Mental Health Workshops

Mental Health: Mystery or Mis-Story?

During this workshop participants will be exploring ideas and discussing interventions relevant to psychiatric practice.  This workshop is necessary for all trainees who need to complete a psychiatric placement as part of your training requirement. This workshop will also be useful for counsellors and therapists in clinical practice where you wish to develop your skills in recognising possible mental health problems for some clients, to liaise with mental health services and where appropriate to refer a client for assessment.  

During the workshop you will be invited to explore and discuss various aspects of psychiatric practice and intervention. Themes will be drawn out and extended through facilitation in the group and experiential activities where you will be able to play with your ideas and develop your skills.

The workshop will include an exploration of ideas contributing toward underlying philosophies and historical developments in psychiatry. We will review recent advances in understanding how the brain functions and the relevance of this research for theories of psychological development and psychotherapy. The presentation of mental health problems and the use of medication within psychiatry will also be explored alongside treatment planning for clients who wish to discontinue medication while receiving psychotherapy or counselling support.

During this five day workshop we will explore various themes that are provisionally outlined below. The themes represent general areas of focus and do not constitute 'fixed content'. You will be able to share your own interests and/or experiences within the group to develop your own Themes and have an opportunity to begin to place your own views in context.

The structure and content of the workshop will be negotiated during the first morning when we meet and share our expectations. We will negotiate start and finish times as well as incorporating breaks between.

Please wear clothing suitable for play and comfort. You may also wish to make notes so please bring whatever you prefer for note taking.   

Theme 1          Discussion may lead into an introduction to relevant areas for study such as rationalism, associationism and constructivism. And may include a further exploration of ideas from ;  Plato, Aristotle, Heraclitus, Descartes, Kant and Hegel . Holistic and medical models might be explored and integrated in an attempt to ground emerging themes in therapeutic contexts.           

Theme 2          Further sharing of ideas may develop into discussion involving an overview of the structure and function of the Central nervous system including most recent advances in understanding brain function, plasticity and modular neural structure and networks. Various ideas from research may be discussed including those of; Gazzaniga, Edelman and Kinsbourne.

Theme 3          May provide an overview of chemotherapy used in psychiatry. Drug effects and side effects. The use of neuroleptics, tranquillisers, sedatives and regularly prescribed anxiolytics and anti-depressants. Drug dependence and withdrawal will be discussed along with treatment planning for clients wishing to reduce, eventually to stop drug usage where appropriate.

Theme 4          The use of classification of mental disorder with reference to DSM IV and   the World Health Organization Classification 10th revision. Case examples could be utilized to explore clinical presentation of the most common forms of mental disorder. The use of diagnosis and treatment interventions with particular consideration given to social dimensions.    

Theme 5          May involve an exploration of ideas and assumptions contributing toward approaches in psychotherapy, counselling and psychiatry. An attempt to integrate theme 1. philosophy, and themes 2. and 4. physiological and behavioural dimensions in mental health. Working with clients experiencing mental health problems, boundary issues within behavioural, cognitive and affective domains. 

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