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Meet the author of
Undoing Depression, and Active Treatment of Depression,
Richard O'Connor, Ph.D., in your area.

The events listed below are primarily for professionals in the mental health field. Phone numbers or website addresses are given so you can check on registration information. Book store events are generally free and open to the public. The format of Readings/Q&A allows ample opportunity to ask questions, and I am always available afterward for questions you might not want to ask in a group.

I also speak to private groups on various mental health issues. If your group is interested in having me come to your site, below you will find several seminar descriptions. I am also available for personal and telephone consultation. For scheduling information, call (860)824-7423 or email.

 

 

Stress in the City
Evening workshop at New York Open Center, New York's Leading Center of Holistic Learning and World Culture, Friday, March 10, 7-10 p.m.
Workshop will review the real nature of contemporary stress: not simply having too much to do and not enough time, but the cumulative impact of 200 years of accelerating social and cultural change. Learn tools and techniques to help make better choices in order to gain control of stress. Learn to recognize "stressors," and how to work with them, as well as mindfulness exercises that help achieve a state of calmness and strength. www.opencenter.org

Saturday, October 23, 2004

8:30am to 4:30pm
HCA Medical Office Building Auditorium
2201 Murphy Ave., Nashville, Tennessee

NASHVILLE PSYCHOTHERAPY INSTITUTE
npinashville@bellsouth.net
www.npiweb.org


Undoing Depression: Treating the Disease
That Causes Itself


When it comes to depression, new theories, therapies, and medicine appear so rapidly that it's impossible for even the most diligent therapist to keep track of it all. This workshop will explore where we stand in the treatment of depression and the implications of recent developments for everyday practice.


Dr. Richard O’Connor approaches depression in a highly integrative way, and also cogently challenges many of the field’s assumptions that govern most current forms of treatment. His treatment model draws from a wide array of theoretical approaches (e.g., self-psychology, CBT, medical model, systems theory), yet also incorporates a significant amount of “common sense.” O’Connor believes therapists must be willing to take an active role in treatment—to be mentor, coach, cheerleader—for the client. His approach also emphasizes the fact that most of these clients are “quite good at being depressed." Helping clients recognize how depression permeates their worlds cognitively, emotionally, behaviorally, relationally, and somatically is key in facilitating the development of more constructive skill sets and a more positive sense of self.

In this workshop, Dr. O'Connor will review the latest research on empirically validated approaches, and discuss the current state of psycho-pharmacology, including controversial findings on placebo and side effects. He'll also devote attention to the growing emphasis on somatic approaches and helping clients cultivate mindfulness, along with the question of whether therapists who are more transparent in the clinical encounter are more effective. He will also discuss the relationship between depression, trauma, abuse, and victimization. The overarching emphasis will be on the clinical application of O’Connor’s “active” treatment model, an original approach with tools for even the most seasoned clinicians.

Workshop Learning Objectives:
Participants will:
1. Develop a more complete understanding of the biopsychosocial model of depression.
2. Review empirically based treatments’ strengths and weaknesses.
3. Learn how to be more “active” with clients by increasing their awareness of their depressive “skills.”
4. Become familiar with new approaches to the role of the therapist, and methods of therapist self-care.
5. Review the concept of somatization and the connection between depression and stress-related illness.

 

 

The following are descriptions of events that Richard O'Connor has presented and is prepared to repeat for an interested group:

 

Advances in Treating Depression

When it comes to depression, new theories, therapies, and medicine appear so rapidly that it's impossible for even the most diligent therapist to keep track of it all. This workshop will offer a comprehensive survey of where we stand in the treatment of depression and the implications of recent developments for everyday practice. Dr. O'Connor will review the latest research on empirically validated approaches, ECT, and other neurological treatments and discuss the current state of psychopharmacology, including controversial findings on placebo and side effects. We'll also devote attention to the growing emphasis on somatic approaches and helping clients cultivate mindfulness, along with the question of whether therapists who are more transparent in the clinical encounter are more effective.

