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Innovative approaches for dealing with defense & resistance in psychotherapy

9 April 2015

Patricia Coughlin will present will the case of a 55 year old woman with a life long history of impulse control problems, affecting every area of her life, from self care to relationships and employment. While she had been sober for 25 years, with the help of AA, many attempts at therapy had failed to help her get to the cause of her emotional difficulties.

Videotaped segments from 9 hours of therapy will illustrate the importance of understanding defense and resistance within the context of the conflict of which they are a part. In particular, the ability to identify and strengthen the conscious and unconscious alliance, driven by the patient’s healthy strivings, will be emphasized as an essential ingredient in healing.

This case will highlight the need for therapist flexibility; understanding how what might appear to be resistance, can also be an expression of an emerging sense of self.

Torben Palmer Hansen will present a case showing a traumatized, fatigued, and deeply tormented woman, and demonstrate how to deal with pathological reaction to severe trauma using short term psychodynamic interventions (ISTDP), and lay out ways of understanding psychosomatic symptoms in the light of identification with other or with the suffering of other.

Using the case as example Torben Palmer Hansen will look at how to promote the relationship with the inner Self through understanding the role of resistance to the unwanted emotions underneath the crippling symptoms – and to see how that in turn can give rise to positive expressions of Self: energy, flowing emotions, intuition, peace, courageousness, and bonding.

About the speakers:

Patricia Coughlin, clinical psychologist We are happy to welcome Patricia Coughlin, who over the last 10 years has been kept on inspiring us with several presentations in Denmark.

Dr. Patricia Coughlin (Della Selva), Ph.D. is a licensed Clinical Psychologist with over 30 years of clinical experience. In addition to seeing patients in her private practice, Dr. Coughlin conducts training and supervision groups for mental health professionals around the world. She has held faculty positions at Northwestern University Medical School and Albany Medical College, and now at Clinical Faculty at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Her office is in Albany, NY.

Over the past 20 years she has written professionally, given presentations at professional conferences and conducted workshops for mental health professionals around the world. She is working on her third book, “Maximizing Therapeutic Effectiveness“, due in 2016. Currently, she is conducting supervision groups and training workshops in Current training groups in New York, Denmark, Norway and Sweden.

Torben Palmer Hansen, clinical psychologist We are very proud to be able to show the work of Torben, who last year did his first international presentation at the IEDTA International Conference at Washington School of Psychiatry.

Torben Palmer Hansen has had a private psychotherapy practice in Silkeborg, Denmark since 1996. He graduated from the University of Aarhus, Denmark in 1994. Between 1994 and 1996, he worked at Aarhus University Hospital providing individual and group psychotherapy in the in- and out-patient departments. He has treated cronic and long-term pain patients using the methods of John E. Sarno, since the late nineties. Between 2002 and 2007 he trained in the individual dynamic psychotherapy methods of James Masterson and the couples therapy methods of Harville Hendricks. In 2007 he began his ISTDP core training with Patricia Coughlin, which he completed in 2010. He has studied with Jon Frederickson in 2013


1) Send email with your name, adresse, telephone & profession to, 2) Pay to the Danish Society for ISTDP: Account: 2253 – 8978535632. IBAN: DK542000897535632., BIC: NDEADKKK

If you pay from abroad include 35,- for bank fee. Registration until August 10.


9 April 2015
Event Category:


Danish Society for ISTDP – Jeanne Isaksen
View Organizer Website


Denmark, Copenhagen. “Kulturhuset Bryggen”
Islands Brygge 18
Copenhagen S, 2300 Denmark
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