International Federation for Psychotherapy 23rd World Congress of Psychotherapy
“Psychotherapy and World Mental Health 2023”
9-11 February 2023, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy, University Hassan II,
Casablanca, Morocco


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Since its foundation in 1934, the International Federation for Psychotherapy organized 22 world congresses, throughout Europe and Asia. The 23rd World Congress of Psychotherapy will take place in Africa for the first time, in Casablanca, Morocco, from 9 to 11 February 2023. The theme of the World Congress is “Psychotherapy and World Mental Health 2023”. The congress will be held in person at the ample facilities of the University Hasan II Casablanca, Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy. This congress has as a primary objective to demonstrate the importance of evidence-based psychotherapy in everyday practice across all clinical settings throughout the world. 

The Scientific Committee responsible for organizing the congress has close to 100 members from 38 countries. The President of the Congress is Driss Moussaoui (Morocco), and the Executive Planning Committee includes César Alfonso (USA), Tom Craig (UK), Fiammetta Cosci (Italy) and Gisèle Apter (France). Advisors to the Executive Committee are Norman Sartorius (Croatia), Ulrich Schnyder (Switzerland), and François Ferrero (Switzerland). The local organizing committee is led by Nadia Kadri, Hachem Tyal and Chaimaa Aroui. 

The conference will include 7 half-day courses specifically designed to improve the clinical skills of early career clinicians and trainees, 14 panel discussions where senior experts will debate controversial topics, and 17 plenary sessions by internationally recognized experts from Africa, America, Asia, and Europe. In addition, delegates will have an opportunity to present their work in various formats. We have slotted space for 15 symposia, 11 interactive workshops, 3 case conferences where early career clinicians will have an opportunity to present cases and receive input from expert discussants, and 5 paper sessions for free communications. In addition, there will be 2 poster sessions accommodating up to 100 posters in clinical and research tracks. Ten early-career clinicians poster authors will be awarded Young Investigator Awards travel fellowship grants. 

A vibrant social program will make collegial dinner gatherings and sightseeing excursions available to all registrants. Parallel art exhibitions and a satellite program for people with lived experience and caregivers will complement the scientific program.

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Plenary Sessions

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Afzal Javed (Pakistan)

Professor Afzal Javed was appointed President-Elect of the World Psychiatric Association at the 2017 World Congress of Psychiatry in Berlin.  In 2020, he assumed the role of President and launched the WPA 2020-2023 Action Plan. As President, Professor Afzal Javed leads the work of the Executive Committee, ensuring the group remains focused on fulfilling the vision of WPA and on reaching its goals as outlined in its charter and in the current Action Plan. In addition to his roles as a Consultant Psychiatrist at the UK NHS, Honorary Clinical Associate Teacher at Warwick Medical School, University of Warwick UK and honorary Chairman of the Pakistan Psychiatric Research Centre, Fountain House, Lahore, Pakistan, Professor Afzal Javed also fulfils his role as WPA President by liaising with member societies across the globe, supporting their local endeavours, and sharing knowledge and information between them.  

Plenary Address 1: Psychosocial Treatments and Public Health Needs

There is ample evidence that adverse psychosocial exposure is associated with several health problems including mental health consequences. This association may be causal, or it may reflect issues of reverse causation. Psychosocial factors such as stress, hostility, depression, hopelessness, and work-related difficulties may be associated with health problems and adverse risk profiles in terms of psychosocial factors seem to cluster with general social disadvantage. Psychosocial adversities can thus emerge as an important cause of health inequalities. Whereas unequal distribution of the social determinants of health, such as education, housing, and employment, drives inequalities in physical and mental health, there is also extensive evidence that psychosocial factors, such as work stress, may influence health and wellbeing in a big way. The amelioration of social inequalities in health should therefore be a priority for public health policy. This is more relevant and appropriate for many low resource countries. There have been calls for this goal to be realised through interventions targeting psychosocial risk factors. Thus, psychosocial intervention, is key to improving the health of the disadvantaged populations. This presentation highlights the current evidence that exists about the relationships between social determinants, psychosocial factors, and health outcomes. It also argues that for a conceptual framework that focuses on the psychosocial pathways between factors associated with social, economic, and environmental conditions and mental and physical health outcomes.

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Norman Sartorius, M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.Psych. (Croatia)

Professor N. Sartorius, previously the Director of the Mental Health Program of the World Health Organization, President of the World Psychiatric Association and of the European Psychiatric Association, now serves as President of the Association for the Improvement of Mental Health Programs, a non-governmental organization located in Geneva.  Professor Sartorius holds several professorial positions in Europe, the USA and elsewhere.  He has published more than 500 papers in peer-reviewed journals and authored, co-authored, edited, or co-edited more than 120 books.  Professor Sartorius’ main areas of interest at present are the comorbidity of mental and physical disorders, the reduction of the stigma of mental disorders, and education of psychiatrists and other stakeholders in the field of mental health.  In his previous positions he was the principal investigator of several international collaborative studies and projects dealing with schizophrenia and other major mental diseases, comorbidity of mental and physical illnesses, health service development, and education of different categories of staff. 

Plenary Address 2: “Psychotherapy and Public Health”

The term “public health” refers to the effort to provide all people with health care which will prevent the occurrence of diseases and where this is not possible provide effective treatment of diseases with a minimal delay. Psychotherapy could be defined as the body of knowledge about human mental functioning coupled with the translation of this knowledge into specific techniques which can prevent the occurrence of mental disorder or provide care when this was not possible. Psychotherapy can and should contribute to the achievement of public health goals by preventing mental disorders or treating them. In addition, however psychotherapy can also play an important role in the organization of health care efforts and as a guide in the provision of non-specific aspects of treatment of all diseases.  To play its roles effectively psychotherapy will rely on specialists who will decide what tasks they will handle and what can be done by others to ensure that the knowledge which psychotherapy offers finds an optimal use in promoting the public health of the populations. These tasks are not easy, and it is therefore of essential importance to ensure competence of future psychotherapists in the uses of psychotherapy in the public health sphere by an appropriate education of psychotherapists and by an adequate description of their duties.

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Mark van Ommeren (Switzerland)

Mark van Ommeren, PhD, is Head of the Mental Health Unit within the WHO Department of Mental Health and Substance Use.  The Unit covers a wide range of topics including advocacy, suicide prevention (following the LIVE LIFE approach), services across the life course (including integrated care and reorganization of services), essential medicines (including updating the WHO Model Lists of Essential Medicines), innovation and research in psychological interventions (eg EQUIP, PM+, SH+, Step-by-Step, EASE, STARS) and mental health in specific settings (e.g., leadership/country support/guidance in humanitarian emergencies; guidelines for the workplace).  He coordinated the writing of the WHO (2022) World Mental Health Report: Transforming Mental Health for All. Much of Mark’s earlier work has focused on initiating and developing inter-agency mental health policy for humanitarian settings (eg Sphere standards, IASC guidelines) with linked implementation tools; developing, testing and disseminating a range of scalable psychological interventions; and “building back better” mental health services across different levels of the health system after major emergencies. As part of this work, he introduced the term “mental health and psychosocial support (MHPSS)” into the development of inter-agency humanitarian guidelines, which has resulted in improved collaboration across sectors in humanitarian settings around the world. He was born in the Netherlands and studied at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver (BSc in statistics (1992) and MA in (intercultural) counselling psychology (1995)) and received his doctorate (covering epidemiology among refugees in Nepal) from the Vrije Universiteit in Amsterdam (2000). 

Plenary Address 3: “Towards the Effective Implementation of Psychological Interventions at Scale”

Less than 1 in 3 people in the world with depression access care for depression. A recent review of treatment coverage for major depressive disorder found that minimally-adequate treatment ranged from 23% in high-income countries to 3% in low- and lower-middle-income countries. A wide range of psychotherapeutic interventions have been found effective for people suffering depression and anxiety. There has been substantial path-breaking research over last 20 years in low-, middle-, and high-income countries showing that a range of existing evidence-based interventions can be modified to enable to implement them at scale. Such modified versions include brief non-specialist-delivered individual and group versions of existing evidence-based psychological treatments (e.g., basic versions of interpersonal psychotherapy and cognitive-behavioural therapy); guided and unguided self-approaches materials drawing from evidence-based psychological treatment principles, delivered through recommended books or online programs. A range of open access psychological intervention manuals have been published by WHO in recent years (for adults: Individual and Group Problem Management Plus, Thinking Healthy, Self-Help Pus, Interpersonal Therapy; for young adolescents (forthcoming): EASE). In addition to much needed additional financial and human resources for health and social care systems to take up the responsibility for scale-up, it is essential to address the challenge of integrating psychological interventions in an agile manner in the health and social care system, requiring focused attention to clinical governance, that is ensuring that organizations are accountable for high quality standard of care. The WHO EQUIP project – which includes tools for evidence-based competency assessment – can play a key role.

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Moussa Ba (Senegal)

Moussa Ba, a national from Senegal, totals more than 40 years of experience in the field of mental health. He has been the Chief of the Critical Incident Stress Management Unit (CISMU) of the Department of Safety and Security (DSS) of the United Nations (UN) since the creation of the Department in 2005 to the date of his retirement in December 2021. Prior to that he was appointed by UNICEF as a Program Officer in emergency countries in Western and Central Africa. He joined the United Nations Security Coordination Office (UNSECOORD) at the New York UNHQ in December 2002 as a Regional Stress Counsellor in charge for the West Africa region and DPKO Missions. Dr. Ba holds a M.D. from Cheikh Anta Diop University (Dakar Senegal), a Ph.D. in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences (Dakar University and Paris V France) and a Master’s degree in international health (Track Epidemiology in Complex Emergency Settings) from Tulane University (New Orleans, USA). Dr. Ba also holds the UK National Certification on Hostage Negotiation from the Scotland Yard Metropolitan Police Training Center in Hendon, UK.He has worked as an associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at the Cheick Anta Diop University of Dakar and cumulatively head of a Psychiatric Division at the Fann University Hospital Centre of Dakar for 15 years. He coordinated the Inter-University degree in Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy (between Paris V and Dakar University) and was also an Adjunct Professor of Disaster Mental Health in the inter-university linkage Dakar-Tulane (New Orleans)- and Morehouse (Atlanta). From 1988-1989 Moussa Ba worked as the Director of the Medical Research Department at the Ministry of Cooperation and Scientific Research in Senegal. From 1989-1994, he was appointed as the Advisor of the Minister of Children, Women Family in charge for all the cross sectoral coordination of all technical and administrative issues related to children and families nationwide. Dr. Ba is one of the 10 Experts of the task force that was hired by the UN Department of Social Affairs to design the World Plan of Action for Disabled People for the years 2000 and beyond (1992). In that committee he was the President of the Group in charge for Prevention. He received an award from President Chirac then Mayor of Paris for his work on Improving Mental Health at the International level (1994) and from President Clinton (1996) for his leadership on Improving Quality of Life in Africa.

Plenary Address 4: “Caring for the Caregivers in Challenging Situations– Lessons Learned from the United Nations”

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Driss Moussaoui, M.D. (Morocco)

Driss Moussaoui is Professor Emeritus at Faculty of Medicine in Casablanca, Morocco. He was the founder and Chair of the Ibn Rushd University Psychiatric Centre in Casablanca from 1979 to 2013. He was also Director of the Casablanca WHO Collaborating Centre in Mental Health from 1992 to 2013. Prof. Moussaoui was President of the Moroccan Society of Psychiatry and of the Arab Federation of Psychiatrists. He has edited or co-edited 12 books and published more than 200 papers in international journals. Prof. Moussaoui founded with the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) Executive Committee the Jean Delay Prize (1999). He is the scientific director of the WPA series « International Anthologies of Classic Psychiatric Texts » (French, German, Spanish, Italian, Greek and Russian, in press). Driss Moussaoui is Past President of the World Association of Social Psychiatry (WASP, 2010-2013) and member of the French Academy of Medicine. He is a WPA and WASP Honorary Member, and currently President of the International Federation for Psychotherapy (2018-2023).

Plenary Address 5: “Access to Psychotherapy: For a Better Mental Health in the 21st Century”

Mental disorders are among the heaviest burdens on individuals and societies, all medical specialties included. Treatment of mental disorders necessitates for health workers a good relationship, an improvement of the environment of the patient, a psychotropic medication and/or a psychotherapy. The negative consequences of non-treatment are bad for the patient, for the family and for the society at large, from the human and from the economic points of view. Access to care for mental disorders remains scarce everywhere in the world, including in rich countries. Half of the people with schizophrenia receive no treatment in the USA and half of the people with depression in France are not even diagnosed. In some countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, Asia or Latin America, there is less than one psychiatrist for a million inhabitants. In such environments, access to mental health care in general and to psychotherapy in particular, are an inaccessible dream. During the past three years, International Federation for Psychotherapy launched a pilot project in Morocco on ‘Psychological Help in Rural Areas’. The results of this study will be presented, as well as experiences in various countries to overcome poor access to Psychotherapy.

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Dinesh Bhugra (UK)

Dinesh Kumar Makhan Lal Bhugra CBE is a professor of mental health and diversity at the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London. He is an honorary consultant psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust and is former president of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He has been president of the World Psychiatric Association[ and the British Medical Association. He is a well-known commentator on mental health issues. He has contributed to The GuardianThe Daily Telegraph, The Times (UK), the Financial Times, The Observer, The Huffington Post, the BBC News Magazine, The Times of India, and The New York Times. His research interests include topics across social and public health psychiatry: cross-cultural psychiatry, migrant mental health, professionalism in psychiatry, depression, psychosexual medicine, service provision and decision-making. He has become an important authority on these issues, having published over 180 papers in peer-reviewed journals, 100 editorials and invited papers, 90 book chapters and authored or edited 30 books. 

Plenary Address 6: The psychology of institutions

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Ulrich Schnyder, M.D. (Switzerland)

Ulrich Schnyder, M.D., is a psychiatrist and licensed psychotherapist. He is emeritus professor of psychiatry and psychotherapy at University of Zurich, Switzerland. Until 2018, he was head of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University Hospital Zurich. His scientific activities are focused on various aspects of traumatic stress research, including epidemiology, neurobiology, psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy for PTSD, resilience to stress, and, more recently, refugee mental health, and the emotional, psychosocial and physical consequences of child maltreatment. Past President of the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ESTSS), the International Federation for Psychotherapy (IFP), and the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS). In 2013, he received the ESTSS Wolter de Loos Award for Distinguished Contribution to Psychotraumatology in Europe, and in 2016 the ISTSS Lifetime Achievement Award. Honorary Member, International Federation for Psychotherapy (IFP).

Plenary Address 7: “Evidence-based Psychotherapies for PTSD: Differences, Commonalities, and Future Directions”

This lecture gives an overview of the currently available empirically supported psychotherapies for PTSD. They each have their specific characteristics, but they also have a lot in common. In fact, the commonalities outweigh the differences by far: (1) Psychoeducation offers information on the nature and course of posttraumatic stress reactions, identifies ways to cope with trauma reminders, and discusses strategies to manage distress. (2) Emotion regulation and coping skills are frequently taught and trained in the beginning or first stages of treatment. This may also be seen as a treatment element that aims at promoting trauma survivors’ resilience. (3) Some form of imaginal exposure to the patients’ memory of their traumatic experiences can be found in virtually all evidence-based psychotherapies for trauma-related disorders. (4) Cognitive processing, restructuring and/or meaning making is another common element. (5) Emotions are targeted in all psychotherapies. Some predominantly tackle the patients’ fear network, others focus more on guilt and shame, anger, or grief and sadness. (6) Memory processes also play an important role in treating trauma-related disorders. The reorganization of memory functions and the creation of a coherent trauma narrative appear to be central goals of all trauma-focused treatments. Promising future developments may include, e.g., the combination of treatments to address comorbidities, “mini-interventions” for specific problems trans-diagnostically, and treatment elements aimed at enhancing resilience, such as mindfulness-based approaches. Furthermore, psychotherapists working with trauma survivors should develop their culture sensitivity.

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Gisele Apter (France) 

Plenary Address 8:

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Fiammetta Cosci, M.D., Ph.D. (Italy)

Prof. Dr. Fiammetta Cosci is Associate Professor in Clinical Psychology at the University of Florence, Italy, and Guest Associate Professor at the Department of Psychiatry & Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, the Netherlands. She is Editor in Chief of Psychotherapy and Psychosomatics (2021 IF: 25.617), the official journal of the International Federation for Psychotherapy. She is also Secretary General of the International Federation for Psychotherapy, Board Member of the European Association in Psychosomatic Medicine, and Co-opted Board Member of the International College of Psychosomatic Medicine. She received the EPA Research Prize, the Global Research Award for Nicotine Dependence, and the Y-Mind Center for Prevention of Mental Disorders Award. She published more than 110 papers in Web of Science international journals.

