Janina Fisher, PhD
Leading Edge Seminars, Inc
Monday, May 13, and Tuesday, May 14, 2013 • 2-day workshop, 9:00 am to 4:30 pm • YWCA Elm Centre, 87 Elm Street, Toronto
While yearning to “like” themselves, our clients often experience a profound alienation from self. Their experience is this: “I don’t know myself, and I don’t like myself.” Alienation from themselves in the context of abusive or dysfunctional parenting is a survival strategy that allows children to maintain their attachment to caregivers by disowning themselves as “bad” or “unlovable”. This deeply painful failure to develop 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. Without valuing ourselves, it is hard to see that we are valued or insist that we be treated as valuable.
To overcome this alienation from self so that it doesn’t sabotage treatment or relationships with others, therapy must focus on cultivating clients’ compassion for their disowned selves and disowned experience. The first step is the same as in befriending anyone: we must begin by noticing this “other” inside ourselves and becoming curious and interested in how that part manifests in our emotions, beliefs, and body experience. As clients discover their young selves and bring them “home”, they begin to feel an internal sense of warmth and safety that changes their experience of themselves and others. In this workshop, using strategies inspired by Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Internal Family Systems, we will explore the therapeutic power of fostering internal attachment relationships to both our most valued and our most disowned selves.
You will learn —
How early attachment patterns relate to alienation from self or low self-esteem and how this relationship impacts on adult life
Techniques to recognize internal conflicts and disowned aspects of self in clients
How to work with symptoms as manifestations of alienation from self
How to capitalize on interpersonal neurobiology to increase the effectiveness of therapeutic interventions
Body-centred techniques from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy to challenge negative self-concepts
How to integrate sensorimotor interventions with talk therapy to foster internal compassion and connection to self
About the Presenter:
Janina Fisher, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and an instructor at the Trauma Center in Boston, a faculty member of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and a former instructor at Harvard Medical School. She is the author of numerous articles on trauma and trauma treatment, and she frequently lectures on integrating neuroscience and attachment research with somatic approaches to treatment that can be used with traditional psychotherapies.