Helping Challenging Trauma Clients to Open Up

120 minutes
Monday December 7th 2020
12:00 PM EST
Presenter: Robert T. Muller PhD

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?    



Learning Objectives:

  • Practitioners will be able to create safety in the therapeutic relationship early on.
  • Practitioners will be able to recognize client ambivalence about their trauma stories.
  • Practitioners will be able to help people in therapy pace the process of opening up.
  • Practitioners will be able to recognize their feelings in the treatment (e.g., the wish to rush into trauma work, or the wish to avoid it).

    NEFESH International 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-0048), and by the NYSED’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an Approved Provider of Continuing Education for Licensed Marriage and Family Therapists (#MFT-0046) and Licensed Mental Health Counselors (#MHC-0082).
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