Organised by

D/evolving Identities

13 - 14 September 2018

Mercure Manchester Piccadilly Hotel

Together with AFT Manchester

Workshops

Details for all workshops are available below.  Workshops are being added to the online booking system and will be available for booking soon.  If you have already registered for the conference, you will be able to log back into your booking to add the workshops of your choice.

 

Please note:  workshop timings and details are provisional and subject to change at the organisers discretion.

Click the workshop or        to see presenter details and a full abstract.

Thursday 13 September - Workshop Session 1 (morning)

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09:30

10:45

  • The identity square tool - a way of challenging ideas of negative identity

     

    Presenter:  Lally Freeborn & Chiara Santin

     

    Abstract:  Identity although a relatively modern concept, has come to dominate our ideas about ourselves and how we, as individuals fit within the wider society and the world. Within the systemic field we now consider that identity is fluid rather than fixed, multiple rather than single, hence multiple identities are in constant flux to fit or adapt within multiple contexts.   I will refer to my own experience of identity formation and how this has been a resource in my work with young people within CAMHS with depression, anxiety, self-harm and suicidality.  Social media in its multiple forms has literally fed into the ‘cult of identity’ with the promotion and posting of selfies and videos on Facebook, Instagram, You Tube and others. Not having a ‘postable’ image or identity is virtually equivalent to social suicide or to being remaindered in the social gutter of their peer group.  I will present my development of a clinical tool named the ‘Identity Square tool’ highlighting its theoretical roots drawing from Foucault’s concept of modern power, White’s narrative ideas on failure and Erikson’s stages of identity. The tool is designed to deconstruct negative identities, re-author and challenge by drawing upon an individual’s ‘acts of refusal’ to bring forth new ideas of ‘self’ and create a more hopeful and positive view of identity.   I will demonstrate how the ‘Identity Square” works and invite participants to have a go. More specifically the demonstration will help explore how the Brexit process might have affected the second presenter, her personal and professional self in a socio-political context of fast evolving multiple identities.  The proposed workshop offers a clinical self-reflexive tool to de-construct negative identities that we hold about ourselves and offers the opportunity to reflect upon personal and professional identities and how these are affected by current socio-political changes.

09:30

10:45

  • Sex in the therapy room: in-bedded and embodied

     

    Presenter:  Catherine Butler & Amanda Middleton

     

    Abstract:  This workshop will invite participants to take some risks! We will playfully explore how our own multi-layered identities impact on our abilities to work with clients on issues of sex and sexuality. The workshop exercises are designed to evoke self and relational reflexivity, ideas for beginning conversations, systemic approaches to sexual history taking and definitions of sex and sexuality to guide practice. Prepare to be unsettled, uncomfortable, excited and hopeful! Our aim is that on leaving the workshop people will feel invigorated and enthusiastic about discussing sex and sexuality and take away some tools and systemic thinking to support this work.

09:30

10:45

  • The evolving identity of the Gulf States

     

    Presenter:  Geraldine Richardson

     

    Abstract:  I have the opportunity to practice Family Therapy in Qatar. This outstanding opportunity allows me to sit with families from a traditional background and explore their stories, stories that weave together tradition, culture, and faith.

    This workshop will first explore how Family Therapy has evolved in order to address the needs of families who present with traditional stories of faith and a cultural identity, that at times, can test “western ways” of joining with families in therapy.

    Second, the workshop will challenge old treatment myths, and will present helpful ways that supports good practice and working with families that present with traditional values. The workshop will close with a conversation on universal values versus cultural identity.