Plenary Address 9: “How to publish research and clinical articles on psychotherapy in high impact factor international journals”

There is a growing need of enlarging the current knowledge in psychotherapy based on published clinical research in high impact factor international journals. The present intervention will overview the steps of the editorial process used in international journals publishing on psychotherapy articles and will give advice on how to select the proper journal and nicely prepare a manuscript. We expect that at the end of the intervention, participants are more familiar with the editorial process and with the steps to be followed. Psychotherapy must reach the scientific channel of communication to give a clinically useful contribution in research and in practice. 

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Tobias Krieger, Ph.D. (Switzerland)

Tobias Krieger (*1981) completed his master’s degree in Psychology 2009 at the University of Bern, Switzerland. In 2013, he received his PhD from the University of Zurich, and, in 2020, he received the ‘venia docendi’ (Habilitation) from the Faculty of Human Sciences of the University of Bern. He is a trained and licensed psychotherapist in cognitive behavioral therapy with an interpersonal focus. As a practitioner he has worked with patients in various institutions. His research focuses on psychotherapy process and outcome research, internet-based interventions, depression treatment, and transdiagnostic factors. He is a consortium member of the Horizon 2020 ICare project, which focused on prevention of mental disorders via online interventions, and the European FP7 project E-COMPARED with a focus on blended treatment for depression. Currently, he works as a research group leader at the department of clinical psychology and psychotherapy at the University of Bern, and as a senior psychotherapist and clinical supervisor at the outpatient clinic of the University of Bern. His main research focus is on chronic loneliness with the support of a grant from the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF). He has (co-)authored nearly 100 research papers and book chapters and has recently co-authored a book on the psychotherapeutic treatment of loneliness.

Plenary Address 10: “Loneliness: the rediscovery of a relevant clinical phenomenon”

Loneliness is a common phenomenon in the general population and clinical practice. It is a thoroughly subjective feeling that does not need to be correlated with social isolation: Some people can be alone without feeling lonely. In contrast, others feel lonely despite being among people. The ability to feel lonely may be an inherent part of being human and can be adaptive in order to take actions to improve existing or to create new relationships. However, chronic forms of loneliness are debilitating conditions. Many studies show that chronic loneliness is associated with various mental and physical health outcomes. Despite this knowledge, evidence-based interventions to effectively alleviate loneliness are still scarce. In addition, loneliness is highly stigmatized. Thus, low threshold scalable interventions that effectively address loneliness are needed. The present talk gives an overview of theoretical aspects of loneliness and the efficacy of existing interventions. Finally, preliminary results of a large three-arm randomized-controlled trial testing the efficacy of an internet-based self-help intervention for people suffering from loneliness are presented. These findings will then be discussed regarding their implications.

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Jalil Bennani, M.D. (Morocco)

Jalil Bennani, M.D., is a psychiatrist and a psychoanalyst in Rabat, Morocco. He has written a number of books, notably: ‘The suspect body’ (Le corps suspect, 1980), ‘Psychoanalysis in Islamic territory’ (Psychanalyse en terre d’islam, 2008), ‘A psychoanalyst in the city’  (Un psychanalyste dans la cité, 2013, Grand Atlas Prize), ‘A such long journey’ (Un si long chemin – Paroles de réfugiés au Maroc, 2016), ‘From jinn to psychoanalysis’ (Des djinns à la psychanalyse, 2022). Jalil Bennani is an associate researcher in the CRPMS of the Paris University. He is entitled to lead research studies at the Nice University (Université de Nice Sophia Antipolis). He received in 2002 the «Sigmund Freud Prize of the City of Vienna» for significant contributions to the field of Psychoanalysis.

Plenary Address 11: “For a New Approach of Traditional and Modern Practices”

Traditional practices are often at the crossroads of the comings and goings from one culture to another, from one language to another. We must take into account the movement of subjects and their symptoms, their desire to leave and retrieve. How can one integrate the non-Western knowledge with that of psychiatry and psychoanalysis? What is the epistemological break that takes place in theory? What are the effects on psychotherapeutic practices? I will address in this lecture the articulation of the discourse on beliefs to that on science, through the patient’s words, taken in its cultural diversity and its decentering.

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Tom Jamieson- Craig, M.D., Ph.D., FRCPsych. (UK)

Tom Jamieson- Craig is Professor Emeritus of Social Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College, London. He qualified in medicine at the University of the West Indies in 1973 and trained in psychiatry in Nottingham UK. He was appointed as the first professor of Community Psychiatry in the UK in 1990 with clinical bases at St Thomas’ Hospital and later with the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust. His research closely followed his clinical interests including the evaluation of residential alternatives to the hospital asylum, controlled trials of early intervention services for first episode psychosis and in that role led several initiatives including the closure and community reprovision of a large hospital asylum, the introduction of early implementations of community mental health services including the implementation and evaluation of pan-London outreach for mentally ill homeless people, psychological interventions for ‘dual diagnosis’ and more latterly the use of digital (computer) enhancements to psychological therapies for psychosis He has published more than 300 papers in peer reviewed journals and book chapters. He is a past president of the World Association of Social Psychiatry (WASP, 2013-2016), Fellow of the European Society of Social Psychiatry and hon. Fellow of the WPA. He also served on several national health programmes including the MHRN research lead for the southeast of England, the mental health lead for the National Clinical Advisory service and with the Health Policy Commission.

Plenary Address 12: “A therapist in your pocket? A role for digital technology in the delivery of psychological therapies”

Achieving sustained benefits from a psychological treatment depends on at least 3 things. First, access to a therapist, second that the therapy is provided with suitable competence and third that benefits are realised outside of the therapy room. For common mental disorders of depression and anxiety, the Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) in the UK is a good example of upscaling therapy delivery with some 10,000 therapists seeing around 1 million people each year but with continuing concern about the longevity of benefit beyond the clinic.  For those with psychotic conditions, achievements are more modest, reflecting in part greater skepticism about the efficacy of talking treatments for these conditions and even where a good evidence base exists, a shortage of specialised therapists to competently deliver the treatment. There is growing interest in the use of new ‘digital’ technologies to address some of the shortfall. These include self-help smart phone applications to treat specific symptoms as for example treatments of insomnia or ‘in vivo’ treatment for paranoid symptoms and the use of virtual reality as an adjunct to aspects of therapy delivery as in the replication of therapist-accompanied exposure to threatening environments or in an adaptation of relational therapies for hallucinated ‘voices’.  Much of this work is still experimental and will face considerable challenges upscaling to routine health care, but some are already achieving this upscaling and with more mobile phones in use worldwide today than there are toothbrushes the expansion of these novel therapies is certain to follow.

Etheldreda Nakimuli-Mpungu, M.D., Ph.D. (Uganda)

Etheldreda Nakimuli-Mpungu M.D., Ph.D., an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at Makerere University in Uganda, works toward making psychotherapy more culturally appropriate, particularly for people living with HIV and depression. She has developed a highly cost-effective group support psychotherapy program that can be delivered by lay health workers and which has been shown to dramatically reduce depression symptoms and improve anti-viral medication adherence and viral suppression in those affected. Her research earned her the 2016 Elsevier Foundation Award, and a Presidential National Independence Medal of Honor on 8 March 2016 – International Women’s Day. Recently, she was listed among the BBC 100 most inspiring and influential Women in 2020. Dr. Nakimuli-Mpungu completed her medical degree, and Master of Medicine in Psychiatry at Makerere University in 1998 and 2006 respectively. In 2012, she attained a doctoral degree in psychiatric epidemiology from Johns Hopkins University, USA. Her work has been published in the Lancet HIV and Lancet Global Health. Dr Nakimuli-Mpungi has received funding from MQ: Transforming Mental Health, Grand Challenges Canada, the United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS, United States Agency for International Development (Development Innovation Ventures), and the Child Relief International Foundation.

Plenary Session 13: Long-term Effect of Group Supportive Psychotherapy in Uganda on Depression and HIV Treatment Outcomes 

The presenter will describe a study that examined the effect of supportive group psychotherapy compared to group psychoeducation on depression and HIV treatment outcomes. Her team investigated the mediating role of depression and anti-retroviral therapy adherence in the relationship between supportive group psychotherapy and viral load suppression. Patients from thirty HIV clinics across three districts in Uganda were randomly assigned to receive either group psychotherapy or psychoeducation for depression. Depression, optimal (≥95%) ART adherence, and HIV viral loads were assessed at baseline, 6-, 12-, 18-, and 24-months post-treatment. Multilevel mixed effects regression models and generalized structural equation modeling were used to estimate outcomes and mediation effects. 1140 people living with HIV entered the study.  578 (51%) received supportive group psychotherapy and 562 (49%) received psychoeducation. Fewer group psychotherapy than psychoeducation participants met criteria for depression at 24 months post treatment [1% versus 25%; adjusted odds ratio (aOR) =0·002, 95% CI 0·0002-0·018]. More group psychotherapy than psychoeducation participants reported optimal (≥95%) ART adherence [96% versus 88%; aOR =20.88, 95% CI 5.78- 75.33] and improved viral suppression [96% versus 88%; aOR =3.38, 95% CI 1.02- 11.02]. The indirect effects of supportive group psychotherapy through sequential reduction in depression and improvement in HIV medication adherence at 12 months may partially explain the higher viral suppression rates at 24 months. In settings where the HIV epidemic persists, depression treatment with group supportive group psychotherapy may be critical for optimal HIV treatment outcomes.

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Aimee Nasser Karam, Ph. D. (Lebanon)

Dr. Aimee Nasser Karam received her Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology from St. Joseph University in Beirut, Lebanon. She completed her training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy at the Beck Institute for Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy in Pennsylvania, (USA) and has a Postgraduate Diploma in Advanced Cognitive Therapy Studies from the Oxford Cognitive Therapy Center, Oxford University (UK). She is a certified Diplomat in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and a member of the Academy for Cognitive Therapy. She is the first specialist in the field of cognitive and behavioral therapy (CBT) in Lebanon (practice, teaching, and supervision).  Dr. Karam is Head of Clinical Psychology at the Medical Institute for Neuropsychological Disorders (MIND) in the Department of Psychiatry and Clinical Psychology at St George Hospital University Medical Center in Beirut. She is a founding member of the Institute for Development, Research and Applied Care, a non-profit, non-governmental organization dedicated to mental health, research, community service and education in Lebanon and the Arab World. She is a Professor at Balamand University, school of Medicine and author of several publications. She served as President of the Lebanese Psychological Association from 2017-2019.  Dr Karam has participated in international conferences and seminars in the field of clinical psychology and has represented Lebanon in conferences and seminars on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and practicing it as a first line psychological treatment. Dr. Karam founded the Lebanese Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy, the first associate member of the European Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapy (EABCT). 

Plenary Address 14: Becoming a More Effective Therapist, Understanding and Targeting the Cognitive Vulnerability of Depression

Several components of vulnerability for depression have been proposed during recent years and have attracted empirical attention. Increased levels of rumination, maladaptive schema, negative attributional style, impaired self-perception, among other indicators may place individuals at risk for major depression. Although evidence supporting each of these models has emerged, conceptual challenges remain, and no single model is enough to embrace all aspects of vulnerability to depression.

Using empirical findings on the process and outcomes of CBT for Depression will help getting the specifics and the most out of effective interventions in the cognitive work and their long-term impact. Targeting the key factors that account for achieving change and maintaining the therapeutic gains for depression on the short and long term will be discussed, in particular how to do it, conceptually and skillfully.

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César A. Alfonso, M.D. (USA)

César A. Alfonso, M.D., is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, Adjunct Professor at the University of Indonesia, and Visiting Professor at the National University of Malaysia and at Prince of Songkla University in Thailand. Born in Cuba in 1961, he spent formative years in Spain and Puerto Rico before pursuing undergraduate studies at Yale University, and graduate and postgraduate studies in medicine, psychiatry, psychosomatic medicine, and psychoanalysis in New York. Dr. Alfonso served as President of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis (AAPDPP) in 2010-2012, as Chair of the Psychotherapy Section of the World Psychiatric Association for six years and presently serves on the Council of the International Federation for Psychotherapy. His recent work includes the study of the psychodynamic determinants of treatment adherence, biopsychosocial and cultural aspects of suicide, the clinical care of visually impaired persons, and the design and implementation of psychotherapy training programs worldwide. Dr. Alfonso is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and a Fellow of the New York Academy of Medicine, the Academy of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, and of the AAPDPP. He has over 100 publications, including three books with Guilford Press and Springer Nature. Dr. Alfonso practices in New York and is Chief Psychiatrist at the Lighthouse Guild Clinic. He is Editor in Chief of Psychodynamic Psychiatry.

Plenary Address 15: “Childhood Adversity, Epigenetics, and Psychotherapy as a Biological Treatment”

Psychotherapy results in improved mentalization and reflective functioning, effective adaptation, and symptomatic reduction. It results in increased levels of functioning at work, within the family unit, and in social settings. Psychotherapy not only alters brain chemistry and function, but also effects change at the level of the DNA. Understanding gene-environment interactions is relevant to clinical practice of psychotherapy. Traumatic events, in particular during the sensitive periods of brain development in early childhood and adolescence, may trigger enduring epigenetic changes. The speaker will review how epigenetics may be an important underlying mechanism for the pathogenesis of mental disorders. Epigenetic mechanisms that have been widely studied include DNA methylation, histone modifications and non-coding RNA interference and silencing. Professor Alfonso will summarize data showing that psychosocial interventions, including brief psychotherapy interventions, may reverse epigenetic changes associated with major depression, PTSD and stressor related disorders, decreasing suicide risk and improving overall health and quality of life. Psychotherapy, thus, could be conceptualized as an effective biological treatment.

Vincenzo Di Nicola, M.Phil., M.D., Ph.D., F.R.C.P.C., F.C.A.H.S. (Canada)

Vincenzo Di Nicola is an interdisciplinary scholar who trained as a psychologist, child psychiatrist, psychotherapist, and philosopher. Di Nicola practices and teaches in Montreal, Quebec, and consults internationally in the areas of child and family psychiatry, trauma, and social and cultural psychiatry. Di Nicola’s appointments include Tenured Professor of Psychiatry, University of Montreal, Canada; Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, George Washington University, USA; Honorary Professor of Psychology & Law, FADOM, Brazil; Honorary Chair & Professor of Social Psychiatry, Milan School of Medicine, Ambrosiana University, Italy. He is Founder & President, Canadian Association of Social Psychiatry, and President-Elect, World Association of Social Psychiatry. Di Nicola is Co-Founder & Past Chair, American Psychiatric Association Caucus on Global Mental Health & Psychiatry; Co-Founder & Co-Chair, APA Caucus on Medical Humanities in Psychiatry; and Past President, APA Quebec & Eastern Canada District Branch. Di Nicola’s recent international fellowships and awards include APA’s Distinguished Service Award; Distinguished International Member, Bulgarian Association of Sciences & Arts; Distinguished Fellow, American and Canadian Psychiatric Associations; Psychiatric Fellow, American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry & Psychoanalysis; and Fellow, Canadian Academy of Health Sciences. His research ranges from behavioural psychology to child psychopharmacology and psychiatric epidemiology, focused on children’s eating and mood disorders, migrant families, and trauma. His most recent volume with Drozdstoj Stoyanov is Psychiatry in Crisis: At the Crossroads of Social Sciences, the Humanities, and Neuroscience (2021). 

Plenary Address 16: “Take Your Time: Seven Lessons for Young Therapists”

In these seven lessons for young therapists, a practising psychiatrist and psychotherapist with more than 40 years’ experience surveys what therapy is about and how it works, from behaviour therapy and family therapy to psychodynamic psychotherapy. Ranging from what to read and how to begin therapy, the lessons cover therapeutic temperaments and technique, the myth of independence and individual psychology, the nature of change, the evolution of therapy, the search for meaning and relational ethics, and finally, when therapy is over. 

  1. People come into therapy in order not to change – When does therapy begin?
  2. Therapeutic temperaments – Who conducts therapy and why?
  3. The family as a unique culture – Relational psychology and relational therapy.
  4. Changing the subject – How does therapy work?
  5. One hundred years of invisibility – The evolution of therapy from the 19th-century era of the symptom through the 20th-century era of therapy to the 21st-century era of change.
  6. Making meaning – Making sense, technique, and doing good: Relational ethics.
  7. “And on the seventh day, the Lord rested …” – When therapy is over: The myth of closure, flow, and slowness in therapy. 

