The Relationship is Your Most Powerful Tool (& Biggest Pitfall): Relational Strategies to Effectively Treat Challenging Trauma Clients A 2-day training workshop at London with Dr Robert T. Muller London, 9 November & 10 November 2018 (Friday & Saturday) 10:00am - 5:00pm on both days
Note: Workshop registrations include a complimentary copy of Dr. Muller's new book: Trauma & the Struggle to Open Up: From Avoidance to Recovery & Growth. The book complements the workshop, providing material for attendees to further their learning. This practical workshop, led by Dr Robert T. Muller—a leading expert on therapy for Trauma and globally-acclaimed author of the psychotherapy bestseller: Trauma & the Avoidant Client - is aimed at building our understanding of the psychotherapy relationship with challenging trauma clients. As therapists, while all of us try to maintain a strong and healthy therapeutic relationship, this can be often easier said than done. Trauma clients struggle to trust the therapist; many minimize their own traumatic experiences or become help-rejecting. Others rush into the work, seeking a “quick fix,” despite a long history of interpersonal trauma. Drawing upon attachment theory and research, and upon a wealth of clinical experience, Dr Muller explains how, as psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, we can work with such hard-to-treat clients, how we can find points of entry and ways in which we can make contact. Using a relational, psychodynamic approach, the workshop discusses and demonstrates strategies for developing the therapeutic relationship, such that we can assist the client regain a sense of trust in others. We explore therapeutic techniques through which the client is encouraged to take interpersonal risks, to mourn losses, and to face vulnerabilities. Dr Muller follows the ups and downs of the therapy relationship with trauma survivors and specifically looks at: How do we tell when we’ve unknowingly compromised safety in the relationship? What happens to the relationship when clients or therapists rush into the process, and how can this be addressed? And how can subtle conflicts in the relationship become useful in treatment? Dr Muller points to the different choices therapists make in navigating the relationship – choices, that often have a strong impact on outcome. The workshop also acknowledges that recovery from Trauma is a deceptively complicated process. When clients reveal too much, too soon, they may feel worse – making the pacing of therapy critical. Here too, the key is in the therapist-client relationship. Dr Muller walks us through the relational approaches that help pace the process of opening up –so that clients find the experience helpful, not harmful. Throughout the workshop, theory is complemented by case examples, practical exercises, and segments from Dr Muller's own treatment sessions. The workshop focuses on clinical skills that are directly applicable in our work as therapists. Course aims The course aims to provide an integrative training approach that enables practitioners using different therapeutic modalities to integrate the relevant elements of Attachment Theory and Research with their existing skills, which they can then apply to their work, so as to: Help clients pace the process of opening up Bring safety to the therapeutic relationship early on Navigate and use conflicts in the relationship Recognize their own (therapist’s) feelings in the therapeutic process (e.g., the wish to rush into trauma work, or the wish to avoid it) Help clients mourn traumatic losses to bring posttraumatic growth A CPD certificate for 12 CPD hours is provided at the end of the course. About the speaker Robert T. Muller, Ph.D., C.Psych. trained at Harvard, was on faculty at the University of Massachusetts, and is currently at York University in Toronto. Dr Muller is a Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Trauma & Dissociation (ISSTD) for his work on trauma treatment. His psychotherapy bestseller, Trauma and the Avoidant Client, has been translated widely, and won the 2011 ISSTD award for the year's best written work on trauma. As lead investigator on several multi-site programs to treat interpersonal trauma, Dr Muller has lectured internationally (Australia, UK, Europe, USA), and has been keynote speaker at mental health conferences in New Zealand and Canada. He founded an online magazine, The Trauma & Mental Health Report, that is now visited by over 100,000 readers a year. With over 25 years in the field, he practices in Toronto. Workshop Schedule
Day 1, 9 November 2018, Friday Module 1: Opening up about trauma: A relational process When the expectation is to stay silent about the past: You mustn’t tell anyone! How trauma stories “leak out” with the therapist Client avoidance of the past, painful feelings, and relationships Mutual avoidance: When client and therapist avoid: This trauma is too scary to handle! Module 2: How to pace the process of opening up: The dangers of rushing into trauma work when the therapy relationship is unprepared Strategies to provide containment when the client rushes in When the client rushes to forgive the perpetrator When the therapist rushes into trauma work, and unknowingly undermines the process Avoiding quick fixes Module 3: Strategies to bring a sense of safety to the therapeutic relationship Taking the client’s suffering seriously: Sounds easy! It isn’t. Naming client traumatic experiences, when the client disagrees: “I’m no victim!” Validating client traumatic experiences Honesty in the therapeutic relationship: Easier said than done Day 2, 10 November 2018, Saturday Module 4: Helping clients mourn traumatic losses: A relational process Bringing emotion into the work How mourning brings posttraumatic growth Facing a lost childhood A changed worldview A changed view of self Module 5: Navigating and using conflict in the therapeutic relationship The relationship can easily go off the rails: When enactments bring ruptures How to repair a ruptured alliance Helping the client mentalize: Unpacking the conflict Module 6: Beyond the trauma: Reclaiming identity When trauma dominates identity Helping clients reclaim intentionality, dignity, personal values

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