09:30

10:45

  • How working with the mother-daughter relationship achieves cultural change

     

    Presenter:  Rosjke Hasseldine

     

    Abstract:  The mother-daughter relationship remains one of the most disregarded and under-researched topics in the therapy community, even though the mother-daughter relationship is inextricably linked to the understanding of our female clients and the culture women live in. As Adrienne Rich wrote in Of Women Born (Rich, 1977) this omission has a long history, and with a few exceptions, it continues today in training courses. It is therefore no surprise that colleagues tell me that they feel unprepared when faced with mother-daughter relationship issues. No one has taught them how to work with this relationship. And, with the current #MeToo movement, too few therapists have been taught that the mother-daughter relationship is central to understanding women’s experience with sexism and sexual abuse/harassment, and how to facilitate permanent social change.   In this workshop, I outline a pioneering Mother-Daughter Coaching ModelTM (Hasseldine, 2017) I have developed that provides therapists with a roadmap on how to uncover the underlying reasons for mother-daughter conflict. I explain the Mother-Daughter History MappingTM exercise that teaches therapists how to map their female clients’ multigenerational history, uncovering the stories in their families, and more importantly, how families emotionally treat women, revealing themes of emotional silence and emotional neglect. It is a sad fact that I rarely draw a Mother-Daughter History Map where the mother and grandmother were fully heard and emotionally supported. In summary, I will demonstrate how I work with mothers and daughters and how family therapists can empower their female clients to facilitate positive therapeutic outcomes, emotional empowerment, and generational change.   References:  Hasseldine, R. (2017). The mother-daughter puzzle: A new generational understanding of the mother- daughter relationship. Durham, NH: Women’s Bookshelf Publishing. Rich, A. (1977). Of woman born: Motherhood as experience and institution. London: Virago.

09:30

10:45

  • Workshop presented by Sharon Bond - title to be confirmed

     

    Presenter:  Sharon Bond

     

    Abstract:  TBC

Thursday 13 September - Optional Lunchtime Workshops

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12:30

13:45

  • Working Lunch Research Meeting

     

    Presenter:  Peter Stratton & Lisa Fellin

     

    Abstract:  Join us for lunch and open discussion with Peter Stratton and Lisa Fellin around action planning for the research action group.  If you are interested in research please join us.

12:30

13:45

  • Writing from where you are at - and who we are becoming

     

    Presenter:  Gail Simon & Liz Day

     

    Abstract:  Writing is always a social intervention. It is a relational activity like reading. We use it to reflect, to surprise ourselves, to say old things in new ways. Writing is a dangerous activity in that it allows the voices of other parts of ourselves, people and experiences to be written, heard, witnessed. Writing is a wave - we wave and others wave back. It creates ripples, moving people to action. Writing is never innocent. It is never neutral or objective. It should be subversive of unjust power structure and discourses. To attempt otherwise is to deny ourselves, our neighbours, our community histories and succumb to the powerful narrative of erasing our different selves from professional knowledge, knowing and know-how.  Murmurations: Journal of Transformative Systemic Practice is a new journal showcasing learning from creative professional writing. It encourages reflexive practitioners to think of themselves as researchers, storytellers, commentators, creators of new texts which share learning from within the first person, from within the living moment of everyday practice.   In this workshop, participants will be invited to imagine a practice related text they would like to write for publication. Perhaps you have something in mind already which you need a push to develop. Perhaps you have a feeling that something is there but need space to explore that thing. Perhaps you want to collaborate on a piece of writing. And how are you going to manage the problem of power and ethical issues in your writing?   We will offer tips and guidance on what makes for good professional writing and extend the permissions not normally associated with much of the dry writing dominating our field. We hope you take away a plan to write, and a blend of conviction, courage and creativity.

12:30

13:45

  • Sex, Clients & Ourselves

     

    Presenter:  TBC

     

    Abstract:  Working Ethics -  In the wider context of Metoo and the intimacy/boundary issue that have been much discussed in 2018, we are looking at our AFT code of ethics and paragraph 13 and 43 related to our relationship with clients and would like to have a discussion with you about this and your thoughts.  Please join us for a lively and thought provoking lunch.

