Many advances have been made in the treatment of intra-familial trauma. However, little attention has been paid to helping traumatized clients who are avoidant of attachment. Many individuals cope with traumatic experiences by using intellectualization and by devaluing interpersonal closeness and vulnerable affect. Working with clients who are help-rejecting and self-protective can be very challenging.
This web conference will focus on the countertransference issues that arise when working with the avoidant client in trauma therapy. Many of these issues Dr. Muller has discussed in his new academic book, Trauma and the Avoidant Client: Attachment-Based Strategies for Healing (W.W. Norton, 2010). Using attachment theory, Dr. Muller will describe countertransference patterns that are seen with these hard-to-treat clients, including verbal and nonverbal interactions.
Using a relational, psychodynamic approach, Dr. Muller will consider patterns such as trying to repair, coming into conflict with defensiveness, and colluding with avoidant defenses. In therapy, such clients should be encouraged to take interpersonal risks, to mourn losses, and to face vulnerabilities. Unless countertransference is understood and used in the service of the therapy, therapeutic progress will be hindered. This presentation will focus on clinical technique. Theory is complemented by case examples and segments from treatment sessions.
This introductory web conference is designed to help clinicians:
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1.5 CE credits will be provided by GoodTherapy.org for attending this web conference in its entirety.
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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.
Dr. Muller also writes for his blog, The Trauma and Attachment Report. 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 on Dr. Muller’s full-day workshops can be found at the Hincks-Dellcrest website. More about Dr. Muller can be found here.