Psychology Conference at WPS

In October 2020, WPS will be holding a Psychology Conference. In the past such Conferences would attract hundreds, if not thousands of delegates. We are aiming for just 30! Sessions are on the evenings of October 22nd, 27th and 29th.

The annual Mental Health Super Summit will again this year raise funds for Act for Kids: see MHSS Register now for this remarkable online conference. Proceeds go to charity, and this has to be the best way to take care of those all-important Continuing Professional Development hours for 2020.

Rather than watch the sessions alone, why not come and join us at Warwick where we will get together to enjoy a selection of the talks, and then have the opportunity to discuss the learnings and network with fellow professionals? Opportunities to collaborate have been few and far between this year.

Our large meeting area allows us to accommodate 30 people under Stage 4 COVID-19 restrictions, so it will be first come first served! We will watch the recorded sessions on the 4 metre big screen. Call us on 046 88 911 00 to register. There will be a nominal $10 fee to pay for catering so that we can really make a night of it. You will need to register for the summit separately, which you can do at MHSS

Here is the detail of the sessions we will be showing, and the dates and times:

October 22 7pm
The Integration of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and Psychodrama – An Approach for the Management and Treatment of Traumatic Stress
Michael Burge, OAM

Michael Burge, OAM
Australian College of Trauma Treatment
The Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and Psychodrama integrative framework aims to assist clients’ own capacity to move beyond their symptoms through role development, spontaneity, self- calming, multiple perspectives and the creation of a more objective cognitive schema. The presentation while placing an emphasis on the management and treatment of traumatic stress, will also explore how this integrative approach may be applied to stress in general and interrelated life and work challenges. The presentation will also be of relevance to participants who wish to build on their skills base in this area.
Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has received increasing support for its efficacy in the treatment of PTSD, Depression, Anxiety and other conditions. It is classified as a highly recommended Gold Standard intervention by the ISTSS and a number of other peak bodies. Still, research also shows that dropout rates are high and that there is a significant proportion of clients that have experienced limited success. Recent research also indicates that it may be of advantage to include expressive adjunctive approaches such as techniques drawn from psychodrama to improve CBT efficacy. For example, during trauma focused exposure therapy it may be advantageous to integrate Psycho dramatic techniques that focus on the way in which somatic disturbance is stored in the body to limit severe dissociative episodes and emotional numbing that could lead to cessation of the intervention. Alternatively, the psycho-dramatic technique of doubling, mirroring or third position systemic analysis may be utilized to reduce panic during trauma focused therapy. This integrative approach can also assist with contemporaneous issues of an interpersonal nature so often encountered in life, work and relationships. This presentation concludes with a short Q & A segment with Dr. Michael Burge.



October 22 8.15pm
The Treatment of Trauma and The Internal Family Systems Model
A/Prof. Richard Schwartz

A/Prof. Richard Schwartz
Harvard Medical School
Developed over the past four decades, the Internal Family Systems (IFS) model offers both a conceptual umbrella under which a variety of practices and different approaches can be grounded and guided and a set of original techniques for creating safety and fostering Self-to-Self connection in couples and families.
This presentation will provide an introduction to the basics of the IFS model and its use with attachment and trauma. An overview of IFS and its clinical applications will be presented, strengthening your understanding of the basic theory and principles of Internal Family Systems therapy including how to access clients’ Self (a core of compassion and other leadership qualities) and how to deal with client “resistance” more effectively with less effort. Participants will gain knowledge in how to utilise the clients’ Self to repair attachment injuries, recognise the IFS model as an internal attachment model and identify the parallels between external and internal attachment styles. Additionally, participants will be able to identify the effects of trauma on parts and Self, utilize the model in treating trauma, gain an awareness of their own parts and how those parts impact therapy and be able to apply IFS principles to transference and counter-transference. This presentation concludes with a short Q & A segment with Associate Professor Richard Schwartz.