Thursday 13 September - Workshop Session 2 (afternoon)

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14:45

16:00

  • Paper Presentations - please click for details on the papers that are being presented

     

    Presenter:  Please see below

     

    Papers:

     

    1)  A sense of home and belonging; the place we come from and are search for…’ Hannah Sherbersky

     

    A sense of home and belonging; the place we come from and are search for…’   “The ache for home lives in all of us.  The safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned.” Maya Angelou, 1991, All God's Children Need Traveling Shoes   Home as sanctuary, belonging, secure base, a state of being, identity and the very landscape in which we live. My doctoral research explores notions of home within an adolescent inpatient unit. During my research, I stumbled upon a fascinating blind spot for the family therapy community; the paucity of systemic literature on what we, family therapists, consider home to be about. What could be considered as the very crucible of family life – the home – has not yet been theoretically and conceptually explored. With our focus on our socially constructed selves and our clinical work with those who struggle to find or feel at home, questions of identity, migration, exile, diversity, asylum seeking, homelessness, abuse and violence in the home and our own reflexivity all invite a deeper understanding of what we consider ‘home’ to be about.   I propose that the notion of home has been under conceptualised and through presentation and group discussion, I will draw on the contributions in my research from service users and make a start to redress this omission and understand what the clinical implications of attending to or ignoring notions of home might be.….

     

    2)  Migration as intergenerational emotional homelessness: a personal story. Chiara Santin

     

    Abstract of paper published in Human systems: Journal of therapy, consultation and training,  Volume No 27, Issue 3, 2016. pp. 289-294 This is a personal story that embraces some of the stories of my extended family; stories of migration, inherently different from each other but all sharing legacies of emotional homelessness and shame across generations. Lived stories that are different because they represent the unique life trajectories of those who have experienced them. Lived stories that have challenged and changed their actors and have become my own legacy. Stories that are similar over generations, cultures and places as they merge at the crossroad of a fundamental human need; the never-ending search for meaning, in the light of intergenerational family stories, cultural beliefs and dreams. Making sense of both past and present bring forth the same desire and longing for a “home”, a place where safety prevails.  Sharing a journey, embracing difference with kindness, generosity and love can still make a difference to human suffering.  At a time where the migration of many across continents is not a choice but a necessity to escape war and injustice, voicing my own personal story is an uncomfortable privilege that may reflect old and new prejudices, the myth of cultural superiority and self-sufficiency.  Indeed, the untold stories of many refugees, dislocated from the security of a “home” and a familiar culture, may bring forth our own stories of shame; a legacy of emotional homelessness for generations to come.

     

    3)  Voices from the margins - lived experiences of trans individuals outside specialist gender services in Northern Ireland.   Katrin Lehmann

     

    Research tells us very little about the experiences of trans (transgender) young people and adults who attend specialist gender services and even less about individuals who do not attend such services. Trans (transgender) is used as a term for people whose gender is different to the gender assignment that was made at birth. This includes trans men, trans women and non-binary people. Cis (cisgender) is a term used when one’s gender identity matches the gender assignment given at birth. This is used to describe anyone who is not transgender (Transgender NI, 2015).  The GIFTS study (Gender Identity- Finding and Transforming Services) is an on-going Public Health Agency funded mixed methods research study, based in Northern Ireland. GIFTS is focused on understanding the pathways to services and the experience of specialist gender services for individuals with gender dysphoria. The study also wants to find out about the experiences of young people and adults in Northern Ireland who are distressed about their gender and do not attend specialist gender services for whatever reason. This small qualitative study, which is part of the wider GIFTS study, explores the lived experience of a those outside specialist gender services through interviews. These individuals often present with multiple identities outside the gender spectrum and are experiencing multiple marginalisation as a result. Results from this qualitative study will be presented as part of a wider discussion on conducting culturally competent research with the trans community as a cis gender researcher.

     

14:45

16:00

  • The passion and politics of practice

     

    Presenter:  Jim Wilson & Jan Parker

     

    Abstract:  We are trained to challenge oppressive circumstances and discourses in the lives of our clients. But what happens when the circumstances and discourses of our workplaces and professional institutions challenge our ability to do this?When the values that drew us to practice as systemic therapists and practitioners feel compromised and when we struggle to recognise ourselves and our practice ethics in the work we do. This workshop will explore the values that inspire us and the creativity of resistance.

