Full Course Description
Module 1: Understanding Polyvagal Theory: Emotion, Attachment, and Self-Regulation
Enhance your ability to work with traumatized clients by learning about:
- How the social engagement system compliments the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems
- The therapeutic power of facial expression, eye contact, voice modulation, and listening
- How Polyvagal theory can enhance trauma treatment
- Integrate effective non-verbal behavior into your sessions with clients.
- Neurophysiology of Behavioral State Regulation
- Autonomic Nervous System
- Social Engagement System
- The Polyvagal Theory for Trauma Treatment
Module 2: Bringing a Polyvagal Perspective into Therapy: How to Safely Navigate Emotional Storms
When life—and therapy—brings scary moments, it’s the body’s autonomic nervous system that takes action. Polyvagal Theory has revolutionized our understanding of both how this system works, and how to create safety and connection. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to harness the healing potential of the autonomic nervous system to help your clients navigate the storms of fight, flight, and collapse. You’ll discover how to:
- Use your own autonomic nervous system to create an environment of safety for your clients
- Develop the expressive range of your eyes, voice, breath, and body to enrich your nonverbal attunement skills
- Help your clients listen to their internal state and let go of their problem story
- Reliably guide your clients from state to state and enhance their capacity for self-regulation
- Discover how to use your own autonomic nervous system to create an environment of safety for your clients
- Discover how to develop the expressive range of your eyes, voice, breath, and body to enrich your nonverbal attunement skills
- Discover how to help your clients listen to their internal state and let go of their problem story
- Discover how to reliably guide your clients from state to state and enhance their capacity for self-regulations
Module 3: Harnessing the Polyvagal System to Help Clients with Anxiety, Depression, and Anger
We all know therapists who seem magically able to establish a powerful sense of trust and connection with even the most distrusting clients. In this workshop, we’ll take a close look at the power of the polyvagal system and the way certain vocalizations, facial expressions, and gestures elicit more open and collaborative communication.
*Please note this is the same content as Becoming a More Magical Therapist: Harnessing Your Social Engagement System at the 2018 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, you cannot receive self-study credit for this program if you have already attended the live activity.
The Social Engagement System-What is it?
The Social Engagement System-How to use it
- Underlying biology
- Effect on fight/flight/freeze reaction
- How interacting with others can help
Play as a neural exercise for harnessing the SES to create safety and connection
- Voice Prosidy
- Facial expressions
- Eye contact
- The concept of interstate travel
- Practicing various games for calming, regulating, establishing trust, maximizing eye contact, maximizing prosodic voice
- Explore how to connect with defensive clients, eliciting novel responses that grab their attention, interrupt automatic defensiveness, and generate curiosity
- Explore how to practice exercises for helping guarded or angry clients feel more open
- Explore how to develop skills to create small but transformative moments in therapy
- Explore how to master specific behaviors that elicit trust, like a sing-songy, rhythmic voice; open, curious eyes; reassuring touch; and sounds of empathy
- Explore how to use games to help anxious clients more relaxed and depressed clients more energized
Module 4: Brain Switch - Apply Polyvagal and Memory Reconsolidation Theories with Parts Work, Somatic, and Mindful Approaches
You may be excited about cutting-edge advances in brain research, but do you know how to translate them into practical methods that may reduce clients’ resistance, transform deeply disturbing emotions, and reinforce treatment interventions? Clients can be taught to locate hidden strengths and dissolve distress by activating their brains’ reward centers. In this workshop, we’ll use tools developed from memory reconsolidation and Polyvagal Theory.
*Please note this is the same content as Brain Switch: Turning Reactivity into Equanimity at the 2018 Psychotherapy Networker Symposium, you cannot receive self-study credit for this program if you have already attended the live activity.
- Use the insula to reduce visceral sensations
- Find sensations to rewind them
- Teach clients to release endorphins
- Transform brain research into interventions
- Change the brain’s negative bias
- Externalize & personify negative thoughts
- Rapidly activate centers for positive emotions
- No‐fail homework assignments
- 4‐step method to overcome negative self‐talk: demonstration and practicum
- Replace controlling, critical inner voices with compassion and curiosity
- Use memory tricks to increase mindfulness
- Learn the prerequisite for deep therapeutic change
- Mix everyday tech savvy with neuroscience
- Explore the therapeutic impact of activating brain centers that neutralize stressful neurochemicals
- Explore how to regulate sensations from disturbing emotions by balancing them with uplifting neurochemicals
- Explore the power of visual images to externalize distress, enhance attunement, and create pathways to implicit memories and inner assets
- Explore ways to integrate a variety of therapeutic approaches into a three-step, brain-based protocol that can be used with diverse populations and ages
BONUS: Opening the Heart: How to Deepen the Experience of Therapy
We often use terms like hard-hearted to describe those who can’t seem to feel empathy or connect to their own emotions, forgetting that the roots of open-heartedness grow out of safe and loving relationships early in life. Emotionally disconnected clients often flee from the deepening we try to facilitate in therapy because their bodies simply don’t know how to do empathy.
Watch Janina Fisher as she breaks-down the relationship between trauma and memory and their effects on how your clients feel their emotions. In this workshop, discover simple ways of helping clients have more open, connected, heartfelt experiences and learn how to integrate them into your practice! Additionally, Janina Fisher will also outline a variety of psychotherapeutic approaches that will help your client understand their emotions and help them move forward from their past trauma experiences.
The Relationship Between Heart and Brain
- Types of Memory
- Implicit Memory as the Focal Point
When Clients Cannot Feel, Approaches to Accessing Emotion
- How the Brain Perceives Threat
- Somatic effects of anxious or traumatic attachment
- The Brain in Survival Mode
- How the body protects us from hurt: armoring, bracing, constricting
- Consequences in later life: emotional distance, guarded, closed off
- Early Attachment and The Capacity for Empathy
Use the Client’s History to Diagnose Why the Body Has Closed Off Emotion
- Increase engagement and promote internal sense of safety
- Experiment with changes in posture, shoulders, opening the chest, relaxing the body
- Experiment with increasing or decreasing heart rate and tension
- Going “deep” with the client
Accessing the Social Engagement System to Evoke Emotional Engagement
- What necessitated distance from emotion?
- How did guarding, constricting, or armoring help client survive?
- What happens when the client thinks about being vulnerable?
Psychotherapy Approaches in the Treatment of Trauma
- Make use of the facial muscles, larynx, movements of the head and neck
- Increase playfulness, laughter, lightness
- Avoid pressure on client to feel vulnerable emotions
- The Transformation Model
- Sensorimotor Psychotherapy
- Integrating Mindfulness into Psychotherapy
- Neuroplasticity and Its Clinical Implications
- Articulate psychotherapy techniques to help clients access emotion to inform the clinician’s choice of treatment interventions.
- Determine the impact of early attachment and its clinical implications for purposes of client psychoeducation and symptom management.
- Evaluate the relationship between memory and trauma and communicate how this information can be utilized therapeutically to help clients cope with traumatic memories.
- Investigate how mindfulness and meditation impact the nervous system and articulate how mindfulness interventions can be used to improve clinical outcomes.
- Incorporate specific memory reconsolidation techniques to help clients change how they perceive and respond to memories of past traumatic events.
- Apply simple yet effective clinical interventions drawn from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy to alleviate symptoms in clients.