From Passing States to Lasting Traits
We all need inner strengths such as resilience, confidence, and feeling cared about to bolster us through life—strengths largely derived from our positive experiences of them. Unfortunately, the brain’s evolved negativity bias, which makes it like Velcro for the bad and Teflon for the good, creates a kind of bottleneck that blocks the conversion of positive mental states into positive neural traits. Unless it’s addressed, this bottleneck limits the benefits of our efforts to heal and grow, including through psychotherapy. This workshop will explore lessons from the neuropsychology of emotional learning for:
- Overcoming the negativity bias
- Promoting key positive experiences that meet our core needs for safety, satisfaction, and connection
- Enriching and absorbing these experiences to install them in neural structure
Rick Hanson, PhD, is a neuropsychologist and New York Times bestselling author. A Senior Fellow of the Greater Good Science Center at UC Berkeley, he’s been an invited speaker at Oxford, Stanford, and Harvard, and taught in meditation centers worldwide.
Harnessing a Broad-Based Approach to Change
While EMDR is best known for its treatment of trauma, it has developed into a comprehensive psychotherapy approach that treats a broad spectrum of presenting issues across various clinical populations. This workshop is for practitioners who are interested in learning more about this highly effective, evidence-based approach that can treat a wide range of problems from single traumatic events to relationship problems, self-esteem issues and complex trauma. We’ll explore how to:
- Identify nodal experiences that are shaping, not only client’s current symptoms, but their lives and identity
- Focus on the predominant themes in clients’ lives that underlie their current difficulties
- Integrate the adaptive information-processing model of EMDR with whatever model of therapy you’re currently using
Deany Laliotis, LICSW, is a trainer, clinical consultant, and practitioner of EMDR. She’s on the faculty of EMDR Institute, Inc., and is the codirector of EMDR of Greater Washington.
Posted in Anxiety, Depression and Trauma, Mind, Body, and Brain, Personal and Professional Development, Sunday: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., workshops
Tagged Body, Deany Laliotis, Depression, Trauma
Separating Myths from Reality
Many therapists feel that talking about meds with their clients is beyond their purview. But this workshop presents a model for helping therapists become more informed and effective in working with their clients on medication issues in ways that will enhance the success of the meds and deepen the therapeutic process. In addition, you’ll learn about the latest advances in psychopharmacology and sort through what research is revealing about the many debates and controversies surrounding the use of meds.
- Distinguish between the biological and psychological components of psychiatric symptoms and learn how to work with both
- Elicit clients’ attitude and responses to medication, including fear of becoming dependent or uncovering wounds and vulnerabilities
- Review the best prescribing practices for medications and dosage for a range of disorders
- Work with your own feelings and beliefs around meds that can get in the way of the therapeutic process
Frank Anderson, MD, is a psychiatrist as well as a psychotherapist. He’s the chairman of the Foundation for Self Leadership and a supervisor at the Trauma Center at Justice Resource Institute.
Making Therapy Stick
As therapists, we’re often so focused on helping our clients make significant progress during therapy that we pay less attention to helping them maintain these gains after therapy ends. But research shows that in the throes of life stresses, clients often revert to the negative habits that brought them to therapy in the first place, rather than use their newly learned insights and coping strategies. In this workshop, we’ll focus on how to make positive change stick in the long run by exploring:
- The principles of relapse prevention and how to help clients retrain their brains to default to new, positive habits that will override older negative habits
- How take-home strategies—like sending clients monthly checklists—can help them stay on track with their therapeutic goals
- How to help clients become sensitive to their personal triggers and warning signals to stop regression in its tracks
Steven Stosny, PhD, is the director of Compassion Power. He’s the author of Love without Hurt and the coauthor of How to Improve Your Marriage without Talking about It. His most recent book is Living and Loving after Betrayal: How to Heal from Emotional Abuse, Deceit, Infidelity, & Chronic Resentment.
Saying Goodbye with Meaning and Purpose
As baby boomers are now more than ever facing their own mortality, therapists are being called upon to play an increasingly important role in the last chapter of life. While therapists often receive education in grief, they typically have very little understanding of the dying client and what it means to complete life well. What they often fail to understand is that the death shapes the grief. Complicated death easily turns into a complicated grief for the family. The presenter will share from his experiences sitting at countless deathbeds how to help clients find a good death and say goodbye with meaning and purpose. We’ll examine how to:
- Understand the impact of assisted suicide death laws on the therapist’s role
- Help dying clients embrace the regrets of the past and face an uncertain future
- Turn death from a time of victimhood to meaningful intentionality
David Kessler, MN, RN, is one of the world’s foremost experts on death and grief and author of five bestselling books, two with Elizabeth Kubler-Ross and one with Louise Hay. His first book, The Needs of the Dying, received praise from Mother Theresa. He is founder of grief.com, which has been a resource to over one million visitors.
