2015 Fall Conference

CME Accreditation: No

OPA Psychotherapy Section's

2015 Fall Conference

Saturday, October 24, 2015
At the Omni King Edward Hotel
37 King Street East, Toronto, Ontario

Guest Speaker – Dr Allan Abbass

Dr. Allan Abbass is currently a Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology and founding Director of the Centre for Emotions and Health at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

He completed Medicine at Dalhousie, a residency in Family Medicine at McGill University and has worked as both a family physician and an emergency physician. He began to study psychosomatics at McGill University in 1990, where he began training in Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy. He completed a residency in Psychiatry at the University of Toronto with the goal of teaching and conducting research in psychotherapy. 

He is now a leading teacher and researcher in the area of Short-term Psychotherapy, having contributed over 150 publications. He is known for simplifying the theory and technical aspects of the model with the use of algorithms and through highlighting moment to moment processes that inform intervention. He has received a number of teaching awards including a national teaching award in Psychiatry and the Douglas Utting Prize for contributions to the treatment of Depression. He has been honored with visiting professorships at several universities and institutions where he provides ongoing training programs.

Direct Assessment and Handling of Resistance in Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy

One half of all psychotherapy patients fail to adequately respond to traditional manual based forms of psychotherapy. Unconscious and conscious psychological drivers appear be major sources of treatment resistance, interrupting the patients ability to therapeutically engage, care for himself and tolerate affects stirred in the therapy relationship.

Intensive short-term dynamic psychotherapy or ISTDP was developed in Canada over 40 years of videotape-based research as a method to directly detect and manage psychological drivers of treatment resistance. The process includes a trial therapy interview built to activate the patient’s attachment system and then to directly observe unconscious patterns of anxiety and defense as emotions arise: this work results in a treatment roadmap to root out entrenched emotional drivers stemming from attachment trauma and subsequent trauma.  Over the past 20 years about 40 process and outcome studies have been published showing the broad application and effectiveness and cost effectiveness of this treatment for diverse resistant patient populations. 

Several specific patient patterns are discernable leading to different treatment pathways to optimize the building of psychic capacities, handling of resistances in the office and working through of unprocessed emotions. The first of these patterns is a “standard technique of unlocking the unconscious” involving the use of therapeutic “pressure”, challenge to resistances and rapid breakthrough to the unconscious feelings: this applies to about 1/3 of psychiatric referrals. Second is a capacity building format, called the graded format, which aims to build anxiety tolerance in patients with Depression, Conversion and smooth muscle somatic problems like Irritable Bowel Syndrome: this applies to ¼ of referrals. Finally a process of bringing multidimensional structural change was developed to build psychic integration in patients who disorganize mentally when anxious.

In this workshop we will review this assessment and treatment processes as outlined in the recent book Reaching Through Resistance using detailed review of patient video recordings and discussion of theory.


8:30 am Registration and Breakfast
9:00 am Welcome and Introductions
9:15 am Presentation 1A: Metapsychology of the Unconscious and Empirical Basis
10:30 am Refreshment Break
10:45 am Video presentations: Low to moderate resistance + Q&A
12:00 noon Luncheon
1:30 pm Video presentations: Highly resistant patient with repression: building capacity + Q&A
2:30 pm Refreshment Break
2:45 pm Video presentations: Fragile Patient: assessing and building capacity + Q&A
3:45 pm Closing Remarks
4:00 pm Conclusion

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Describe the somatic pathways of rage, grief and guilt
  2. Describe a psychodiagnostic assessment process to detect pathways of unconscious anxiety and 3 categories of major resistance
  3. Describe the main treatment formats of ISTDP including the standard format and graded format.

Registration Fees

Conference Fee Schedule
(Fees, per person, cover your conference registration, breakfast, luncheon and refreshment breaks)
September 26, 2015
September 26, 2015

OPA Members – Full

$225.00 + HST = $254.25

$240.00 + HST = $271.20

OPA Members – Associate/Life/Honorary/Inactive

$175.00 + HST = $197.75

$190.00 + HST = $214.70


$95.00 + HST = $107.35

$110.00 + HST = $124.30

Non-Members – Physicians

$245.00 + HST = $276.85

$260.00 + HST = $293.80

Non-Members – Allied Health Care Professionals

$195.00 + HST = $220.35

$210.00 + HST = $237.30

How To Register

Online registration now closed.

Onsite registrations will be accepted.

© 2022 Ontario Psychiatric Association
Privacy Policy