What´s in it for me?

Three days of close encounter – in depth and width – with six of the most influential voices in the field of psychotherapy. The keynotes will be present throughout the three days, in plenary and parallel sessions, giving talks, showing video, participating in dyad and panel discussions.

If you still want more, you can! Sign up for the post-conference for an in-depth workshop with the keynote of your choice, on Friday.

Side-order menu: Emotions will appear in different forms around the city all week: in galleries, cinemas, pubs, public scenes, and theaters. And please save some time for experiencing the stunning beauty of nature surrounding Bergen – the “City of seven mountains” and the “Gateway to the Fjords”. We recommend you to spend an extra day to do the “Norway in a Nutshell” trip. See VisitBergen.com for information.


The introduction
On day 1, each of the six keynote speakers will give a 50 minutes introduction to their model, where they explain how their model facilitates emotional change and show video demonstrations or engage the listeners in exercises. They will briefly contextualize their model, specify their typical patient, and explain what factors they see as contributing to and maintaining psychopathology. This day will give the attendees an overview of all the different models. The keynote speakers have been provided a specific structure for their presentations so that comparison of the models is made easier for the attendees.


The dyads
On days 2 and 3 there will be plenary sessions where two of the keynote speakers co-present, discussing each other’s videos and models.

Day 2: Paul Gilbert and Allan Abbass will talk about “When love is hard to receive – Overcoming obstacles to letting in care and affection from self & others”

Day 2: Diana Fosha and Janina Fisher will talk about “Unbearable emotions – Working experientially with complex trauma”.

Day 3: Steven Hayes and Leslie Greenberg will talk about “What changes when people change? – Mechanisms of change through different lenses”.


The parallel sessions
Day 2 and 3 will also contain parallel sessions where each keynote speaker is given particular emotions to elaborate on. Unfortunately, the attendees must make three choices:

  1. To hear either Allan Abbass talking about “Resolving guilt and enhancing attachments” or Diana Fosha talking about “Joy, gratitude, and awe – working at the edge of relational and transformational experience”.
  2. To hear either Paul Gilbert talk about “Compassion and anger” or Steven Hayes talking about how “Love is the only thing”.
  3. To hear either Leslie Greenberg talking about “How to connect with sadness” or Janina Fisher talking about “Shame and the body”.


The next generation
On day 3, we have also invited some of the greatest scholars we know, to talk for 90 minutes about aspects of working with emotions that have not been covered by the keynote speakers. There should be something for everyone, but unfortunately, you can only pick one:

  1. Advanced empathy in EFT: Building perceptual skills – Imke Herrman & Lars Auszra
  2. The fragile patient: effective capacity building with ISTDP – Jonas Sharma-Bakkevig & Roger Sandvik Hansen.
  3. The detached patient: facilitating emotional attachment with ISTDP – Filip Myhre & Bernt Langvasbråten.
  4. Being with it: Working mindfully with difficult emotions – Jon Vøllestad & Elisabeth Shanche
  5. Compassion and creation of meaning – Per-Einar Binder
  6. Activation of intense emotions in the client: What does it evoke in the therapist? – Helene Nissen-Lie
  7. When emotions become overwhelming – Ingunn Holdbekk & Katinka Salvesen
  8. Embracing emotions in the service of vitality and a meaningful life – Thorvald Andersen & Asle Elen
  9. Transgenerational affect phobia. How to understand and treat symptoms passed on from generation to generation – Kristin Osborne
  10. I’m sorry: The emotional healing power of apologizing – Joanne Dolhanty
  11. How to enhance mentalizing in psychotherapy – the emotionally transparent and available therapist – Finn Skårderud
  12. Transform Trauma – Using the AEDP Therapist’s Bold, Embodied Presence – SueAnne Piliero


Uniting voices – the way forward!
To end the main program, the keynote speakers will gather on stage for what we believe will be a pivotal moment in the history of psychotherapy. The conversation will focus on the future, but the exact content will depend on the process during the preceding days. Attendees can partake in this by sending us their questions beforehand. We have invited a professional debate manager to structure this conversation.


Post-conference workshops
This is an exclusive opportunity to meet the keynotes speakers up close, and learn new skills from the developers and front figures for each approach. Each of the keynotes will give a 1-day workshop on Friday 20th, the day after the conference, for a limited number of participants (maximum of 50 per workshop). The focus will be on skill training that adds to your existing psychotherapeutic toolbox.

Keynote speakers

Leslie Greenberg

Dr. Leslie Greenberg is one of the originators and primary developers of Emotion-Focused Therapy (EFT) for individuals and couples. You can watch a short interview with him here:

Allan Abbass

Dr. Allan Abbass is the founding Director of the Centre for Emotions and Health at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada. Dr. Abbass’s clinical specialty and research focus is the use of Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP), particularly on how unprocessed emotion plays a part in medically unexplained physical symptoms. You can watch an interview with him here:

Diana Fosha

Dr. Diana Fosha is the developer of Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), a healing-based, transformation-oriented model of psychotherapeutic treatment. You can watch an interview with her here:

Paul Gilbert

Dr. Paul Gilbert is the founder of Compassion Focused Therapy (CFT), an approach that focuses on building an emotionally healthier relationship with oneself. You can watch an interview with him here:

Janina Fisher

Dr. Janina Fisher is a faculty member of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute. She is well known for her expertise as both a therapist and speaker on the topic of trauma and the body in psychotherapy.
You can watch a short interview with her here:

Steven Hayes

Dr. Steven Hayes is renown for his work on Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT), a third-wave cognitive-behavior therapy which focuses on relating to and accepting ones emotions. You can watch his TED-talk here:

“For many years you have talked about me. Behind my back. Over my head. Shouting at me. At times you haven’t even acknowledged my existence, and never have you truly listened to me. I want this to change. I need you to be with me. Sit down with me, and take me seriously. Stay with me long enough for me to tell you about my deepest longings and my heartfelt needs. If you do, I will fuel your voice in the world with magic power and create human connections for you. If you won’t, I will likely cause hell. It’s up to you! I am emotion.”