Engaging the Traumatized Client who Avoids Closeness and Vulnerability

Presented by Robert T. Muller, PhD, CPsych on 04-08-2011 at 9 a.m. Pacific to 10:30 a.m. Pacific (1:30 p.m. Eastern)

Much has been written on the treatment of intra-familial trauma. Yet few of these writings focus on specific intervention strategies to help the traumatized individual experiencing attachment avoidance. Many people in therapy are attempting to cope with traumatic attachment experiences by becoming emotionally distant, minimizing painful feelings, and by devaluing intimacy, closeness, and vulnerability. When individuals adopt a help-rejecting, self-protective stance, psychotherapy can become a real challenge for both client and therapist.

In this presentation, Dr. Muller will introduce therapeutic techniques he has developed specifically for this population, which are detailed in his new book, Trauma and the Avoidant Client: Attachment-Based Strategies for Healing.

Drawing on attachment theory and research and upon a wealth of clinical experience, Dr. Muller will show how people in therapy how to work with individuals who may be more difficult to treat and how to find points of entry and make contact. Using a relational, psychodynamic approach, he will consider strategies to develop the therapeutic relationship in order to help the client regain a sense of trust in others. This workshop will be an introduction to the issues focused on in Dr. Muller’s book. Theory is complemented by case examples.

This web conference is designed to help clinicians:

  1. Recognize characteristics of avoidant attachment;
  2. Productively use trauma-related symptoms;
  3. Maximize client engagement throughout the therapy process;
  4. Work with affect and the therapy relationship.

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Continuing Education (CE) Information

1.5 CE credits will be provided by GoodTherapy.org for attending this web conference in its entirety. GoodTherapy.org is also 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.

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GoodTherapy.org, SW CPE 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 #0395.

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Meet the Presenter

Robert T. Muller, PhD, CPsych

Robert T. Muller, PhD, CPsych

Robert T. Muller, PhD, CPsych, completed his clinical fellowship at Harvard University, after which he joined the faculty of the University of Massachusetts and started a trauma assessment service that was oriented toward helping under-serviced members of the community. Throughout his professional career, Dr. Muller has been practicing, teaching, and supervising in the areas of trauma, attachment, and psychotherapy. He is the author of the newly released Trauma and the Avoidant Client: Attachment-Based Strategies for Healing, published by Norton Press. In addition, he has authored numerous scholarly articles, book chapters, and grants and is currently lead investigator in a provincially-funded, multi-site program for the assessment and treatment of intra-familial trauma. He is on faculty as Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at York University and as a clinical supervisor at the Hincks-Dellcrest Treatment Centre. A sought-after speaker, he is known for his dynamic clinical workshops. He has over twenty years of clinical experience in the field and maintains an active private practice in downtown Toronto.

More information about Dr. Muller can be found here. More about Dr. Muller’s full-day workshops can be found here. You can also read Dr. Muller's blog, The Trauma and Attachment Report.

Continuing Education Provider Approvals

  • 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.
  • 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.

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