Full Course Description

Breaking the Cycle of Unhealthy Family Relationships: Top Tools for Better Boundaries

For our adult clients with difficult parents, there’s a constant struggle between maintaining connection and protecting themselves from getting hurt.

Especially when there have been years of parental abuse, neglect, addiction, or mental illness, it's easy for therapy to get stuck on processing the past...

...and never get to the specific steps our clients can take NOW to feel better.

The key to healthier relationships is teaching our clients how to establish boundaries.

And now, you can learn top tools for better boundaries directly from relationship expert and acclaimed clinician and author, Nedra Glover Tawwab, LCSW.

She’ll give you practical, easy-to-implement interventions that you can use right away to help your clients set better boundaries and transform their interactions with difficulty family members.

PLUS, don’t miss in-depth conversations between Nedra and key experts in the field, including Joshua Coleman, PhD, Karl Pillemer, PhD, and more!

Watch this is a rare opportunity and hear from four leading experts discuss the most crucial clinical topics!

Program Information


  1. Distinguish the six types of boundaries in order to inform case formulation and treatment planning
  2. Catalogue the benefits and consequences of healthy and unhealthy boundaries
  3. Employ the eight steps of boundary setting when working with adults in individual therapy
  4. Appraise relationship dynamics to determine the need to address boundary issues
  5. Distinguish between effective and ineffective strategies for working with clients that struggle with boundaries
  6. Debate at least three risks involved when working with boundaries


Part 1: Understanding Boundaries in Parent-Child Relationships 

  • What are boundaries (hint: they aren't cutting someone off) 

  • The six types of boundaries 

  • Benefits of healthy boundaries and impact of poor boundaries 

  • Common boundary issues in parent-child relationships and the family dynamics that lead to them 

Part 2: Assessing boundary issues with your clients 

  • How to tell if your client is struggling with boundaries 

  • The signs of poor boundaries that therapists frequently miss 

  • Determining your client’s readiness for change and how to increase motivation when it isn’t there 

Part 3: A Step-by-step guide to teaching boundaries and becoming a boundary-centered practitioner 

  • Eight steps to setting healthy boundaries 

  • Communication strategies your clients need for setting (and enforcing!) a healthy boundary 

  • How to help your clients best respond when new boundaries are tested 

Part 4: Conversations with Experts 

  • Interview 1 – Lindsay Gibson, PsyD 

  • Interview 2 – Joshua Coleman, PhD 

  • Interview 3 – Karl Pillemer, PhD 

Part 5: Clinical Considerations 

  • Therapists need boundaries too: How to set professional boundaries 

  • Limitations of the research and potential risks 

Target Audience

  • Psychologists 

  • Psychiatrists 

  • Social Workers 

  • Case Managers 

  • Marriage & Family Therapists 

  • Addiction Counselors 

  • Other Mental Health Professionals 

  • Art Therapists

Copyright : 03/27/2023

Treating Adult Clients of Emotionally Immature Parents: How Your Clients Can Reclaim Their Lives from the Toxic Legacy of Controlling, Rejecting or Self-Involved Parents

No matter what you treat, we all work with clients trying to overcome the wounds inflicted by emotionally immature, insensitive, self-absorbed, and controlling parents.

As a therapist, working with these clients can leave you feeling frustrated and ineffective as they make the same self-destructive choices again and again, struggle to set healthy boundaries, find themselves unable to walk away from the role of “rescuer” in toxic relationships, and only say what they think others want to hear – including in therapy.

Lindsay C. Gibson, PsyD is the Amazon #1 Best Selling Author of Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting or Self-Involved Parents. A psychotherapist for over thirty years, her work has been translated into 14 languages and has helped thousands of people reverse their toxic psychological legacy and reclaim their lives.

Watch her as she shows you how you can find greater therapeutic success with clinical strategies to help your clients take control of their relationships and lives, break free from harmful patterns, connect more deeply with themselves and others, and become the person they were always meant to be.

The invaluable tools Dr. Gibson will share can help all therapists:

  • Skillfully guide clients in how they can restructure toxic relationships with parents and others
  • Free clients from the fear, shame and self-doubt that traps them in a life of emotional coercion
  • Teach clients to protect themselves from hurtful behaviors without completely severing all ties
  • Give clients the courage to set boundaries without feeling guilty

This is one training you can’t afford to miss! Purchase today!

