Day 1 :
University of Barcelona, Spain
Time : 9:30-10:10
Guillem Feixas, now Professor at the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Barcelona, completed his PhD at this center and hold a postdoc position at the University of Memphis, USA. He is the director of the Master in Cognitive Social Therapy and other postgraduate courses. He has published more than 90 papers in reputed journals and 10 books and led several research projects. His investigations have been focused in interpersonal construing and its role in health (both mental and physical), and in the process of psychotherapy.
A variety of psychotherapies for depression have received substantial empirical support but the rates of recovery are still unsufficient and relapse is all too common. Research on cognitive conflicts has shown that personal dilemmas can be found in over 90% of all patients with depression but current psychotherapies do not focus on these dilemmas at least in a direct way. Dilemma-Focused Therapy (DFT) is a brief intervention which can complement other therapies by targeting on personal dilemmas, an issue which is usually not dealt with but which could explain much of the reluctance to change and relapse that occurs in the course of the treatment for depression. DFT is constructivist-based intervention derived from personal construct theory which has already been supported in an RCT. It uses the Repertory Grid Technique (RGT) for the study of a person’s meaning system. One type of conflict which can be detected with the RGT is implicative dilemma: a desired change on one construct (e.g. “sad-happy”) has an undesired implication on another construct (e.g. “cares for others vs. selfish”). Thus, achieving change (e.g., becoming happy) implies an undesirable change in self-identity (e.g., becoming selfish). Instead of focusing only in symptoms or negative thoughts, DFT is oriented to help clients recognize both sides of the dilemma: the need for change and the need for continuity and for protecting the sense of identity. By empowering clients to deal with their internal conflicts they can resolve their personal dilemmas and govern their lives in a more integrated way.
Hermanas Hospitalarias, Italy
Time : 10:10-10:50
Giampaolo Perna has completed his MD and PhD from Milan State University becoming psychiatrist in the same university. He is the chairman of the department of clinical neurosciences of Hermanas Hospitalarias - Villa San Benedetto Menni near Como Lake. He has published more than 100 papers in impacted journals. He is voluntary professor at Leonard Miller School of Medicine, University of Miami and associate professor at Maastricht University. He is the chair of the WPA section on personalized psychiatry and member of the executive board of the Italian Association for Behavior Analysis and Modification and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (AIAMC).
After several years during which psychiatry focused on the role of brain and cognitions in mental disorders recent experimental evidences point out the key role of body in mental disorders, in particular in anxiety and mood disorders. There are clear evidences relating panic disorder to respiratory, cardiovascular and balance system abnormalities that led to a respiratory theory of this disorder and to the development of respiratory therapies with evidences of a role of physical exercise in the wellbeing of these patients. Even in depression, whose impact in the health of world population is growing of importance, there are evidences of a role of immunologic and endocrine systems in its pathogenesis leading to a inflammatory theory of depression with recent experimental studies focusing on the role of anti-inflammatory agents in its treatment. It should be also mentioned that many psychotropic medications affect body, for example the anticoagulant effects of antidepressants are well known as well as cardiac and respiratory direct effect of medications used in the treatment of panic disorder. As well, evidences of an important interface between depression and cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases are emerging clearly. Finally the view of a key role of body in psychopathology, that find its roots in the ideas of William James, is also supported by data showing a central role of cortisol and the stress system in many different mental disorders.
University of Bonn, Germany
Time : 11:10-11:50
Thomas Eduard Schlaepfer, MD is the Vice Chair of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy at the University Hospital Bonn, Germany, where he is also Dean of Medical Education he holds a joint appointment as Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Mental Hygiene at the Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore. He is a fellow of the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology (ACNP) and chair of the Task Force on Brain Stimulation of the World Federation of Societies of Biological Psychiatry. He received his medical training at the University of Bern, Switzerland. He worked as Assistant Professor of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland. Since 1997, he has been Associate Professor of the same department, as well as the Department of Mental Hygiene at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. rnHe focused the research of his group on translational, functional neuroimaging and clinical effects of neuromodulation interventions (including repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation, vagus nerve stimulation, magnetic seizure therapy and deep brain stimulation) for treatment resistant major depression. After the first human application in the year 2000 his group developed the clinical use of magnetic seizure therapy (MST) for depression and more recently the hypothesis-guided therapeutic use of deep brain stimulation of parts of the human reward system (Nucleus Accumbens and Medial Forebrain Bundle) in the same disorder.
The introduction of Deep Brain Stimulation for treatment resistant disorders might very well lead to the most significant development in clinical psychiatry of the last forty years – possibly offering a rise of hope for patients to whom medicine had hitherto little to offer. Furthermore, translational research on neuromodulation will allow us to glean something about the underlying cause of patient's illnesses before figuring out a treatment that addresses the source of the problem. Major depression offers perhaps the best example of the rapid progress being made in understanding the biology of mental illness. Studies on the underlying neurobiology of major depression have typically focused on the description of biological differences between patients and healthy subjects such as alterations of monoaminergic or endocrine systems. Psychotropic drugs work by altering neurochemistry to a large extent in widespread regions of the brain, many of which may be unrelated to depression. We believe that more focused, targeted treatment approaches that modulate specific networks in the brain will prove a more effective approach to help treatment-resistant patients. In other words, whereas existing depression treatments approach this disease as a general brain dysfunction, a more complete and appropriate treatment will arise from thinking of depression as a dysfunction of specific brain networks that mediate mood and reward signals. A better understanding of defined dysfunctions in these networks will invariably lead to a better understanding of patients afflicted with depression and perhaps contribute to a de-stigmatization of psychiatric patients and the medical specialty treating them.rn