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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

Borderline Bodies

Working with the Right Brain and Affect Regulation in Developmentally Traumatised Patients

A 1-day seminar led by Dr Clara Mucci

Saturday 4 May 2019 - London

This training day will focus on how to work with adults who have experienced protracted interpersonal trauma in childhood and who go on to attack their own body in adolescence or adulthood. Such self-harm could include eating disorders, particularly bulimia; self-cutting or any attack on the body, which for these clients is experienced as the depository of negative introjects and is therefore considered to be an alien self that needs to be abused, controlled, destroyed or reduced in its power, even though such action is destructive to the self. The discussion will bring to light the victim-persecutor dyad at the root of this type of borderline pathology.

Clara Mucci's multifaceted and highly acclaimed work includes new ways of perceiving the embodied torment that these clients experience. We will explore how attachment and developmental trauma theories such as those of Schore and Liotti, and the writings of Ferenczi can make sense of this client presentation. Transgenerational trauma will also be considered, as will the importance of differentiating repression from dissociation in these cases.

Through case material, attendees will work through protocols developed by Clara which are designed to assist in assessment and diagnosis, including how to differentiate types within the borderline spectrum. She will describe techniques for treatment including mirroring and down-regulating affect. Embodied responsiveness and witnessing will be discussed as ways to connect with and restore a sense of safety in the client - important aspects of a successful psychotherapy.

Advanced reading of Clara Mucci's book Borderline Bodies: affect regulation therapy for personality disorders (W.W. Norton, 2018) is recommended.


Dr Clara Mucci
Clara Mucci is a psychoanalytically-oriented psychotherapist practicing in Milan and Pescara, Italy. She is Full Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Chieti, where she taught English Literature and Shakespearean Drama. She received a PhD from Emory University, Atlanta, and was a fellow in 2005-2006 at the Institute of Personality Disorder, New York, directed by Otto Kernberg. The author of several monographs on Shakespeare, psychoanalysis and literary theory, she has taught in London (Westminster College), Atlanta, and New York (Hunter College). She is author of the highly acclaimed book Beyond Individual and Collective Trauma: Intergenerational Transmission, Psychoanalytic Treatment, and the Dynamics of Forgiveness (Karnac, 2013). More >>


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Handouts and lunch included
Self-funded: £120
Self-funded x 2: £200
Organisationally-funded: £200
Psychotherapy trainee: £80 (Limited to 10 places)
This event + the online module Fragile Selves: £225

CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 6 hours will be provided at the event

8 All Saints Street
N1 9RL

09.30 Registration and coffee
10.00 Start
11:30 Coffee
13:30 Lunch
15:30 Tea
17:00 End