Mental Health, Ill Health & Personality Disorder
Thursday 23 June 2016
Cavendish Conference Centre, London, London
A Joint Healthcare Conferences UK & The Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust National Conference.
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This one-day conference is aimed at all professionals interested in psychotherapeutic interventions in adults with chronic mental health issues related to particular underlying patterns of emotional regulation, expression of distress and interpersonal relating. Individuals with difficulties in these areas can potentially attract a range of different diagnoses. They can often present to primary care with chronic anxiety, depression and sometimes physical health symptoms which have a psychological origin. Where there is evidence of pervasive difficulties in early life, they can sometimes be given diagnoses of developmental disorders such as Autistic Spectrum Disorders and Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in adulthood. Where their difficulties are severe, they often attract diagnoses of 'personality disorders". The latter represents a population with significant needs - the Department of Health has highlighted how many adults living with a diagnosis of personality disorder suffer lives of rejection, anguish and alienation; and that the consequent societal effects are pervasive, chaotic and expensive. The DoH has called for a wider understanding of personality disorder as intricately interwoven with mental ill health and complex needs. Reducing mental ill health through reduced self-harm or crises, however, is not enough – getting a life must be part of the goal, which for individuals with these conditions includes better relationships and continuing progress in living their lives.
Drawing on research, clinical practice and theory, this conference will provide a crucial but often poorly understood psychodynamic perspective on individuals presenting with complex chronic mental health issues. By highlighting the links between good mental health, ill health, psychopathology, and personality it will promote a deeper understanding of the elements of effective psychological and social interventions in this population.
We are delighted to welcome Professor George Vaillant, internationally renowned Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School and former Programme Director of the Harvard Study of Adult Development for 32 years. Professor Vaillant"s extended keynote address focuses on one of the most profound lessons from his ground-breaking longitudinal research on development across the lifespan; namely, that any exploration of the links between positive mental health and psychopathology requires an understanding of adaptive involuntary coping – the so-called 'mature defence mechanisms".