Janina Fisher, Ph.D
Location: The Highland Country Club (1922 Highland Heights) London, Ontario
** Please note: Due to a number of requests, "When Intimacy Feels Unsafe" has been replaced by this workshop
Alienation from self in the context of abusive or dysfunctional parenting is a survival strategy that maintains children’s attachment to caregivers by disowning themselves as “bad” or “unlovable.” This deeply painful failure of self-acceptance results in lifelong shame and self-loathing, difficulty self-soothing, and complications in relationships with others. Without internal compassion and a sense of worth, it is difficult to take in the compassion and acceptance of others.
To overcome this alienation from self, therapy must focus on cultivating clients’ ability to observe painful emotions as signs of their disowned selves and disowned experience. When clients discover their trauma-related, structurally dissociated younger selves and bring them “home,” they spontaneously begin to feel an internal sense of warmth and safety that changes their internal experience. In this workshop, using strategies inspired by Structural Dissociation theory, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Internal Family Systems, we will explore the therapeutic power of fostering internal secure attachment to clients’ most deeply disowned selves.
• Participants will learn to:
• Describe the relationship between early attachment or trauma and alienation from self
• Recognize signs of disowned parts and their internal conflicts in clients
• Identify parts that sabotage self-compassion or self-acceptance
• Describe interventions that create an increased somatic sense of connection or attachment to the body or the parts
• Capitalize on interpersonal neurobiology to increase the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions
• Foster ‘earned secure attachment’ as the outcome of attachment bonding between adult and child selves
About the Presenter:
Janina Fisher, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and instructor at the Trauma Center, an outpatient clinic and research center founded by Bessel van der Kolk. Known for her expertise as both a clinician and consultant, she is also past president of the New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation, an EMDR International Association Credit Provider, a faculty member of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and a former Instructor, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fisher has been an invited speaker at the Cape Cod Institute, Harvard Medical School Conference on Women and Summer and Winter Conference Series, EMDR International Association Annual Conference, University of Oslo, University of Wisconsin, the University of Westminster in London, the Psychotraumatology Institute of Europe, and the Esalen Institute. Dr. Fisher lectures and teaches nationally and internationally on topics related to the integration of the neurobiological research and newer trauma treatment paradigms into traditional therapeutic modalities.