14:45

16:00

  • Evolving identities in times of trouble: Running towards hope and the future

     

    Presenter:  Karen Partridge, David Amias, Ana Draper, Sherry Rehim

     

    Abstract:  The Tavistock Refugee Team and the children's charity, Coram have been working in partnership on a project for Unaccompanied Asylum Seeking Children who make up 70% of the team's caseload. Typically a young person referred to the service will have suffered political violence or war in their home country, multiple losses of family members, close brushes with death on perilous journeys on boats across the Mediterranean and lorries across the Channel, abuse from traffickers on the way and, all too often, hostility and prejudice on arrival here.   The project, developed in collaboration with young people by Ana Draper aims to reduce the risk of PTSD in newly arrived young people. The four elements consist of a Sleep Package, a Re-feeding Programme, Fast Feet Forward (ladder work) involving repetitive physical exercises and  Continuing Bonds Enquiry. Many of the young people arriving here could be described as being in an inbetween, "liminal" space. Our work aims to work with young people to enrich their preferred identities through strengthening attachments to absent family members, friends and valued ideas from their heritage, building on narrative questioning, appreciative enquiry and Myerhof's concept of the "migration of identity."    We will share our findings from this work so far, including our own migration of identity as systemic psychotherapists in the process of developing this work and the subsequent transformations to our services. There will be an opportunity for participants to experience the power of this intervention for themselves.

14:45

16:00

  • Trying on different roles and ways of being

     

    Presenter:  Matt Selman & Jane Bourne

     

    Abstract:  Through our contexts and relationships we may have different ways of how we are – some that feel more like true self and other where it more conscious.  With identity being an ongoing relational aspect we can while recognising variation still hold to ideas of what we are able to do or be.  In this experiential workshop we will dramatherapy and improvisational theatre to enable participants to play with roles and ways of being.  With a safe space to explore their comes the opportunity to try out the new or unfamiliar.  Both Matt and Jane are experienced workshop facilitators and will guide you through fun exercises.  There will be laughter, surprise, and enough difference to help us reflect on our sense of identity.

14:45

16:00

  • What's in a name ?  Girl or boy, neutral, trans or none of the above?

     

    Presenter:  Philippa Beale & Anastassis Spiliadis

     

    Abstract:  This workshop will aim to examine some of the ethical dilemmas in working with gender questioning, gender non-conforming and gender variant children and young people.  The group will use video clips, small group discussions, and action techniques to consider some thorny ethical dilemmas from the workshop leaders’ experience of working in the Gender Identity Development Service.   To what extent should clinicians, family members and other professionals support young people’s right to self define their gender?  How might this be balanced with keeping options open for young people to entertain other possibilities as their identity evolves over time?  How might family therapy play a role in supporting families who don’t agree on a way forward? The workshop will provide some information about the legislative context , and re-connect practitioners with systemic theoretical ideas and techniques which will support them to find a way through the dilemmas they encounter in working with gender questioning young people.

14:45

16:00

  • Family Therapist Life Cycle

     

    Presenter:  Kate Waters, Judy Rathbone, Gail Simon and colleagues

     

    Abstract:  ‘All the world’s a stage, And all the men and women merely players; They have their exits and their entrances, And one man in his time plays many parts… Shakespeare (1599) : ‘As You Like It’

     

    This workshop draws on the idea of life cycle stages – not quite the seven ages of man – and on how identity changes over time. Three presenters will talk about their experience of being at different stages of the professional life cycle: about the tasks as they see it at different stages, the influences at play in their development, the dilemmas they face and the resources they may be drawing on within the context of an ever changing world.

     

    We are not anticipating Shakespeare’s ‘mewling and puking…whining…sighing or strange oaths’ but a lively workshop with space to think about individual, geographical, economic, social, political, cultural, gendered connections and differences in our experiences of a professional life cycle.

Friday 14 September - Workshop Session 1 (morning)

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11:45

13:00

  • Paper Presentations - please click for details on the papers that are being presented

     

    Presenter:  Please see below

     

    Papers:

     

    1)  A qualitative study to explore the experiences surrounding having a sibling with ADHD.  Charlotte Broadhurst

     