Program Information


  1. Distinguish between psychopathology and emotional immaturity, and establish how a disease concept model can impede therapeutic progress.
  2. Demonstrate practical communication skills that clients can use to protect themselves and redirect interactions with emotionally immature people.
  3. Utilize cognitive and emotional techniques to teach clients how they can set boundaries without feeling guilty.
  4. Employ interventions that help clients regain self-trust and the ability to identify emotionally immature control maneuvers.
  5. Formulate a treatment strategy that teaches clients how to evade attempts to undermine their mental freedom, inner-world connection, sense of goodness, and ability to reach out to others.
  6. Apply effective therapy approaches to release clients from emotional coercion and self-doubt in emotionally immature relationships.


Spotting Emotional Immaturity: Teach Clients to Understand Emotional Immaturity

  • Importance of describing over diagnosing
  • Projective identification and the Emotionally Immature Relationship System
  • Characteristics of emotional immaturity and maturity
  • What relationships feel like with emotionally immature people
How Emotionally Immature Parenting Impacts Your Clients: What You Can Expect When They Come for Therapy
  • Emotional loneliness and the fear of non-being
  • Good coping, emotional suffering; polyvagal effects
  • Self-disconnection and distrust of the inner world
  • The four horsemen of self-defeat
  • Loss of emotional autonomy and mental freedom
  • Healing fantasies, role-self, internalizer vs. externalizer styles
Cognitive and Emotional Techniques: What Works and What Doesn’t
  • Why clients find it so hard to break free from exploitation and emotional neglect
  • Why CBT and psychodynamic approaches aren’t enough
  • Exercises to help clients express themselves without anxiety
  • Teach clients to simultaneously disengage and become relationship leaders
  • How to define and use values as guideposts for the future
  • Phrasing suggestions, encouraging agency and showing how it’s done
End Emotional Takeovers and Coercion: Help Clients Achieve Emotional Autonomy from Emotionally Immature People
  • The emotionally immature person’s “distortion field”
  • Emotional coercion: how clients can spot and deflect control maneuvers
  • Communication skills to establish boundaries without guilt
  • When to sever ties with someone
Release Self-Doubt, Shame, and Fear: Clinical Tools and Interventions to Help Clients Find Their True Selves
  • Techniques to release clients’ feelings of personal “badness”
  • Interventions to address fears of being selfish and incapable of love
  • Tuning into energy shifts to track safety, unreliability, and threat in others
  • Repurpose self-doubt, shame, fear and guilt
  • Practicing experiencing emotionally intimate connection
Practice Tips for Working with the Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents
  • Using countertransference effectively
  • Honoring personal style
  • Invitation, collaboration and celebration vs. direction and persuasion
  • How to phrase suggestions
  • Research and treatment limitations

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Case Managers
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Therapists
  • Physicians
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 09/15/2021

Estranged Relationships: Clinical Tools to Navigate the Divide Between Family Members

Estrangement from family is on the rise. And therapists are being asked to weigh in on these separations.

Clients use therapy to work through so many challenging family-related experiences - toxic communication styles.. childhood trauma.. lack of attuned parenting.. unchecked sibling rivalry.. parental divorce.. mental illness or addiction in a family member..

What should you do when clients begin to lean toward cutting off family members? When is estrangement the best choice? How can you know whether the family system is truly toxic? What if your client cuts off contact and it creates more problems than it solves?

Maybe you are seeing cut-off family members in your practice. They are hurting and confused about their role in what happened. Therapists can easily misstep and unintentionally make existing separations worse.

Joshua Coleman, PhD is the author of The Rules of Estrangement: Why Adult Children Cut Ties and How to Heal the Conflict and a leading expert on family relationships. He’s appeared on the Today Show, Good Morning America, NPR, PBS and other major media outlets. More than an expert, Dr. Coleman brings his lived experience to this important work as a father whose daughter cut off contact for several years and later reconciled.

Watch Dr. Coleman for this one-day seminar and fill the knowledge and practice gap around estrangement so that you will be able to:

  • Respond with confidence to clients who ask your opinion about cutoffs
  • Gain tools for addressing tension, conflict, and boundary-setting
  • Support your clients experiencing estrangement-related guilt, shame, trauma, and grief
  • Implement key interventions for facilitating a potential reconciliation

Don’t miss this chance to provide your clients with the emotional tools they need to reconcile when it’s possible and move forward when it’s not.

