Working with Clients with Depressive and Self-Defeating Psychologies

Thursday, October 5, 2017
The Brattleboro Retreat
8:30 AM - 4:00 PM
Brattleboro, Vermont 

Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP

What attendees said about Dr. McWilliams' 2015 presentation on "A New Look at Borderline and Psychotic Psychologies: Dimensional Diagnosis and Integrative Treatment":

  • A brilliant presenter and a brilliant clinician. A real luxury to hear Nancy weave together the literature, clinical vignettes and group contributions in a seamless way.
  • The speaker was phenomenal (well-educated, well-spoken, kept my interest, likeable, relatable, etc.). 
  • Engaging from beginning to end. Dr. McWilliams has so much knowledge. Would love to attend another of her workshops.
  • Dr. McWilliams is a highly engaging, insightful speaker. I’m so impressed with her ability to thoughtfully share her trove of clinical wisdom, and I very much appreciate her sense of genuineness and authenticity.
  • The best conference I’ve been to in years. I appreciated the focus on clinical practice and supportive material related to researchReally wonderful speaker – intelligent, accessible, personable, engaging, humble. Thank you!

Course Description:

Our official taxonomies have not given therapists much help in formulating treatments for people whose depressive and/or self-defeating patterns are embedded in their personalities. Dr. McWilliams will review empirical and clinical evidence for two different presentations of depressive dynamics (with different clinical implications) and will differentiate self-defeating (“masochistic,” “aggrieved”) patterns from depressive patterns. Case material, including a video of Dr. McWilliams interviewing a self-defeating woman, will illustrate these distinctions and draw relevant implications for treatment.

Learning objectives
At the end of this conference, participants will be able to:

1)      List the conceptual differences between predominantly depressive and predominantly masochistic personality patterns.
2)     Differentiate introjective and anaclitic depressive and masochistic presentations;
3)     Explain the clinical implications for these overall conceptualizations;
4)     Describe the danger of mutual avoidance of criticism and devaluation with depressive patients;
5)    Identify and manage the expectably strong countertransference reactions to clients with recurrent self-defeating patterns.

Nancy McWilliams, PhD, ABPP, teaches at Rutgers Graduate School of Applied & Professional Psychology and practices in New Jersey. She is co-editor of the Psychodynamic Diagnostic Manual (PDM-2). Her books on formulation and treatment are now in 20 languages. She is a former president of Division 39 of the American Psychological Association.