Challenging Clients and Treatment Populations

127 – The Ethical Dilemmas No One Talks About

Clarifying Boundaries in 21st-Century Practice

The ethical rules for therapists used to be straightforward and unambiguous: no gifts, no dual relationships, no out-of-session contact, and of course, no sex. But the ease of digital connection and the shift in our profession’s norms have introduced new questions about professional boundaries many of us are unprepared for. How exactly do we manage relationships through email, texting, Facebook, and social media? Should we Google clients before our first session? How do we deal with rating sites like Healthgrades? In this workshop, we’ll explore ethical dilemmas, old and new, including:

  • How to set the ground rules for therapy that establish norms for transparency and client empowerment from the very first contact
  • The do’s and don’ts of therapist self-disclosure and participating in client celebrations and ritual occasions
  • How to maintain our energy to ensure we make wise ethical decisions

Note: This workshop fulfills many state-board requirements for training in ethics and risk management.

Mary Jo Barrett, MSW, Executive Director and Founder, The Center for Contextual Change.  Creator of The Collaborative Change Model; A Meta Model for the Treatment of Complex Trauma.  Co-author of Treating Complex Trauma: A Relational Blueprint for Collaboration and Change.

Linda Stone Fish, MSW, PhD, the David B. Falk Endowed Professor of Marriage and Family Therapy at Syracuse University, is the author of Nurturing Queer Youth.

Posted in Personal and Professional Development, Thursday Pre-Conference Clinical: 9:30 A.M. – NOON & 1 P.M. – 4 P.M., Thursday: 9:30 a.m. - Noon & 1 p.m. - 4 p.m., workshops | Tagged , , , ,

202/302 – Engaging Men in Attachment-Focused Therapy

Exploring the Neurobiology of Sex Differences

Far fewer men than women are making use of psychotherapy, even though the rate of serious problems among men—such as alcoholism, ADHD, and suicidality—are far higher. One reason is that basic therapeutic practices are more congruent with women’s ways of engaging than with men’s. Making use of clinical videotapes, this workshop will show you how to work with men’s attachment trauma and intense emotions, and simultaneously undo the shame men often feel about being in therapy. You’ll discover how to:

  • Use gender-specific, attachment-based interventions to engage men more fully in the therapeutic process
  • Incorporate the practice of dyadic mindfulness to consolidate therapeutic gains, foster resilience, and deepen the experience of feeling seen, felt, and understood
  • Apply meta-therapeutic processing to help men explore their experience in the moment, especially when positive change occurs, in ways that can feel empowering

Continued with workshop 302.

Diana Fosha, PhD, is the developer of Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP) and founder and director of the AEDP Institute. She’s the author of The Transforming Power of Affect and coeditor of The Healing Power of Emotion: Affective Neuroscience, Development & Clinical Practice, as well as many papers on healing transformational processes in experiential therapy and trauma treatment.

Posted in All Day, Couples, Kids, and Families, Friday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M, Friday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., Mind, Body, and Brain, Personal and Professional Development, workshops | Tagged , , , ,

204/304 – Getting Through to Inner-City Youth

Discovering the Untapped Hero Within

Look into the troubled lives of many impoverished inner-city youth and you’ll often discover a walled-off history of unacknowledged loss. This workshop will broaden your understanding of how social context can breed traumatic injury and offers a fresh look at the importance of uncovering the buried impact of trauma in the lives of acting-out
youth. We’ll focus on how to:

  • Maintain an effective, empathic therapeutic alliance with kids who
    are nonresponsive, hostile, and even physically threatening
  • Develop a genogram-like Loss Diagram detailing the deaths of loved ones, serial placements in foster homes, and dislocations due to economic or family circumstances
  • Help clients discover and appreciate their positive traits and skills that helped them through tough times, which are the key resources they’ll need to move toward a better future

Continued with workshop 304.
Kenneth Hardy, PhD, is director of the Eikenberg Institute for Relationships
and professor of marriage and family
therapy at Drexel University.

