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Associate Professor Loyola McLean

Associate professor Dr Loyola McLean is a Consultation-Liaison Psychiatrist, Psychotherapist and Psychotherapy Educator in public, private and academic practice. She holds appointments as: an Associate Professor with the BMRI, University of Sydney; a Psychotherapy Educator and the Psychotherapy Coordinator for the Sydney West and Greater Southern Psychiatry Training Network (WSLHD); a Faculty member of the Westmead Psychotherapy Program for Complex Traumatic Disorders, Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School; an Honorary Consultation-Liaison Psychiatrist with Royal North Shore Hospital. She is a certified Adult Attachment Interview (AAI) Coder. She applies an interdisciplinary biopsychosocial model to her research and clinical work, informed by attachment, neuroscience and the modern conceptions of the Self and Trauma in the Conversational Model. She is researching integrative body-mind medicine, psychotherapy, and spirituality to explore dis/organizing responses of self and systems to stress and illness and the emergence of recovery, resilience and post-traumatic growth. She is exploring how attachment can be integrated with other models to open up opportunities for better collaborative research, formulation and multimodal treatments. Her PhD examined the prothrombotic and inflammatory factors in linking depression and cardiovascular disease. Her projects or collaborations include: work in burns recovery and rehabilitation and an RCT of early EMDR post burns injury; the development of and recovery from chronic complex trauma and its various sequelae including psychosomatic disorders and personality Disorders; Type D personality in various health presentations; the role of attachment in eating disorders; incorporating the Adult Attachment Interview and its probes into psychosomatic research and mental health assessments; novel applications of the Conversational Model to psychiatry; process research in psychotherapy; psychotherapy education. She has published enormous articles in peer reviewed journals as well as multiple book chapters.

Abstract – Clinical Master Class – 25 November 2020

Theme and variations: The way the complex traumatic past becomes the complex traumatic present

We grow in relationships and from experience; we adapt. However when those early relationships are ones of complex trauma and our experiences are of loss, trauma and neglect then we adapt as best we can to survive. Later however those adaptations mean we are primed to repeat those responses to current stressful events, even though right here, right now, there may be more possibilities for us than we can see or feel. In this talk we will look at some of the concepts that help here: attachment, trauma, the growth of selves; the way trauma breaks us down and constricts us and traumatic memory systems keep the old stories and music repeating. As clinicians we seek to engage our patients to change the music in the moment so that it opens again to possibility: we aim to join with the music but to slowly collaborate in its transformation.

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