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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships
Do Genes (ever) Determine our Mental Health?

With Dr Nessa Carey, Dr Oliver James and Dr Dianne Newbury

Saturday 18 June 2016

09.30   Registration and coffee
10.00   Dr Dianne Newbury

Really, Really Complex Disorders
Long before we sequenced the genome, we knew that disorders of mental health ran in families. Studies of twins and adopted children established a role for both genes and environment in the onset of psychopathology. The completion of the human genome sequence, however, brought with it an appreciation of the complexity of human disease. We now understand that cognitive traits and mental disorders are likely to involve complex interactions between a multitude of genetic variants and a wealth of environmental factors. Even so-called "single gene" disorders involve modifier effects making it hard to predict the exact outcome of a given mutation. In hindsight, it is perhaps not surprising that the human genome project did not "solve" the problem of mental disorders. This should not be taken to reflect the futility of the task but rather the naivety of our a priori expectations.
11.30   Coffee
12.00   Dr Nessa Carey

Epigenetics: what we know in relation to states of mind
Epigenetics is the new science that offers fresh insights into how genes are controlled and how they in turn influence long-term changes in phenotypes including behaviour. Big claims are made for this field, but these are sometimes based on relatively little hard data. And the more complex the phenotype, the more caution we need to exercise in interpreting these claims. This talk will introduce the basic principles behind this exciting biology, explore what we know in relation to states of mind, and provide advice on how to interpret research findings.
13.30   Lunch
14:45   Dr Oliver James

Not in Your Genes
Genes have been shown to cause physical differences between us, like height or eye colour. But it is a well-kept secret that the Human Genome Project (HGP) has failed to find any genes or DNA sequences which significantly explain our psychology: personality, mental health or mental ability. It is looking very likely that no such genes will ever be found. Whilst there are proven non-genetic causes of psychological traits, such as the increased prevalence of ADHD in mothers who were stressed during the last trimester of pregnancy, it is increasingly clear that nurture is critical - it's not a bit of both nature and nurture.
16.15   Tea
16:30   Discussion Panel
17.00   End

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Early bird: £110 (Sold out)
Self-funded: £130 (Available)
Self-funded x 2: £190 (Available)
Organisationally-funded: £220 (Available)

CPD Hours

Certificates of attendance for 6.5 hours will be provided at the event

One Drummond Gate

09.30 Registration and coffee
10:00 Start
11:30 Coffee
13:30 Lunch
16:15 Tea
17:00 End