This plenary address integrates the author’s model of working with families across cultures presented in A Stranger in the Family: Families, Culture, and Therapy (Norton, 1997) and elaborated in his Letters to a Young Therapist (Atropos, 2011) with his more recent work on trauma in Trauma and Transcendence (Fordham, 2018), and “Take Your Time,” his Slow thought manifesto (Aeon, 2019).

Nadia Kadri (Morocco)

Plenary Address 17:

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The following courses will be offered to conference registrants on Day 1 of the congress (9 February 2023). Courses 1-4 will be offered in parallel rooms from 09:00-12:00 and Courses 5-7 from 14:00-17:00. Conference participants will be able to pre-register in advance at no additional charge and select up to two courses to secure attendance.

Course 1. Fundamentals of Supportive Psychotherapy

Course Directors:

Erin Crocker (USA)

Clinical Associate Professor of Psychiatry,

Psychiatry Residency Training Director, 

University of Iowa, Health Care, USA.

Randon Welton (USA)

Margaret Clark Morgan Endowed Chair of Psychiatry, 

Northeast Ohio Medical University, USA.

Course Description: 

This 3-hour course will be conducted in English. It will be interactive and open to up to 75 participants. The target audience will be early to mid-career psychotherapists as well as students and trainees. Course faculty members are cognizant that psychotherapy training is limited in many low-and-middle-income countries and this course is meant to bridge such resource discrepancies.

Educational objectives include identifying and mastering the common factors that are curative in all psychotherapies and understanding the importance of supportive psychotherapy interventions across all treatment settings. The common factors include empathy, expression and regulation of affect, validation, support, mentalization, and forming a therapeutic alliance. 

The course objective is to increase knowledge and competence in the delivery of supportive psychotherapy. Faculty members will present principles and practical applications of supportive psychotherapy in general psychiatric practice settings such as inpatient, outpatient, Emergency Room (ER), general hospital Consultation-Liaison (CL), and addiction psychiatry settings. Particular attention will be given to cultural adaptations and optimizing services in high volume clinical settings. Attendees will have opportunities to gain practical, hands-on experience in applying the skills learned through interactive Q&A sessions.

Course 2. Fundamentals of CBT

Course Directors:

Reham Aly (Egypt)

Executive Committee Member, WPA Psychotherapy Section

Consultant Psychiatrist, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

Academy of Cognitive Therapy Diplomate & Member, Philadelphia, USA

President of Egyptian Association of Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Keith Dobson (Canada)

Professor of Clinical Psychology, University of Calgary, Canada

President of the World Confederation of Cognitive and Behavioural Therapies

Course Description: 

This 3-hour course will be conducted in English. It will be interactive and open to up to 75 participants. The target audience will be early to mid-career psychotherapists as well as students and trainees. Course faculty members are cognizant that psychotherapy training is limited in many low-and-middle-income countries and this course is meant to bridge such resource discrepancies.

Educational objectives include understanding the theory of cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT), reviewing, and mastering basic CBT therapeutic techniques, and formulating clinical cases based on the CBT Model. 

CBT is an evidence-based, problem-focused, and action-oriented psychotherapy modality that focuses on identifying and correcting cognitive distortions that result in maladaptive behaviors and emotional dysregulation. It is the most widely studied form of psychotherapy for adults, children, adolescents, and the elderly. CBT helps persons in distress understand the connection between thoughts, feelings, and behavior to devise more adaptive coping strategies. CBT techniques are applicable to all psychological problems and most psychiatric disorders. CBT emphasizes the people’s ability to choose their thoughts to guide actions and earn control over life events. This course will serve as a practical introduction to this important treatment modality.

Course 3. CBT for Psychosis

Course Director:

Warut Aunjitsakul (Thailand)

Associate Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine,

Prince of Songkla University

Hat Yai, Songkhla, Thailand. 

Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, UK

Daruj Aniwattanapong (Thailand)

Assistant Professor, Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine

Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, Thailand

PhD candidate, King’s College, London

Course Description:

This 3-hour course will be conducted in English. It will be interactive and open to up to 75 participants. The target audience will be early to mid-career psychotherapists as well as students and trainees. Some proficiency in basic CBT would be helpful but not required. The course director is cognizant that psychotherapy training is limited in many low-and-middle-income countries and this course is meant to bridge such resource discrepancies.

Educational objectives include understanding the relationship between social anxiety and psychosis and applying CBT techniques for persons with psychosis, including schizophrenia, in a culturally sensitive way.

In people with psychosis, deficits in social functioning are associated with problems with social relationships, and social anxiety disorder co-morbidity is under-recognized. Moreover, comorbid social anxiety can lead to low functioning and self-esteem, poor quality of life and well-being, and co-morbid depression. This course will examine the association of negative social appraisals and safety behaviors with social anxiety and paranoia. The course director will demonstrate practical CBT psychotherapeutic techniques targeted to reduce anxiety and ameliorate negative symptoms in persons with schizophrenia.

Course 4. Psychotherapy in Primary Care (in French)/Psychothérapie dans les soins primaires: Quelques repères et outils pour faire face aux troubles anxieux et aux troubles de l’humeur

Course Directors:

François Ferrero (Switzerland)

Honorary Professor, University of Geneva, Switzerland

Board Member of the International Federation for Psychotherapy

Yasser Khazaal (Switzerland)

Full Professor of Addiction Psychiatry, University of Lausanne and Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland

Associate Professor, Montreal University, Canada

Course Description:

This 3-hour course will be conducted in French and will be interactive. It will be open to up of 75 participants. The target audience will be primary care physicians, early to mid-career psychotherapists, as well as medical students and trainees in the mental health professions.

Educational objectives include delineating collaborative agreements between primary care physicians and psychiatrists-psychotherapists; improving the quality of care for persons with mental disorders, especially anxiety and affective disorders; proposing collaborative models of care; developing psychotherapeutic skills of primary care physicians and other professionals specifying the complementary role of psychiatrists-psychotherapists.

Most patients with mental disorders are first diagnosed and treated by primary care physicians. In many countries around the world, the number of trained psychiatrists is very low and those trained in psychotherapy even rarer. Despite existing programs to train primary care physicians and healthcare workers in psychotherapy, a need still exists for establishing common guidelines aiming to improve both the quality and accessibility of such treatments. This course will offer primary care physicians, and healthcare professionals in primary care the opportunity to improve their skills and basic knowledge of psychotherapy.

Description du cours :

Ce cours de 3 heures sera donné en français sous une forme interactive. Nombre de participants maximum : 75. Le cours s’adresse aux médecins généralistes, aux psychothérapeutes en formation, aux étudiants en médecine et aux professionnels en santé mentale. 

Objectifs de formation : Favoriser la collaboration entre médecins de premier recours et psychiatres psychothérapeutes, afin d’améliorer la qualité des soins aux personnes souffrant de troubles mentaux, en particulier de troubles affectifs et anxieux ; Proposer des modèles de soins collaboratifs ; Développer les compétences psychothérapeutiques des médecins et des soignants de premier recours en précisant le rôle complémentaire des psychiatres-psychothérapeutes.

La majorité des patients souffrant de troubles mentaux consultent en premier lieu les médecins généralistes et ce sont eux qui ont la responsabilité de poser un diagnostic et d’engager un traitement.

Dans de nombreux pays, le nombre de psychiatres est limité et les psychiatres ayant une formation en psychothérapie sont encore plus rares. Bien qu’il existe des programmes de formation à la psychothérapie destinés aux médecins généralistes et aux soignants de premier recours, il manque encore des lignes directrices communes qui permettraient d’améliorer tant la qualité que l’accessibilité à ces traitements. Ce cours offrira aux médecins et aux soignants de premier recours une occasion de développer leurs compétences en acquérant quelques connaissances de base en psychothérapie ainsi que quelques outils thérapeutiques.

Course 5. Fundamentals of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

Course Directors:

Constantine Della (Philippines)

Head of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry,

University of the Philippines College of Medicine

Secretary, WPA Psychotherapy Section.

Samuel Eng Teck Cheng (Singapore)

Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Department of Psychological Medicine, Changi General Hospital

Director of Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Service, Changi General Hospital

Andre Teck Sng Tay (Singapore)

Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, Department of Psychological Medicine, Changi General Hospital

Clinical Assistant Professor, Duke-National University of Singapore (NUS) Medical School

Rasmon Kalayasiri (Thailand)

Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Chulalongkorn University

Director, Centre for Addiction Studies (CADS), Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University

Nik Ruzyanei Nik Jaafar (Malaysia)

Professor of Psychiatry, National University of Malaysia

Chair, National University of Malaysia Good Clinical Practice Committee 

Course Description: 

This 3-hour course will be conducted in English. It will be interactive and open to up to 75 participants. The target audience will be early to mid-career psychotherapists as well as students and trainees. Course faculty members are cognizant that psychotherapy training is limited in many low-and-middle-income countries and this course is meant to bridge such resource discrepancies. 

Educational objectives include understanding the essential theoretical concepts of psychodynamic psychotherapy; identifying and learning psychodynamic psychotherapy technique; learning how to do a psychodynamic formulation that informs treatment; and describing the associated theoretical paradigms that enhance the psychodynamic approach such as the biopsychosocial model. 

The psychoanalytic tradition influenced modern psychiatric practice by helping clinicians understand intrapsychic and interpersonal conflicts and unconscious motivations. Contemporary psychodynamic psychotherapy has distilled concepts of transference, countertransference, resistance, adaptation, and defense mechanisms in a unifying way to inform the clinical treatment of persons with mood disorders, addictions, eating disorders, anxiety disorders and personality disorders. This course will demonstrate how the psychodynamic approach is particularly useful for treatment resistant and complex, co-morbid psychiatric disorders.

Course 6. A Review of Third Wave Therapies 

Course Directors:

Jian Linn Loo (UK)

Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board,

Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Wrexham, United Kingdom

Noor Melissa Nor Hadi (Malaysia)

Department of Psychiatry, Faculty of Medicine, Universiti Teknologi MARA,

Selangor, Malaysia.

Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Hospital Tuanku Fauziah,

Perlis, Malaysia

Iizax Ramírez (Mexico)

Mexican Society of Neurology and Psychiatry, 

Mexico City, Mexico.

Course Description: 

This 3-hour course will be conducted in English. It will be interactive and open to up to 75 participants. The target audience will be early to mid-career psychotherapists as well as students and trainees. Course faculty members are cognizant that psychotherapy training is limited in many low-and-middle-income countries and this course is meant to bridge such resource discrepancies. 

Educational objectives include understanding the development of specialized psychotherapies known as the third wave therapies, which include dialectical behavior therapy (DBT), acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT), behavioral activation therapy (BAT) and mindfulness-based cognitive therapy (MBCT); and learning how to integrate DBT, ACT, MBCT and BAT skills in the routine psychotherapy clinical care of patients in a variety of clinical settings.

Given the burden of mental health morbidities, especially in the pandemic and post-pandemic era, there is an increasing need for the provision of effective psychotherapies. The third-wave therapies have been validated transculturally and are especially helpful in regions of the world that value collectivism and interdependence. This course will offer registrants practical skills to inform eclectic approaches to psychotherapy to maximize treatment effectiveness in real world clinical settings and complex conditions.

Course 7. Fundamentals of Motivational Interviewing

Course Directors:

Hazli Zakaria (Malaysia)

President, Malaysian Psychiatric Association.

Director, Alaminda Psychiatric Clinic, 

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

 Faiz Tahir (Malaysia)

Consultant Psychiatrist,

International Islamic University Malaysia,

Kuantan, Malaysia.

Chair of the WPA Psychotherapy Section Special Interest Group on Cultural Adaptations of Motivational Interviewing.

Course Description: 

This 3-hour course will be conducted in English. It will be interactive and open to up to 75 participants. The target audience will be early to mid-career psychotherapists as well as students and trainees. Course faculty members are cognizant that psychotherapy training is limited in many low-and-middle-income countries and this course is meant to bridge such resource discrepancies. 

Educational objectives include describing the theory of Motivational Interviewing (MI) and highlighting basic MI techniques that could be incorporated in all psychotherapies.

Motivational Interviewing (MI) is a psychotherapy that is directive, patient-centered and designed to elicit behavior change. MI helps patients to explore and resolve ambivalence, promote willingness to change and couple insight with action. Research demonstrates the effectiveness of MI in the management of chronic medical illnesses (hypertension, diabetes mellitus, and obesity), smoking cessation, alcohol dependence, and medication and treatment adherence.  This course will focus on describing the theory behind MI (including the transtheoretical stages of change model) and demonstrating basic MI concepts and techniques (such as the user of open-ended questions, affirmations, reflection, summary statements). The psychotherapy process sequence of engaging, focusing, evoking, and planning will be explained, as well as the key principles of expressing empathy, supporting self-efficacy, creating discrepancy, avoiding arguments, and rolling with resistance. Clinical demonstrations will be offered to course registrants in an interactive fashion.

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Panel Discussions

Panel Discussions bring together prominent international experts who will interact in round table conversation format with the audience, debating controversial and clinically relevant questions.

Panel Discussion 1. Are cultural adaptations of psychotherapies necessary?

Farooq Naeem (Canada/Pakistan); Driss Moussaoui (Morocco); César A. Alfonso (USA); Debasish Basu (India), Samuel Cheng (Singapore)

There is emerging literature showing that psychotherapies that were created in Europe and USA can be delivered without adaptation in low- and middle-income countries with a robust effect and positive outcome. Panelists will discuss experiences with cultural adaptations.

Panel Discussion 2. Controversies about the delivery of early interventions after trauma

Ulrich Schnyder (Switzerland); Amir Hossein Jalali (Iran); Asher Aladjem (USA); Katerina Duchonova (Czech Republic)

The panelists will address how to better tailor and time interventions not to retraumatize those affected.

Panel Discussion 3. Adolescents and psychotherapy-An impossible quest?

Gisele Apter (France); Michel Botbol (France); Véronique Delvenne (Belgium); Maureen Lyon (USA)

Panelists will discuss their experiences providing psychotherapy to adolescents.

Panel Discussion 4. What can psychotherapists learn from the social sciences?

Renato Antunes dos Santos (Brazil/Canada); Vincenzo Di Nicola (Canada); César A. Alfonso (USA) 

Panelists will describe mutual influences between psychotherapies and the social sciences, including anthropology, philosophy, sociology, history, and linguistics

Panel Discussion 5. Is psychoanalysis relevant in the twenty-first century? 

Hazli Zakaria (Malaysia); Hachem Tyal (Morocco); Tim Sullivan (USA); Alma Jimenez (Philippines)

How can psychoanalytic theory inform clinical practice in places with low resources?

Panel Discussion 6. Can psychotherapy be meaningful with the terminally ill?

Guida da Ponte (Portugal); Marco C. Michael (USA); Asher Aladjem (USA); Anna Vasiljeva (Russia); Josef Jenewein (Austria)

Panelists who are experienced caring for the terminally ill, persons with multimorbidities, and geriatric populations will discuss psychotherapy challenges and developmental milestones at the end of life.

Panel Discussion 7. Changing paradigms in psychotherapy education

Mariana Pinto da Costa (Portugal/UK); François Ferrero (Switzerland); Andrés Fuenmayor (Venezuela/USA); Renato Alarcón (Perú/USA); S. Tavakoli (Iran)

Panelists, include a trainee, an early career clinician, and two senior expert educators, will discuss innovative pedagogical techniques.

Panel Discussion 8. Is there a place for religion in psychotherapy?

Constantine Della (Philippines); Warut Aunjitsakul (Thailand); Sylvia Detri Elvira (Indonesia); Chaimaa Aroui (Morocco); Andre Tay (Singapore)

Panelists from diverse religious backgrounds will debate the advantages and pitfalls of incorporating religion in the clinical practice of psychotherapy.

Panel Discussion 9. Should psychotherapy modalities be integrated or delivered separately in manualized forms?

Erin Crocker (USA); Maria Ammon (Germany); Mario Eduardo Costa Pereira (Brazil); Timothy Sullivan (USA); Shigeru Iwakabe (Japan)

Panelists will address questions regarding appropriateness of delivering psychotherapies in pure form, sequentially, or integrated in eclectic ways.

Panel Discussion 10. Is there a dose effect in psychotherapy? 

Thomas Craig (UK); Silvia Olarte (USA); Joseph Silvio (USA); Alma Jimenez (Philippines)

Panelists will debate arguments for and against long term psychotherapy treatments vs. time limited interventions.

Panel Discussion 11. How different are third wave psychotherapies from traditional CBT?

Jian Lin Loo (UK); Iizax Ramirez (Mexico); Reham Aly (Egypt), Peter Steen (USA)

Some argue that the core practice of CBT does not need to be enhanced or supplemented. Panelists will debate this topic and discuss how DBT, ACT, and other interventions may differ from CBT.