Purchase today!

Program Information


  1. Describe three common reasons that estrangements occur.
  2. Analyze generational differences in understanding abuse, harm, neglect, and trauma.
  3. Evaluate two differences between alienation and estrangement.
  4. Choose treatment strategies to reduce estrangement-related trauma and grief.
  5. Plan interventions for estranged family members based on knowledge of their current mental health status.
  6. Manage countertransference issues rooted in the therapist’s own family relationships.


Pathways to Estrangement

  • Common reasons for estrangement and what they mean for your practice
  • Collectivism versus individualism - changing meaning of family
  • Generational differences in understanding abuse, harm, neglect, and trauma
  • How to prepare for and deal with threats to the status quo of family dynamics
  • Key assessment questions to evaluate estrangement history and potential
From Setting Boundaries to Cutting Off Contact
  • Guidelines for discerning the level of toxicity of the family system
  • Differences between emotional cut-off, alienation, and estrangement
  • Address tension, reduce conflict, and set boundaries
  • When you know the diagnosis of non-client family members
  • Common mistakes of therapists in the arena of blame and shame
Clinical Tools for When the Client is the Initiator of the Estrangement
  • Overcome obstacles that maintain painful feelings of rejection, fear, guilt, and anger
  • Confidently answer the “is this relationship healthy?” question
  • Manage estrangement-related guilt and shame
  • Re-configuring family: support identity changes that occur along with estrangement
  • Treat estrangement-related trauma and grief
  • Tailored interventions for when the initiator has mental illness or addiction
Therapy Strategies for When the Client is the Estranged Individual
  • Clinical approaches to doing no harm
  • Strategies for facilitating a potential reconciliation
  • How to help clients cope when there are cycles of contact
  • Re-establish identity stability in the face of ambiguous grief and shame
  • Interventions for estranged parents
  • Considerations for when the estranged individual has mental illness or addiction
Clinical Considerations
  • Manage countertransference issues rooted in the therapists’ family relationships
  • Ethics in family estrangement
  • Determining when to work with additional family members or the whole family system
  • How to collaborate with co-providers when there is a family estrangement
  • Support resources for estranged family members
  • Limitations of the research and potential risks

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Psychologists
  • Physicians
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Psychiatric Nurses

Copyright : 11/07/2022

Helping Clients Manage Unhealthy Family Relationships: A Drama-Free Approach

When is a client’s family member too toxic to keep? When is it worth it to heal a longstanding family rift? For many of our clients, their families are a source of ongoing pain, hurt, and conflict. It’s not always easy to maintain healthy, positive connections with family members who have different ideas about loyalty, love, connection, what’s appropriate to share, and how much influence they believe they should have over a family member’s personal choices. For therapists, it can be hard to know what to do when clients struggle with intense ambivalence about family members. In this session, you’ll learn:

  • How to help clients resolve ambivalence about difficult and unhealthy family relationships and know when to stay and when to go
  • How to know when an apparently abusive relationship can be salvaged through healthy communication and boundary setting
  • Clear ways for identifying dysfunctional family patterns and choosing the best path to break painful cycles and move forward

Program Information


  1. Identify the most common presenting problem of clients with dysfunctional family issues.
  2. Help clients understand that they can't change other people and refocus instead on developing the skills most likely to improve their relationships.
  3. Teach them how to manage difficult relationships by practicing different techniques—such as respectful assertiveness—that can alter negative relationship dynamics.
  4. Reduce the discouragement and fatigue clients often experience as they work through dysfunctional family dynamics by helping them set boundaries and prioritize self-care.


  • The mental and physical implications of troubled relationships
  • How to sit with clients who have difficult, unhealthy, or abusive family relationships
  • Providing a historical context for relationship issues
  • How to allow clients to make their own choices based on what they feel comfortable doing
  • Helping clients learn research-based relationship skills and offer them space to discuss what the tools look like in practice (in between sessions)

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Marriage & Family Therapists
  • Addiction Counselors
  • Physicians
  • Physician Assistants
  • Nurses
  • Nurse Practitioners 
  • Other Mental Health Professionals

Copyright : 03/18/2023