THREE DAY WORKSHOP with Dr STEPHEN ARTHEY
1 – 3 MAY 2015 , Quay West Suites, SYDNEY
To achieve a good outcome with severely traumatised people, the therapist and patient need to work together to chart a safe course through the “Bermuda Triangle” of projection, provocation and dissociation.
In this 3-day workshop we will focus on the ISTDP treatment of complex, fragile (usually referred to as Cluster B and C personality disordered) patients. Complex patients manifest a set of rapidly changing defences that can be confusing and frustrating for therapists. Typically, these patients will rapidly shift from projection, to provocation – inviting you to attack them, to self-attack, to drifting/dissociation. Their defences tend to not become ‘solid’ between the therapist and patient, but instead rapidly shift from one to another. This combined with a low capacity to tolerate anxiety, results in a person who presents as reactive and unstable. The initial tasks of the therapist are to be able to accurately track these defences, to not have countertransference reactions to these defences, to begin to build a conscious and unconscious therapeutic alliance, and to understand which defence is being mobilised to the forefront in each moment and apply the appropriate interventions. The early treatment goals are to help these patients improve their self-reflective capacity, increase their anxiety tolerance and help them move from reactive defences to ‘affect isolation’ defences, where the patient is able to self-reflectively recognise what is happening within them in each moment.
Dr Stephen Arthey is a clinical psychologist at the Melbourne Centre for ISTDP and an internationally respected practitioner and teacher of ISTDP. He has published peer-reviewed articles on the theory and application of ISTDP, provides supervision in ISTDP and has conducted training workshops and presentations in Australia, New Zealand, Canada and Sweden.