    Rough abstract as research is still being conducted. Hoping to present a poster.  Background- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common disorders within children, affecting 2-4% of the school-age population in the United Kingdom (NICE, 2013). Various studies have attempted to uncover the impact that a chronic behaviour disorder, like ADHD, has on a family environment and dynamics. The large body of research to date has investigated the parental experience of having a child with ADHD. Due to the unpredictable symptoms of the condition, parenting can prove extremely difficult, with parents experiencing great amounts of stress and often focusing on the child with ADHD more than their other children. In light of this, it can prove important to look into how the rest of the family is affected by the disorder, in this case, siblings. Aim- The main purpose of the current study is to qualitatively explore the experiences surrounding having a sibling with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and to add to the marginal amount of published literature exploring siblings’ accounts. Method- Semi-structured interviewing will be used in order to generate qualitative data from 5 students from Manchester Metropolitan University who have a sibling with Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Data will be analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Expected benefits- Based on previous research, the expected benefits of this study would be to provide an insightful view of siblings experiences of having a brother or sister with ADHD. This will illustrate the emotional and social impact the diagnosis has on the sibling and how their siblings’ diagnosis affects relationships with parents.

     

     

    2)  Experience of having a sibling with Intellectual Disability.  Cathy Taylor

     

    Cathy Taylor has worked for over 20 years in specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health services. primarily with families where learning disability, autism and (more recently) deafness exert significant influences on life experience and the development of identities.

     

    Intellectual disability (1Q 50-70) affects 2-3 % of the population. Most individuals with intellectual disability are highly dependent on others throughout their lives. The majority have at least one sibling. The needs of individuals with intellectual disability have been extensively studied as have, albeit to a lesser extent, the needs of their parents. However, our knowledge of the impact on siblings is less advanced.

     

    Cathy’s original small-scale research study aimed to explore, through its use of in viva interviews, the richness and complexity of the experience of having a sibling with intellectual disability, tapping the lived experience of participants and providing a wide-angle, life-cycle view (Carter & McGoldrick 1980). In terms of methodology the Grounded Theory model, developed by Glaser and Strauss, was chosen as this lends itself to the investigation of processes of experiencing and understanding the world and is particularly suited to exploring under-theorised areas of human experience and to developing middle-range theories that are grounded in a detailed analysis of the data (Dallos & Vetere 2005 p 54).

     

    The process of analysing the data revealed six core categories with major explanatory power in terms of mediating the impact of having a sibling with learning disability. These were:  making efforts, emotional dynamism, psychological ambivalence, negotiation of role, positioning in relation to resources and constraints, and wider meaning-making processes.  Each category involved mutually-influencing physical, psychological and emotional processes.

     

    A recent literature review, analysing findings from research carried out to date in this area, has confirmed that this framework can provide a coherent and relevant model for understanding the experiences of siblings, helping  clarify the issues that impact most significantly  and the areas that could usefully be addressed by health and social services. The framework can be a useful aid to recognising and validating multiple frames of reference, addressing social and psychological polarisation, and constructing discourses that enhance people’s sense of personal value and belonging (Pearce & Barnett 2007).

     

     

    3)  Drawing and Re-drawing of lines – reflections of tree of life groups in adult acute inpatient mental health wards. Claudia Kustner

     

    Rough abstract as research is still being conducted. Hoping to present a poster.  Background- Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is one of the most common disorders within children, affecting 2-4% of the school-age population in the United Kingdom (NICE, 2013). Various studies have attempted to uncover the impact that a chronic behaviour disorder, like ADHD, has on a family environment and dynamics. The large body of research to date has investigated the parental experience of having a child with ADHD. Due to the unpredictable symptoms of the condition, parenting can prove extremely difficult, with parents experiencing great amounts of stress and often focusing on the child with ADHD more than their other children. In light of this, it can prove important to look into how the rest of the family is affected by the disorder, in this case, siblings. Aim- The main purpose of the current study is to qualitatively explore the experiences surrounding having a sibling with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and to add to the marginal amount of published literature exploring siblings’ accounts. Method- Semi-structured interviewing will be used in order to generate qualitative data from 5 students from Manchester Metropolitan University who have a sibling with Attention-deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. Data will be analysed using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis. Expected benefits- Based on previous research, the expected benefits of this study would be to provide an insightful view of siblings experiences of having a brother or sister with ADHD. This will illustrate the emotional and social impact the diagnosis has on the sibling and how their siblings’ diagnosis affects relationships with parents.

