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Transforming Trauma-Related Resistance and Stuckness

Janina Fisher, PhD

July 1-5, 2024

Monday - Friday: 9:00a.m. - 12:30p.m. EDT | 30-Minute Break Daily

15-Hour Course |  Delivery Format: In-Person or Live-Online

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Course Description

Coming to therapy is a cry for help, requiring the ability to acknowledge vulnerability. But for those who have been abused, abandoned, or rejected, being vulnerable is associated with powerlessness, humiliation, and violence. Almost every kind of traumatic experience involves incompetence or cruelty perpetrated by other human beings. No matter how much clients sincerely want our help, they cannot control instinctive fight, flight, or submission defenses stimulated in relationships to other human beings.


Should the client commit to therapy or flee? Combat the therapist’s every effort? Or “submit” by coming but not fully participating? Seeking help may bring initial relief in a moment of crisis but also inevitably raises doubts: Is it better to trust or avoid trusting?


Whether resistance manifests as a passive aggressive ‘no’ to every intervention, chronic avoidance, or desperation for help alternating with resistance to accepting it, the underlying dilemma is the same. What we label “resistance” reflects inherent trauma-related conflicts activated by all forms of treatment and all types of therapist.


In this workshop, we will explore the complex relationships between these trauma-related conflicts and stuckness or resistance in psychotherapy. Using techniques drawn from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems, and other mindfulness-based models, participants will learn how to de-code these impasses and help clients work with them as an internal conflict, not a therapeutic issue. When we help individuals “befriend” the resistance, we become part of the solution instead of part of the problem.

Course Agenda (click to expand)

Course Objectives (click to expand)

About the Instructor

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Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Janina Fisher has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations. She receives a speaking honorarium from MAK Continuing Education, LLC, Cape Cod Institute.

Non-financial: Janina Fisher has no relevant non-financial relationships with ineligible organizations.

Janina Fisher, PhD, is a Board member of the Trauma Research Foundation and a patron of the Bowlby Centre in London.  A former instructor at Harvard Medical School and international expert on trauma treatment, she is co-author with Pat Ogden of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Attachment and Trauma (2015) and the author of Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Self-Alienation (2017) and Transforming the Living Legacy of Trauma (2021). She is best known for integrating neuroscience research and newer body-centered interventions into traditional psychotherapy approaches. 


More information can be found on her website: www.janinafisher.com.

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Janina Fisher, PhD

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What Alumni are Saying...

"Dr. Fisher's course was extraordinary. Her theory and practice were explained in excellent detail and allowed me to pull together trauma models that I have been using." - 2023 Participant

"Janina was wonderful! It was truly an honor to have the opportunity to learn from her." - 2023 Participant

"Janina Fisher is wonderful, compassionate, knowledgeable, caring and presents material in a clear, effective manner. I hope to see her again in the future." - 2022 Participant

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