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CPE 201 Healing Broken Bonds: Traumatic Attachment and Affect Dysregulation

Course Description

In the context of trauma, attachment failure is inevitable, leaving behind a lasting imprint on all future relationships, including the therapeutic one. Rather than experiencing therapy and the therapist as a haven of safety, the traumatized client will be driven by powerful wishes and fears of relationship. Because the capacity to tolerate affect without becoming overwhelmed depends upon secure attachment, therapeutic work will be challenged by the client's vulnerability to affect dysregulation. In this presentation, we will address the impact of traumatic and sub-optimal attachment experiences on affect regulation, exploring how to understand the effects of traumatic attachment from a psychobiological perspective and how to work with both the somatic and relational legacy of attachment.

Using interventions drawn from the neuroscience and attachment research and from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a body-centered talking therapy tailored to the treatment of trauma and affect dysregulation, this workshop will utilize a combination of lecture, video, and experiential exercises to explore a neurabiologically-informed understanding of the impact of trauma on attachment behaviour, somatic interventions for challenging trauma-related relational patterns, and opportunities to use ourselves as "neurobiological regulators" of the client's dysregulated emotional and autonomic states.

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Approved for 12 hours ACSW Category "A" credits for Social Workers

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