Panel Discussion 12. Should psychotherapy treat parents and children together or would it be best delivered separately?

Panelists will discuss clinical experiences with parent-infant and parent-child psychotherapy interventions worldwide.

Gisele Apter (France); Alexandra Harrison (USA); Miri Keren (Israel); Daniel Schechter (Switzerland)

Panel Discussions by the World Association of Social Psychiatry 

Section on Family Intervention Programs

The WASP Section on Family Intervention Programs will organize 2 panel-discussions on caregivers and users. The 1st panel discussion, in English, will address the negative impact on daily life of family caregiver and the role of a Family Intervention Program, like Profamille, to improve mental health of both caregivers and users. The 2nd panel discussion, in French, will focus on the progress and obstacles in terms of psychoeducation among family caregivers, like Profamille program in France and Morocco. The panel will also listen to the testimony of users and peer-health mediators in mental health.

WASP Section on Family Interventions Panel 1

Caregivers, Users, Psychoeducation & Mental Health


Saïd Fattah (France)

Yasser Khazaal (Switzerland)


Ilham Ibrahimi (Morocco)

Jean-Michel Piat (France)

Wydad Hikmat (Morocco)

Yann Hodé (France)

WASP Section on Family Interventions Panel 2

Aidants familiaux, soignants, usagers, psychoéducation et santé mentale

Table ronde organisée par la section WASP de psychoéducation des familles 


Saïd Fattah (Morocco)

Yann Hodé (France)


Hachem Tyal (Morocco)

Fatah Senadla (France)

Wydad Hikmat (Morocco)

Jean-Michel Piat (France)

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Interactive Workshops

Interactive Workshops will be of 60 minutes duration. Workshop facilitators will dedicate the entire time to interact with the audience.

Workshop 1. Cognitive and Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-i)

(This workshop will be in French)

Workshop Co-Leaders:

Bochra Nourhène Saguem (Tunisia)

Dr Saguem is a Psychiatrist and CBT therapist working at the Psychiatry Department of Farhat Hached Hospital of Sousse, in Tunisia. Dr Saguem is Assistant Professor in Psychiatry at the Faculty of Medicine of Sousse, University of Sousse, Tunisi

Najla Seghaier (Tunisia)

Dr. Seghaier is a Trainee in Psychiatry, at the Psychiatry Department of Farhat Hached Hospital of Sousse, in Tunisia.

Workshop Description: 

Insomnia, the most common sleep disorder, is defined as a chronic difficulty initiating or maintaining sleep or waking in the morning not feeling restored, with subsequent significant distress and impairment of daytime functioning. It is a prevalent public health problem, reported by 10 to 20% of the general population. It results in devastating consequences and heightened societal costs, mainly due to decreased work productivity, absenteeism, increased use of medical services and increased risk of accidents. Among all available treatments for insomnia, cognitive behavioral therapy is considered the therapy of choice and the first line treatment to offer to patients. CBT-i includes several techniques targeting mechanisms involved in perpetuating insomnia through restrengthening the bed-sleep connection, realigning the circadian rhythm and decreasing rumination about sleep. Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia has shown sustained improvements not only in patients with insomnia alone, but also in those having insomnia comorbid with other conditions. In addition, it has shown better and safer outcomes in comparison with prescribing hypnotics. This workshop aims to review the main cognitive and behavioral models for insomnia and to apply the various components of cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia. It will be open to mental health clinicians, psychiatry trainees, family medicine trainees and general practitioners. Clinical-based activities will be programed. Special emphasis will be to the following techniques- stimulus control, sleep restriction, sleep hygiene, paradoxical intention and cognitive restructuring for dysfunctional beliefs about sleep.

Workshop 2. Understanding the Curative Factors in Psychotherapy 

Workshop Co-Leaders:

Silvia Olarte, M.D. (New York, USA)

Originally from Argentina, Dr. Olarte is a Past President of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis and of the Association of Women Psychiatrists. She is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at New York Medical College. She has received numerous international and national academic and service awards during her 52 years of clinical practice.

Constantine Della, M.D. (Manila, Philippines)

Dr. Della is Secretary of the World Psychiatric Association Psychotherapy Section. He is the Director of Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry, Philippines General Hospital and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, University of the Philippines in Manila. He is a Past President of the Philippines Psychiatric Association and currently chairs the Specialty Board of Philippine Psychiatry

Workshop Description: 

Hundreds of psychotherapies, including at least a dozen that are evidence-based, have been developed over the last century. Workshop facilitators will demonstrate that all psychotherapies have common factors. These common, or curative factors, constitute the backbone of the clinical delivery of psychotherapies. The curative factors that will be discussed include empathy (with sub-components of compassion, affective sharing, synchronized mirroring, listening to expressed intense emotions while maintaining composure and serenity), goal consensus and collaboration, establishing a therapeutic alliance (through safety, consistency, attunement, properly anticipating and attending to emotional needs), positive regard and affirmation, mastery, congruence/genuineness, and mentalization (developing the capacity to understand nuances of emotions, the emotional world of the self, the emotional world of others, and how emotions drive actions and one’s actions impact the emotions of others, resulting in either proximity, intimacy or alienation). These factors constitute the main transformative elements in psychotherapy and the workshop facilitators will define and discuss them with the participants of this interactive educational activity.

Workshop 3. Key interventions within cognitive- behavioral therapy to work with negative thinking in depression

Workshop Leader: 

Keith S. Dobson, Ph.D. (Canada)

Keith S. Dobson is a Canadian psychologist, academic and researcher. He is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of Calgary in Canada and has also served as Head of Psychology Department and Director of the Clinical Psychology program at the University. He is President of the World Confederation of Cognitive and Behavioral Therapies.

Workshop Description:

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) of depression has often focused on the negative and potentially distorted thought patterns seen in depression.  Indeed, it is sometimes thought that CBT for depression exclusively focuses on distorted negative thoughts, which is not accurate. In this workshop, the most common negative thought patterns associated with depression are presented within a conceptual model that will allow clinicians to discern what types of interventions may be the most appropriate. The workshop then presents three classes of interventions for working with negative thought patterns in depression.  These different classes of interventions include evidence- based strategies, alternative- based strategies and meaning or inferential strategies.  Examples of these classes of interventions will be provided, and the workshop will include an interactive set of exercises to help attendees best match their chosen approach with the types of interventions that have the best chance to succeed. 

Workshop 4. Research Integrity and Open Sciences Practices for Trust in Psychotherapy Research

Workshop Leader:

Grainne McNamara (UK)

Research Integrity / Publication Ethics Manager, Karger Publishers

Workshop Description:

This interactive workshop is designed for researchers at all career stages, addressing how they can use principles from research integrity and open science to build trust in, and impact of, their research. Incorporating open science principles into research is increasingly becoming an expectation across all disciplines. Through this workshop, we will take these general principles and focus on how they can be applied to psychotherapy research, with a strong emphasis on practical takeaways for attendees, their research and resources.  

At the end of the workshop, attendees will be familiar with open science principles and how this applies to their research. Attendees will learn how research integrity can enhance the impact of their research by increasing its reproducibility.

The workshop will cover:

•  Manuscript planning with transparency in mind, focusing on pre-publication content such as pre-prints, registered reports, and protocols.

•   Research ethics and considerations for open science in psychotherapy research.

•   Reporting guidelines as a research integrity tool in psychotherapy research, as an author, a reviewer and a reader.

•   Ethics of data sharing and data availability expectations from a psychotherapy research perspective.

•   Promoting research findings transparently and responsibly, including on social media.

Workshop 5. Broaching the Subjects of Race, Ethnicity and Culture with Patients: An Integrative Framework

Workshop Facilitators: 

Anne E. Ruble, M.D. (USA)

Associate Director for Residency Training, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Baltimore, Maryland

Norma L. Day-Vines, Ph.D. (USA)

Professor, Counseling and Educational Studies

Associate Dean for Diversity and Faculty Development, Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Baltimore, Maryland

Clio Franklin, M.D. (USA)

General Psychiatry Fellow, Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

Mary Beth Cogan, RN, MPH, ABD (USA) 

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland

Workshop Description:

This multimedia presentation provides participants with a set of strategies and techniques for broaching or discussing the contextual dimensions of race, ethnicity, and culture with culturally and linguistically diverse patients. Essentially, broaching refers to the counselor’s effort to either initiate and/or respond to cultural content the arises during the counseling session (Day-Vines et al., 2007; 2013; 2018; 2022). This presentation will introduce the Broaching Framework. The facilitators will outline the Continuum of Broaching framework which identifies empirically supported orientations that clinicians assume as they determine whether or not to discuss patients’ racial, ethnic, and cultural factors (Day-Vines et al., 2013; Day-Vines et al., 2022a; Day-Vines et al., 2022b). The Multidimensional Model of Broaching Behavior refers to the specific domains that counselors can explore with clients. For instance, counselors can determine whether and how to address the (a) counselor client relationship, (b) the client’s intersectional identities, (c) the client’s experiences with individuals with whom they share the same racial, ethnic, and cultural designations, and/or (d) the client’s encounters with racism and discrimination (Day-Vines et al., 2021). The final component of the model identifies specific strategies for initiating discussions related to race and representation with clients from the counselor’s effort to respond to cultural content that the client raises during treatment (Day-Vines et al., 2021). The facilitators will use video demonstrations to illustrate broaching techniques. 

Workshop 6. Psychodynamic Aspects of Prescribing Medications 

Workshop Co-Leaders:

Joseph Silvio, M.D. (Bethesda, Maryland, USA)

Dr Silvio is the current President of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis (AAPDPP). He is a Distinguished Life Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He serves on the Faculty at the Washington Baltimore Center for Psychoanalysis and at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

J. Raúl Condemarín, M.D. (Boston, Massachusetts, USA)

Dr. Condemarín is a Fellow of the AAPDPP and serves on the Faculty at Harvard University. He has subspecialty training, certification and expertise in Addiction Psychiatry, Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis.

Rangsun Sitthichai, M.D. (Worcester, Massachusetts, USA)

Dr. Sitthichai is a member of the American Academy f Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Assistant Professor at the University of Massachusetts. He developed a program to improve adherence to psychotropic medications and psychotherapies for adolescent patients.

Workshop Description:

This one-hour interactive workshop will address the psychodynamic aspects of psychopharmacology practice. Participants will understand the relevance of the placebo and nocebo effects in therapeutics and have an opportunity to improve competence and performance by 1. Understanding the symbolic meaning of medications; 2. Identifying countertransference/transference aspects of prescribing that may lead to avoidance, undermedication or over prescription, and deviation from treatment guidelines; and 3. Understanding how to properly prescribe without devaluation of psychotherapy.

Workshop 7. Psychotherapy, Sexuality, and Culture 

Workshop Co-Leaders:

Jennifer I. Downey (USA)

Jennifer Downey is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University and a Past President of the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis.  She serves as Editor of the journal Psychodynamic Psychiatry. She co-chaired the Human Sexuality Committee of the Group for the Advancement of Psychiatry.

Nadia Kadri (Morocco)

Nadia Kadri is Professor of Psychiatry at the Faculty of Medicine and Pharmacy of the University Hassan II in Casablanca, Morocco. Her publications include “Affirmation de soi et santé mentale” and “Manuel d’education sexuelle.

Workshop Description:

This workshop will review how to best elicit a sexual history and explore sexuality in psychotherapy treatments. Importance will be given to cultural dimensions that inform treatment.

Workshop 8: The Implementation of Psychotraumatology in the Psychotherapeutic Treatment of Children.

Workshop Facilitators:

Doris D’Hooghe (Belgium)

Director Traumacenter Belgium, Psychotraumatologist, Child therapist, EMDR Practitioner, Member of the C & A Committee ISSTD

Anita Codati (Malaysia)

Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist, Trauma-Informed Practitioner

The Tunku Azizah Women & Children’s Hospital Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Workshop Description:

Child psychiatrists and psychologists are often presented with the difficulty of discerning the “truth” of children’s difficulties, often narrated by parents who are unconscious about their own “ghosts in the nursery”. The “truth” is often the presence of attachment trauma, and in addition “Invisible Attachment Trauma”, which mainly remains unaware and unrecognized and sets the stage for intergenerational transmission of trauma. The child’s present symptoms and disorders can be identified as trauma responses, and serve as a protective mechanisms activated by the impact of traumatic experiences, resulting in different dissociative symptoms. For the child, this coping mechanism is meant to make an unbearable environment liveable and preserve the relationship. This, looking through a magnifying glass, means understanding and recognizing the deeper meaning of symptoms. In trauma-informed care; we shift from “what is wrong with you” to “ what happens to you”. Recognition of trauma and the dissociative responses are hereby crucial in setting up a proper and tailor-made treatment in which the parent, from this point of view, can play an active role in the recovery process of the child. Psycho trauma treatment proposes neuro-bio-psycho-social-spiritual therapy, which is at the core of healing and integration.

Workshop facilitators will share case material to illustrate their approach.

Workshop 9. Psychotherapies of the Addictions

Workshop Facilitators:

Rasmon Kalayasiri, M.D. (Thailand)

Associate Professor of Psychiatry, Chulalongkorn University

Director, Centre for Addiction Studies (CADS), Faculty of Medicine, Chulalongkorn University

Director, Alcohol and Drugs Helpline Centre, ThaiHealth 

Member, WPA Section on Psychotherapy

Elina Drits, D.O. (USA)

Associate Chair of Education and Residency Training

Director of Addiction Services

Staten Island University Hospital

Northwell Health, New York USA

Workshop Description:

This workshop will allow participants to understand how to integrate evidence-based psychotherapy modalities in the treatment of addictions. The workshop facilitator will review treatment interventions that incorporate aspects of motivational interviewing, cognitive and dialectical behavioral therapy, psychodynamic and supportive psychotherapy.

Workshop 10.   CBT for Common Problems in Primary Care 

Workshop Co-Leaders:

Haifa Mohammad Algahtani (Saudi Arabia)

Consultant Psychiatrist and consultant CBT trainer, ACT. Executive and medical director of the Renewal and Reward Center. Co-chair of CBT cultural adaptation special interest group of the world psychiatric association psychotherapy section. FRCP Psychiatry, McGill University.

Alaa Abdulhamid  Alhawsawi  (Saudi Arabia)

Master of science in Clinical Mental Health counseling 

Psychologist at Renewal & Reward Center, Saudi Arabia 

Workshop Description:

This one-hour interactive workshop will address common problems like depression and health anxiety presenting in the primary care setting and demonstrate how CBT may facilitate recovery.


Principles of cognitive therapy

Why CBT?

How can we apply CBT in primary care, difference between high intensity and low intensity

CBT for depression and health anxiety

Workshop 11. Psychotherapy for Persons with Vision Loss and Blindness 

Workshop Co-Leaders:

Edward Ross, LCSW (New York, New York, USA)

Edward Ross is the Director of Health and Behavioral Health at the Lighthouse Guild International, an organization dedicated to serve persons with blindness and disability from vision loss.  He is on the faculty of the New York Institute for Psychoanalytic Self Psychology and a graduate of the NY Psychological Association for Psychoanalysis (NPAP). The Lighthouse Guild provides integrated care to persons with vision impairment. Services include psychotherapy, social services, mobility training, vocational training, assisted technologies training, and medical services including psychiatry, optometry, ophthalmology, internal medicine, and endocrinology.

César A. Alfonso, M.D. (New York, USA)

Dr. Alfonso has served as Chief Psychiatrist at the Lighthouse Guild International for the past 12 years. He is a member of the Council of the International Federation for Psychotherapy and is Chair of the Psychotherapy Section of the World Psychiatric Association. He is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University, Visiting Professor at the National University of Malaysia, Visiting Professor at Price of Songkla University in Thailand, and Adjunct Professor at the Universitas Indonesia.  He is the Editor of Psychodynamic Psychiatry.

Workshop Description:

Blindness and disability from vision loss affect close to half a billion people worldwide, yet little attention has been given to providing psychotherapy services for these individuals. There is a well-established bidirectional interaction between mood and anxiety disorders and ophthalmological disorders. This one-hour workshop will be facilitated by experts with over five decades of combined experience serving persons with complex medical disorders and co-existing vision loss or blindness. Both workshop leaders are psychoanalytically trained. They will discuss how to apply psychodynamic concepts in combination with the delivery of supportive and CBT targeted psychotherapy interventions when working with the medically ill and visually compromised. Case examples will be shared illustrating prominent themes and conflicts when working psychotherapeutically with blind persons.

