The Disintegrating Self: Understanding and working with adults with ADHD and/or autistic spectrum traits
Trainer: Phil Mollon
Duration: 4 hours 2 minutes
This Training Video captures all the key learning points from our live seminar with Dr Phil Mollon on understanding adults with ADHD and/or autistic spectrum traits.
Traits of both ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and Autistic Spectrum are common, and often occur together. Many of those who seek help from psychotherapists suffer from such problems – but often neither they, nor their therapists, are aware of these brain-based conditions. Despite the misleading emphasis upon attention in the name, ADHD is essentially a disorder of impaired self-regulation, including affect regulation.
Associated with emotional instability, storms of affect, impulsivity, novelty-seeking, rage, panic, volatile relationships, and general chaos, ADHD is often a hidden core in ‘borderline’ or ‘emotionally unstable’ personality disorder. The person with such a neurobiologically-based condition has an enhanced need for Kohutian self-object responses from others, to help regulate his or her brain state – and will tend to experience, and express, rage when these needs are not met.
By contrast, a person with predominantly Autistic Spectrum traits will tend to experience the world of other people as overwhelming and disorganising, and so will tend to turn to non-human or inanimate objects and systems for soothing and affect-regulation. ADHD and Autistic Spectrum constellations are vivid examples of the interplay of the neurobiological, the psychodynamic, and the interpersonal – and, as such, are of intense interest to the psychotherapist.
In his one-day presentation renown author and psychotherapist Dr Phil Mollon considers the key characteristics and functions of both ADHD and Autistic traits in-depth, and considers how psychotherapy can helpfully (and unhelpfully) understand and respond to clients and patients who present with these characteristics.
Dr Phil Mollon is a psychoanalyst, clinical psychologist, and energy psychotherapist. He is well-known as a writer and speaker on topics including shame, trauma, dissociation, self-psychology, and EMDR – and has pioneered the development of Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy.
He is author of eleven books and was the first British author to write about shame from a psychoanalytic perspective, in the early 1980s, developing this theme further in his book The Fragile Self in 1993. His Shame and Jealousy, published by Karnac in 2002, examined the profound vulnerability of these most human affects.
With 40 years of clinical experience, in both the NHS and private practice, he has explored many different approaches, always seeking better ways of helping those who are troubled with mental health problems. His enquiries led him to a study of EMDR and then to the field known as ‘energy psychology’. For more than 10 years he has explored the meeting points of energy psychology and psychoanalysis and created the approach he calls Psychoanalytic Energy Psychotherapy. His work remains rooted in psychoanalysis, whilst also incorporating neurobiological, cognitive, and energetic perspectives.
Phil Mollon’s most recent book is The Disintegrating Self: Psychotherapy with Adult ADHD, Autistic Spectrum, and Somato-psychic disorders [Karnac 2015].
Phil Mollon has been described as “a cautious revolutionary, one of those rare honourable thinkers and renaissance figures who rises above the milieu he was trained in to seek answers to difficult questions.” (Dr Valerie Sinason).