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Enhancing Your Therapeutic Presence

While we all know that success in therapy depends on the therapist–client relationship, building that positive rapport hinges on behaviours many therapists aren’t even aware of.

Imagine bolstering your therapeutic presence by consciously amplifying behaviours that make clients feel safe, connected, and cared for.

In this playful, experiential recording, you’ll master the often nonverbal qualities of the powerful, collaborative brain state which is delineated in Polyvagal Theory as the “social engagement system,” which underlies relational experiences.


Product Details
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Dafna Lender, LCSW
3 Hours 52 Minutes
Mar 23, 2019
Psychotherapy Networker
Product Code:
Media Type:
DVD - Also available: Digital Seminar
Never expires.


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 3.75 hours CPD.



Dafna Lender, LCSW's Profile

Dafna Lender, LCSW Related seminars and products

Dafna Lender, LCSW, is a licensed clinical social worker who has worked in the field of child welfare and child mental health for 20+ years. Dafna serves as the program director at The Theraplay Institute in Evanston, IL and is certified as a practitioner, supervisor and trainer in both Theraplay and Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy (DDP). Dafna trains psychotherapists internationally in these methods and trains in three languages.

Dafna’s focus is children’s development of a secure attachment with their caregivers while resolving issues in their traumatic history. Early in her career, Dafna worked in treatment foster care and witnessed child after child “fail” out of foster placements due to difficult behavior. Children were disruptive, unsettled and unhappy, and their caregivers felt defeated. Dafna’s sense of discouragement went way after taking the Theraplay training and learning direct, concrete ideas and interactions that she could apply in home with her treatment families to promote healthier, stable relationships. Dafna has successfully treated children with a variety of backgrounds, including children raised in orphanages, with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder, exposed to domestic violence and community violence and children of parents with chronic mental illness.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Dafna Lender is the founder of Dafna Lender Psychotherapy Training and Consulting. She is a published author and receives royalties. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Dafna Lender has no relevant non-financial relationships.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Implement voice, rhythm, facial expressions and touch to elicit openness and a sense of calm in clients.
  2. Apply three methods for sending safety messages to the brains of deeply mistrusting clients and improving their therapeutic engagement.
  3. Utilize techniques to surprise the brain of a guarded client with novel responses that will interrupt their automatic defensiveness and generate curiosity.
  4. Articulate exercises and activities to help angry clients feel more relaxed, open and ready to connect in a clinical setting.
  5. Determine what the social engagement system is, its basis in polyvagal theory, and its treatment implications.


Therapeutic presence-What is it?

  • Underlying biology
  • The social engagement system
  • How interacting with others can help

Developing and communicating safety and connection

  • Voice Prosidy
  • Resonance
  • Facial expressions
  • Eye contact
  • Touch

Play as a neural exercise in create safety and connection

  • Interventions to help client decrease defensiveness/increase sense of connection 
  • Interventions for reducing anger and producing feelings of calm

Target Audience

  • Psychologists
  • Physicians
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Nurses
  • Other Behavioral Health Professionals



Overall:      4.5

Total Reviews: 2

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