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Healing Relational Trauma 2: Therapist Metaskills to Guide Treatment with Each Attachment Style
Friday, March 06, 2020, 8:00 AM - 5:00 PM EDT
Category: CE Events: Adult Individuals

This workshop will focus on how therapists can better attune and resonate with patients, helping them to be seen and heard, aiming to set the conditions to establish a secure base in which our patient’s self-at-best can arise. Sometimes the patient’s attachment strategy can challenge the therapist’s capacity to be present, responsive, attuned and empathic. Clinicians often ask “Who is better suited to work with whom in terms of matching attachment styles?” I want to propose that it is not actually the patient’s attachment style itself that challenges therapists to feel inadequate or unable to empathize or triggers our self-at-worst attachment strategy. Rather, my reaction to the specific behavior that is manifesting in the moment is what may drive me outside of my capacity to respond with the help that is needed. This workshop is about expanding the clinician’s capacity to respond moment-to-moment by deepening understanding about what is going on with whom and how to tailor the therapist’s stance with respect to patient’s distinctive attachment strategies. This workshop will identify classic blind spots that get elicited by specific aspects of each attachment strategy. We will break down the configuration of each attachment style into its affect regulation strategies and defenses, caregiver hallmarks and the subsequent relational attitudes and patterning, and the seeds of resilience. Video of psychotherapy sessions will also be shown to illustrate the interplay of how these strategies can be further depicted on AEDP’s representational schemas and how we can intervene experientially to engage positive neuroplasticity. I will also describe the way therapists can use specific metaskills to address the impact of relational trauma that drive self-at-worst insecure attachment strategies. Metaskills is a term used by Amy Mindell (1995, 2002) to describe the background feeling attitudes and qualities therapists display that can be used in service of the patient’s therapy. AEDP’s interventions about making the implicit explicit and making the explicit relational can be helpful to apply with specificity to each attachment style. The aim of this workshop is to move towards establishing a base of connection through which our patient’s self-at-best can be engaged to gain traction and momentum for treatment.Course Objectives: 1)Identify two metaskills therapists can use with avoidant attachment style 2)Identify two metaskills therapists can use with ambivalent attachment style 3)Identify two metaskills therapists can use with disorganization4)Describe two ways to intervene with deactivation in avoidant patients5)Describe two ways to regulate anxiety with ambivalent patients.

Hosted by R. Cassidy Seminars in Lexington, MA for 6.5 CEs. For more info, visit: