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"Would you like to reach clients you previously had not been able to reach?"
To learn the secrets of working with people labeled with "psychotic," "schizophrenic" and “deeply disturbed"?
To help people who hear voices and manifest other extreme states?
Consider joining us for "Therapy on The Wildside: Working With "Psychosis" And Extreme States of Consciousness
The paradigms and methods for treating people labeled "psychotic" or who have what could be considered "extreme" states of consciousness is rapidly changing. Thanks to the work of those who have recovered and those who have helped them, we have an ever growing resource of humane and humanizing strategies that allow us to help our clients in ways that bring all of their uniqueness and personhood into the world - without stigma and without pathologizing.
In this conference, we have brought together people "working in the trenches" day after day with clients who exhibit extremes states of consciousness. They are here to teach you ways of viewing and formulating your own approaches to work most effectively with this group. And in the process, you may find that it positively impacts your ways of working with many of your clients (and yourself) - even those with less extreme symptoms.
Gabrielle Peacock, MD
Video Presentation: Starting In The Middle: Ericksonian Hypnosis For Psychosis
When I studied medicine in Tasmania, Australia in the eighties, I wasn't prepared for the vast diversity of human experience I would encounter as a doctor. In medical school, humanness was either irrelevant if it was seen as non problematic or pathologised if it was seen as problematic. I learned that neurotic behaviour was an extension of normal human experience but I was taught that psychotic behaviour was outside the realm of normal human experience. Not so! Twenty two years of practice and 16 years of parenthood has taught me otherwise, and like many others I have explored useful ways of working on the wild side, inspired by Milton Erickson and many of his students most notably my husband Robert McNeilly who studied with Erickson in the 70's.
In this presentation, I will share with you my experience of working with human beings with various levels of what I think of as "a mastery at dissociation" and what the medical model might call psychosis, bipolar, or the dissociative spectrum disorders, and how an approach that honors these individuals abilities in a way that shaman or witch doctors do in other cultures can bring clarity, enlightenment and peace to an individual who feels lost in our western world devoid of such useful cultural guides.
You will gain:
- Some simple yet powerful frames and ideas for how we can work with people labeled "psychotic."
- Learn how to get more comfortable working with voice hearers and people who have a variety of symptoms
- How malleable EVERYONE'S experience is and how that has implications for normalizing what some think of as pathology
- How illusions, imagination, dreams and hypnosis all provide experiences of altered perception
- The ways in which hypnotic phenomenon provide a lens to look at the psychotic experience and intervene usefully
Video Presentation: The Preventative Therapy For Youths at Risk of Developing "Psychosis" (Gabrielle's second presentation)
If we can intervene early can we prevent or at least ameliorate the severity of symptoms of those at risk to labeled "psychotic" or "schizophrenic?
Over the last 20 years there has been an increased interest in early intervention in adolescents with emerging psychosis. While relatively uncommon, the severe negative impact of psychosis and schizophrenia on a young person's well being can be extreme. Social functioning, academic progress, career opportunities and physical health can all be compromised. This presentation will briefly present current mainstream treatments and then look at the impressive benefits that Ericksonian-inspired therapy has to offer for you and your clients...even if you do not use hypnosis. In particular, you will learn to appreciate the radically different view your clients and patient have, particularly looking at the experience of psychosis through the lens of hypnotic phenomena.
You will learn:
- The predictive symptoms for teenage-onset psychosis and what treatments to avoid (because they do not work)
- Some therapist "self care" strategies to consider for yourself.
- What to actually DO in therapy sessions, such as normalizing symptoms and helping clients reduce their fear of them.
- Assisting a client to be in control of their dissociation and association.
- Why Ericksonian hypnosis can be a tool for mastery of one's experience.
- The utility of hypnotic ideas...even if you do not use hypnosis.
