Building Internal Attachment Bonds: Overcoming Self-Alienation
Fragmentation of the sense of self maintains children’s attachment to abusive caregivers by disowning themselves as “bad” or “unlovable.” This deeply painful failure of self-acceptance results in lifelong shame and self-loathing, difficulty self-soothing, and chronic dissociative symptoms and disorders. Without internal compassion, it is difficult to take in the compassion and acceptance of others, complicating relationships.
To overcome alienation from self, Trauma-Informed Stabilization Treatment or TIST focuses on cultivating clients’ mindful awareness of their fragmented selves and disowned experience. As clients learn to differentiate their trauma-related younger parts from themselves, connect to them and then bring them “home” emotionally, the resulting sense of internal calm and safety transforms the past experiences of abandonment and betrayal. By integrating strategies inspired by Structural Dissociation theory, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, and Internal Family Systems into our work, the TIST model capitalizes on the therapeutic power of fostering internal secure attachment to clients’ most deeply disowned selves.
Potential to Distress
This presentation was originally presented as a live webinar in September 2022.
At the conclusion of this webinar participants will be able to:
- Describe the relationship between early attachment trauma and alienation from self
- Recognize signs of disowned parts and their internal conflicts
- Describe interventions that create an increased sense of connection or attachment to younger aspects of self
- Utilize mentalization techniques to foster attachment bonding between adult clients and their child selves
- Capitalize on interpersonal neurobiology to increase the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions
Presenter: Janina Fisher, PhD
Presenter Bio: Janina Fisher, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and former instructor, Harvard Medical School. Her expertise in trauma and dissociation began with completion of a postdoctoral fellowship with Judith Herman in 1991-93 and participation as a supervisor and instructor at Bessel van der Kolk's Trauma Center from 1995-2011. Known as an international expert on the treatment of trauma, she is the author of Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Self-Alienation (2017), Transforming the Living Legacy of Trauma: a Workbook for Survivors and Therapists (2021) and The Living Legacy of Trauma Flip Chart: a Psychoeducational In-Session Tool for Clients and Therapists (in press). She is best known for her work on integrating newer neurobiologically-informed interventions into traditional psychotherapy approaches. Dr. Fisher has also developed her own trauma-informed treatment model, Trauma-Informed Stabilization Treatment or TIST, designed for severe trauma-related issues such as Complex PTSD and Borderline Personality Disorder. More information can be found on her website: www.janinafisher.com.
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- 3.00 ISSTD Certificate ProgramThis program is eligible for 3.00 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
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