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Digital Seminar

Stabilizing Unsafe Behavior: Suicide & Self-Injury

Childhood trauma and neglect leave survivors with a legacy of overwhelming memories and emotions but also a compromised nervous system that impairs their capacity to tolerate the normal ups and downs of life.   Unaware that their intense reactions are driven by implicit traumatic memories lodged in the body, these clients resort to desperate measures: addictive behavior and self-harm to numb the body or increase hypervigilance, suicidal ideation to restore a sense of control over their lives and painful emotions, dissociative and borderline responses of fight and flight when hurt, threatened, or rejected.   Rather than offering a context for healing the effects of childhood trauma, therapy becomes a crisis center whose goal it is simply to ensure the client’s safety.  

Recent developments in neuroscience research and the evolution of new treatment techniques offer some hopeful answers to these puzzling and frustrating challenges.  Ironically, the survival responses that preserve sanity under threat do not diminish once the danger is past.  Instead, they continue to drive the symptoms for decades after the events are over, interfering with functioning, relationships, and therapeutic treatment.

This presentation will use a neurobiological lens for looking at traumatized individuals carrying a range of diagnoses troubled by addiction, self-destructive and suicidal behavior.  We will explore the implications of a neuroscientifically-informed perspective on treatment and present the latest advances in effective interventions. When the trauma symptoms are “decoded” in this way, stuck, self-destructive, and therapy-destructive presentations become more understandable and manageable.


Product Details
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Janina Fisher, Ph.D.
1 Hour 33 Minutes
Audio and Video
Jun 02, 2014
Product Code:
Media Type:
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 1.5 hours CPD.



Janina Fisher, Ph.D.'s Profile

Janina Fisher, Ph.D. Related seminars and products

Janina Fisher, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice; Assistant Educational Director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute; and EMDRIA Approved Consultant and Credit Provider; former president of the New England Society for the Treatment of of Trauma and Dissociation; and a former instructor, Harvard Medical School. An international writer and lecturer on the treatment of trauma, she is co-author with Pat Ogden of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Attachment and Trauma, and author of Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Self-Alienation and Transforming the Living Legacy of Trauma. 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. For more information, go to


Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Dr. Janina Fisher has an employment relationship with the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and she is a consultant for Khiron House Clinics and the Massachusetts Department of MH Restraint and Seclusion Initiative. She receives a speaking honorarium and recording royalties from PESI, Inc. She receives book royalties as a published author. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Non-financial: Dr. Janina Fisher is on the advisory board for the Trauma Research Foundation.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  • Describe the implications of the neuroscience research for understanding and treating traumatized individuals
  • Identify the neurobiological causes of self-destructive behavior
  • Integrate mindfulness-based therapy techniques into the treatment
  • Select appropriate interventions for stabilizing addictive and self-destructive symptoms and behavior


  • Unsafe behavior and the neurobiology of trauma
  • Changing the client’s relationship to impulsive suicidal and self-destructive behavior
  • Somatic and cognitive-behavioral interventions for stabilization

Target Audience

Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Case Managers, Addiction Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, and other Mental Health Professionals



Overall:      4.6

Total Reviews: 16


Sallie W - Teddington, Middlesex

"Very useful, helped link together knowledge of theory with practice "

Tsering T - Forest Hills, New York

"Thank you for the class. It was very helpful."

Marie F - NORRISTOWN, Pennsylvania

"Awesome information well presented and useful! Love her calm manner also."

Allison L - DALLAS, Texas

"Interesting course. Thank you."

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