Dr Gabrielle Peacock MBBS FRACGP (MD) has a background in general practice with mental health specialty and 12 years experience in Ericksonian and Solution oriented therapy. She works in private practice in North Hobart, Tasmania, Australia and runs workshops in Solution Oriented Family therapy. She is a Clinical Tutor at the University of Tasmania department of Medicine where she teaches Counselling skills to medical students.
Video Presentation: Understanding Extreme States and "Psychosis" as Attempts to Solve Problems
Integrating Perspectives on Trauma, Spirituality and Creativity
While extreme states can certainly cause problems for some people, they can also be understood as an attempt by the person to solve problems that preceded those states. This workshop will show how to help you and your clients find positive intentions within "psychotic" experiences, so they can make peace with, integrate, and eventually value these wild aspects of themselves instead of endlessly battling them.
What You Will Learn:
- How approaches such as drug treatment to get rid of symptoms can make things worse and stop the healing process.
- The hidden logic behind errors in a "psychotic" person beliefs, perceptions and behavior and how you can use them to help the person heal.
- How psychosis can be thought of as dangerous type of experimentation where people consciously or unconsciously try out new ways deal with stressful or traumatic experiences.
- The spiritual aspects of psychosis that often leads those who have recovered to have an expanded sense of self and functioning.
Psychosis can deepen when this process of experimentation leads to errors in beliefs, perceptions and behavior, resulting in more trauma and distress, and then typically more misguided responses by self and others, in an increasingly severe vicious circle. There remains however the possibility that with assistance by people who understand this process, and with continued experimentation rather than suppression of experimentation, both the original difficulties and the difficulties resulting from attempted solutions that backfired can be resolved in ways that lead to personal and possibly even cultural renewal and health. This presentation aims to provide the concepts and language to help people find the positive intention within extreme states so that people can make peace with, integrate, and eventually value these wild aspects of themselves instead of engaging in a protracted war with what seems to be a "chronic illness."
Video Presentation: How to Engage Successfully with Voice Hearers and Their Voices.
A Practical Introduction to Voice Dialogue
In this one-hour presentation you will be introduced to the main components in helping voice hearers to gain ascendency over the negative aspects of the voice hearing experience. You will learn voice profiling, the importance of story, and the beginnings of voice dialoguing. These techniques and strategies grew out of the Manchester hearing voices self help group in the 1990's. And were used to help voice hearers negotiate structured time with their voices. This online workshop will explain that far from being a mysterious concept, talking with voices is something that has been helpful for as long as people have been hearing voices.
We will explore how therapists, workers and others can help people explore their voice hearing experience in a methodical way that allows the person to gain greater understanding of their voice hearing experience and at the same time removes the sense of helplessness often experienced by workers and others. We work to give our clients a real role in the process.
- By the end of this presentation you will understand how to create a voice profile and why it is important to do so.
- Understand and use the relationship between Story and voice profile.
- Understand the foundations of voice dialoguing so that you can use it with your clients.
Participants notes will include sections on creating a safe environment, voice profiling, and the "I have just heard voices checklist".
Video Presentation: Voice Dialogue with Our Selves and with Voices.
Voice dialogue is a way of understanding our different selves and their competing needs. We can use voice dialogue principles to understand and work with voice hearing. Voice dialogue involves sitting in different chairs and allowing different parts of ourselves or voices to be interviewed by a facilitator who explores the feelings, needs and functions of that part or voice. It can help us make peace with parts of ourselves and or voices.
- Understanding Voice dialogue principles
- Understanding how voice dialogue is used to understand different parts of ourselves
- Understanding how voice dialogue can be used with people who hear voices
Dr. Rufus May (rufusmay.com) has worked as a clinical psychologist in the NHS in England for 18 years. He has a special interest in acccepting and dialogical approaches to powerful states of confusion and distress and growth and renewal.
His interest in how to facilitate peoples is rooted in his own experience of psychosis and recovery in his late teens. He has facilitated Hearing Voice groups for twelve years. His work was featured in the channel 4 film The Doctor who Hears Voices. He teaches internationally about holistic approaches to mental health and recovery.
