So many books and seminars have emerged over the last decade with discovering one’s “purpose” as their theme. What are the cultural and historic reasons for this, given the unique shifts and challenges of our time? How do we engender the passion for the possible in our human development while discovering what that “possible” is? Is it even possible to become an artist of destiny, capable of decoding the patterns, clues, and relationships that point you to a mystery that cannot be known directly? Ultimately when it comes down to our fascination with purpose, are we fooling ourselves or are we present at the birth of an opportunity that exceeds our imagination.
Huge numbers of people want to KNOW their lives as much as they want to CHANGE. This need to KNOW, long overshadowed in therapy by pathology, is evident every day in: ordinary conversation, the arts, the mindfulness movement and religion. History now calls for therapy’s attention to basic themes of living through the design of Life Focus Communities.
Neurotic disorders dominated the landscape of psychopathology for almost a century before dying a sudden and traumatic death in 1980 with the publication of the DSM III. Now researchers delineated empirically supported common dimensions shared by all anxiety, mood, and related emotional disorders, including higher order temperaments, mood distortions, and extensive patterns of avoidance. In this presentation Barlow suggests a new integrated diagnostic scheme and the identification of psychological treatment principles targeting temperament directly.
It is important for therapists to fully evaluate the entire clinical picture when treating the trauma victim. This includes not only the overt symptoms directly associated with the traumatic event, but potential problems in relationships and deficits in sense of self. Ultimately, it is important to address and foster health of body, mind, emotion and spirit. Case examples, research and client videos will be used to illustrate the procedures and comprehensive treatment effects that foster personal and relational development.
Dr. Kernberg proposes that the DSM-V proposal is a helpful advance in the understanding of personality disorders, in spite of internal inconsistencies in its “hybrid model” basis. At the bottom, the psychiatric research community is struggling with a lack of an integrated conception of the development and structure of the personality.
Facilitating the RNA/DNA epigenetics of creating new consciousness is the next step in the evolution of psychotherapy. Restricting psychotherapy to the limitations of the cognitive-behavioral level is becoming a disservice to psychology. We must embrace the bioinformatics of the new technological devices that make it possible to assess and facilitate the dynamics of gene expression and brain plasticity economically within a single session of psychotherapy.
Building on the contributions of Milton Erickson, MD, therapists can advance their work through the introduction of evocative techniques gleaned from studying codes of influence in the arts. The artist and the therapist share similar domains: a striving to alter perception; to modify and expand perspectives; and to stir the human heart. Therapists can explore how to use untapped aspects of their medium through teasing out the connections between the palette of the artist and the traditional toolbox of the clinician.
The major way that people cope with trauma in North America is to use some form of religious or spiritual rituals and meaning-making activities . In this workshop , Dr. Meichenbaum will consider both the positive and negative modes of spiritual coping, ways to assess for client’s spirituality, and ways to integrate spiritually-based interventions into psychotherapy, where indicated.