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Trauma and Lateral dissociation: The spoken and the unspoken stories

Trauma and Lateral dissociation: The spoken and the unspoken stories

In this talk, Dr Kamal Touma presents his clinical observations of what would appear to be a lateral dissociation between the left and right brain hemispheres during traumatic moments in therapy where hemispheres are uncoupled; acting concurrently and independently. While the side of the brain that contains the speech centres is speaking to the therapist, a totally unrelated story is unfolding in the other hemisphere, a painful story. It is also ‘talking’ but failing to access the dissociated speech centres, unable to verbalise, to speak the thoughts. Oblivious of that failure, the person is nevertheless convinced that the thoughts are being verbalised. The awareness of the therapist of the activation of his/her own Para-Sympathetic system seems to give the clue to the presence of this distressing and at times terrifying experience. Identifying and addressing that moment will couple back the activity of the two hemispheres, changing the form and the content of the patient’s narrative from a chronicle, to a felt and associative one.

Speakers: Dr Kamal Touma
Areas of Interest / Categories: ANZAP 2016

ANZAP 2016

Society, Catholicism and the human person as complex systems and sub-systems

Complexity theory is recognised as the New Science that conceptualises the universe as a system of communicating systems. As such, everything in the universe is better understood by exploring the dynamic, nonlinear relationships between the parts that make up the whole. Psychoanalytic Complexity Theory provides a new, but familiar contribution to contemporary psychoanalytic theory and practice.

Poiesis in verbal art, in verbal science and in nature: Creativity and the Conversational Model

Therapists working in the Conversational Model draw from a number of sources of experience and creative endeavour. The use of such sources suggests that therapists recognise some form of crossover between the goals of therapeutic, dyadic sharing and the value bestowed on aspects of subjectivity by creative engagements. In this talk, we offer analyses related to three aspects of such a crossover: a) what reasons have been proposed by practitioners (i.e.. Meares and his colleagues) for the efficacy of artistic values in therapeutic method and in a therapeutic relationship? b) what role do analogical ‘leaps’ have in the discourse between therapists and patients with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)? c) what do current theories of art and science suggest about a resonance between mental health and ‘poiesis’ – or inspired making and accomplishment?

Depressive realism, angst and creativity - What can the work of Michel Houellebecq tell us about the art and science of psychotherapy?

This paper will explore this question and present the work of Michel Houellebecq who has now published six novels, all of them bitter and miserable. Their pessimism isn't the only or necessarily their most important element, but it's probably the first thing that everybody notices. They are callow, cynical, sex obsessed, openly racist and misogynistic in turn, rife with B-grade porn, contradictory, full of contempt for art and intellectuals and operate on a low level of masculine anger at the indignities of not being an alpha male. They are none-the-less serious works, and their increasing reputation has more to do with their artistic achievement than the strong reactions they elicit.

Society, Catholicism and the human person as complex systems and sub-systems

Complexity theory is recognised as the New Science that conceptualises the universe as a system of communicating systems. As such, everything in the universe is better understood by exploring the dynamic, nonlinear relationships between the parts that make up the whole. Psychoanalytic Complexity Theory provides a new, but familiar contribution to contemporary psychoanalytic theory and practice.

Spoiled identities and community resilience

Using the work of Goffman and other social psychologists, this presentation looks at the ways in which the identities of perpetrators of sexual abuse are constructed in a monolinear fashion creating `spoiled identities’. This is a social construction which the community actively participates in for necessary reasons but which after time affects levels of community healing and resilience through embedded and habitual processes of othering.

Development of the CMAS - Conversational Model Adherence Scale

Meares et al. (2012) outlined within the clinician’s manual for Conversational Model Therapy (CMT), the basis for a scale that would measure adherence to CMT within any given therapy session. Our aim was to further develop the Conversational Model Adherence Scale (CMAS) through multiple workshops with senior clinicians within the Westmead Psychotherapy Program and through consultations with Russell Meares, the co-founder of the Conversational Model. Measuring adherence to a given psychotherapeutic approach has numerous benefits, such as the verification of therapist expertise, ensuring therapy fidelity in the reporting of patient outcomes, and facilitating the training of new CMT psychotherapists by minimising the cognitive load within a complex skillset.

Joseph Conrad, master of ships and master of affect: His gift to Robert Hobson and the Conversational Model

He who would do good to another must do it in Minute Particulars: General Good is the plea of the scoundrel, hypocrite, & flatterer. For Art & Science cannot exist but in minutely organised particulars.’ William Blake, apart from Wordsworth, Coleridge and Shakespeare, Robert Hobson declared his indebtedness to the Polish/English novelist, Joseph Conrad (1857-1924). But what in particular did Conrad give to Hobson? His Darwinian biological conceptions? His Jamesian (Henry, if not William) psychological concept of an unconscious? His awareness of Newtonian Physics? (O’Hanlon), Maybe?