Helping Challenging Trauma Clients to Open Up: What Have We Learned?
When people live through interpersonal trauma, there is a tendency for many to stay silent about their experiences. Reasons can include loyalty to close others, or the wish to keep family secrets. As a means of protecting others and themselves from the pain of traumatic experiences, many rely on a variety of coping strategies to neutralize or cut off painful memories. For example, some may rationalize away traumatic events, use intellectualization as a defense, or dissociate and keep trauma-related feelings at bay. But silence about the painful past is both emotionally costly, and ultimately unsustainable. How can clinicians help these clients feel safe enough to start opening up about their traumatic histories? In this presentation, trauma expert Robert T. Muller, PhD, will look at the process of helping challenging trauma clients open up in a safe, measured way. Through the lens of attachment theory, using a relational, integrative approach, Dr. Muller draws on theory and uses case examples and segments from his own treatment sessions. This web conference focuses on clinical skills that are directly applicable in a therapy practice.
This session was originally presented as a live webinar in September 2020.
Upon completion of this webinar participants will be able to:
- Create safety in the therapeutic relationship early on
- Recognize client ambivalence about their trauma stories
- Describe how to help people in therapy pace the process of opening up
- Recognize therapist feelings in the treatment (e.g., the wish to rush into trauma work, or the wish to avoid it)
- Recognize & use client transference as it relates to opening up about trauma
Presenter: Robert T Muller, PhD
Presenter Biography: Robert T. Muller, Ph.D. 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 most recent book, "Trauma & the Struggle to Open Up" was awarded the 2019 ISSTD written media award. And his award-winning bestseller, "Trauma & the Avoidant Client" has been translated widely. 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.
- 1.50 APAThe International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. The International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
- 1.50 ASWB ACEThe International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation (ISSTD), #1744, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. ISSTD maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 08/20/2021 – 08/20/2024. Social workers completing this course receive 1.50 continuing education credits.
- 1.50 ISSTD Certificate ProgramThis program is eligible for 1.50 credits in the ISSTD Certificate Program.
"Your Price" above reflects your final price based on your membership status and career level.
- ISSTD defines a student as those enrolled in a program of study leading to a degree or certification in the mental health field and who have an interest in trauma and dissociation.
- ISSTD defines an emerging professional as mental health professionals who have completed an advanced degree and are in the first three years of their career (or first three years after graduation for researchers).
- If you do not fall into one of the above categories please register as Professional/Retired.
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