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Unlocking Syntonic Character Pathology: An Advanced ISTDP Course

10 November 2022

Dr. Joel Town will provide a 2-day ISTDP workshop on becoming more effective treating syntonic character pathology

This 2-day ISTDP workshop will address how therapists can become more effective when treating syntonic character pathology. ISTDP aims to mobilise the unconscious therapeutic alliance by unlocking the multiple elements of resistance that combine to create syntonic character pathology. This includes tackling the forces of the punitive super-ego, character resistance, major resistances against feelings, resistance against emotional closeness and tactical defences. As the resistance lessens, the alliance gets more dominant in-sessions, and the patient increasingly leads the direction and content of therapy. However, highly resistant patients have syntonic, self-limiting patterns of relating to themselves and others. One function of the resistance is to give the impression that the dyadic patient-therapist relationship is working well, when in fact an implicit masochistic process is being enacted. The therapist will inevitably get drawn into enacting these implicit patterns with the highly resistant patient. Optimally, therapists aim to recognise and step out of these dyadic processes. Even when the therapist can identify the nature of the resistance, the timing and pace of the work to address resistance is critical to avoid further enactments. This 2-day workshop will cover the phases of defence work that are necessary when treating syntonic character pathology.

2-Day Online Course

10-11th Nov 2022

Time: 10am-5pm AT; 2pm-9pm GMT; 3pm-10pm CET

Due to the use of video-based teaching material, participants need to have completed or are participating in an ISTDP/EDT core training program, or are ISTDP/EDT trainers, or their associates. Please check with organisers.

General admission CAD$500

Early bird admission CAD$450

Full-time student admission CAD$300

Tickets available at Eventbrite:


United Kingdom E16 2DQ + Google Map
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