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Jun 17th - New Hope for Treatment-Resistant Depression [Leading Edge Seminars]
Jun 18th - Therapy on the Move: Adding Walk and Talk Therapy to your Tool-Kit [Leading Edge Seminars]
Jul 12th - Transference and countertransference [SickKids CCMH Learning Institute]
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Events and Happenings
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Thursday, January 21st 2021

Relational Challenges in Complex Trauma: A Collaborative Model for Effective Therapy

Kathy Steele, MN, CS, APRN
presented by Leading Edge Seminars

Live Broadcast Thursday, January 21, 2021, 1:15 pm - 4:30 pm, EST

One of the most challenging aspects in working with clients with complex trauma is the therapeutic relationship. The therapist and client together enter into an immediate double bind: How can the therapeutic relationship be helpful when relationship has been the very source of our client’s trauma?

For most of the modern history of psychotherapy, the therapeutic relationship has been modelled on the parent-child relationship, with the therapist being a “stronger, wiser” and “good enough” other. Yet for many of our clients the parent-child relationship was painful, if not dangerous and inherently untrustworthy.

We will explore a different relational model based on collaboration and mutual understanding and experience rather than one rooted in attachment alone. While secure attachment is essential, it often does not exist early in therapy, and clients may be either extremely avoidant of contact or become overly dependent on the therapist.

We will discuss the dynamics of disorganized attachment (the insoluble dilemma of needing to attach to someone who is experienced as dangerous), and how to resolve it in treatment. We will explore what is activated in the therapist when our clients are distressed, and how to work with our own experience in order to preserve a solid therapeutic frame for ourselves and our clients. To this end we will examine our own tendencies in the face of our clients’ rage, disappointment, demands and dependency.

Sometimes we become overly available outside of sessions to prove we are reliable, only to become exhausted and resentful. Other times we may withdraw, freeze or shut down. Often, we feel overwhelmed by the magnitude of our clients’ needs.

This webinar will help you find ways to recognize and accept these common reactions with compassion, and to discover the capacity to repair using compassion, curiosity and collaboration.

About the Presenter:

Kathy Steele, MN, CS, APRN, is Clinical Director of Metropolitan Counseling Services, a psychotherapy and training centre, and is in private practice in Atlanta, Georgia. A respected clinician, she presents internationally on trauma and dissociation. Kathy is past President of the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation and has received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Society for the Study of Trauma and Dissociation. She has authored and co-authored numerous book chapters, journal articles, and two award winning books on trauma and dissociation : The Haunted Self: Structural Dissociation and the Treatment of Chronic Traumatization and Coping with Trauma Related Dissociation Skills Training for Patients and Therapists. Kathy is known for her humour, compassion, respect, and depth of knowledge as a clinician and teacher, and for her capacity to present complex issues in easily understood and clear ways. For more information, please visit

Can't Attend Live? This webinar will be recorded and archived. All registrants will be given unlimited access to the recording for a full year after the Live Broadcast date.


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