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Symposia are of 90 minutes duration with scholarly presentations moderated by co-chairs, sponsored by member societies or affiliated groups

Symposium 1. Combined psychotherapies for people living with HIV/AIDS: Navigating loss, uncertainty, and meaning- Symposium sponsored by the World Psychiatric Association HIV Psychiatry Section


Paulo Marcelo Gondim Sales, MD, MS (USA)

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurobiology

The University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

Co-Chair, WPA Section on HIV Psychiatry

Guida da Ponte, MD, PhD (Portugal)

Centro Hospitalar Barreiro-Montijo, Portugal


The mysterious case of Ms. Townsend

Zviadi Aburjania, MD (USA)

Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurobiology

The University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

Life, death, and religious coping on people living with HIV: Is there a role for CBT?

Paulo Marcelo Gondim Sales, MD, MS (USA)
Department of Psychiatry & Behavioral Neurobiology

The University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA

Psychodynamic perspectives to address loss, fear of uncertainty, and stigma of people living with HIV 

Alba Lara, MD (USA)

Department of Psychiatry

Columbia University, USA

Meaning Centered Psychotherapy in people living with HIV

Guida da Ponte, MD, PhD (Portugal)

Centro Hospitalar Barreiro-Montijo, Portugal

Successful therapy with People Living with HIV (PLWH) requires a complex bio-psycho-socio-cultural assessment that permeates substance abuse, intimate relationships, social support, work, spiritual life, and overall health. As HIV leads to a chronic infection that requires longstanding suppression with antiretroviral treatment, many patients suffer from an overwhelming fear of death, uncertainty, and endure societal stigma due to historical beliefs that only certain groups can be infected by HIV, or that PLWH became infected out of poor choices they made. In this symposium, presenters will discuss unique angles through which a trained psychotherapist can combine and integrate psychotherapy modalities to foster psychophysiological responses that enable post-traumatic growth, resilience, and an improved sense of self-efficacy for PLWH. Based on a case presented by Dr. Zviadi Aburjania, Dr. Paulo Sales will explore how the cognitive behavioral model can address spiritual domains of PLWH, including death anxiety, and religious struggle, while also fostering more psychophysiological forms of religious coping. Dr. Alba Lara will elaborate on psychodynamic perspectives that allow PLWH to face loss, and overcome identity conflicts, and uncertainty. More specifically, she will review the available literature on what illness is from a societal context, which may help PLWH understand and overcome stigma. Dr. Guida da Ponte will expand on unique approaches through which meaning-centered forms of psychotherapy can enhance healthier coping mechanisms in PLWH, as the will for meaning is a transversal capacity that all human beings share to experience suffering, depression, hopelessness, and despair.

Symposium 2. Psychotherapy Training for Psychiatric Trainees: Practical Recommendations for Impactful Change

Presenter 1 (Chair): Jiann Lin LOO, MD, MRCPsych, DrPsych (UK)

Wrexham Maelor Hospital, Betsi Cadwaladr University Health Board, Wrexham, United Kingdom

The Google Cymru Peer Supervision in Psychotherapy (GC-PSP): Does it impact psychotherapy training in North Wales?

Presenter 2 (Co -Chair): Iizax Gisela RAMÍREZ-ESPINOSA, MD (Mexico)

Sociedad Mexicana de Neurología y Psiquiatría (Mexican Society of Neurology and Psychiatry), Mexico

Third-Wave Psychotherapy Strategies and Clinical Skills that could Help Psychiatry Residents in their Training.

Presenter 3: Muhammad Adib BAHAROM, MD, DrPsych (Malaysia)

Department of Psychiatry and Mental Health, Selayang Hospital, Selangor, Malaysia.

Title: Learning How to do a Psychodynamic Formulation during Case-based Discussion among Psychiatric Trainees in Malaysia

Presenter 4: Imane SALIHI, MD (Morocco)

Psychiatric University Centre, Tarek Bnou Ziad, 20250, Casablanca, Morocco

Title: Psychotherapy Training Among Psychiatrists and Psychologists in Morocco

Given the burden of mental health morbidities, especially in the era of a pandemic, there is an increasing need for the provision of psychotherapy. This imperative underscores the importance of competency in psychotherapy for all mental health providers, especially future psychiatrists who are tasked with direct and collaborative care. Most psychiatric training programs have existing frameworks outlining the training and assessment of psychotherapy, although the delivery approach may differ based on the need of the population served and resource availability. The disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has significantly changed the training of psychotherapy, integrating virtual learning models and advances in blended learning technology. Nevertheless, even virtual training may not be readily accessibile due to different challenges, such as availability of local faculty supervisors, which remains an irreplaceable part of training. In addition, the ability to translate and adapt psychotherapeutic practices designed elsewhere to local social-cultural settings is another challenge faced by trainees. However, just as the Chinese Proverb says, « a thousand miles begins with a single step », impactful change can occur because of careful crafted local initiatives. Symposium presenters from Europe, Asia, America, and Africa will share their innovative local efforts in improving psychotherapeutic training in their respective locality.

Symposium 3. History of Psychotherapy


Norman Sartorius, M.D., Ph.D.  (Croatia)

President of the Association for the Improvement of Mental Health Programs

Past President, World Psychiatric Association


Driss Moussaoui, M.D.  (Morocco)

President, International Federation for Psychotherapy

Past President, World Association for Social Psychiatry

Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Medicine, Casablanca, Morocco


Presenter 1: Driss Moussaoui, M.D. (Morocco)

President, International Federation for Psychotherapy

Past President, World Association for Social Psychiatry

Professor Emeritus, Faculty of Medicine, Casablanca, Morocco

Psychotherapy in the Arab-Muslim Civilization

Presenter 2: Ulrich Schnyder, M.D. (Switzerland)

Past President, International Federation for Psychotherapy

History of the International Federation for Psychotherapy 

Presenter 3: Franz Caspar, M.D.  (Switzerland)

Board Member, International Federation for Psychotherapy

Past President, International Federation for Psychotherapy

Aaron Beck, the Man, and his Achievements 

Presenter 4: Jalil Bennani, M.D. (Morocco)

History of Psychoanalysis in Morocco.

Symposium 4. From the COVID-19 pandemic to the Ukrainian-Russian war: the role of e-health and e-learning in accessibility to mental health care.


Dr. Tim Wind, Ph.D., Clinical psychologist, CEO PsyFlix

Esther Haaijema, M.Sc., psychotherapist, CEO PsyGlobal


Dr. Tim Wind, Ph.D., Clinical psychologist, CEO PsyFlix

Esther Haaijema, M.Sc., psychotherapist, CEO PsyGlobal

Baer Jonkers, M.Sc. psychologist, CFO PsyGlobal

Mariia Shaidrova, Ph.D. candidate, CEO of OPORA Foundation


This symposium highlights how e-health and e-learning provides immense opportunities to make mental health care available for all around the globe with a special attention to provision of mental health in crisis situations. In the first presentation, Wind will highlight the opportunities of videoconferencing in psychotherapy.  Through videoconferencing psychotherapy may be swiftly available for all in need with access to the internet.  At the same time the COVID-19 pandemic paved the way to educate psychotherapists around the world through online platforms and through videoconferencing. Next, Haaijema will present how such digital innovations could allow the continuation of the provision of mental health care in extreme conditions such as forced displacement. Additionally, research shows that matching on language and culture makes therapy twice as effective. This is how the main concept behind PsyGlobal came into existence. In Psyglobal, both videoconferencing and the culture – specific approach assist in delivering vital care.  In the third session Jonkers will discuss some of the difficulties that need to be addressed while working on a global and digital level. Although struggling in overcoming complex diploma recognition procedures, active engagement of PsyGlobal in e-learning serves as a tool to address this. Finally, Shaidrova will present how a self-organized group of psychologists provided e-care in the first days of the conflict and how it was received by the Ukrainian community. She will also share the preferences for online care among Ukrainian parents for their children as a result of the research OPORA Foundation carried out.

Symposium 5. Clinical Applications of the Human Birth Theory


Paolo Fiori Nastro (Italy)

Past Professor of Psychiatry, Department of Human Neurosciences, Sapienza University of Rome, past PhD. Coordinator “Psychiatry: Early intervention in psychosis”, Sapienza University of Rome, Didactic Coordinator School of psychodynamic psychotherapy Bios Psychè, Rome, Italy

Luca Giorgini (Italy)

Department of Neurosciences Rita Levi Montalcini University of Turin; Neuropsychiatry for Childhood-Adolescence of Ferrara, Italy.


Introduction to Human Birth Theory 

Irene Calesini, MD (Italy)

Psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Rome, Italy. 

Methodology of psychotherapeutic praxis

Alice Dell’Erba MD (Italy)

Psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Outpatient Unit of Psychiatry, 13th District, ASL Roma 1, National Health System (NHS), Rome, Italy. 

        School of psychodynamic psychotherapy Bios Psychè, Rome, Italy

Interpretation of dreams according to Human Birth Theory

Daniela Polese, MD (Italy)

Psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Department of Neuroscience, Mental Health and Sensory Organs (NESMOS), Sapienza University of Rome c/o Sant’Andrea Hospital, Unit of Pediatrics and Unit of Child Neurology and Psychiatry, Rome, Italy; Outpatient Unit of Child Neurology and Psychiatry, ASL Roma 4, National Health System (NHS), Rome, Italy; School of psychodynamic psychotherapy Bios Psychè, Rome, Italy.

Group psychotherapy based on Human Birth Theory

Martina Moneglia, MD (Italy)

Psychiatrist and psychotherapist, Santa Maria Nuova Hospital, NHS, Florence, Italy.     

New approaches are needed for psychodynamic psychotherapy, in order to face current challenges in both national health services and private practice. During the pandemic years, the increase of psychiatric cases among adolescents and young adults claims an improvement of non-pharmacological strategies. This symposium will provide a new clinical method in psychodynamic psychotherapy derived from the Human Birth Theory, which has been formulated by the Italian psychiatrist and psychotherapist Massimo Fagioli. Given his formulation of brain/mind physiology at birth, this new approach founds the etiology of mental disorders in early human relationships. Psychotherapeutic relationships in both individual and group settings will be discussed. Speakers will introduce to clinicians the psychotherapeutic applications of Human Birth Theory in real world clinical practice. All speakers shared their training at the group psychotherapy called ‘Analisi Collettiva’ (Collective Analysis), directed for more than 40 years by Fagioli in Rome. Irene Calesini will introduce Human Birth Theory; Alice Dell’Erba will deepen the Methodology of psychotherapeutic praxis; Daniela Polese will discuss interpretation of dreams according to the Human Birth Theory as the main therapeutic instrument; and Martina Moneglia will submit a report about Group Psychotherapy.

Symposium 6.  Dynamic Psychiatry and Mental Health– a World Association for Dynamic Psychiatry (WADP) sponsored symposium


M. Ammon (Germany)

H. Tyal (Morocco)


M Ammon (Germany)

Dynamic Psychiatry and Mental Health

H. Tyal (Morocco)

Psychodynamics Confronted with the Therapeutic Impasses of Modern Psychiatry

M Schmolke (Germany)

Dynamic Psychiatry and Intersubjectivity

Sieglinde Bast (Germany)

General Psychosomatic Medicine or the Loss of the Core of Being


In the symposium, an arc is drawn from the integrative model for psychiatric-psychotherapeutic treatment in Dynamic Psychiatry, which presents the therapeutic conception and intervention methods as an integrative treatment concept for mental health. The principles of intersubjectivity are shown with the interdependence of the unconscious of the patient with the unconscious of the psychotherapist. Furthermore, the symposium will give insights into the therapeutic work with so-called out-of-treatment patients, where the focus is not on the disappearance of symptoms, but on their understanding and return to the all-encompassing psychic dynamics. An overview of the teachings of psychosomatic medicine will be given, which leads to the conclusion that « the loss of the core of the personality » is the fundamental diagnosis in various neuroses.

Symposium 7. Broaching the development of a curriculum to address racial, ethnic, and cultural factors for psychiatry trainees


Anne E. Ruble, M.D.(USA)

Associate Director for Residency Training

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Norma L. Day-Vines, Ph.D. (USA)

Associate Dean for Diversity and Faculty Development

Johns Hopkins University School of Education


Anne E. Ruble, M.D. (USA)

Associate Director for Residency Training

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Baltimore, Maryland

Norma L. Day-Vines, Ph.D. (USA)

Associate Dean for Diversity and Faculty Development

Johns Hopkins University School of Education

Baltimore, Maryland

Clio Franklin, M.D. (USA)

General Psychiatry Resident

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Baltimore, Maryland

Mary Beth Cogan, RN, MPH, ABD (USA)

Doctoral Candidate

Administrative Director

Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Baltimore, Maryland


Research indicates that a mental health provider’s consideration of racial and cultural factors in the experiences of minoritized clients enhances provider credibility, the depth of client disclosure, a willingness to return for follow-up sessions, and more favorable treatment outcomes (e.g., Knox, et al., 2003: Sue & Sundberg, 1996). Inattention to issues of race and ethnicity can perpetuate cultural bias by imposing a dominant cultural imperative on minority clients (Constantine & Sue, 2005; Helms & Cook, 1999). Research has shown that clinician behavior impacts cultural concealment or instances in which clients withhold intimate information about their social and cultural identities or about their encounters with oppression and marginalization results in less effective treatment outcomes, compared to those who were more forthcoming about their cultural values and viewpoints (Drinane, et al., 2018). A review of the literature showed that no currently existing psychotherapy curricula explicitly addresses the skills to broach racial, ethnic, and cultural issues or the nuance of intersectional dimensions of the patient’s experience. Dr. Ruble will discuss the creation of a broaching curriculum designed to teach psychiatric residents the skills to have challenging conversations about race, ethnicity, and culture within the context of supportive psychotherapy. Participants will learn from Dr. Day-Vines about an empirically supported multidimensional model of broaching behaviors with corresponding case illustrations and videotaped demonstrations of skills used in the exploration of patients’ culture-specific concerns. Data from the mixed-method analysis of the program implementation will be presented by Ms. Cogan. Teacher/learner perspectives will be shared by Drs. Ruble and Franklin. 

Symposium 8.  Verbal and nonverbal psychotherapy- Interorganizational Symposium sponsored by the WADP and WPA Psychoanalysis in Psychiatry Section  


M Botbol (France)

H. Granier (France)


M. Ammon (Germany)

The Importance of Non-verbal Creative Dimensions in the Dynamic Psychiatry Treatment Concept 

Gabriele von Bulow (Germany)

The Role of Language in Non-Verbal Psychotherapy Methods

M Botbol (France)

Individual Psychoanalytic Drama

H Granier (France)

Sublimation in Psychoanalysis

Symposium 9. (In French). Psychothérapie et Culture

D. Moussaoui (Morocco)

Jalil Bennani (Morocco)

Nadia Kadri (Morocco)

Säida Douki (Tunisia)


Symposium 10. Wisdom Training and Wisdom Psychotherapy


Dilip Jeste (USA)

Michael Linden (Germany)


Prof. Igor Grossmann, Ph.D. (Canada)
Wisdom and Culture Laboratory, University of Waterloo,
Waterloo, Canada

Prof. Dilip Jeste. M.D. (USA)
Department of Psychiatry
University of California San Diego 

Prof. Rasool Kord Noghabi (Iran)
Department of Psychology, Bu-Ali Sina University,
Hamedan, Iran

Prof. Dr. Michael Linden (Germany)
Charité University Medicine Berlin


Over the last fifty years psychological research has demonstrated that wisdom is important for mastery of life, is a resilience factor in coping with adversities, and is associated with well-being. Wisdom can also be enhanced, suggesting a role for wisdom training and wisdom psychotherapy in clinical psychology, psychiatry, psychotherapy, and overall mental healthcare. Still, basic and translational research in this field is missing. There are only a few scientifically elaborated approaches on how to improve wisdom in persons who are confronted with stressors and dilemmas in life and need to boost their wisdom capacities. This symposium brings together international researchers to discuss new, evidence-based approaches to foster wisdom. Scholars come from diverse backgrounds and focus on different applications and technical approaches. The question is what can be learned from basic research and how the presented concepts can be translated into psychotherapy. 

Symposium 11. Psychotherapy for Adolescents-New Challenges for Youth Mental health in the Post-COVID Era –Symposium sponsored by the WPA Psychotherapy Section SIG on Psychotherapy for Children and Adolescents


 Luca Giorgini (Italy)

Psychiatrist and Psychotherapist, Department of Neurosciences Rita Levi Montalcini University of Turin; Neuropsychiatry for Childhood-Adolescence of Ferrara, Italy

Vanessa Kathleen B. Caihung (Philippines)

St Luke’s Medical Center Global City, Taguig City Philippines; Quezon City, Philippines.


