This keynote address will offer an overview of the neural basis of mindful awareness and how this important way of being present and receptive to one's own inner processes creates enhanced capacity for emotional resonance and empathy.
The Law and Ethics Workshop covers emerging legal and ethical issues for mental health practitioners of all disciplines. The four-hour program addresses issues including confidentiality and privilege, note-taking, record-keeping, coping with subpoenas, the impact of professional society ethical codes on regulation of mental health practice, liability exposure with suicidal patients, and recent developments in “Tarasoff situations.”
This program focuses more closely on the needs of clinicians who fall into particularly high risk groups. Topics include confidentiality and privilege for children, coping with high-conflict divorce/custody families, the regressive impact of the regulatory environment on family therapy in particular, supervision/consultation issues that arise for professionals whose agency positions may include functions that conflict with ethical codes.
Mindful awareness has been scientifically proven to promote social, emotional and physical well-being, and is an effective part of treatment to prevent relapse of drug addiction and chronic depression. Mindfulness also enhances empathy, and in that way may promote healthy interpersonal relationships. This ancient practice of being fully aware in the present moment, without grasping onto judgments, has been found in cultures around the world. At the heart of this proposal is that the state of mindful awareness harnesses specific social and emotional circuits in the brain. The development of these “resonance circuits” creates an integrated brain state that creates the benefits of improved immune and cardiac function, enhanced empathy and self-understanding, and a deeper connection to oneself and others.
Starting with a review of recent studies on the neurobiology of trauma, Dr. van der Kolk will examine the utility of approaches from the fields of hypnosis, body oriented therapies and EMDR, both with research data and videotaped clinical interventions. The integration of these approaches during different stages of treatment will be discussed.
This presentation will explore the expression of basic conflicts between love and aggression in a couple’s sexual life, their daily interactions, and their value systems. The analysis of chronic couples’ conflicts will be followed by the outline of an essentially psychoanalytic approach to their diagnostic assessment, and the characteristics of analytic and supportive strategies of treatment.