     

11:45

13:00

  • EFTA Workshop

     

    Presenter:  TBC

     

    Abstract:  TBC

11:45

13:00

  • How soon is now? Working with issues of identity and becoming in systemic therapy with mothers and babies

     

    Presenter:  Phil Arthington

     

    Abstract:  Becoming a parent can be one of life’s most exciting experiences.  However, this transition can also be particularly challenging, with over 10% of women experiencing a mental health problem in the period encompassing pregnancy and the first year after having a baby.  In contexts where mental health services become involved, it can sometimes be difficult for positive identities of the parent(s) and baby to be constructed and maintained.  Perinatal mental health issues are often concerned with questions of identity: 'Have I lost my old self?'  'Am I a bad mother?'  'Am I normal?'  Questions of identity are also pertinent to the infant, as identity stories are constructed through the interactions between infants and parents: 'He’s a difficult baby'…'a good girl'... 'a little miracle who needs protection…'.  This period can be critical in the intergenerational transmission of mental health difficulties, with evidence suggesting that events during this period may influence features of the infant's developmental trajectory into adulthood.  This workshop will draw on Phil’s experience of working systemically in a community perinatal mental health team to consider how Gilles Deleuze’s philosophy of becoming can be used to guide systemic therapy during the perinatal period; and as a way of thinking about our identities as therapists.  For Deleuze, the content of our identities is secondary to the process of interacting differences in a constantly unfolding present moment.  Inspired by Lynn Hoffman’s reading of Deleuze (alongside the wisdom of The Smiths), the workshop will consider how a view of living systems as engaged in an interactive process of constant becoming can bring the vitality and creative potential of the therapeutic encounter into sharper focus, with an ethic which promotes the freedom to become whoever we might be.  Participants will be invited to consider how these ideas might fit with their current practice and potential therapeutic becomings.

11:45

13:00

  • Emotionally focused couples therapy with the parents of children on the autism spectrum

     

    Presenter:  Sarah McConnell & Cheryl Simpson

     

    Abstract:  Autism is a severe, long-term developmental disorder that has a powerful impact on both the couple and family system.  Currently there is very little attention in the professional literature devoted to understanding and treating the adult love relationship of married couples with an autistic child.  This workshop will present findings from two research studies conducted at a major university in the USA.  The first study was a pilot clinical trial involving twelve sessions of Emotionally Focused Couple Therapy (Johnson, 2004). A battery of pre, post, and six month follow-up measurements were administered.  All sessions were videotaped.  The second study was a thematic analysis of early session transcripts examining unique relationship stressors.  The combination of both studies offers a well-researched assessment and treatment protocol for effective therapy with these enormously stressed couples. The workshop will also include the experiences of a parent of two children on the autism spectrum who will give life to the stressors unearthed in the thematic analysis.

11:45

13:00

  • The relational narrative in training

     

    Presenter:  Marie McGovern

     

    Abstract:  The training supervision group offers students of Family Therapy a unique opportunity for the development of their professional and personal identity. The authoring and exchange of personal relational narratives early in training and revisiting these during training and as they change over time is offered as a context for sharing life experiences that have shaped the student’s understandings of their self in relationships in both personal and professional contexts, and a resource for exploration of relational challenges during training. Challenges may arise in the therapeutic, group / peer or personal contexts and it is anticipated that the prior understandings gained from the drafting of a personal relational narrative will create a context for safer exploration of the experience of self at these times. Students are invited to support eachother in the mutual exploration of self-selected relational moments suited the context of training and in the manner of ‘signature themes’ (Aponte and Kissel 2014) with emphasis on the contextual construction of the narrative. The method draws upon narrative, positioning and attachment theory and references the work of Carmel Flaskas, John Burnham, Percy Aggett, Harry Aponte, Kami Kissel and others.  This workshop outlines a method for the inclusion of the ‘personal relational narrative’ in training contexts that creates openings for individual and group reflexivity in response to moments of challenge and tension. The supervisor, invested with ‘knowledge’ and ‘position power’ (Fine and Turner 2014) is included to lead and also to model responses to challenges in the practice of self – reflexivity.  Benefits and risks are considered and participants will be invited to consider the potential value of the method from positions as student and supervisors.