Posted in All Day, Anxiety, Depression and Trauma, Friday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M, Friday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., workshops | Tagged , , , , ,

212/312 – Mastering the Art of Empathic Confrontation

Beyond the Niceness Trap

Do you “play nice” and shy away from confrontation with evasive, oppressive, prickly, pompous, or narcissistic clients—even when you know that challenging them and setting limits is precisely what you should do? Then this is the workshop for you. You’ll learn specific strategies to address the discomfort, fears, and desire to be liked that can get in the way of your meeting the challenges such clients pose. Discover how to:

  • Say “no” with your face and body language, as you learn how not to look, act, or feel like a doormat
  • Use empathic confrontation to reengage with clients while also setting limits and holding them accountable
  • Identify and explore your own triggers to enhance your ability to differentiate between protecting clients and holding back from expressing truths that may be painful but necessary

Continued with workshop 312.

Wendy Behary, LCSW, is the founder and director of The Cognitive Therapy Center of New Jersey and The New Jersey Institute for Schema Therapy. She’s the author of Disarming the Narcissist and Let’s Face It!

Posted in All Day, Friday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M, Friday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., Personal and Professional Development, workshops | Tagged , ,

228 – Addressing Attachment Issues with Traumatized Teens

Getting Hooked—and Unhooked

To work with troubled and traumatized adolescents, it’s crucial for therapists to first foster their own capacity for self-awareness and self-regulation. It’s not easy, though, especially when our young clients’ extreme reactions—ranging from angry arousal to frozen shutting down—can trigger our own sense of helplessness, failure, dissociation, and rejection. In this workshop, we’ll discuss how to use this nonfunctional cycle to get unhooked by:

  • Identifying specific adolescent attachment styles that interact with or trigger our own
  • Exploring the React, Reflect, and Respond model to best help our clients
  • Using The Four M’s—mirroring, mentalizing, mindfulness, and modulation—to increase connection and mood regulation
  • Focusing on attunement—including strategies of validation, self-disclosure, and the compassionate sharing of adult feelings and opinions—to bring traumatized teens back into relationship with themselves and you

Martha Straus, PhD, a professor in the Department of Clinical Psychology at Antioch University New England, is the author of No-Talk Therapy for Children and Adolescents and Adolescent Girls in Crisis: Intervention and Hope, and the forthcoming Developmental-Relational Interventions with Traumatized Teens: The Challenge of Attachment.

Posted in Anxiety, Depression and Trauma, Couples, Kids, and Families, Friday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M, workshops | Tagged , , , , ,

317 – The Myth of Sex Addiction

A Non-Pathologizing Approach to Out-of-Control Sexual Behavior

Rather than providing a pathway to healing, the sex addiction model too often contributes to clients being sexually lost and at odds with their own nature. Therapists are left with both being unable to help clients with their continued out-of-control sexual behaviors and also with the consequences of being the recipient of a pathologizing label. This workshop will educate therapists on having a sexual health and strength-based dialogue with their clients as an alternative to the sex addiction model. We’ll focus on:

  • How to help clients develop a non-pathologizing understanding of their own individual sexuality and erotic identity
  • A comprehensive assessment and alternative treatment that emphasizes the nonsexual meanings of sexual behaviors and fantasies
  • Helping therapists explore their own countertransference with clients struggling with sexual behaviors the therapist experiences as problematic
  • Differentiating normative male sexuality from out-of-control sexual behaviors around the use of porn, fetishes, and sex with partners

Joe Kort, PhD, LMSW, is a certified sex therapist specializing in individual, couples, and group psychotherapy for gay and straight clients. He’s the author of Is My Husband Gay, Straight, or Bi? A Guide for Women Concerned about Their Men.

Posted in Couples, Kids, and Families, Friday Afternoon: 3 P.M. – 5 P.M., workshops | Tagged , , , ,

324 – Treating Domestic Violence Offenders

How to Access Core Values

Outrage at a video of NFL running back Ray Rice punching his fiancée unconscious brought massive media attention to the problem of domestic violence. But the media focus on the importance of abusers being punished ignored the question of how to actually help them change their behavior. This workshop takes the position that abusers are most likely to change when they access their own deeper values concerning the kind of partner or parent they want to be. It will demonstrate an approach that emphasizes helping men practice alternative ways to express resentment and find more prosocial ways to experience themselves as powerful in their families. You’ll explore how to:

  • Guide men to regularly practice incompatible response strategies as an alternative to abusing those around them
  • Help men ally with the person they want to be and learn to feel compassion for themselves
  • Help men use their own deepest values as a motivation for change

Steven Stosny, PhD, is the director of Compassion Power. He’s the author of Love without Hurt and coauthor of How to Improve Your Marriage without Talking about It. His most recent book is Living and Loving after Betrayal.

