Helping Challenging Trauma Clients Open Up in Therapy

Presented by Robert T. Muller, PhD, CPsych on 10-11-2019 at 9 a.m. Pacific (noon Eastern) to 11 a.m. Pacific (2 p.m. Eastern)

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 two-hour continuing education web conference, trauma expert Robert T. Muller, PhD, CPsych 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, practical exercises, and segments from his own treatment sessions. This web conference focuses on clinical skills that are directly applicable in a therapy practice.

This introductory instructional level web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. Create safety in the therapeutic relationship early on.
  2. Recognize client ambivalence about their trauma stories.
  3. Describe how to help people in therapy pace the process of opening up.
  4. Recognize therapist feelings in the treatment (e.g., the wish to rush into trauma work, or the wish to avoid it).
  5. Discuss how clients can move beyond trauma to consolidate changes in identity and posttraumatic growth.

Statement of program material's accuracy, utility, and risks: The contents of this program are based primarily on evidence-based practice and research in the field of interpersonal trauma. The work is trauma-informed and consistent with the practice guidelines of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation, and is consistent with ethical practice guidelines of the Canadian Psychological Association and the American Psychological Association. Attending this web conference is not a substitute for psychotherapy from a licensed mental-health practitioner, nor is it a substitute for clinical supervision from a licensed mental-health practitioner.     

Declaration of conflicts of interest and commercial support: None.

If you have any questions about this web conference, please contact us here.

Continuing Education (CE) Information

2 CE contact hours will be provided by GoodTherapy for attending this web conference in its entirety.

GoodTherapy is an Approved Education Provider by NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals (provider #135463). Of the eight counselor skill groups ascribed to by NAADAC, this course is classified within Counseling Services. 

GoodTherapy is an NBCC-Approved Continuing Education Provider (ACEPTM) and may offer NBCC-approved clock hours for events that meet NBCC requirements.

This organization, GoodTherapy, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 03/30/2019 - 03/30/2022. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 clinical continuing education clock hours. 

GoodTherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content. GoodTherapy.org received APA approval in May 2011. Events after 2011 may meet APA requirements for Continuing Education credits.

GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.

GoodTherapy, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.

Registration Information

Premium and Pro Membership with GoodTherapy includes access to this web conference at no additional cost. Not yet a member? Sign up for a Premium or Pro Membership, here.

Mental health professionals who are not members can attend this live web conference for $29.95 or access the homestudy recording for $14.95. Sign up here to purchase this CE course and earn a CE certificate.

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Meet the Presenter

Robert T. Muller, PhD, CPsych

Robert T. Muller, PhD, CPsych

Robert T. Muller, PhD, CPsych, trained at Harvard, was on the faculty at the University of Massachusetts and is a professor 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 recently-released, Trauma and the Struggle to Open Up was awarded the 2019 ISSTD award for the year's best written work on trauma, and his award-winning bestseller, Trauma and 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, U.K., Europe, U.S.), and has been the 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.

Note: This webinar draws on clinical material from Dr. Muller's book: Trauma & the Struggle to Open Up: From Avoidance to Recovery & Growth, Norton Press, 2018. The book complements the webinar, providing material for attendees to further their learning.

* This page contains at least one affiliate link for the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, which means GoodTherapy.org receives financial compensation if you make a purchase using an Amazon link.

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • aceGoodTherapy.org is Approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for this program and its content. GoodTherapy.org received APA approval in May 2011. Events after 2011 may meet APA requirements for Continuing Education credits.
  • Logo GoodTherapy.org has been approved by NBCC as an Approved Continuing Education Provider, ACEP No. 6380. Programs that do not qualify for NBCC credit are clearly identified. GoodTherapy.org is solely responsible for all aspects of the programs.
  • Logo This course has been approved by GoodTherapy.org, as a NAADAC Approved Education Provider, for educational credits. NAADAC Provider #135463. GoodTherapy.org is responsible for all aspects of their programming.
  • aceGoodTherapy.org, provider #1352, is approved as a provider for social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) www.aswb.org through the Approved Continuing Education (ACE) Program. GoodTherapy.org maintains responsibility for the program. ASWB Approval Period: 03/30/2019 - 03/30/2022. Social workers should contact their regulatory board to determine course approval for continuing education credits. Social workers participating in this course will receive 2 clinical continuing education clock hours.
  • GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #SW-0395.
  • GoodTherapy.org, LLC is recognized by the New York State Education Department's State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed marriage and family therapists #MFT-0022 and for licensed mental health counselors #MHC-0031.
  • Person Centered Tech, LLC is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Person Centered Tech, LLC maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

608 CE hours and counting!

All are available to GoodTherapy Premium or Pro Members at no additional cost.
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