The therapeutic relationship is at the heart of any successful therapy. We all know that empathy, listening, and being attuned to the client’s emotional needs makes for a close therapeutic relationship and a strong alliance. But what happens when the traumatized client cannot tolerate closeness? Or when the client acts out and pushes the therapist away? How can the clinician respond to such enactments? With individuals who adopt a self-protective, help-rejecting stance, psychotherapy can be difficult.
Using attachment theory, Dr. Muller describes transference patterns seen with these hard-to-treat clients, including verbal and nonverbal interactions. Using a relational, psychodynamic approach, he considers difficulties such clients have in accepting therapist empathy, and the defensive reactions that follow. He examines ways to work with clients' feelings of vulnerability and their distancing maneuvers. Therapy techniques include:
Resisting the temptation to back away
Noticing subtle expressions of vulnerability
Noticing verbal and nonverbal emotional responses (such as covering-up, taking-back, and reactions-to prior expressions of vulnerability)
Addressing feelings in the moment
This workshop focuses on techniques Dr. Muller developed specifically for this population, included in his award-winning academic book (2010), Trauma and the Avoidant Client: Attachment-Based Strategies for Healing (W.W. Norton). This presentation focuses on clinical technique. Theory is complemented by case examples.
This Web Conference is designed to help clinicians:
1) Recognize client expressions of vulnerability and distancing maneuvers in their work with avoidant trauma patients;
2) Consider the ways empathy can be a “double edged sword” when working with this population;
3) Apply attachment theory and the therapeutic relationship as a productive force in the treatment;
4) Recognize characteristics of avoidant attachment among adults with trauma histories.
If you have any questions about this Web Conference, or would like more information, please contact us here.
Robert Muller, PhD, CPsych
Robert T. Muller, PhD, CPsych joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts after completing his clinical fellowship at Harvard University. Dr. Muller has been teaching, practicing, and supervising in psychotherapy, trauma, and attachment theory throughout his career. He founded a trauma center focused on providing help to the under-serviced community. He has written many articles, grants, book chapters, and has authored, Trauma and the Avoidant Client: Attachment-Based Strategies for Healing, published by Norton Press. You can read some of his writings on his blog, The Trauma and Attachment Report. Dr. Muller has had an active practice for over twenty years and teaches full–day workshops. He is a sought after speaker and is on the faculty as an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at York University. He holds a position as a supervisor for Hincks-Dellcrest Treatment Center.
For more information about Dr. Muller and his work, please visit: http://www.yorku.ca/rmuller/
1.5 CE credits will be provided by GoodTherapy.org for attending this Web Conference in its entirety. GoodTherapy.org is approved as a continuing education provider by the National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC) and the California Board of Behavioral Sciences (BBS). GoodTherapy.org is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content.
In short, participants will be able to listen to the event by calling in to our teleconference center. Prior to the event, all participants will be sent an email with instructions on how to login to the teleconference center. This event will include lecture and question and answer periods.
This Web Conference is available for free to GoodTherapy.org Members.
This event has already taken place. An audio recording for this event may be available in the Member's Area.