Workshop on Recovery From Long-Term Mental Health Problems: Is There Hope?

Professor Jerome Carson

Professor of Psychology
University of Bolton, UK

The workshop on “Recovery from Long-Term Mental Health Problems: Is There Hope?” was held on the third day of the conference and was conducted by the keynote speaker for ICAP 2015, Professor Jerome Carson. Prof. Carson qualified as a clinical psychologist in 1984. He has always been interested in long term mental health problems and for many years has worked as a rehabilitation psychologist, with consultant psychiatrist Dr. Frank Holloway. He has worked at the Institute of Psychiatry / Maudsley Hospital from 1992. In 2006 he moved to work in the Lambeth South-West Sector, where he developed a “bottom-up” model of personal recovery in partnership with people with lived experience over a five year period. He retired from clinical practice from the National Health Service in 2011. In 2012, he became Professor of Psychology at the University of Bolton.

During this workshop, Prof. Carson addressed the concept of recovery from mental health problems and how to implement it in clinical practice. It focused mainly on the bottom-up approach, the “Recovery Group”, recovery workshops as well as the use of drama to teach recovery. The importance of resources needed to move towards recovery based services as well as the problems with the recovery approach were also discussed. This workshop ended with a discussion on recovery heroes of past and present, focusing on the importance on their stories, whilst putting forward the promise of Positive Psychology as hope for people recovering from mental health problems.

The audience of this workshop comprised of psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists & counsellors, social workers & occupational therapists, mental health researchers & enthusiasts as well as psychology students. Each topic of the workshop included presentations of case studies as well as videos of real life events.

Workshop on Mindfulness Based Self Compassion

Dr. Monika Albu

Senior Lecturer
KRE Psychological Institute, Hungary

The workshop on Mindfulness Based Self Compassion was conducted on the first day of the conference by Dr. Monika Albu, Senior Lecturer from the KRE Psychological Institute in Hungary. She is a practicing clinical neuropsychologist and has worked at the National Institute for Medical Rehabilitation, Hungary, as well. Her main areas of interests are mindfulness based techniques and their application in clinical settings; neuropsychological diagnosis and rehabilitation; empathy-compassion and developing compassion based interventions; as well as the promotion of overall mental health. She has travelled the world in order to learn more about mindfulness-based compassion and is thus conversant in the various cultural differences related to the topic.

Her workshop took the participants on an experiential journey into compassionate imagery & meditation practices. She addressed mindfulness as an effective means to train the mind in fierce compassion and mindful courage and discussed how cultivating compassion can undermine the impact of anxiety, worry and shame-based self-criticism. Dr. Albu also explained the evolutionary and biological basis of compassion and enlightened us on how culture shapes who we feel empathy for, the most common barriers to compassion, and how compassion can be learned. She finally discussed the importance of selfcompassion, how to deal with compassion fatigue, and how to translate a compassionate mindset into meaningful action.

The participants of this workshop consisted of amateur and professional researchers,psychiatrists, therapists & social workers yoga therapists, life coaches, trainers as well as mental health enthusiasts.

Workshop on Using Psychology for Better HR Decision Making

Mrs. Jo Parkes

Senior Consultant
IBM Smarter Workforce, UK

The third day of ICAP 2015 hosted a workshop on Using Psychology for Better HR Decision Making which was conducted by Mrs. Jo Parkes, Senior Consultant, IBM Smarter Workforce, U.K. Mrs. Parkes is an IBM Smarter Workforce Consultant who specializes in the design and implementation of assessment solutions focused on measuring performance in the context of selection and development. She is qualified and registered as a BPS accredited Psychometrics Test User and Euro Test User (occupational). Mrs. Parkes is also a Prince2 Practitioner, trained in IBM’s Potential tool which focuses on leadership potential and the use of Executive Insight, a customized research-based interview tool.

The selection of psychometric assessments and what they are trying to assess was taught during this workshop. It elaborated on how to make choices between ability tests including when it’s appropriate to use them. Mrs. Parkes explained the technical quality considerations when selecting ability tests (reliability and validity) as well as how to interpret results (based on fundamental statistical principles). This workshop also covered the benefits and limitations with an introduction to Computerized Adaptive Testing. At the end of the workshop there was a discussion on the broader issues related to testing and test use such as obtaining accurate and representative comparison groups; addressing candidates with additional needs; as well as legislative considerations in Sri Lanka.

Senior managers & decision makers, HR managers & executives, recruiting & head-hunting company staff, business psychologists, corporate trainers as well as career guidance & school counselors attended this workshop

Workshop on the Use of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy to Enhance Self-Esteem in Depressed Patients

Dr. Katherine Simons

Senior Lecturer & Course Director
Coventry University, UK

The third day of ICAP 2015 also hosted a workshop on The Use of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy to Enhance Self-Esteem in Depressed Patients which was conducted by Dr. Katherine Simons, from the Coventry University, UK. Dr. Katherine Simons is Course Director and Senior Lecturer at Coventry University, responsible for the postgraduate level training in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. As a Cognitive Behavioral Psychotherapist (accredited by the British Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Psychotherapists) she has considerable experience working in a variety of mental health services with people who experience a range of mental health difficulties.

Her workshop mainly focused on explaining what self-esteem is and the importance of working on self-esteem with depressed patients. She discussed a cognitive-behavioural model of low self-esteem (Fennel, 1997) and the factors that contribute to its maintenance. The workshop also elaborated on how clinicians can assess low self-esteem in depressed patients and determine when it may require a specific intervention. The variety of cognitive-behavioural interventions used to address low self-esteem in depressed patients was also discussed, followed by a conversation on the wider application of these interventions to a range of other clinical presentations.

Counsellors, clinicians & psychologists, students involved in training programs, amateur and professional researchers as well as enthusiasts of mental health participated in this workshop.