An Emotionally Focused Approach
Partners with a history of disordered attachment can be among the most challenging clients that couples therapists see. Emotionally Focused Therapy (EFT) offers a clear road map for working with such unpredictable escalating couples by helping them access and share primary emotion. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to:
- Use voice, reflection heightening, and validation to help partners share their deepest vulnerabilities
- Reprocess key trauma experiences to create a new template for healthy attachment
- Restructure couples’ negative patterns and stay in process when they become emotionally activated
Kathryn Rheem, EdD, LMFT, is an ICEEFT certified trainer, supervisor, and therapist. She’s the director of the Washington Baltimore Center for EFT and conducts EFT trainings internationally.
Principles and Techniques
Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) is a model that can be applied across a range of difficult-to-treat conditions, including borderline personality disorder, alcoholism, eating disorders, and a range of self-injurious behaviors. This workshop will teach you how to develop tools to integrate the principles and techniques of DBT with your work, no matter what population you treat. You’ll learn specific skills and strategies to help clients:
- Develop the capacity to self-soothe, self-regulate, tolerate connection with others, accept help, and support and maintain a stable sense of self
- Empower themselves through the use of mindfulness, breath awareness, and self-observation techniques to achieve more emotional control
- Develop tools to enhance their capacity for positive experiences and self-care
Anita Mandley, MS, LCPC, who has more than 30 years of experience in the mental health field, serves as the team leader for the Adult Trauma Team and the Dialectical Behavior Team at the Center for Contextual Change in Skokie, Illinois.
Posted in Anxiety, Depression and Trauma, Mind, Body, and Brain, Personal and Professional Development, Sunday: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., workshops
Tagged Anita Mandley, Mindfulness, New Tools and Methods, Trauma
How to Work with Rage, Terror, Shame, and Despair
Trauma often results in the loss of secure attachment, especially for children and adolescents who’ve lost hope that others can be supportive, protective, and caring. As a result, traumatized youth often find it difficult to trust that a therapist has their best interests at heart, which can increase the likelihood of volatile treatment sessions. In this workshop, you’ll explore how to create the sense of secure attachment needed for effective treatment. Discover how to:
- Create a safe therapeutic climate by establishing clear ground rules for treatment and how to best communicate those rules to clients
- Follow the sequential steps in the mentalization process and separate the effects of our own unresolved traumas from the emotional storm states of our clients
- Identify the transferential triggers of the client’s past traumatic relationships and how to repair the ruptures when they’re enacted in therapy
Amelio D’Onofrio, PhD, is clinical professor and director of the Psychological Services Institute at Fordham University. He is also founder of The Florence Seminars in Mental Health in Florence, Italy. He is the author of Adolescent Self-injury: A Comprehensive Guide for Counselors and Health Care Professionals.
Posted in Couples, Kids, and Families, Mind, Body, and Brain, Sunday: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., workshops
Tagged Adolescents, Amelio D'Onofrio, Challenging Clients and Treatment Populations, Families, Kids, Tauma
The Do’s and Don’ts
Although 42 percent of Americans have a close stepfamily relationship, many therapists still don’t appreciate the intense challenges of creating a new family organization. Parents and stepparents often find themselves in conflict over discipline, grappling with differences in family cultures, and tangling with ex-spouses. We see children overwhelmed with losses and loyalties who are struggling with all the changes in their lives. This workshop will explore three levels of interventions to address these challenges:
- Psychoeducational interventions that offer proven information about what works and doesn’t work for surviving stress and building thriving relationships
- Skill-building interventions that help clients learn how and when to say difficult things to each other
- Intrapsychic interventions that explore how old family of origin issues can be triggered by the stresses of stepfamily life
Patricia Papernow, EdD, has worked as a trainer, consultant, and therapist with stepfamily relationships for more than 30 years. She’s the director of the Institute for Stepfamily Education and the author of the award-winning books Surviving and Thriving in Stepfamily Relationships and Becoming a Stepfamily.
A Therapist’s Primer on Diet and Weight
JULIE DUFFY DILLON
The diet industry takes in 60 billion dollars a year by urging us to follow rigid meal plans, submit to painful exercise regimens, and distrust our bodies. But while it promises weight loss, the research suggests weight increases and quality of life decreases when people diet. So how are we to respond to clients seeking help with weight loss? This workshop will open up an opportunity for you to reconsider how you communicate about nutrition, exercise, and body size, as well as how you currently experience your own body and eating habits. In this workshop, you’ll learn to:
- Assess current medical and cultural messages about health, nutrition, and body size and how that affects the psychotherapy experience
- Describe health promoting nutrition and exercise paradigms that prevent disordered eating, weight cycling, and body dissatisfaction
- Explore strategies for clients affected by Binge Eating Disorder to navigate their own recovery
Julie Duffy Dillon, RD, NCC, is a registered dietitian, eating disorder specialist, and food behavior expert and the founding dietitian of the BirdHouse Nutrition Therapy dietitian private practice. She is also host of the Love, Food podcast series.