October 27 7pm
Black Humour and Laughter: The Ingredients of Resilience
Dr. Vanessa Lee

Dr. Vanessa Lee
University of Sydney
Humour is one of those moments in life where you either get the joke or you do not, and who is to say what is funny and what is not? Theories have been developed to determine the existence of humour, these include the idea that humour is healthy or that humour is a form of relief (relief theory), a form of superiority (superiority theory), or humour is incongruous (incongruity theory). Generally, theory has its own focus, however, there are many instances of humour that can be explained with more than one theory. Of all the humour theories trauma and humour have incongruity at their core although the impact can be profoundly different by those interpreting it. On one hand there is humour encouraging social exchanges and on the other hand there is trauma producing dysfunctional interactions. However, neurological research has shown that humour and laughter can have psychological benefits making the perspectival nature of humour and trauma vital for personal transformation. For Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people’s humour has been used to explain the traumatic experience of colonisation. At various opportunities humour has been articulated verbally or communicated through non-verbally expressions inciting humour and laughter through poetry, stand-up comedy, and storytelling. The transformation which happens between humour and trauma enables Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people to put a different perspective on past traumatic experiences and at the same time encourages self-awareness, self-empowerment, and an acknowledgment towards resilience. This presentation concludes with a short Q & A segment with Dr. Vanessa Lee.



October 27 8.15pm
Indigenous Mental Health and Social Emotional Wellbeing
Prof. Pat Dudgeon

Prof. Pat Dudgeon
University of Western Australia
The mental health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has become a critical issue and available data shows that this is entrenched. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander suicide occurs at double the rate of other Australians. Suicide is the leading cause of death for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people of 15 to 34 years of age, accounting for 1 in 3 deaths. At the core of any solutions are concepts of community ownership and valuing culture. New approaches where the mental health profession need to and have begun to engage with Indigenous people in ways that support self-determination and assist recovery and cultural maintenance are essential.
The work of the national Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention Evaluation Project (ATSISPEP) and the Centre of Best Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Suicide Prevention (CBPATSISP) is discussed in addressing the causes of suicide on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. CBPATSISP aims to identify best practice programs, services and research in Indigenous suicide prevention through an Indigenous ‘lens’ for Indigenous peoples. Further, Social and emotional wellbeing (SEWB) will be discussed as an important Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander concept in mental health and wellbeing.
Although the term is often used to refer to issues related to ‘mental health’, SEWB has a broader scope. It recognises the importance of connection to land, culture, spirituality, ancestry, family and community, and how these affect the individual, family and community. SEWB issues cover a broad range of problems that can result from unresolved grief and loss, trauma and abuse, domestic violence, removal from family, substance misuse, family breakdown, cultural dislocation, racism and discrimination, and social disadvantage. At the end of this presentation, participants will have a greater understanding of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander mental health and the importance of social and emotional wellbeing. This presentation concludes with a short Q & A segment with Professor Pat Dudgeon.



October 29 7pm
Improving Physical and Mental Wellbeing in Patients with Persistent Pain
Prof. Louise Sharpe

Prof. Louise Sharpe
University of Sydney
Chronic pain affects 1 in 5 Australians, and many more experience persistent pain resulting from other chronic illnesses, including cancer, multiple sclerosis and diabetes. Psychological approaches to managing pain are efficacious, but (a) are associated with small effect sizes; and (b) very few people relative to the number affected access gold-standard intensive programs. In this presentation, Professor Louise Sharpe will outline a program of research that has focused on improving both efficacy and access. Specifically, how we can enhance the efficacy of interventions by (1) focusing on the most efficacious components of treatment; and (2) using theories to develop novel approaches. Further, identifying moderators of treatment efficacy is important, so that we can better match treatments to patients. However, even with improvements to interventions, we need to ensure people can access interventions. Internet-based approaches and other minimal interventions, such as cognitive bias modification, have been shown to be effective in treating persistent pain. Earlier in the trajectory of illness, to prevent psychological and physical morbidity, minimal, scalable interventions could form the first stage of a stepped care approach, which has yet to be trialled in pain. After this presentation, participants will better understand the prevalence and nature of chronic pain, current evidence based psychological approaches for the management of chronic pain and methods for increasing access to evidence-based treatments. This presentation concludes with a short Q & A segment with Professor Louise Sharpe.



October 29 8.15pm
Reawakening the need for comfort: Social buffering, amygdala whispering, and safe sadness
Dr. Jonathan Baylin

Dr. Jonathan Baylin
Author & Psychologist (Private Practice)
In this presentation, Dr. Baylin will explain how early life adversity can force children to dedicate their brain development to mistrust, in part by suppressing their felt need for comfort. He will describe recent research on the chemistry of “blocked trust” and explain how compassionate care that soothes the child’s amygdala can help to revive the potential to feel the pain of separation and to seek comfort from a caring adult. This presentation concludes with a short Q & A segment with Dr. Jonathan Baylin.

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