Calming the Inner Critic: Working with Punitive Introjects, Ego States and Dissociative Parts in Trauma A one-day workshop with Kathy Steele Dublin, Ireland, 21 October 2019 (Monday) 10:00am - 4:00pm
This workshop will offer a practical, integrative approach to understanding and working with a wide range of inner criticism, punishment, and harshness in the chronically traumatized individual. Everyone experiences an inner critic, based on negative messages from authority figures and from ourselves in reaction to feeling inadequate in some way. In complex trauma this natural phenomenon can become more intense, overwhelming, and sometimes more dissociated. This practical, one-day workshop which would be relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers will explore how these inner aspects develop, and understand their several functions of protection, avoidance, and attempts to cope with everyday life. Participants will have an opportunity to explore their own inner critic and befriend it as a step towards helping clients learn to deal with their own. Our ability to reflect on our own tendencies toward self-criticism and punishment will support our capacity to work with these experiences in our clients. The roles of chronic shame and re-enactments of trauma will be emphasized in maintaining inner critical parts. Participants will learn specific approaches for working with ego states and dissociative parts that have these punitive functions, employing compassion and curiosity. We will explore a continuum of inner critics, ranging from natural introjects, ego states, to more separate dissociative parts, and from mild inner critics to more sadistic and destructive ones. Through case-vignettes and examples, delegates will learn to: Be able to identify their own inner critic and ways to calm self-criticism, particularly in their role as the therapist Learn how the therapist’s inner critic can impact the therapy Learn the key functions of inner critics Identify the differences between hostile introjects, ego states and dissociative parts, and how treatment might differ among them Identify the importance of compassionate self-reflection in working with inner critics Learn specific approaches to calm the inner critic Work with the rigid logic of inner critics The workshop is consistent with and would be a beneficial adjunct to multiple modalities of psychotherapy or specialised trauma therapy (including analytical, dynamic and somatic approaches, cognitive behavioural and EMDR).
About the speaker Kathy Steele, MN, CS has been treating complex trauma, dissociation, and attachment issues since 1985. She is in private practice with Metropolitan Psychotherapy Services and is Adjunct Faculty at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, US. Ms. Steele is a Past President and Fellow of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), and has also previously served on the Board of the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS). She has been involved with developing treatment guidelines for Dissociative Disorders and well as for Complex Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. Ms. Steele has received a number of awards for her work, including the 2010 Lifetime Achievement Award from ISSTD, an Emory University Distinguished Alumni Award in 2006, and the 2011 Cornelia B. Wilbur Award for Outstanding Clinical Contributions. She is known for her humor, compassion, respect, and depth of knowledge as a clinician and teacher, and for her capacity to present complex issues in easily understood and clear ways using an integrative psychotherapy model that draws from both traditional and somatic approaches. She is sought as a consultant and supervisor, and as an international lecturer. She has co-authored three books as part of the acclaimed Norton Series on Interpersonal Neurobiology: The Haunted Self: Structural dissociation of the personality and chronic traumatization (2006, Van der Hart, Nijenhuis, & Steele - W. W. Norton); Coping with trauma-related dissociation: Skills training for patients and therapists (2011, Boon, Steele, & Van der Hart - W. W. Norton); and most recently, Treating trauma-related dissociation: A practical, integrative approach (2017, Steele, Boon, & Van der Hart - W. W. Norton). She has also (co)authored numerous book chapters and journal articles.
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