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Events and Happenings
If you have an event that you would like to see listed here, send an e-mail at (Listings are free!)
Thursday, November 28th 2019 - Friday, November 29th 2019

The Embodiment of Emotional Disorders: Treating Psychophysiologic Disorders with Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy

Allan Abbass, MD
presented by Leading Edge Seminars

YWCA Toronto – 87 Elm St, Toronto, ON M5G 0A8

Psychophysiological disorders are conditions where emotional or psychological factors directly cause physical signs and symptoms. They are very common and account for a major portion of emergency visits, hospital stays and family practice visits, and half of new medical consultations.

Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) is a Canadian-developed method that has been demonstrated efficacious and cost effective across a broad spectrum of psychophysiologic presentations.

The primary goal of ISTDP is to help the client overcome internal resistance to experiencing true feelings about the present and past that have been warded off because they are either too frightening or too painful. The technique is intensive, as it aims to help the patient experience these feelings to the maximum degree possible; short-term, as it tries to achieve this experience as quickly as possible; dynamic, because it involves working with unconscious forces and transference feelings.

This two-day workshop will provide a detailed video-based review of how to evaluate and treat this spectrum of disorders. Dr. Abbass will explore the underlying unconscious mechanisms of emotional avoidance and the somatic experience of feelings. You will learn how to manage resistance in somatic presentations, how to initiate treatment and how to build emotional capacity.

Detailed videos will focus on conditions such as spasms, tremors, fibromyalgia, irritable bowel syndrome, migraines and conversion disorders. You will learn how to better understand and handle treatment-resistant psychosomatic patients who are not responding to traditional psychotherapy.

This course is open to mental health professionals and health profession students.

You Will Learn:

• About the metapsychology of somatization and somatic pathways of common feelings
• How to identify three pathways of unconscious anxiety and motor conversion
• How to assess whether ISTDP is suitable for your client
• About a psychodiagnostic assessment tool to determine level and format of somatic anxiety
• Common interventions used in ISTDP: pressure, challenge and head-on-collision with resistance
• About methods to build anxiety tolerance in patients with conversion disorder and irritable bowel syndrome

Praise for Reaching Through Resistance

What a volume! Allan Abbass has masterfully integrated the work of his mentors with his own research, theory, and clinical learning into an organized and graceful approach to short-term psychotherapy for people we all see in psychotherapy. Ultimately, the book is practical and clear in its recommended psychotherapeutic approach that is supported by both theory and empirical research. It is also rich in clinical examples. Dr. Abbass’s ideas are very helpful to practitioners of all levels.

—Raymond A. Levy, PsyD, Clinical Director, Massachusetts General Hospital Psychotherapy Research Program, Harvard University

Praise for Hidden from View:

This landmark contribution changes the landscape for how clinicians conceptualize physical health and the connection between emotions and health. A perfect combination of practical and theoretical knowledge, with compelling evidence skillfully woven throughout. Hidden from View contains a seemingly radical yet simple approach [and] should be required reading for all clinicians.

—E. Adriana Wilson, MD, FRCPC, Founder of the Association for Positive Psychiatry of Canada

About the Presenter:

Allan Abbass, MD, is Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology, Director of Psychiatric Education, and founding Director of the Centre for Emotions and Health at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. He is a leading teacher and researcher in the area of Short-Term Psychodynamic Psychotherapy, with over 225 publications, including Hidden from View: A Clinician’s guide to Psychophysiological Disorders and Reaching Through Resistance. Originally a family doctor and emergency room doctor, he became frustrated with the limits of traditional medicine in treating the very common demographic of patients with medically unexplained symptoms. He went on to do advanced studies in psychotherapy at McGill University and then studied Psychiatry at the University of Toronto. Since then he has gone on to develop an award-winning program bringing psychotherapy to patients who frequently attend the emergency department. He has given over 300 presentations internationally and provides ongoing training programs in several countries. In 2001, Dr. Abbass was awarded the Association of Chairs of Psychiatry of Canada Education Award for Excellence in Education. In 2013, Dr. Abbass was awarded the Douglas Utting Award in Montreal, Quebec, in the “Canadian Providing Outstanding Contributions” category, for recognition of his treatment of depression. He was awarded the designation “Distinguished Professor of 2016” by the University of California Los Angeles (UCLA) Department of Psychiatry. And in 2018, he was named the David Malan Visiting Professor of Psychotherapy at the Tavistock in London, UK, and he is also Visiting Professor of Psychotherapy at University of Derby, UK.


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