 2016. He has written two previous books: Feeling, Being and the Sense of Self: A new perspective on identity,
affect and narcissistic disorders (2007), and Understanding Dreams in Clinical Practice (2011). He was a joint winner of the Michael Fordham Prize in 2004, has written a number of papers, contributed chapters to books, and taught and lectured widely in this country and abroad. He works in private practice in Sussex.