Using the head to fix the heart

An upcoming seminar at the University will delve into the human need for acceptance- where it comes from, what it means, and how, through psychological therapy, it can be overcome.

On Wednesday 16 May Dr. Ken Critchfield, clinical psychologist and Associate Professor at James Madison University in Virginia, US will deliver a seminar entitled “It’s about broken hearts, not broken brains: The possibility of personality reconstruction through focus on universal mechanisms of attachment and relating.”

During the seminar, Dr Critchfield will explain how dramatic transformation becomes possible through a focus on love and loyalty in close attachment relationships.

In instances of individual psychotherapy for severe problems a method called Interpersonal Reconstructive Therapy (IRT) is used, in which views of the self and others are understood to reflect rules, values, and experiences internalised in close attachment relationships.

During the seminar, Dr Critchfield will discuss how IRT therapy seeks to help patients become aware of the role copied patterns play in maintaining a connection with internalised attachment figures. The overall goal is to help a patient differentiate from the “family in the head” and pursue healthy behaviours and self-concepts.

The seminar will take place in the University of Leicester’s George Davies Centre, Lecture Theatre 2, and will commence at 2.30 pm.

Dr Gerald Burgess, Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at Leicester, said: “This presentation will provide the opportunity to hear about how legendary British theorists’ works, alongside American sensibilities, get integrated into an evidence-based, comprehensive and effective treatment model for our most chronically distressed and difficult-to-treat clients.”