Katerina Duchonova (Czech Republic)

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Thomayer University Hospital and Crisis Intervention Center, Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic

Reham Aly (Egypt)

Executive Committee Member, WPA Psychotherapy Section

Consultant Psychiatrist, Ain Shams University, Cairo, Egypt

President of the Egyptian Association of Cognitive Behavior Therapy

Zhengjia Ren (China)

The Third Affiliated Hospital of Chongqing Medical University, Chongqing, China

Demetrius Alves de França (Brazil)

Federal institute of Brasilia, Brazil


The deep and widespread impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the quality of life of adolescents and young adults is an issue of major concern. The drastic reduction of social interactions, the prolonged seclusion at home, and the fear related to the global and unstoppable spread of the disease are just some of the most distressing factors that emerged in the last 3 years with detrimental effects on the life of young people. Despite generalized optimism that overcoming the acute phases of the pandemic with the consequent mitigation of social restrictions would have brought back a substantial normality akin to the pre-pandemic era, we find ourselves with an entirely different scenario: several at risk subclinical conditions that were initially silent and inapparent, with the progressive resuming of more intensive social interactions and activities, produced a tangible increase in the demand for mental health care (e.g. eating disorders, increased suicide attempts, etc.). This symposium will describe and discuss youth mental health in the current post-pandemic phase. Demétrius França’s will present What to do when a teenager doesn’t respond to conventional psychotherapy? A Peripatetic Therapy Experience; Reham Aly will present Emotional Regulation Strategies for Adolescents- An Interventional Study; Zhengjia Ren will present Confusion of Tone: Chinese Teenagers and their Families, Communities and Cultures in the Context of Globalization; and Katerina Duchonova will present Crisis Intervention for Youth and Young Adults in Times of Social Change.

Symposium 12 (in French). La revanche de Freud- Psychothérapie réelle ou virtuelle ? – WPA Psychoanalysis in Psychiatry Section Symposium

Jusqu’à présent, Les nouvelles ‘’pratiques thérapeutiques avancées ‘’ de la psychiatrie contemporaine, renvoyait la psychanalyse au sous-sol de la psychologie. Mais récemment, de nombreuses évaluations empiriques des psychothérapies publiées dans de prestigieuses revues scientifiques ont montré et validé l’efficacité des psychothérapies psychanalytiques et de la psychanalyse dans le soin psychiatrique. Pourquoi un tel renversement ? est-ce ‘’ la Revanche de Freud ‘’ ? Parallèlement, Nous vivons un tournant décisif dans l’histoire de la psychiatrie. Pour la première fois, l’exercice de l’acte médical peut être envisagé en dehors du contexte clinique fondée sur une rencontre concrète, personnelle du patient avec son médecin. La télé-psychiatrie’’ à distance’’, les psychothérapies ‘’virtuelles’’, grâce aux nouvelles technologies du numérique sont déjà une réalité. Rejoignant la science-fiction, se profile déjà à l’horizon la progressive substitution du psychiatre lui-même par un robot issu de l’intelligence artificielle ce qui achèvera sa désincarnation. Psychanalyse et psychiatrie sont des disciplines de la proximité et non de la distanciation. La nouvelle virtualisation des relations humaines et particulièrement des relations soignantes va nous confronter à de nouvelles impasses subjectives. Il est, alors, plus que jamais nécessaire d’entamer une réflexion sur les dimensions psychiques du soin pour lesquelles la présence humaine et corporelle effective des partenaires de l’acte clinique est aussi fondamentale qu’indispensable.  


Michel Botbol (France)

Professeur emerite de psychiatrie de l’enfant et de l’adolescent; Secrétaire aux publications de la WPA; President emerite et consultant de la WPA PIP section; Paris France

Herve Granier (France)                          

Psychiatre Psychanalyste; Président de la section’’ Psychanalyse en Psychiatre’’ de la WPA;

Membre de l’Association Lacanienne international; Montpellier France


Mario Eduardo Costa Pereira (Bresil)

Psychiatre Psychanalyste; Professeur de psychopathologie, Departement de psychiatrie- Faculté de medicine, Université de campinas, Sao Paulo, Bresil; Membre du comité executif de la WPA PIP section

Ecouter le sujet dans une pratique psychiatrique contemporaine. Quelle formation pour cette competence fondamentale?

Herve Granier (France)

Psychiatre Psychanalyste; Président de la section’’ Psychanalyse en Psychiatre’’ de la WPA;

Membre de l’Association Lacanienne international; Montpellier France

Nouvelle clinique de la désincarnation

Hachem Tyal (Maroc)

Psychiatre Psychanalyste; Directeur et fondateur de la clinique ‘’ la villa des Lilas’’ Casablanca; President de la MADP; President d’honneur d’ALFAPSY; Membre du commité executif de la WPA PIP section; Casablanca, Maroc

La dimension du ‘’sujet’’ peut elle continuer à exister quand il s’agit de  sujet ‘’ virtuel’’ ?

Point de vue de l’approche psychodynamique.’’

Jalil Bennani (Maroc)

Psychiatre Psychanalyste; Président d’honneur d’Alfapsy et de la MADP; Directeur de recherche à l’université Sophia Antipolis (Nice); Rabat, Maroc

La psychothérapie à l’épreuve de l’écoute à distance.

Symposium 13. Clinical examples of psychodynamics used in everyday interactions – A symposium sponsored by the American Academy of Psychodynamic Psychiatry and Psychoanalysis

Co-Chair: Sherry Katz-Bearnot, M.D. (USA)

Columbia University (USA)

Co-Chair: Jennifer Downey, MD (USA)

Columbia University (USA)

Presenter 1: Erin Crocker, M.D. (USA)

University of Iowa (USA)

Presenter 2: Sherry Katz-Bearnot, M.D. (USA)

Columbia University (USA)

Presenter 3: Randon Welton, M.D. (USA)

Northeast Ohio Medical University (USA)

Presenter 4: Timothy Sullivan, M.D. (USA)

Northwell health/Staten Island University Medical Center (USA)

Abstract: Psychodynamic psychiatrists have a collection of teachable skills that allow clinicians to create a more comprehensive view of patients, thereby establishing a more durable, empathic connection.  We will demonstrate how a particular focus on aspects of the patient’s history, including aspects that may be out of the patient’s current awareness, may be integrated with other relevant clinical data to provide a deeper understanding of the patient’s difficulties.  We will demonstrate the utility of such insights in crafting solutions that are effective and acceptable to the patient, and lead to the patient feeling better understood and engaging more actively in the therapeutic process. 

Symposium 14. Possibilities of psychotherapeutic work with severely traumatized patients


Katerina Duchonova (Czech Republic)

Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Thomayer University Hospital and Crisis Intervention Center, Bohnice Psychiatric Hospital, Prague, Czech Republic

Amir Hossein Jalali Nadoushan (Iran)

Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine

Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Psychodynamic Psychotherapy for Refugees: Benefits and Limitations

Amir Hossein Jalali Nadoushan

Department of Psychiatry, School of Medicine

Iran University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

Play Therapy for Preadolescents: Posttraumatic Stress Disorder of Pyroclastic Avalanche Victims in Mount Semeru – Indonesia


Frilya Rachma Putri (Indonesia)

Faculty of Medicine Universitas Brawijaya and Saiful Anwar General Hospital

Malang, Indonesia

Brihastami Sawitri (Indonesia)

Universitas Airlangga, Surabaya, Indonesia

Trauma- focused Psychotherapy for Persons with War-related Psychological Trauma: Experiences from Sweden

Goran Mijaljica (Sweden)

Crisis and Trauma Unit

Refugee Health Clinic and Refugee Children’s Health Clinic

Region Västra Götaland, Sweden

Andriy Haydabrus (Ukraine/Spain)

Kharkiv National University

Kharkiv, Ukraine


Psychotherapy with severely traumatized people like victims of torture, war refugees, victims of human trafficking, or victims of natural disasters is a neglected topic despite the severity of the problem, impact on quality of life, and risks of developing mental disorders. At the same time, severe traumas have become more and more relevant in recent years. Our symposium reviews different psychotherapy approaches toward victims of war, captivity, rape, torture, or natural disasters in countries with very other cultural, political, and socioeconomic conditions. The presentations address the specifics of initial evaluations and maintenance of therapeutic relationships with seriously traumatized persons receiving examples of good practice and evidenced-based mental health services, recognizing that this field still offers excellent challenges for future research. Some presentations focus on psychotherapeutic work with victims of severe traumatization in their countries of origin, and others on the treatment of immigrants and refugees in their new host countries. Topics covered will include the influences of culture, traditions, taboos, prejudices, stigmatization, adaptation challenges to new living conditions, and therapeutic factors applicable to all humankind. We will examine the differences between the consequences of artificial violence and natural disasters, assess victims’ coping strategies, encourage psychological resilience, and explore the effectiveness of psychotherapies and psychosocial rehabilitation. Case studies on particular topics will supplement some presentations.

Symposium 15. Psychotherapy for personality disorders in the public sector: From manuals to clinical setting.


Flavio Di Leone, M.D. (Sweden)

Christina Felix, Psy.D. (Sweden)

Christer Axelsson, Psy.D. (Sweden)

Andreas Bygdell, Psy.D. (Sweden)

Unit for Personality Disorders, Department of Psychiatry for Affective Disorders, Sahlgrenska University Hospital, Gothenburg, Sweden 


The prognosis of personality disorders has radically changed during the last three decades mainly due to the introduction of specialised treatments. Nonetheless, effectiveness and efficacy of these interventions has been severely limited by issues of accessibility, affordability, and implementations challenges. Economical constrain along with high referral rates for personality disorder patients has exacerbated these limitations and boosted the need for time-limited intervention as well as for treatment integration. In this panel, we focus on highlighting the relationship between accessibility and quality regarding evidence-based treatments for personality disorders in routine clinical settings. We then outline the challenges we faced and the solutions we endeavoured in the implementation of a stepped care program at the Personality Disorder Unit in Gothenburg, Sweden. Three examples of local adaptation of evidence-based treatment – Mentalization-based treatment (MBT), Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Intensive Short-term Dynamic Therapy (ISTDP) – are presented.

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Paper Presentations

Scholarly papers will be arranged thematically in moderated paper sessions

Paper Session 1

Keith Dobson (Canada):

An evidence- based approach to stigma reduction: Lessons from the Mental Health Commission of Canada

Stigma related to mental illness remains one of the greatest barriers to care and has been described by many people with mental illness as being as or even more damaging as the mental health diagnosis itself.  The work of the Mental Health Commission of Canada with respect to stigma reduction is highlighted in this presentation.  The strategy of working with identified target groups (youth, healthcare, the workplace, media) is defined, and descriptions of several initiatives are briefly provided.  More extensive data will be provided about the workplace programs that have been developed and evaluated, including The Working Mind (TWM) program.  This program was developed for a wide number of workplace settings (including the general office workplace, private business, and first responder organizations), and has been delivered in both live and virtual formats and has been delivered in a number of open trials and one randomized trial.  Effect sizes are in the moderate range for outcomes that include stigma reduction and improved resiliency, and these results appear to generally maintain until the follow- up assessments that have been conducted.  The presentation will end with a description of ongoing research, including more trials, adaptations for new contexts, and the prospect of international development and deployment, with appropriate linguistic and cultural adaptation. 

Michael Shapiro (USA):

Psychotherapy implications of post-traumatic religious conversion of an adolescent

An adolescent patient who was already in combined psychotherapy and medication management treatment for depression and anxiety experienced a ‘post-traumatic religious conversion’ following a traumatic event. Shortly after the patient’s 17th birthday, the patient was involved in a serious car accident in which she suffered no serious injury, although the car she was driving was totaled. The patient reported the perception of narrowly escaping death. The patient described for the next two weeks having irritable mood, poor sleep, low appetite, and declining school performance. The patient reported these symptoms began to resolve after she started reading the Bible and attending church. The patient, who was raised in a Jain household and professed atheist beliefs for the duration of treatment, began doing this after talking to a peer and described a vision of a man in the car with her, implied to be Jesus. The patient was disturbed by these new religious practices as not fitting with her identity. Previous literature focuses on how religious beliefs change following trauma or protect from PTSD symptoms. This case differs in the existence of longitudinal data available both pre- and post-trauma, and this was not merely an increase in pre-existing religiosity, but a change from atheism to ritualistic practice in a religion that differed from the patient’s upbringing and culture. As the psychiatrist, raised Jewish and who identified with the patient’ atheism, I attempted to navigate these developments with the patient, whether they represented psychopathology or healthy adaptation, and my own countertransference.

Maureen Lyon (USA):

Palliative Care needs of children with rare diseases and their families

In the United States a rare disease is defined as a condition affecting fewer than 200,000 persons. Pediatric patients with rare diseases experience high mortality. Pediatric advance care planning (pACP), a key component of pediatric palliative care, has been proven to improve emotional well-being for children and their families. For clinicians, pACP, involves preparation and skill development to facilitate discussions about goals of care and future medical care choices. Due to the uncertainty surrounding a rare disease diagnosis, social isolation and the likelihood of parents being asked to make complex medical decisions for their child, rare diseases exact a severe emotional toll on families. There is an urgent need for interventions to ease the suffering of these families, yet few empirically validated interventions exist. Moreover, children with rare diseases are a heterogeneous group who because of co-morbidities are often excluded from research, thereby creating a health disparity. Our consultation with families of children with rare diseases and with the National Organization for Rare Disorders revealed that basic palliative care needs should be addressed prior to a pACP intervention. Thus, we beta tested the innovative FACE-Rare intervention with 7 families of children with ultra-rare diseases, integrating two, previously adapted for pediatrics, evidence-based interventions: Carer Support Needs Assessment Tool (Sessions 1 & 2) plus Respecting Choices (Sessions 3 & 4). This presentation will introduce FACE-Rare and disseminate findings from the pilot trial, a 3-session adaptation with 30 family caregivers and their children with ultrarare diseases, including parent and child psychosocial needs. 

Angelika Van Hoy, MSc, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Psychology

Małgorzata Pięta, MSc, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Psychology

Marcin Rzeszutek, dr hab. Prof. UW., University of Warsaw, Faculty of Psychology

Burnout among Psychotherapists: A Cross-cultural Value Survey among 12 European Countries during the Coronavirus Disease Pandemic 

The aim of this study was to examine cross-cultural differences, as operationalized by Schwartz’s refined theory of basic values, in burnout levels among psychotherapists from 12 European countries during the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) pandemic. We focused on the multilevel approach to investigate if individual- and country-aggregated level values could explain differences in burnout intensity after controlling for sociodemographic, work-related characteristics, and COVID-19-related distress among participants. 2915 psychotherapists from 12 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Great Britain, Serbia, Spain, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and Switzerland) participated in this study. Participants completed the Maslach Burnout Inventory-Human Service Survey, the revised version of the Portrait Values Questionnaire, and a survey questionnaire on sociodemographic, work-related factors, and the COVID-19 related distress. In general, the lowest mean level of burnout was noted for Romania, whereas the highest mean burnout intensity was reported for Cyprus. Multilevel analysis revealed that burnout at the individual level was negatively related to self-transcendence and openness-to-change but positively related to self-enhancement and conservation values. However, no significant effects on any values were observed at the country level. Male sex, younger age, being single, and reporting higher COVID-19-related distress were significant burnout correlates. Burnout among psychotherapists may be a transcultural phenomenon, where individual differences among psychotherapists are likely to be more important than differences between the countries of their practice. This finding enriches the discussion on training in psychotherapy in an international context and draws attention to the neglected issue of mental health among psychotherapists in the context of their professional functioning.

Paper Session 2

R. Nehra1, H. Joshi2, A. Mehra1, S. Grover1 (India)

1. Department of Psychiatry, Post Graduate Institute of Medical Education and Research, Chandigarh, India 

2.  Sub-divisional Civil Hospital, Dabwali, Sirsa, Haryana, India 

The Psychological Effects on Caregivers of Patinets with Schizophrenia: Findings from India 

Background: Caregivers go through several psychological issues while caregiving their patients with schizophrenia, which is rarely acknowledged. They face significant degree of stigma, burn out and abuse. Recent studies have highlighted the importance of psychosocial interventions for the caregivers to improve the overall outcome. We aimed to evaluate the psychological effects of caregiving in the caregivers of patients with schizophrenia.  Methods: 100 caregivers of patients with schizophrenia were recruited after informed consent. Caregivers were assessed on Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI), Stigma Scale for Caregiver of People with Mental Illness (CPMI), and Caregiver Abuse Screening (CASE) Questionnaire for burnout, stigma, and caregiver abuse respectively. The study was cleared by the Ethics Review Board of the Institute.  Results: The mean age and education of the caregivers was 46.3 (±15.5) years and 11.3 (± 4.0) years, respectively. Mean duration of caregiving was 8.8 (± 6.5) years. All the caregivers reported moderate to severe amount of burnout as per the MBI (mean emotional exhaustion – 16.1±10.0; mean depersonalization – 11.1±8.6; mean personal accomplishment – 27.2±10.1). Stigma as perceived by the caregivers (on CPMI) was more in the affective domain (19.0±4.2) followed by cognitive and behavioral domain. On CASE, the mean score was 4.51 ±1.9 and about three-fifths (n=70) scored ≥ 4, which suggest the presence of abuse.  Conclusions: The study highlights that caregivers have significant degree of burnout, perceived stigma and abuse. Caring for caregivers should be an integral part of patient management, which can be done by initiating psychosocial interventions aimed at reducing stigma and burnout.