The Hidden Role of Trauma
It’s no secret that many therapists consider the field of addictions treatment to be dangerous foreign territory with its own special language and methods. But increasingly, therapists and substance abuse professionals alike have begun to recognize the connection between addictive behavior and traumatic life experience. In this workshop, we’ll present an approach to addictive behavior that:
- Focuses on the interactive relationship between the underlying trauma symptoms and the impulse to “use” to regulate unbearable feelings and sensations
- Provides a meaning-making component that lessens shame and offers inspiration to live a “life beyond trauma”
- Integrates Sensorimotor Psychotherapy techniques that teach clients how to regulate their nervous systems, decrease anxiety, tolerate sadness and loneliness, and ground themselves both physically and emotionally
- Engages the client’s right brain through drawing, diagramming, movement and gesture, as well as utilizing traditional cognitive interventions
Janina Fisher, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and instructor at the Trauma Center in Boston, a senior faculty member of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and a former instructor at Harvard Medical School.
Mastering New Strategies for Generating Referrals
Although the Internet has become the biggest referral source for private practitioners, many therapists feel overwhelmed when trying to keep up with all the latest marketing approaches, newest mobile devices (which now account for 60% of searches for therapy), and other ways to promote their practices online. Designed for both beginners and advanced computer users, this workshop will eliminate overwhelm by offering proven methods—both free and paid—to tap into this abundant source of referrals. You’ll learn how to apply the latest approaches to e-marketing to:
- Design the content of your website to maximize the probability of converting visitors to clients
- Position your website in a way that generates consistent local referrals
- Create an effective paid advertising campaign for your practice on Google or Facebook
- Differentiate between the hype and reality of Social Media marketing
Note: This workshop doesn’t qualify for continuing education for psychologists.
Joe Bavonese, PhD, a licensed psychologist, is director of the Relationship Institute and cofounder of Uncommon Practices, a business-training organization for therapists.
A Play-Based, Relational Approach
Much of autism treatment today is dominated by behavioral approaches focused on teaching specific skills to young children. But by the time adolescence rolls around, even the most verbal kids on the autism spectrum are still isolated, plagued with anxiety, and prone to meltdowns. What if there was an approach that was dynamic, play-based, and relational to harness their strengths while building a fuller sense of personhood? This workshop offers a fresh perspective to help verbal teens with autism spectrum disorder develop a healthy sense of self and a desire for friendships. You’ll learn how to:
- Expand your autistic clients’ “tunnel vision” and develop a lively therapeutic connection with them
- Alleviate anxiety related to developmental conflicts using role-playing and somatic resourcing
- Use drama games to build relational skills like social reciprocity, perspective-taking, empathy, and a sense of humor
Liz McDonough, MFT, RDT, is a drama therapist who specializes in working with preteens, teens, and young adults on the autism spectrum and their families. She’s an adjunct professor at The California Institute of Integral Studies and has taught in the Autism Certificate Program at Alliant University.
Putting It All Together
With so many models to choose from in the trauma field today, how do you decide which is best for your client? How do you decide whether to intervene at the somatic, emotional, behavioral, or cognitive level? This workshop will introduce a clear framework for integrating a range of models into your work and for determining the most appropriate interventions to meet your clients’ needs. You’ll learn to:
- Formulate cases based on Shapiro’s EMDR themes of responsibility, safety, and control
- Use Siegel’s Window of Tolerance and Porges’s Polyvagal Theory in deciding when and how to intervene with dysregulated arousal
- Apply Schwartz’s IFS model and Fosha’s AEDP model in addressing how to sequence interventions when dealing with defenses and core emotions such as grief, longing, anger, and shame
Deborah Korn, PsyD, maintains a private practice and is on the faculty of the Trauma Center at JRI in Boston. She’s been on the faculty of the EMDR Institute for the past 22 years, writing, teaching, and consulting internationally on trauma-related topics.
Learning to Live with Loss
ASHLEY DAVIS BUSH
Although grief is a universal human experience, many of us feel ill-equipped to understand and help our clients work through their deep sense of bereavement. How do we further help them if their grief immobilizes them, retriggering past traumas or overwhelming them with persistent negative emotions? This workshop will provide a comprehensive view of the process of grief in all its forms. We’ll explore ways to:
- Use guided visualization to place the lost relationship in the larger perspective of the client’s life now and in the future
- Create simple rituals, such as journaling, to keep the deceased alive in memory
- Gain understanding of a difficult relationship through writing imagined letters from as well as to the deceased
Ashley Davis Bush, LICSW, is a psychotherapist in private practice with over 25 years of experience. She’s the author of 6 self-help books, including Hope and Healing for Transcending Loss.