The Passive Client: How to Mobilize Intentionality

Most therapists have experienced the frustration of passive clients who expect them to do all the work. Supportive treatment can go on for years without an expansion of autonomy when clients believe they can do little to influence their own lives. This workshop will challenge the conventional thinking that clients' lack of agency is a fixed trait and will explore the relationship between fear, resistance, and dependence that underlies passivity. Dr. O'Connor will offer concrete ways therapists can detoxify fear and nurture intentionality by helping clients take on real-world challenges in a safe, gradual way.

Dr. O'Connor presented the two seminars described above on Saturday, March 22, 2003, at the Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, Omni Shoreham Hotel, Washington, DC.

For more information visit www.psychotherapynetworker.org

 
 

Undoing Depression: Achieving Lasting Change

One of five individuals will suffer an episode of major depression during their lifetime, and most of them will lead permanently diminished lives as a result. Medications can be helpful for some but have fallen far short of their promise; conventional psychotherapy may only reinforce depression, adding another failure to the patient's history of disappointments. Symposium participants will gain a thorough understanding of the nature of depression and its many disguises, and a comprehensive review of the research to date on psychotherapeutic and psychopharmacological interventions. Dr. O'Connor will explore the effect on the therapist of working with these difficult patients.

Monday. Recognizing Depression: Disguises and Dual Diagnoses/Review of the Research: What Works and What Doesn't/Conducting a Biopsychosocial Assessment/The "Skills" of Depression. Tuesday. Theories and Treatment Approaches: Analytic, Interpersonal, Cognitive-Behavioral, Spiritual, Holistic/A Systems Approach to Integration/Psychopharmacology for the Non-MD. Wednesday. Role of the Therapist I: Identifying a FOCUS/Engagement, Motivation, Teaching, Coaching. Thursday. Role of the Therapist II: Transference and Transparency/The Therapist's Vulnerability to Depression/Planned Termination. Friday. Special Problems: When No Meds Work/Somatic Presentations/Abuse/Eating Disorders/Men/Adolescents and Children/The Elderly/The Lonely/Group Treatment

Dr. O'Connor presented a week-long seminar June 16-20, 2003, at the Cape Cod Summer Symposium, Sheraton Four Points Hotel, Eastham, MA.

For more information visit www.neei.org

 

 

Hope: Myths and Realities

Hopelessness is a primary symptom of depression. Some of us who have suffered from depression a long time often give up hope altogether. Sometimes we become hopeful when we hear about a new medication or treatment, but often they don't live up to expectations. We give in to the belief that we will just be disappointed again so why bother. Dr. O'Connor will challenge some of our beliefs about hope and recovery. He'll explore the answer to these questions: Is depression a chronic disease, or can we recover?

 


Depression, the Disease that Causes Itself: Bridging the Mind/Brain/Body Gap

Understanding depression as a disease that causes itself — whose very symptoms keep us from the curative experiences that can lead to recovery — will enable us to help ourselves and our patients more effectively. Dr. O'Connor will introduce a self-help approach to recovery from depression as well as identify principles that can be especially beneficial with psychophysiological conditions.

 

Therapists and Depression: Transforming Our Own Experience to Help Our Clients

Most of us, whether we admit it or not, are "wounded healers," who are deeply moved by our clients' struggles when they resonate with our own experience. Most of us are tempted to use that experience to help our clients, but are intimidated by the big taboo of professional anonymity, and justly concerned about protecting the client's autonomy. Events in therapy that are on the margin of the frame, where the rules are bent a little, can be the most powerful healing experiences for our clients — but can also blow up in our faces. This workshop will present a framework for treatment of depression that challenges us to use ourselves in newer, more open and creative ways, still respecting the client's boundaries. By paying careful attention to our countertransference responses, we learn how to reach out to depressed, withdrawn, "unmotivated" clients without falling into the pit ourselves. Through experiential exercises and provocative case material, attendees will gain exposure to a comprehensive method for treatment of depression and think in new ways about the pleasures and pitfalls of our work

 

Learning from Violence in Our Homes, Schools and Communities Depression and Violence: The Hidden Connection

Dr. O'Connor also speaks to private groups on various mental health issues and is available for personal and telephone consultation. For scheduling information, call (860)824-7423 or email.