Engaging and managing angry young men with psychosis

Engagement with antisocial clients presents considerable difficulty, particularly when the impact of brain injuries exacerbates premorbid personality traits. Prof Warrick Brewer of the University of Melbourne Centre for Youth Mental Health, VIC, Australia and A/Prof Brendan Murphy of the Maroondah Hospital will be presenting on this subject at the 14th International Mental Health Conference be held at Outrigger, Surfers Paradise on Monday the 5th and Tuesday the 6th of August 2013.

Prof Brewer will discuss how the function of anger especially is often misunderstood, where the diagnosis of antisocial personality essentially reflects a description of behaviour rather than aetiology. Hence, aggressive behaviour commonly presents a significant hurdle to engagement and treatment response. In this context, relying upon anger ‘management’ techniques proves less effective relative to assisting adolescents to reframe and understand the source and function of their anger and then assist them to release anger as a valuable motivational source towards achievement of functional goals.

He will provide practical examples of how to assist adolescents (or adults with arrested emotional development) in acquiring basic principles of emotional intelligence, including recognition and articulation of the emotional self and establishment of a structured self-identity. The impact of common threats to healthy developmental trajectories will be discussed, where strategies on how to formulate the relative impact of genetic risk, brain injury, cognitive ability, environmental compromise, personality and substance use on acute clinical presentations will be provided. This workshop draws upon published material from a pioneering clinical-research youth mental health neuropsychology program. Research on emotion dysregulation in neurodevelopment includes findings in Autism-spectrum, ADHD, Psychosis, OCD and Antisocial Personality disorders and this informs the material presented. Finally, a 6-session published treatment manual for engaging and managing difficult clients that is based upon neuropsychological principles of neurodevelopment will be detailed.

Prof Warrick Brewer is an Honorary Associate Professor & Principal Research Fellow in the University of Melbourne Department of Psychiatry and also in the Centre for Youth Mental Health, located at ORYGEN Youth Health- Parkville. If you would like to attend this seminar at the 14th International Mental Health Conference please register by clicking here.

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