Małgorzata Pięta MSc, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Psychology

Angelika Van Hoy, MSc, University of Warsaw, Faculty of Psychology

Marcin Rzeszutek, dr hab. Prof. UW., University of Warsaw, Faculty of Psychology

Subjective well-being among psychotherapists during the coronavirus disease pandemic: A cross-cultural survey from 12 European countries

The aim of this study is to examine the amount of the total variance of the subjective well-being (SWB) of psychotherapists from 12 European countries explained by between-country vs. between-person differences regarding its cognitive (life satisfaction) and affective components (positive affect [PA] and negative affect [NA]). Second, we explored a link between the SWB and their personal (self-efficacy) and social resources (social support) after controlling for sociodemographics, work characteristics, and COVID-19-related distress. In total, 2915 psychotherapists from 12 countries (Austria, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Finland, Great Britain, Serbia, Spain, Norway, Poland, Romania, Sweden, and Switzerland) participated in this study. The participants completed the Satisfaction with Life Scale (SWLS), the International Positive and Negative Affect Schedule Short Form (I-PANAS-SF), the General Self-Efficacy Scale, and the Multidimensional Scale of Perceived Social Support. Cognitive well-being (CWB; satisfaction with life) was a more country-dependent component of SWB than affective well-being (AWB). Consequently, at the individual level, significant correlates were found only for AWB but not for CWB. Higher AWB was linked to being female, older age, higher weekly workload, and lower COVID-19-related distress. Self-efficacy and social support explained AWB only, including their main effects and the moderating effect of self-efficacy. The results highlight more individual characteristics of AWB compared to CWB, with a more critical role of low self-efficacy for the link between social support and PA rather than NA. This finding suggests the need for greater self-care among psychotherapists regarding their AWB and the more complex conditions underlying their CWB.

Reham Aly (Egypt)

Cognitive Behavior Therapy in Egypt

The development and practice of psychotherapy in Egypt has followed the development of psychology, worldwide. This research explores the evolution, development, and current status of psychotherapy in general and cognitive behavior therapy (CBT) specifically. The current status of CBT in Egypt is explored starting from times of the development of clinical psychology till the current dates when CBT is considered the gold standard psychotherapy in the region. The theoretical orientation of contemporary psychotherapy in the country is also elaborated, in addition to its status in the health care system, training and research opportunities, current and future challenges. Moreover, clinical application of CBT in Egypt & the Arab world is subject to individual and cultural changes and progressions; hence the importance & necessity of a culturally adapted form of CBT. This can only be accomplished through cultivating an environment of structured training & research of CBT in Egypt and thus, in the Arab region. Future expectations and provisional plans the practice of CBT in Egypt will be concluded.

S Iwakabe (Japan)

Abstract to follow

Paper Session 3

C Rodriguez Sutil et al (Spain):

Construyendo una historia grupal del pensamiento relacional en España

Alejandro Ávila-Espada, Carlos Rodríguez-Sutil, Rosario Castaño-Catalá, Manuel Aburto-Baselga, Ariel Liberman-Isod, Augusto Abello-Blanco 

This paper narrates the history of the social, affective, and conceptual relationship with psychoanalysis of a group of Spanish psychotherapists, from the social and ideological criticism to psychoanalysis in the sixties to more recent debates in the last two decades between psychoanalytical positions that supports the present relevance of Freudian drive and developmental theories, and their revision from the point of view that subjectivity is a product of the social matrix. The authors established the central tenets of a perspective, that can be labelled: ´Intersubjective´, ´Binding´, or more in general as ´Relational´.

S. Olarte (USA/Argentina)

Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at New York Medical College; Past President of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and of the Association of Women Psychiatrists.

Desafíos inherentes al ratamiento psicoterapéutico del paciente bilingüe

En psicoterapia el lenguaje es principal instrumento que se usa para diagnosticar y tartar a nuestros pacientes. Como instrumento de diagnóstico, utilizamos el lenguaje para determinar en nuestros pacientes sus capacidades cognitivas y sus respuestas emocionales. Como instrumento terapéutico utilizamos el lenguaje para modificar la codificación de nuestra conducta en sistemas adecuados en el mundo interpersonal actual. Discutiré brevemente la relación entre lenguaje y el desarrollo en el cerebro de la capacidad cognitiva del ser humano. Presentaré un bosquejo de las teorías que nos hablan de esta relación en los seres bilingües, y las diferencias en relación a cuando el bilingüismo ha sido adquirido. Finalmente hablaré de mi experiencia durante 50 años de haber ejercido en la ciudad de Nueva York. Desarrollaré el efecto que diferentes niveles socioeconómicos, educacionales y diferentes experiencias migratorias pueden ejercer en el diagnóstico y tratamiento de pacientes bilingües.

R Condemarín (USA/Peru)

Dimensiones psicodinámicas de los efectos placebo y nocebo 

Abstract to follow

Mehdi Paes (Morocco)

Necesidades en psicoterapia en la época post COVID

Diferentes trabajos y estudios han puesto en evidencia que la pandemia del coronavirus 2019 ha producido un impacto psicológico significativo sobre la población. Por supuesto las consecuencias psicológicas no han sido las mismas para todo el mundo y las reacciones han sido ponderadas por varios factores.

La pandemia, ciertamente ha perdido de su fuelle y seguramente las organizaciones internacionales concernidas decretaran próximamente el fin de la pandemia.  Muchas medidas han sido y son todavía necesarias para hacer frente a esta situación. El apoyo psicológico y las psicoterapias, como era de esperar, resultaron muy útiles y necesarias. Su implementación ha planteado y plantea muchos desafíos.  En primer lugar, el papel de las psicoterapias en políticas de salud pública para prevenir o atenuar la efracción y el resquebrajamiento del aparato psíquico frente a amenazas vitales. En segundo lugar, la brecha entre la gran demanda y los pocos recursos disponibles. En tercer lugar, el tipo de apoyo psicológico: asesoramiento y orientación, coaching, psicoterapias breves, psicoterapias de largo curso…En cuarto lugar la calidad y el estatuto de los profesionales implicados, así como su formación.  En este período actual, en un mundo cambiante y lleno de incertidumbres y desasosiego, es importante reflexionar sobre estas problemáticas ya que la demanda y las necesidades de psicoterapias irán seguramente en aumento.  En el transcurso de esta ponencia se intentará sobre todo suscitar un debate sobre esta situación y esbozar respuestas a algunas cuestiones.

Paper Session 4

Rangsun Sitthichai, M.D.  (USA/Thailand)

An Innovative Curriculum to Teach Psychodynamic Psychopharmacology to Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Trainees

Over the past three decades, psychopharmacological interventions to treat psychiatric disorders have significantly increased. Recent prescribing trends worldwide in psychiatry have raised questions about the best way to integrate psychopharmacology with other treatment modalities. The author designed a curriculum integrating psychodynamic concepts into psychopharmacology practice for child and adolescent psychiatry trainees.  The traditional psychopharmacology curriculum mostly focuses on teaching “what medications should we prescribe?”  Integrating psychodynamic concepts to psychopharmacology teaching will be complementary to the traditional psychopharmacology curriculum with emphasis on “how to prescribe medication effectively?” Trainees who participate in this curriculum pay close attention to the importance of establishing a therapeutic alliance and recognizing the meanings, both conscious and symbolic of medication to everyone in the system in the process of prescribing medications. The knowledge in psychodynamic psychopharmacology will help learners prescribe medications effectively. Applying psychodynamic concepts during psychopharmacology encounters will offer an opportunity to address the problems of polypharmacy or inadequate treatment with psychotropic medications that are often seen in psychiatry practice. 

Chin-Ping Liou PhD  (Taiwan)

Holistic Education Centre  

Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan

The lived experiences of spiritual development among Catholic college students in Taiwan

This research sought to find out how the Catholic-identified college students in Taiwan perceive and experience their spirituality, as well as how these meaning-making experiences contributed to their spiritual development. Spirituality is an inherent aspect of human development, intertwined with and unifying all other developmental elements within the personality. It gives rise to human quest for meaning, purpose, self-transcending knowledge, meaningful relationships, the Sacred, and rooting one’s identity within a tradition or stream of thought. Spiritual development is the process of growing the inherent human capacity for self-transcendence, seeking personal genuineness and wholeness, searching for connectedness, meaning, purpose, and contribution, recognising and increasingly open to the influences of powers that exist beyond oneself. It is shaped through a reciprocal interaction between the individual and the context both within and outside of religious traditions, beliefs, and practices. It is also a life-shaping force, a potential powerful resource for or a hampering factor affecting healthy development. From a social constructivist epistemological perspective, holding that knowledge is co-created through a process of intersubjective meaning-making, this study employs an interpretative phenomenological approach to the research. Seven in-depth, semi-structured interviews are conducted with seven college students aged 18 to 22; their accounts are analysed using interpretative phenomenological analysis. By making visible these emerging adults’ lived experiences of spiritual development in a Christian-minority society, this study may also help counselling professionals acknowledge the role of the spiritual dimension in college students’ holistic development and integrate this into their healing practices.

James Pearl, Ph.D. (USA)

Institute for Expressive Analysis

New York, New York, USA

Case Study:  Psychoanalysis and Lifestyle Change 

   The following case presentation indicates that psychoanalysis in combination with evidence based integrative health and lifestyle interventions increases the likelihood for positive changes within the therapeutic process.  An emphasis on physical changes is concurrent with psychological ones.  It can be stated that each of these intervention styles can stand alone in the fostering of therapeutic change.  This is clearly an evidence-based statement that is difficult to dispute.  The hypothesis that is presented in this paper is based on anecdotal observations that significant changes occurred with the combination of both therapeutic styles.  My purpose is to demonstrate how both methods can work in conjunction in order to heighten the indicated therapeutic effects.  

    A case method was utilized in order to show how depression with concurrent dissociative states, were significantly reduced with the introduction of health and lifestyle interventions into the therapeutic process.  The initial therapeutic goal was to utilize the analytic process in order to alleviate depressive states.  Empathetic dialogue and articulation on emotions and feelings that arise though out the analysis are some important variables that have had an effect on the change process.  I also described various non-beneficial patterns of behavior that could potentially be changed with the introduction of a health and lifestyle.

Paper Session 5

Mary Anne Nauer (Switzerland)

The Second System of Thought

The location of free-floating attention in the brain; An epistemological draft and its consequences for psychotherapy

Psychoanalysis is a semiotic science: it is not based on numbers and measurable parameters, but concludes from signs to realities and facts, similarly to when Sherlock Holmes infers from certain traces to the delinquent. In this sense, our science is nor deductive nor inductive, but, after Peirce, abductive or presumptive whilst educing from the effect to the cause. This example illustrates the contradictory nature of two ways of thinking, the second of which is considered quite unscientific, especially in the psychological-academic world. The processes of the soul yet run mostly unconsciously and elude objective-rational accessibility. Nevertheless, they can be grasped intuitively by the psychotherapist by means of the free-floating attention described by Freud. Locating this process in the brain is very important to better understand the general psychic dynamics. What is commonly referred to as intuition, is a very vague and elusive concept that is nevertheless very important for overall human decision-making. Based on the epistemological outline presented here, « emotional decision-making » is to be understood as an actual, second system of thought: as a system of thinking that is, as unconscious, very difficult to research, yet extremely important for all decision-making processes, since it integrates synchronously all experiences, feelings, and cognitive knowledge. New psychodynamic models based on interdisciplinary studies and, above all, including neuroscientific results, yet allow for a corresponding scientific justification. Finally, this also has consequences for psychotherapy, especially regarding stress reduction as a basis for efficient and resource-oriented therapy.

S. Olarte (USA/Argentina)

Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at New York Medical College; Past President of the American Academy of Psychoanalysis and of the Association of Women Psychiatrists

Talking Cure: From Psychoanalysis to Current Multiple Therapies

This presentation will link the first talking cure of note-psychoanalysis – to most of the current multiple therapies. I will discuss the similarities and differences. I will discuss the role of pillar technical concepts to psychoanalysis such as transference, countertransference and resistance continue to influence most verbal therapies. I will relate how the role of psychodynamic understanding applies to each of the multiple verbal therapies and will discuss how clinically most well-trained psychotherapists utilize a combination of more than one therapy to achieve their desired therapeutic goals.

Ella Rogalska (Canada)

Ella Rogalska is a graduate of the Toronto Child Psychoanalytic Program, and the Toronto Art Therapy Institute, where she teaches the theory and practice of psychotherapy. She holds a certificate in Infant Mental Health Studies from the Toronto Psychoanalytic Society. She is the President of the Canadian Association of Psychoanalytic Child Therapists and a Guest member of the Toronto Psychoanalytic Institute and Society.

Telephone Analysis: Experience of an Adolescent Patient in Tele-Psychodynamic Psychotherapy

With the advent of COVID-19 virtual treatment suddenly became a major option, both in Canada and worldwide. However, virtual treatment has been the subject of much criticism, particularly for the supposed absence of therapeutic “presence” in terms of verbal communication and nonverbal cues, a lack, in some critics’ minds, vitiating the therapeutic relationship. Despite these critiques, other research has found that virtual psychodynamic psychotherapy does not substantially differ from the in-person relationship. Poletti et al. report that tele-psychotherapy patients “reported similar perceived quality of life, satisfaction, credibility of the treatment and service delivery opinions…[to] patients attending in-person psychotherapy”. The objective of this paper is to describe a tele-psychodynamic treatment, based on a long-term case with an adolescent suffering from depression and a loss of self. The case shows that the therapeutic process is not substantially different in tele-psychotherapy, and in some instances may be more enriching. The psychodynamic treatment modality employed created a space of self-reflection for the adolescent. The therapeutic relationship is described in terms of the patient’s developing emotional articulation, the link between the patient’s and the psychotherapist’s subjective experiences of the analytic treatment, and how the patient’s and psychotherapist’s subjective experiences together codetermined the transference/countertransference manifestations. The analytic process, understood as similar to the interaction between mother and infant, to which both contribute through a process of phantasy and internalization, was enhanced by the completely non-visual and solely auditory modality of the telephone.

Francy F. Wang, M.D. (Canada)

Toronto Society for Contemporary Psychoanalysis

Unconscious Fantasy Focus in Psychoanalytic Psychotherapy

This paper/presentation derives from the presenter’s teaching and practice of psychoanalysis and psychoanalytic therapy. The unconscious fantasy in this presentation refers to the inner world of a person that is out of the apparent conscious awareness. Other than the early relational instincts as in object relation or Oedipus complex in the Freudian theory, it also includes the inner world that is often traumatic, even though not always. Unconscious fantasy is not a new concept, but it is not always the focus and is often neglected in day-to-day practice. Contemporary psychoanalytic therapy borrows from various theories and techniques from psychoanalysis. However, it takes the unconscious under consideration. While therapists’ practice varies, the presenter finds that keeping an unconscious-fantasy-focused mind is an effective and productive technique in psychoanalytic therapy. In this paper/presentation, other than the theoretical basis of unconscious fantasy focus, the presenter will use clinical examples to illustrate the techniques of unconscious fantasy focus and how the therapist attains the unconscious fantasy sensitive and focused ears. How and why the unconscious fantasy sensitive ears and inner eyes would assist the client in gaining cognitive-affective insights from what happens here and now in the sessions. Furthermore, the cognitive-affective insights and the aha moment could lead to immediate symptom relief, and the relief would be more durable than the knowledge gained by cognitive education only.

