Symposium at the Freud Museum

Putting Humpty Dumpty Together Again: From Fragmentation to Cohesion

The Technique of Repairing Severe Ego Fragility

Presented by Dr Robert J. Neborsky


18th November 2017

Early bird rate: £95 (before 18 September 2017)

ISTDP-UK Trainees currently in Core Training: £85

Full fee: £105 (after 18 September 2017)

Lunch is included in the fee & please join us afterwards to toast our trainees as they receive their certificates on completion of a 3-year ISTDP-UK core training.

Full Details

Robert J. Neborsky, MD, will show video extracts of therapy sessions with two clients. One of these cases involves “block therapy” where the client attended a number of hours of therapy over a period of a few days. This is ideal for patients who travel a long distance to access ISTDP.  The second case involves a more traditional weekly attendance.


In both cases, the patients experienced ego fragility.  This involves an inability to regulate anxiety and maintain it at a manageable level, resulting in problems with cognitive functioning.

Symptoms in these two cases involved both psychotic experiences (a loss of contact with reality) and psychosomatic difficulties  (mimicking heart attack, stroke or panic disorder).


Dr Neborsky will demonstrate techniques from Attachment-Based Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy which improve patients’ cognitive (or thinking) ability, affect regulation and somatic integrity.


Attachment-Based ISTDP focuses on repairing the disrupted attachment bonds which lead to many of the difficulties patients experience with emotional processing and anxiety regulation.  Dr Neborsky is at the forefront of development of these techniques.

The Presenters

Dr Robert J. Neborsky

Robert J. Neborsky, M.D., is a psychiatrist in private practice in Del Mar, California, and a Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at UCSD School of Medicine and UCLA School of Medicine (Hon). Dr Neborsky initially trained in ISTDP with Dr Habib Davanloo in the 1980s, and in 2003 he was one of the founders of the Southern California Society for IS-TDP. He was also a founding member on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy.

Dr. Neborsky’s professional activities include training students in the techniques of his unique Attachment-Based Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (AB-ISTDP) and presenting at local, national and international symposia. He co-authored Short-Term Therapy for Long Term Change (Norton, 2001) and is a contributing author of Healing Trauma (Norton, 2003). In 2010, he edited and published The Collected Writings of Robert J Neborsky, MD along with The Collected Writings of Josette ten Have de Labije, (Itasca). In 2011, he co-authored Mastering Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy: A Roadmap to the Unconscious.

Alexandra Knowles, Discussant

Alexandra Knowles is a UKCP registered Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist through the Universities Psychotherapy & Counselling Association (UPCA) and an Honorary Member of the Forum for Independent Psychotherapists (FiP) which she founded. She originally trained over 30 years ago as a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist working in Therapeutic Communities was well as in private practice, teaching and supervising. Following the first ISTDP Oxford Conference in 2006, put on by David Malan she joined the initial group of UK therapists to be trained in ISTDP. Subsequently she became accredited by the International Experiential Dynamic Therapy Association (IEDTA) as an ISTDP teacher and supervisor.  She has presented extensively at conferences and is involved in the training and supervision of therapists. Currently she devotes her time to her ISTDP practice working with individuals and couples and runs core training groups in London and Oxford.

Dr Sharon Lewis, Discussant

Dr Sharon Lewis is a chartered clinical psychologist, registered with the British Psychological Society and the Health and Care Professions Council. She currently works in private practice.  After joining a UK core training in 2006, she continued to develop her knowledge and practice of the technique and is now an IEDTA accredited trainer and supervisor in ISTDP. Together with Alexandra Knowles, she runs core training programmes in the UK. She has previously worked as clinical supervisor of the Trauma Clinic of the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation in South Africa as well as within the NHS, has published in the areas of childhood trauma and post traumatic stress disorder, and conducted research into treatment-resistant depression.