Posted in Couples, Kids, and Families, Friday Afternoon: 3 P.M. – 5 P.M., Personal and Professional Development, workshops | Tagged , , , , ,

329 – From Tweens to Teens

An Innovative Approach to Preparing Girls for Adolescence

For decades, professionals have raised alarm about the difficulties girls face during their teen years. But we’re just starting to focus on the plight of tween girls, who face the same pressures and struggles, but at an earlier age. Immersed in an increasingly sexualized, cyber-saturated, and pressurized culture, they face challenges they aren’t physically or psychologically prepared to handle. This workshop offers an innovative approach based on our latest understanding of the neurological and psychological development of this age group. We’ll explore:

  • Alternatives to traditional talk approaches that don’t work
  • How to integrate rituals to deepen the clinical experience for the 21st century tween girl
  • Specific methods for facilitating parent/tween workshops that address the problems of girls and their families during these years

Maria Fleshood, LPC, is a psychotherapist and relationship specialist who works with tweens in clinical and group settings. Her book, From Tweens to Teens: Preparing Girls for Adolescence, is forthcoming.

Posted in Couples, Kids, and Families, Friday Afternoon: 3 P.M. – 5 P.M., workshops | Tagged , , , , ,

407/507 – The Power of the Therapeutic Contract

Establishing the Conditions for Therapeutic Success

In our eagerness to help clients, we often fail in the most fundamental tasks of therapy—clearly defining the presenting issue, agreeing upon the clients’ desired goals, and getting a realistic contract for the change. Without these elements in place, treatment can turn into a meandering game of hide-and-seek. Join us for an examination of how getting therapy started in the right way can dramatically boost your outcomes. We’ll explore how to:

  • Clearly define client goals in positive, specific, measurable terms
  • Help clients distinguish between “problem” and “problem-solving” states of mind
  • Use regular feedback to keep treatment on track and moving forward
  • Think of the contract as your compass, leading to the treatment’s goals

Continued with workshop 507.

Pat Love, EdD, a relationship consultant and marriage and family therapist, has authored/co-authored six books including the 2015 release You’re Tearing Us Apart: Ways We Wreck Our Relationships and Strategies to Fix Them.

Eva Berlander, PhD, a relationship consultant and marriage and family therapist, is the author of You Can Make it Happen; How Breakthroughs in Neuroscience Can Transform Relationships and the coauthor of You’re Tearing Us Apart.

Posted in All Day, Personal and Professional Development, Saturday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M., Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., workshops | Tagged , , ,

410/510 – Working with the “Difficult” Male Client

How to Get Beyond Shame-o-phobia

Therapists often fail to create a user-friendly environment for reluctant male clients. The problem begins with a lack of awareness about how men fear having their shame and vulnerability exposed. This workshop will teach you about the mismatch between men’s relational style and the touchy-feely atmosphere of most counseling, and how to engage even “difficult” or “defensive” men and move them to the next level of intimacy and authenticity. You’ll learn to:

  • Recognize the defenses and perception of shame that keep men from confronting their emotions
  • Develop enhanced skills in building a therapeutic relationship with men based on straightforward guidance and “guy talk,” rather than ambiguous therapy-speak
  • Use specific techniques to counteract male relational dread and coach men to communicate in a related way
  • Help a man’s partner learn how to bring out his best qualities, without becoming codependent

Continued with workshop 510.

David Wexler, PhD, is a clinical psychologist and the executive director of the Relationship Training Institute. He’s the author of six books, including Men in Therapy and When Good Men Behave Badly.

Posted in All Day, Couples, Kids, and Families, Mind, Body, and Brain, Personal and Professional Development, Saturday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M., Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., Uncategorized, workshops | Tagged , ,

412/512 – Mistakes of the Heart

Turning Miscues into Learning Opportunities

Therapists are human; therefore, we all inevitably make mistakes. Unfortunately, we don’t always have the opportunity to safely acknowledge, process, and grow from them, much less help our clients recover from the hurt and anger we’ve inadvertently caused. This workshop will examine the underlying issues that often contribute to common therapist errors, explore how “mistakes of the heart” occur and can be acknowledged, and discover ways to “repair” relational ruptures so they become healing opportunities. In this workshop, you’ll learn how to:

  • Recognize the bodily signs of our countertransference responses, decreasing the possibility of “foot in mouth” comments, shutting down, or empathic failure
  • Identify the clients and issues most likely to trigger our fear and frustration and experiment with how to regulate our internal experience
  • Rehearse how to counteract triggers and repair ruptures in therapeutic connection
  • Practice using somatic communication to convey regret, re-attunement, and comfort rather than relying on words

Continued with workshop 512.