11:45

13:00

  • Barry Mason - follow up to keynote presentation

     

    Presenter:  Barry Mason

     

    Abstract:  TBC

Friday 14 September - Workshop Session 2 (afternoon)

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14:00

15:15

  • I'm still me: evolving identify and dementia

     

    Presenter:  Polly  Kaiser, Rachel Litherland, Dan Blake & Alessandra Merizzi

     

    Abstract:  "A man is a teller of stories, he lives surrounded by his own and those of other people, he sees everything that happens to him in terms of these stories and he tries to live his life as if he were recounting it" J.P Sartre 1936 Nausea   The story and stigma of a diagnosis of dementia are socially constructed like those of other illnesses, such as TB and Cancer, have been. The story of dementia is changing through the growing movement of people diagnosed with dementia (see www.dementiadiaries.org)   What happens to ones story, sense of self and identity with with a diagnosis of dementia ? How might we respond, be it as a family member or in our professional capacity? How can we help to "maintain personhood in the face of failing mental powers" ?(Kitwood 1997)  In this workshop we will listen and "listen well" (Shotter 2009) to how stories and life story work, underpinned by narrative approaches, can promote personhood and relationships. It will bring together a carer, a professional and members of the Dementia Engagement Empowerment Project (DEEP), people living with dementia. in a safe enough place to talk about the impact of a diagnosis of dementia on their identities and relationships. We will invite some workshop participants  to be formal "outsider witnesses" (White 1997) to be part of this conversation. All workshop participants can listen "for" the story. Let this "be the place" (Walsh) where we can all evolve our identities and everyone is welcome  Kitwood, T. (1997) Dementia reconsidered: The person comes first. Buckinghamshire: Open University Press.  Shotter, J. (2009) 'Listening in a Way that Recognizes/Realizes the World of 'the Other'.' The International Journal of Listening 23 1-23  White M (1997) 'Re-membering and definitional ceremony' In M White "Narratives of therapists lives"  Adelaide Dulwich Centre Publications

14:00

15:15

  • Embodied experience: Gender identity difficulties and disordered eating in adolescence

     

    Presenter:  Anastassis  Spiladis & Anna Churcher Clarke

     

    Abstract:  This workshop will offer space for reflection and integration of theory and practice around working with young people experiencing distress in relation to their developing bodies; specifically, those who present with both disordered eating and gender related distress. We will draw upon psychosexual development and wider systemic practice to formulate the possible meanings of these complex intersecting experiences and identities. We aim to explore opportunities to improve clinical practice both within and across NHS specialist services in this rapidly developing area and to explore possible constraints by highlighting "the danger of the specialist service". The workshop will consist of a brief introduction to the work of the Tavistock & Portman’s Gender Identity Development Service and the Child & Adolescent Eating Disorder Service at the Maudsley Hospital / Michael Rutter Centre; consider areas of overlap and potential conflict in the care of these young people, and offer the opportunity to engage with clinical examples and experiential exercises.

14:00

15:15

  • Tattooed and modified bodies: The personal and professional politics of evolving identities

     

    Presenter:  James Randall-James, Charlotte Dann & Faye Harrison Yuill

     

    Abstract:  The speaking of who we are is a political act. In this workshop, we explore how visibility and the act of ‘showing’ who we are, can serve the purpose of politicising personal and professional spaces.   James will describe his personal commitment to participating in dialogues about difference through focusing on the social grace of ‘appearance’. In his final year of training as a clinical psychologist, he decided to participate in a relational risk-taking 'dance' with the use of self - namely, introducing his heavily tattooed skin into his professional identity. In this talk, alongside using personal experiences of difference that resonate with him, James will also explore the dynamic of choosing to adopt a tattooed identity.    Continuing the themes of the social grace of ‘appearance’ and of personal identity, Faye will explore her own identity using the concept of body-modification.  In particular, how her visual identity has evolved over the course of time and in response to various life events.  She will explore how body-modification can be a positive way of managing and maintaining psychological health and wellbeing.  Faye will reflect on issues of power and control in times of adversity, how this can lead to feelings of powerlessness.  As well as how our visual identity can and is used to manage feelings related to this.   Charlotte will conclude the workshop by focusing on how tattoos and body modifications are important as an opening for understanding personal narratives and emotion, showing how this kind of non-verbal communication functions in different contexts. She draws on constructions of the agentic body in making sense of how tattoos function for the individual, and the negotiations that take place between positionings of personal and professional selves. Charlotte considers this reflexively, imbued with her own experiences of what it means to be a tattooed professional.

