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Techniques for Creatively and Compassionately Addressing the Impulse to Self-Harm and Relapse

Many clinicians still insist that clients sign and abide by a standard safety contract as a way to manage self-harm and addictive behaviours. This inevitably creates a power struggle between clients and therapists and forces clients to "white knuckle" their destructive urges without giving them alternative ways to navigate and process the deeper reasons why they turn to acts of self-destruction.

This recording will offer therapists a viable alternative that helps to de-code the deeper trauma-based communication, metabolize emotions, access clients' creativity and self-compassion, while teaching them healthier ways to self-soothe that don't lead to an endpoint of guilt or shame.


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Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA
1 Hour
Oct 15, 2020
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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 1 hours CPD.



Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA's Profile

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The Ferentz Institute

Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA, is a recognized expert in the strengths-based, de-pathologized treatment of trauma and has been in private practice for over 35 years. She presents workshops and keynote addresses nationally and internationally, and is a clinical consultant to practitioners and mental health agencies in the United States, Canada, the UK, and Ireland.

She has been an adjunct faculty member at several universities, and is the founder of “The Ferentz Institute,” now in its 12th year of providing continuing education to mental health professionals and graduating over 1,600 clinicians from her two certificate programs in Advanced Trauma Treatment.

In 2009 she was voted the “Social Worker of Year” by the Maryland Society for Clinical Social Work. Lisa is the author of Treating Self-Destructive Behaviors in Trauma Survivors: A Clinician’s Guide, 2nd Edition (Routledge, 2014), Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors: A Workbook of Hope and Healing (Routledge, 2014), and Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons From the Therapist’s Couch (PESI, 2017). Lisa also hosted a weekly radio talk show, writes blogs and articles for websites on self-harm and self-care, and teaches on many webinars.

Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Lisa Ferentz is in private practice. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Lisa Ferentz is a member of the National Association of Social Workers; and the American Psychotherapy Association.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Appraise limitations and risks for the use of standard safety contracts.
  2. Evaluate the three components of CARESS and how to prepare clients to use the model when they get the impulse to harm themselves or return to their addiction.
  3. Assess various CARESS techniques and identify at least four open-ended questions that can be used to process clients work.


Why standard safety contracts don't work

  • evoking power struggles
  • re-enacting victim -perpetrator dynamics
  • leaving clients bereft of healthy replacements

Incorporating CARESS

  • walking clients through the model
  • negotiating alternative ways to communicate, release endorphins, and self-soothe
  • why contacting the therapist is not a part of the contract

Processing Clients' artwork

  • why therapists' interpretations are detrimental
  • asking open-ended questions to elicit clients'conscious and unconscious communication
  • identifying the iconic images that connect to trauma narratives

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Therapists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Case Managers
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Other Mental Health Professionals



Overall:      5

Total Reviews: 1


Sarah T - Lubbock, Texas

"This is one of the best trainings I have seen in over a decade. I learned a lot and practical techniques I can use in session. Gained a better understanding of self harm and addiction. Thank you!!"

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