Brad and Hillary Keeney
Audio Presentation: The Zen of Therapy: A Musical and Poetic Performance.
The Zen of Therapy is a musical and poetic performance that examines how therapists can minimize the handling of narrative, causal understanding, explanation, and sideline commentary in favor of plunging directly into the live, unfolding interactive stream of therapeutic interaction.
Beginning with the evocation of the Zen paradoxical saying, "open mouth, already a mistake," we explore how the performance of systemic therapy must itself embody the dynamics of circularity to which it claims to subscribe. The relationship between Zen koans and therapeutic performance is examined, as well as the performance of a case story, "Singing to a Lonely Chile Pepper." (Vocals by Hillary and Bradford Keeney; Music performed by Bradford Keeney).
Here is a taste:
- You will be able to identify the implications of Zen koans to systemic therapy and begin using them to plan and do therapy.
- You will have greater access to "wild" forms of therapy through freedom of attachment to fixed clinical models and narratives.
HILLARY KEENEY, PH.D., is a distinguished scholar, author, and practitioner of creative transformation and improvisational performance. Co-founder and President of The Keeney Institute for Healing, she is presently Senior Research Fellow at the University of Louisiana at Monroe. Hillary’s most recent books (co-authored with Bradford Keeney) include Circular Therapeutics: Giving Therapy a Healing Heart, Creative Therapeutic Technique, and the forthcoming Seiki Jutsu: The Practice of Non-Subtle Energy Medicine.
BRADFORD KEENEY, PH.D., is an internationally renowned creative therapist, cybernetician, anthropologist of cultural healing traditions, and improvisational performer. He is presently Professor and Hanna Spyker Eminent Scholars Chair, and director of the online doctoral program in creative systemic studies at the University of Louisiana, Monroe. He is the originator of several orientations to psychotherapy including improvisational therapy, resource focused therapy, and creative therapy. A Fellow of the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy, he received the Distinguished Lifetime Achievement Award from the Louisiana Association for Marriage and Family Therapy.Co-founder of The Keeney Institute for Healing, he is the author of over 40 books, including The Bushman Way of Tracking God, which won the prestigious Silver Nautilus national book award.
Video Interview: Practical Ideas from Erickson on Working With The Person and Not The Label.
Some Key Distinctions from an Ericksonian Approach
Some practical and theoretical tips on working with voice hearers and others with different kinds of behaviors sometimes labeled "psychotic" or "schizophrenic." In particular, how to not get intimidated by the labels and how to avoid them in our work. We are not working with labels but with people, correct? With some history and experiences from Milton H. Erickson and his approaches. A lovely and enlightening conversation between Jeff Zieg, the Director and Founder of the Erickson Foundation and his longterm friend and colleague Rob McNeilly, both of whom were direct students of Erickson.
Video Interview: A View from Inside the Insane Asylum.
Observations from a lifetime of working in a mental hospital. When we were preparing this conference, Rob called his friend Bill McLeod, MD for a video skype call. The two discussed Bills 50 years of work at an institution in Australia as a medical doctor. This is a fascinating, wide ranging conversation with an "insider's view" that is rarely seen. At times disturbing, Bill talks directly about the abuse that occurs in mental hospitals, the desire that some medical doctors have to be "right" or in power regardless of the patients needs. The giving of painful treatments even when patients did not need them. The fascinating reason why one "nice" intern was the provacation for many patient suicide attempts. And finally, Bill's simple and direct advice for working in an asylum.
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All Presentations and Transcripts With 6 Free Continuing Education Units
Psychologists: Commonwealth Educational Seminars (CES) is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education credit programs. CES maintains responsibility for these programs
Licensed Professional Counselors: Commonwealth Educational Seminars is an approved provider (5596) by the National Board For Certified Counselors and adheres to NBCC sponsorship guidelines. These programs are acceptable for NBCC continuing education credits. CES maintains responsibility for these programs.
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