Janina Fisher, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and instructor at the Trauma Center in Boston, a senior faculty member of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and a former instructor at Harvard Medical School.

Posted in All Day, Anxiety, Depression and Trauma, Personal and Professional Development, Saturday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M., Saturday: 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. & 3 p.m. – 5 p.m., workshops | Tagged , ,

416 – The Way We Really Work

Ways to Get Through to Teens They Never Taught Us in Grad School

At a time when standardized, evidencebased methods are often seen as the clinical gold standard, many of us recognize how central spontaneity, authenticity, and a willingness to be unconventional are to connecting with teen and young adult clients. Using videos, two longtime clinicians will reveal the seat-of-the-pants methods they use to bring fresh life and emotional urgency to their work. If you’ve ever wondered how to get your unfocused, distracted, apathetic young clients to really pay attention, this session is for you. You’ll learn:

  • How to bring more drama and energy into your work, including how to argue with clients and tap into their deepest passions
  • When to genuinely self-disclose and how to confront without triggering defensiveness and disengagement
  • Do’s and don’ts for giving advice as well as how to banter, play ignorant, and express tenderness

Ron Taffel, PhD, chair of the Institute for Contemporary Psychotherapy, is the author of eight professional and popular books and over 100 articles on therapy and family life.
Martha Straus, PhD, a professor at Antioch University New England, is the author of No-Talk Therapy for Children and Adolescents and the forthcoming Developmental Relational Interventions with Traumatized Teens.

Posted in Couples, Kids, and Families, Saturday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M., workshops | Tagged , , , , , ,

422 – How to Talk with Teenagers

Succeeding with Our Most Reluctant Clients

Most teens are only in therapy because their parents, their teachers, the juvenile court judge, or some other authority has told them they must see a therapist—or else. Consequently, they often find standard therapeutic bromides and shrink-wrapped attempts to “engage” them artificial, even infuriating. In this workshop, we’ll address the challenges of working with teens who burrow into silence, regularly express their contempt for therapy, provoke your anger or frustration, and accept your help only if they don’t have to admit they need it. You’ll learn how to:

  • Convey respect, compassion, and warmth toward your teen clients without coming off as unnaturally empathic
  • Call your teen clients out on their behavior without aggressively challenging or alienating them
  • Teach parents how to hold their teens accountable for their behavior without losing their connection with them

Janet Sasson Edgette, PsyD, is the author of Adolescent Therapy That Really Works and Stop Negotiating with Your Teen. Her latest book is The Last Boys Picked: Helping Boys Who Don’t Play Sports Survive Bullies and Boyhood.

Posted in Couples, Kids, and Families, Saturday Morning: 11 A.M. – 1 P.M., workshops | Tagged , , , ,

604 – Dr. Jekyll Meets Mr. Hyde

Making Therapy Stick

As therapists, we’re often so focused on helping our clients make significant progress during therapy that we pay less attention to helping them maintain these gains after therapy ends. But research shows that in the throes of life stresses, clients often revert to the negative habits that brought them to therapy in the first place, rather than use their newly learned insights and coping strategies. In this workshop, we’ll focus on how to make positive change stick in the long run by exploring:

  • The principles of relapse prevention and how to help clients retrain their brains to default to new, positive habits that will override older negative habits
  • How take-home strategies—like sending clients monthly checklists—can help them stay on track with their therapeutic goals
  • How to help clients become sensitive to their personal triggers and warning signals to stop regression in its tracks

Steven Stosny, PhD, is the director of Compassion Power. He’s the author of Love without Hurt and the coauthor of How to Improve Your Marriage without Talking about It. His most recent book is Living and Loving after Betrayal: How to Heal from Emotional Abuse, Deceit, Infidelity, & Chronic Resentment.

Posted in Personal and Professional Development, Sunday: 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., workshops | Tagged , ,