Even the most experienced therapist can be challenged when it comes to couples who are always at each other’s throats or in constant crisis! What do these couples have in common? They come with an unacknowledged legacy of childhood trauma or neglect.
Early childhood trauma has lasting and dramatic effects on attachment formation and on the later capacity for intimacy and mutuality. Instead of experiencing relationship as a haven of safety, traumatized couples are driven by powerful wishes and fears of closeness.
The enemy is not each other but the trauma.
In this transformational recording, learn from master clinician and trauma expert Janina Fisher, PhD. She will provide in-depth training on the impact of early neglect, attachment failure, and childhood trauma on couple relationships. Janina will help you master a variety of new approaches and methods that can transform your work with your most challenging couples. You’ll learn:
How to address intense emotions and impulsive reactions that undermine the sense of safety and hope
Strategies for working with couples in chronic conflict
Mindfulness-based techniques for decreasing conflict and changing trauma-related patterns
Sensorimotor psychotherapy techniques for getting to the emotions beyond words
Externalizing techniques for increasing perspective
Through Janina’s expert insightful commentary, in-session videos of couples, case studies and examples, you’ll develop highly practical, evidence-based skills, and learn powerful assessment tools, case conceptualization techniques and proven clinical strategies that you can immediately apply in your practice.
Continuing Professional Development Certificates
- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 12 hours CPD.
Manual - 2-Day Intensive Workshop: Treating Trauma in Intimate Relationships - Healing the Trauma Legacy in Couples Therapy
Janina Fisher, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and former instructor at The Trauma Center, a research and treatment center founded by Bessel van der Kolk. Known as an expert on the treatment of trauma, Dr. Fisher has also been treating individuals, couples and families since 1980.
She is past president of the New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation, an EMDR International Association Credit Provider, Assistant Educational Director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and a former Instructor, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fisher lectures and teaches nationally and internationally on topics related to the integration of the neurobiological research and newer trauma treatment paradigms into traditional therapeutic modalities.
She is co-author with Pat Ogden of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Attachment and Trauma (2015) and author of Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Internal Self-Alienation (2017) and the forthcoming book, Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Trauma (in press).
Financial: Janina Fisher is in private practice. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.
Non-financial: Janina Fisher has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.
Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)
Access never expires for this product.
Discuss the neurobiological effects of traumatic experiences on individuals and couples as it relates to case conceptualization.
Describe the role of animal defence survival responses in perpetuating relational conflict to inform clinical treatment interventions.
Identify signs and symptoms of a client’s traumatic attachment in dyadic interaction.
Provide psychoeducation about trauma and attachment to clients.
Define implicit memory and articulate the role of implicit memory in evoking the sense of threat.
Identify and verbalize repetitive patterns of action and reaction in the couple.
Utilize practice of new patterns in session and evaluate their relative success in reducing couple conflict.
Increase the ability of couples to observe their nonverbal communication and its impact on the relationship.
Describe physical sensations that a client can feel when shame and resentment occur.
Teach couples to articulate physical sensations arising in their interactions.
Summarize sensorimotor psychotherapy practices that can be interfaced with psychotherapy practices to alleviate the volatility in couples.
Identify interventions that can be used in-session to increase positive affect in the presence of the other.
Provide homework for couples focused on practising new patterns of action and reaction to improve engagement.
Day 1 Program
The Effects of Early Relational Trauma: Emotional, Physiological, Relational
What is a ‘trauma’?
Single events versus enduring conditions
Remembering with our emotions and our bodies
Procedural or conditioned learning
Effects on brain and body
Habitually-Learned Survival Responses Recreate the Sense of Threat
Triggers and Triggering: stay prepared for danger
Animal defence survival responses in human beings
Effects of traumatic adaptation on relationships
The Danger of Closeness and the Threat of Distance
How trauma-related patterns affect the capacity for intimacy
Body and emotional memories re-create the sense of danger
Chronic conflict as activation of animal defences
Why couples cannot process conflicts or tolerate empathy
Strategies for Working with Couples in Chronic Conflict
Create neutral space in therapy sessions
Provide psychoeducation about trauma
Inhibit destructive patterns in the therapy session
The practice of new patterns as ‘experiments’
Mindfulness-Based Techniques for Decreasing Conflict and Changing Trauma-Related Patterns
Mindfulness-based awareness of the ‘play-by-play’
Notice the effects of their actions on partner reactions
Observe with curiosity: “Am I getting what I want this way? Is this working?”
Day 2 Program
Shift from “Processing” Issues to Changing Patterns of Response
A repair model for psychotherapy in place of an insight model
The therapist as referee rather than empathic listener
Limits and boundaries on conflict in the therapy
Limitations of the research and potential risks
Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Techniques for Getting to the Emotions Beyond Words
Brief introduction to sensorimotor psychotherapy
Teach couples somatic awareness and dialogue techniques
Work with the body to decrease tension and ‘charge’ in the relationship
Use movement and gesture as vehicles for communication
Externalizing Techniques for Increasing Perspective
Use diagramming to help couples take responsibility for their actions and reactions
Connect to the wounded child in each partner
Acknowledge the role of child selves in their conflicts
Sooth and protect the hurt child self
Increase self-compassion and compassion toward partner
Marriage & Family Therapists
Other Mental Health Professionals
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