Poster Presentation Abstracts

Posters will be displayed during the lunch hour on Day2 and Day 3 of the Congress. Poster authors will be available to discuss their work with congress participants

Clinical Posters

Jibril Handuleh (Somaliland), Abdifatah H. Daud Warsame (Somaliland), Victor Pereira-Sanchez (USA), Daniel Fekadu (Ireland), Hanny Arisna (UK), Tennyson Lee (UK)

Teaching and Culturally Adapting Psychotherapy in Undergraduate Medical School in Somaliland with Introduction of Transference Focused Psychotherapy for Personality Disorders: Partnership between the Centre for Understanding Personality at Queen Mary University in the United Kingdom and the Department of Psychiatry at Amoud University in Somaliland

Teaching psychotherapy in undergraduate psychiatry is limited in many parts of the world. During a recent review of the medical curriculum, the faculty at the department of psychiatry at Amoud University in Somaliland added key concepts in psychotherapy into undergraduate psychiatry lectures in 2019. 

A psychiatrist in medical psychotherapy at the Centre for Understanding Personality at Queen Mary University in London was invited to deliver personality disorders and psychotherapy lectures for medical students. The psychotherapy session addressed new developments in affective systems in the brain and how these related to different treatment modalities.

Online interactive teaching sessions discussing cultural norms that enriched the teaching experience. The guest lecturer also delivered another session on borderline personality disorder and its treatment with transference focused psychotherapy.

This inspired a discussion on how students could identify borderline personality disorder (BPD) using DSM-5-TR diagnostic criteria among people through a culturally stimulated case studies. A focus group discussion was conducted with medical students in Somaliland. 

The main finding was that medical students thought that BPD was akin to their cultural concept of ‘madness’, referring to a pattern of behaviour unacceptable to their local community. Medical students also reported that BPD could be partially treated in a religious center. This teaching experience was also for our medical students a great introduction of psychosocial interventions as useful to address both medical and psychiatric conditions.

Margaret Isioma Ojeahere (Nigeria), Linda Opuene (Nigeria)

A Case Report on Psychotherapy Approaches of an Adolescent with Intellectual Disability and Paraphilic Disorders: Surmounting Limitations

Recent advances in biological psychiatry have facilitated the increasing use of pharmacotherapy in the management of mental disorders globally. Nevertheless, psychotherapy remains a widely accepted and evidence-based form of treatment for mental disorders. The prevalence of mental disorders in children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities are well documented and existing evidence demonstrates the effectiveness of psychotherapy for mental disorders among people with intellectual disabilities. However, several mental health professionals in Nigeria largely exempt this population from the benefits of psychological interventions. Diverse reasons have been suggested such as insufficient manpower, inadequate trained personnel, fund constraints, and the misconception that this population lack the capabilities to process and utilize the lessons and skills acquired from psychotherapy.

This case report highlights the eclectic psychotherapy approaches and modifications made to traditional models to accommodate the unique needs of a 20-year-old male student diagnosed with mild intellectual disability and paraphilic disorders (voyeuristic, exhibitionistic and pedophilic disorder). Pharmacological treatment as well as psychological interventions such as cognitive and behavioral therapy, brief psychodynamic psychotherapy, family therapy and psychodrama were instituted at individual and group levels. Although treatment is still ongoing with promising outcome, these approaches have not been without challenges. However, recorded successes such as improved coping skills, better personal and social functioning as well as enhanced involvement of his parents, support evidence for the effectiveness of psychotherapy for people with intellectual disabilities and mental disorders. It also underscores the need for mental health professionals to extend their services to include cognitively impaired children and adolescents.

Andrés Fuenmayor (USA)

Controversy Over Electronic Access to Psychotherapy Notes: Clinical and Ethical Implications. 

Psychotherapy practice combines different treatment techniques including aspects of CBT, IPT, DBT, psychodynamic therapy, and supportive therapy, to help patients identify and process distressing emotions, thoughts, and behaviors. Psychotherapy in the United States (USA) is mostly provided by licensed, trained mental health professionals. In 2019 in the USA, 19.2% of adults received some form of mental health treatment in the past 12 months.

In the USA clinicians could make their clinical notes readily available to patients in a process called « open notes”. As part of the 21st Century Cures Act, a national mandate from November 2020 stipulates that all patients be granted access to the information in their medical records, electronically, without charge or delay, and through patient portals or, to the extent possible, through third-party smartphone applications. Open Notes highlights exceptions to prevent harm and protect privacy.  Psychotherapy notes may be shielded from being shared with patients, but if they are integrated in the same electronic medical records platform used by other specialties in a hospital or clinic setting notes become readily available and visible.

This poster will debate the clinical and ethical implications and recent experience of sharing psychotherapy notes with patients through access to electronic medical records. Issues of patient autonomy, confidentiality, beneficence, nonmaleficence, psychoeducation, stigma and discrimination will be addressed.  Studies showing a salutary effect of note sharing will be described, as well as a discussion of the impact of note sharing on the therapeutic alliance.

Iizax Gisela Ramírez- Espinosa (Mexico)

Experience from a Real- World Comprehensive DBT Program in a Private Outpatient Setting in Mexico City.

Individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) usually require therapy for multiple and complex psychological problems. It is a given that they should receive evidence-based interventions (EBI). Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is one of the treatments available for this diagnosis and has proven to be effective in treating its comorbidities as well. It is not only necessary that the treatment is described by the research as an EBI, the treatment must be delivered in the same way it was intended, but what if that is not possible in a particular situation? Showing how DBT is being implemented in the real- world scenarios is a validating strategy to all the DBT teams and DBT informed therapists that are aspiring to deliver a DBT intervention. Our team has three members, we all function as individual and group therapists, we all offer phone consultation for the client, and we meet every week for peer consultation. We started our standard DBT program on October 2019 with 5 stage 1 patients, since then, we have had 17 more patients and, because of the pandemic, we had to deliver our DBT sessions through internet. From the 22 patients that have been in our program, 16 (72.7%) are women, all 22 of them had BPD diagnosis according to the DSM- 5 criteria, 15 (68.2%) had addictive behaviors, 16 (72.7%) had PTSD diagnosis, 4 (13.6%) had binge eating disorder, 15 (68.2%) graduated. We hope this information encourages more DBT therapists to start their program. 

Ramona E. Abat (Philippines), Ma. Cristina F. Agustin (Philippines)

A Psychodynamic Approach to Management of an Adult with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder, Substance Use Disorder, Paraphilia, and Mood Disorder

Multiple psychiatric disorders may ensue from trauma. CMC, a 54-year-old, male, married, elementary graduate, carpenter, consulted in compliance with the legal authorities’ recommendation after he has been caught of voyeurism. Patients with voyeuristic disorder usually present to clinics due to sex-offending behavior, in compliance to a legal order.  Therapy session revealed, posttraumatic stress disorder symptoms from childhood (physical and emotional abuse by his parents) to young adulthood (natural disaster experiences in a typhoon-prone residence) which were relieved with alcohol use. His voyeuristic behavior manifested each time he is alcohol intoxicated. PTSD and depressive symptoms are relieved by self-medication using alcohol, until alcohol use disorder developed. Careful exploration of the core issue thru psychosexual and personality development perspective is necessary to plan the treatment approach. Shame and guilt lead to depressive symptoms.  Supportive psychotherapy, motivational interviewing, and group therapy combined, provided favorable result to control the cycle of anxiety-depression-alcohol use-voyeurism. Integral to the psychodynamic psychotherapist work is understanding of the interplay of the following: the biology of sexual behaviors, addiction, trauma, and mood, and psyche, and the local socio-cultural views on alcohol use and paraphilias. Biological treatment includes Na Divalproex, Escitalopram, and Quetiapine. The relief of PTSD symptoms are vital keys to maintain in-remission state. Assessment of CMC’s dynamics as a member of the community is a tool to re-integrating him to the society. This case described by the author is a presentation of multimodal management of a patient with cycling symptoms of multiple psychiatric comorbidities from deep-seated traumatic experiences.

Prahbhjot Malhi (India), Bhavneet Bharti (India), and Sapna Sandal (India)

Challenges in Identification and Management of Early Problems in Attachment: Case Studies from India

Inconsistent and neglectful parenting profoundly affects young children’s cognitive, emotional, and behavioral development. Some children may develop reactive attachment disorders as a result of emotional neglect, especially if they are reared in extreme deprived and neglectful care conditions. Reactive attachment disorders (RAD) are exceptionally rare trauma-related disorders that are characterized by developmentally inappropriate social relatedness that begins fairly early in life and persists over time. In this study, we describe two young girls diagnosed with RAD, characterized by disinhibited social engagement, to highlight the critical importance of early identification and management by positive loving care by caregivers. Management of these children focused on facilitating a positive and caring environment and opportunities to develop a secure attachment relationship with a stable and devoted caregiver. Opportunities to form lasting and secure attachments are indeed a child’s right and also serves the interests of the nations. The present cases have significant clinical and policy implications, especially in developing countries where child neglect is rampant.  Timely counseling and management that focuses on providing nurturing care can help most children diagnosed with this disabling disorder. Children who are at high risk for psychosocial neglect need early placements in loving family care otherwise the risk for developing pathological behaviors is increased manifold. There is an urgent need to increase financial resources and allocation of trained dedicated professionals working for family and child welfare programs in the community setting.

Maryam Masoumi (Iran), Shabnam Nohesara (Iran)

Therapists’ Migration is an Emotional Journey for Clients.

Iranians have a strong psychical capacity for creating intimate close relationships. This has led to their being particularly prone to intense attachments, and it demonstrates differences in caregiving patterns across cultures. During therapy, attachment emerges as an emotional bond between an analyst and analysand.  As we know, in psychoanalytic and psychodynamic treatments, transference is seen as a key concept, and basically, there are clear theoretical links between transference and client attachment. 

The experience of attachment is different in cultures. This is necessary because care practices are precisely adapted to the ecological conditions and social history of any community. Therefore, the claim of the universality of attachment theory which qualifies one particular view as the best for everyone is in stark contrast to actual eco-social diversity. 

Considering that, in contemporary Iran, there is an exodus of healthcare professionals. As for this, the migration of psychotherapists and its effects on therapy have received our attention.

This study involved a semi-structured interview with five clients and a qualitative analysis with the aim of exploring difficulties experienced by clients during the process of the therapist’s migration and determining how attachment-related feelings, defenses, and expectations are experienced with the new situation.

Our findings suggest that, depending on the psychical language, this affair is experienced in a unique way by each client. The emotional communications found vary widely, ranging from fear of separation and abandonment, mistrust, intense ambivalence to gratitude and progression. Early attachment issues, primary object relations, losses and traumas could explain these different findings.

Research Posters

Matiko Mwita (Tanzania), Deborah Dewey (Canada), Scott Patten (Canada)

Non-Pharmacological Intervention and its Outcome for Pregnant and Postpartum Related Mental Disorders Among Adolescent Mothers Arrending Antenatal Clinics In Mwanza, Tanzania

Background: Almost one-tenth of all pregnancies and births worldwide are among adolescent women 15-19 years of age, and 90% of these births occur in developing countries. Tanzania has one of the highest adolescent pregnancy rates globally with an estimated 25% of girls between 15 to 19 years beginning childbearing. It’s estimated that 14-53% of pregnant and postpartum adolescents in LMICs end up having depression and/or anxiety. Despite of this high prevalence Maternal mental health screening and treatment is not a component of the primary health care system in many LMICs including Tanzania.

Aims: This study aims to determine the magnitude of perinatal depression and anxiety disorders, and adopt, implement, and determine the effectiveness of a non-pharmacological intervention for adolescent pregnant women in Tanzania. 

Methods: This prospective cohort study will involve 500 adolescent pregnant women recruited in the 2nd trimester of pregnancy attending selected ANCs in Tanzania. Pregnant adolescent women who screen positive for depression and/or anxiety on the Edinburgh Postnatal Depression Scale (EDPS) and the Generalized Anxiety Depression (GAD) – 7 scales will undergo clinical evaluation and put on the psychotherapy interventions. Nurse midwives will be trained and empowered in line with the “Thinking Healthy Program”, a supplement to the World Health Organization’s mhGAP Intervention Guide (mhGAP-IG) to provide psychotherapy sessions under the supervision of a psychiatrist who is the PI of the study. 

Study implications: Findings from this study will assist policy makers, and the government in understanding the magnitude and effectiveness of psychotherapy interventions among adolescents with perinatal mental disorders.

Warut Aunjitsakul (Thailand), Hamish J McLeod (UK), Andrew Gumley (UK)

Cross-Cultural Understanding of Psychological Factors Associated with Social Anxiety and Paranoia in the General Population between Thailand and the United Kingdom

BACKGROUND. Regarding cognitive behavioural approaches, there remains a knowledge gap in understanding mechanisms and the relationship between social anxiety and paranoia. To guide treatment development, this study aimed to investigate factors mediating this relationship across cultures in cohorts from Thailand and the UK. METHODS. A cross-sectional internet survey was delivered in both countries. Participants aged >18-years-old were eligible. Recruitment was via advertisements on websites (e.g., university websites) or social media (e.g., Twitter, Facebook). After online consent, participants completed questionnaires measuring social anxiety, paranoia, and potential mediating factors: stigma; internal and external shame; low social rank; self-esteem; safety behaviours and depression. Linear regression was conducted to investigate the associations of social anxiety with paranoia. Mediation analysis with bootstrapping bias-corrected 95% confidence intervals was used to test indirect effects. RESULTS. 427 (68.9%female) participants from Thailand and 415 (80.0%female) participants from the UK were recruited. Mean age in Thailand (36.2±10.4) was significantly higher than in the UK (34.3±12.4). Linear relationships between social anxiety and paranoia were found in both samples. In the mediation analysis co-varying for depression, higher social anxiety was significantly related to higher paranoia through mediators: external shame (indirect effects=0.06 (Thailand) and 0.24 (UK)); internal shame (-0.11 (UK)); and safety behaviours (0.17 (UK)). CONCLUSIONS. Cross-culturally, external shame could explain variance in the relationship between social anxiety and paranoia. Internal shame and safety behaviours were shown to be significant mediators only in the UK. Further work requires longitudinal data to understand causal inference of these relationships.

Maha Meshari Alsejari (Kuwait)

Depression, anxiety, and stress among women who live in Kuwait during the curfew and lockdown that caused by COVID-19 pandemic

The dynamic of the novel coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) rapid transmission between individuals, and its prolonged incubation time up to 19 to 24 days, lead the governments across the world to adopt many strategies for controlling the outspread of infection.  Theses health regulations to constrain the progress of the pandemic such as lockdown, curfew, and quarantine made radical alterations in every aspect of individuals’ life causing significant impact on their mental health wellbeing. The current study aimed to examine whether there are significant differences based on participants’ sociodemographic variables in reported cases of depression, anxiety, and stress among females who lived in Kuwait during the curfew and lockdown that caused by COVID-19 pandemic. A non-random sample of 596 participants was recruited through the WhatsApp platform. This study used the online survey as an instrument to collect the data, the survey included a section of demographic items, and 42-item of an Arabic version of DASS. The IBM SPSS (25.0) package was utilized to analyze the data. The findings of the current study detected that the females at higher risk of reporting more incidents of depression, anxiety, and stress during the lockdown and curfew were older age group above 50 years old, hold higher educational certificate, and own private business. High rate of reported depression and anxiety were detected significantly among Kuwaiti’s females. There was difference in reported mental distress based on female’s marital status, married females reported higher rate of anxiety, whereas widowed females reported higher rate of depression and stress. Findings of this study reveals the significant impact of uncomfortable distressful environment during the COVID-19 pandemic that negatively impacted individuals’ mental health and stimulated diverse forms of psychosocial illness.

Sasan Sadeghi Nik, M.D. (Iran)

Therapist May See You Anytime, Anywhere

Iran was among the first countries that faced with Covid-19, also has been one of the countries with the highest rates of infected cases. There are huge gaps in care especially in developing countries such as Iran, and internet-based interventions can contribute to reducing gasp for disorders with high prevalence. Mobile penetration rate in Iran is at over 144%, because of illiteracy, poverty, high cost of internet, nonexistent infrastructure, and lack of power. For Iranians, the pandemic has largely increased the utilization of remotely accessed CBT via social media, TV, smartphone apps and websites. Our subjects received free behavioral and cognitive interventions that included:

1. Behavioral:

Self-protection behaviors: hand-washing technique

Self-monitoring Covid-19 related symptom

Relaxation techniques

Breathing relaxation training

Encouraging engagement in close relationships with mobile communication apps

Behavioral activation

2. Cognitive:

Problem-solving training

Social support strategy

Providing information related to Covid-19

Information about the outbreak: number of patients who had been discharged, cured or dead.

Giving clear and comprehensive explanations to peoples’ questions.

We learned for future pandemics that CBT can develop personal resilience in the face of a pandemic and improve coping skills, which can positively impact quality of life.