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Seminars, conferences and online resources on psychotherapy and human relationships

The Traumatised Mother's Inner World:

Implications for the Child's Development

With speakers Dr Gwen Adshead and Dr Amanda Jones

Saturday 15 June 2019 - London

This seminar aims to elaborate the significance of the mother's emotional capacities on her baby's forming mental health. Our two presenters will consider how far attachment, systemic and psychoanalytic theories can help us to support psychologically fragile mothers so they can grow in their capacity and confidence in offering maternal love. In particular, we will focus on women who have experienced serious and ongoing emotional adversity in life. Problematic emotional states can suddenly emerge on giving birth, sometimes fulfilling psychiatric diagnostic criteria such as a "personality disorder" but often in women who do not have any previously diagnosed emotional condition. Such a new mother can have significant difficulties managing the constant demands that caring for her baby makes on her already depleted emotional resources. Here, unconscious defensive processes are always active and can render a baby at risk.

This is a very extensive problem in our society and as practitioners we can make an important contribution by developing our understanding of how and why the experience of becoming a mother can lead to a sudden deterioration in a woman's mental health. Participants will have an opportunity to reflect and discuss clinical cases and to gain a better understanding of how theory informs therapeutic formulation and intervention.


Dr Gwen Adshead
Dr Gwen Adshead is a Forensic Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist. She trained at St George's hospital, the Institute of Psychiatry and the Institute of Group Analysis. She is trained as a group therapist and a mindfulness based cognitive therapist and has also trained in Mentalisation based therapy. She worked for nearly 20 years as a Consultant Forensic Psychotherapist at Broadmoor Hospital, running psychotherapeutic groups for offenders, and working with staff around relational security and organisational dynamics. She now works in a medium secure unit in Hampshire. Gwen also has a Masters' Degree in Medical Law and Ethics; and has a research interest in moral reasoning, and how this links with "bad" behaviour. Gwen has published a number of books and over 100 papers... More >>

Dr Amanda Jones
Amanda Jones is a Consultant Perinatal Psychotherapist and Strategic & Clinical Lead of NELFT NHS Foundation Trust's Perinatal Parent Infant Mental Health Service. She trained as a systemic therapist and did her doctoral research at the Tavistock Centre/UEL. Her research studied how mothers' use of maladaptive defensive processes can derail their baby's development. In collaboration with the Anna Freud Centre, Amanda was the therapist in the Channel 4 documentaries 'Help me love my baby'. With the NSPCC and Warwick Medical School she made a further five documentaries called 'Breakdown or Breakthrough: pregnancy, birth and the first 18 months of life', (available for free online) for all practitioners working with parents and babies in distress. Amanda speaks at national and international conferences on parent-baby disturbed relationships and psychodynamic parent-infant treatment... More >>


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Handouts and lunch included
Self-funded: £120
Self-funded x 2: £200
Organisationally-funded: £200
Psychotherapy trainee: £80 (sold out)
This event + the online module Applications of Attachment Theory: £210

CPD Hours

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

6th Floor
Foyles Bookshop
107 Charing Cross Road

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