Healing Attachment Trauma with Intensive Short-term Dynamic Psychotherapy

2 days conference in Aarhus at 19.-20. september 2024 in Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) with a special focus on the attachment-based approach in ISTDP, with clinical video material and lead presenter Clinical Professor of Psychiatry Dr. Robert J. Neborsky (USA).



Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP) is an accelerated, active form of psychodynamic therapy with an excellent evidence base. ISTDP is rooted in the research and clinical innovations of Dr Habib Davanloo, and focuses on safely and efficiently accessing unconscious affects or “unlocking the unconscious” early in the course of psychotherapy, in order to accelerate and deepen the therapeutic process and increase favorable outcomes.

ISTDP has a robust evidence base and has been shown to both relieve symptoms and bring about character change with clients e.g. with anxiety difficulties, depression, different kinds of personality disorders, complex trauma reactions, somatic symptoms.

This conference will present an introduction to ISTDP techniques and theory and will then go on to look at innovations to this model that have been introduced by Dr. Robert Neborsky in his approach of attachment-based ISTDP. Attachment-based ISTDP applies the clinical insights and techniques of Davanloo’s ISTDP but is further informed by research on attachment and emotion regulation. This approach emphasizes the importance of maintaining a secure attachment bond between client and therapist and on identifying and challenging internalised working models which are based on earlier insecure or pathological attachment bonds. Effective techniques for identifying and working with the pathological superego early on in the treatment process is a unique focus of attachment-based ISTDP.

Dr Neborsky will present lecture material and video-filmed vignettes from attacment-based ISTDP psychotherapy sessions (subtitled in English) and demonstrate how therapists can help their clients improve their attachment styles and move from insecure states toward secure forms of adult attachment. Dr Sharon Lewis and Betina Søbirk Svane, who trained with Dr Neborsky in AB-ISTDP, will present additional case material.


Robert J. Neborsky, M.D.

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 as well as UCLA School of Medicine (Hon). He was a founding member on the Editorial Board of the International Journal of Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy and served as guest editor of the Ad Hoc Bulletin of Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy. In 2003, Dr. Neborsky was honored by the UCLA School of Medicine clinical faculty association as the Distinguished Psychiatric Lecturer of the year for 2002.

In 2001, he co-authored Short-Term Therapy for Long Term Change (Norton) and is a contributing author in the 2003 book, Healing Trauma (Norton). In 2011 along with Josette ten Have de Labije he authored Roadmap to the Unconscious: Mastering Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy, Karnac Books (translated and published in Polish in 2017) In 2013 he published Predicting Attachment Status from Observation of a Clinical Intensive Psychotherapy Interview which was nominated for Progress in Psychology as one of the top articles of that year.: Recently the Second edition of The Collected Writings of Robert J. Neborsky was published by Itasca Books. (2018)

Dr. Neborsky’s professional activities include training students in the techniques of his unique attachment-based variety of Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy, presenting at local, national and international symposia and seminars. His current research interests include examination of the interface between attachment theory, neuroscience, and psychotherapy. He is also exploring the application of ISTDP techniques to enhance recovery from traumatic brain injury and post concussive syndrome associated with post traumatic stress disorder.


Dr Sharon Lewis

Dr Sharon Lewis is a chartered clinical psychologist registered with the British Psychological Society and the Health and Care Professions Council in the United Kingdom. She is an IEDTA accredited supervisor and trainer in ISTDP and provides individual supervision and training for clinicians wishing to develop skills in this model. Her approach is focused on the attachment-based ISTDP introduced by Dr Robert Neborsky (USA), where the clinical insights and techniques of Davanloo’s ISTDP are further informed by research on attachment and emotion regulation.

Dr Lewis has experience both in private practice and in the National Health Service and has a particular interest in working with clients with anxiety difficulties and treatment-resistant depression, as well as those diagnosed with physical health conditions such as auto-immune disorders, fibromyalgia and chronic pain.

Dr Lewis is of the most senior ISTDP practitioners in the UK, and has been at the forefront of the development of conferences and teaching programmes to introduce this method to clinicians in this country. She has also been a visiting lecturer on the clinical doctorate programmes in psychology, presented nationally and internationally at workshops and conferences and currently a series of training courses for clinicians interested in learning this method



Betina Søbirk Svane

Betina Søbirk Svane has an MSc in psychology and social studies and is a certified psychodynamic psychotherapist MPF graduated from the Institute for Gestalt Analyses in Denmark and further trained in ISTDP by Robert Neborsky, Patricia Coughlin, Allan Abbass and Joel Town.

Betina has 14 years of experience as a psychotherapist in prisons and private organizations like “Dialogue against Violence”. Since 2018, she has been a full-time practitioner in her own psychotherapeutic clinic in Denmark where she offers individuel therapy, teaching/group therapy and supervision and she currently training at advanced level to become a certified ISTDP teacher and supervisor.

She is deeply passionated and very experienced in working with clients with more complex and difficult challenges such as different kinds of personality disturbances, anxiety difficulties, and complex trauma reactions. She is ambitious and persistent in teaching and ongoing learning how you best and most effectively can learn this method and get better at what you are doing. Right now, she is particularly focused on the topic of staying empathic attuned, and in sync with the client, and how you work concretely with your countertransference without harming the client



Pernille Hytte Bisgaard

Pernille Hytte Bisgaard has an MSc in pedagogical psychology and is a certified Couple and Family psychotherapist MPF . She is a specialist in Clinical Sexology from the University of Gothenburg, Sweden. She has been trained in attachment-based ISTDP in London by Dr. Robert Neborsky, Alexandra Knowles, and Dr. Sharon Lewis. Since 2007, she has been a full-time practitioner in her psychotherapeutic clinic in Copenhagen. And since 2022 she also has had a part-time praxis in Aarhus.

She is an ISTDP therapist with a lot of experience working with clients with different kinds of challenges, e.g. attachment injuries and traumas. She is right now, particularly interested in how to integrate advanced ISTDP skills in Couple Therapy


Bookings and Eligibility to attend:

The seminar is suitable for registered professionals working in mental health and allied fields including psychologists, psychotherapists, and psychiatrists. A small amount of tickets are sold to reduced price to ISTDP core group students, psychology students and psychotherapist students for in-person attendance.

When you arrive on the day you will be asked to confirm and sign the following confidentiality statement:

“I understand the importance of confidentiality and I will make no mention of what I see and hear, in any circumstances including social media, outside of this observational room. Additionally, I agree not to make recordings through, photographs, video, or audio. I confirm that if I recognize, or know a client I observe, I will remove myself from the conference room and first come back when the session is over”

This is a live, in-person event and online attendance is not possible. The entire event is in English, but it will be possible to ask questions in Danish if that is more convenient for you.

Full catering is included in the fee.

Bookings are final and refunds are not available. If, for circumstances beyond our control, the conference is canceled, we will refund ticket fees but we will not be responsible for any additional costs (e.g. travel or accommodation) incurred.

We hope you are able to join us for this once-in-a-lifetime conference with Dr. Robert J. Neborsky in-person in Aarhus, Denmark September 19-20, 2024 at 9:00 AM-17:00 PM each day.

You can read more on Eventbrite and please feel free to share. Thanks.


Please be aware that it’s only possible to buy tickets via your PC – not via smartphone.

Please email us if you have any questions: kontakt@betinasoebirksvane.dk or p.hytte@gmail.com

Warmly, Pernille Hytte Bisgaard and Betina Søbirk Svane