14:00

15:15

  • Oxymoronics

     

    Presenter:  Caroline Clery

     

    Abstract:  Contradictions, contrasts, paradoxes, are not notional. They are essential to the human condition. They are the stuff of lived experience. So we protest too much if we assert ours is not a theory-laden discipline in our espousal of systems.  In my work with families having lived as a child, as a man, as a woman, and now knocking on the door of old age,  I want to invite you to participate in this workshop to enjoy the feeling of letting go of everything except love (both interpersonal and philanthropic)  as we pass through linear time from the birth to the death gates and back into devolved, dissolved non-existence.  But this workshop is NOT slushy or sentimental and as I am an epistemological and spiritual agnostic it is intended to challenge and reward your curiosity with its focus on briefly enabling a heightened sense of your personal identity both dissolving into and merging with your wider collective sense of humanity and back again; with the full wonder and horror of being alive in all your individual uniqueness and yet being just a drop in the  ocean of more than 7,000,000,000 others of us in the human family. It embraces contradiction and paradox: loving and hating not as opposites but as feelings whose opposite perhaps is indifference. Of life including death and death life. Of identity as both natured and nurtured, evolving, devolving, revolving, re-evolving etc. Of existential synaesthesia! Of the oxymoronic nature of the human condition. Coming to this workshop should leave you feeling as deep as a puddle and as shallow as the space between the stars. But moved.

     

    Participants may be asked to lie down during this workshop.  Please bring a mat or towel.

14:00

15:15

  • Who am I? ? Who was I?  Who will I be? Identities of children and young people in the care system

     

    Presenter:  Michelle Newman Brown

     

    Abstract:  Having worked in the Care System now for twenty-seven years I have heard children and young people described, grouped and labelled in numerous ways; how do these descriptions effect the identity of each of these children individually? Through history, children who cannot - for whatever reason – live with either of their parents have been labelled. Books and films are made about them and we celebrate and sing songs about them; Oliver Twist, Annie, Carrots all conjure up romantic visions of children who have been rescued and yet WHO are they? What happens to them when we construct narratives too tightly around their position of being abused, abandoned, orphaned, requiring Health and/or Social Care? Who do they become? I am concerned about the impact on the developing child’s sense of self-worth and identity formation if during the formative years they hear themselves described as ‘In care’ and I wonder how they perceive themselves as they attend their LAC Review? I have seen countless children ‘becoming’ a child in the system and whilst they need this safety, I ‘become’ increasingly concerned by the effects of these specific labels and positions attributed to children who are also ‘the gymnast’, ‘the eldest,’ ‘the clever one’ and so on. This is an interactive workshop, in which you will be invited to hold discussions about the development of the identities of young people who do not live with their parents. You will be given opportunities of reflective space to consider and appraise how you have evolved your own identity stories. I will share some children’s stories of their ‘identity journeys’ from my work within a therapeutic children’s community. Finally, I would also like to invite others to share experiences of thinking about the identities of young people ‘In Care’.

14:00

15:15

  • Glenda Fredman - follow up to keynote presentation

     

    Presenter:  Glenda Fredman

     

    Abstract:  TBC

Any Questions?

 

 

Website and online booking provided by Mint Events.  If you have any questions regarding your registration or the conference, please contact:

 

John Bastock

Mint Events Ltd

T:  +44 (0)1270 750070

E:  aftconference@mintevents.co.uk

 

 

 

 

 

This conference is organised by the Association for Family Therapy & Systemic Practice.

 

The Association for Family Therapy

7 Executive Suite, St James Court, Wilderspool Causeway, Warrington, Cheshire, United Kingdom, WA4 6PS.

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