People do learn and grow from meeting the challenges and adversities of life when they have the support, resources, and skills to do so. Helping clients strengthen their capacities – innate in their brains – to cope with any level of adversity – from a series of small annoyances to the troubles and tragedies that break their hearts to the utter catastrophes that change their lives forever – is at the heart of the therapeutic process. This training teaches clinicians the basics of harnessing the brain’s neuroplasticity to help clients learn more flexible and adaptive coping strategies and rewire negative coping patterns that block their recovery, learning and growth.
Learn the techniques that reverse the impacts of stress and trauma, shift the functioning of the brain out of reactivity, contraction, dissociation into more receptivity and openness to learning, and help clients once again trust other people as refuges and resources, discern new options, and deepen the meaning and purpose in their lives. The direct measurable outcome is resilience.
Featured Speaker: Linda Graham, MFT
What Resilience Is
- Emerging definitions from behavioral sciences, modern neuroscience, the field of post-traumatic growth. Example from American Psychological Association:
- Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress.
How Resilience Is Developed…or Derailed
- Relevance of modern neuroscience: resilience is a capacity innate in human beings because it is innate in the human brain.
- Impact of attachment conditioning and trauma on the development of the brain and resilience…or not.
Role of Neuroplasticity
- Because the brain learns and rewires itself from experience, teaching clients the experiential tools that will strengthen the structures of the brain that support flexible and adaptive coping strategies, and rewire negative coping patterns that block their learning and growth – in ways that are safe, efficient, and effective.
- Use body-based tools to help clients reverse the impact of stress and trauma on their nervous system, returning to an inner sense of safety and equilibrium, their natural range of resilience.
- Help clients manage disruptive emotions, deepen self-compassion and empathy, and cultivate the positive emotions that antidote the brain’s negativity bias and shift brain functioning from contracted survival responses to openness to learning and growth.
Relational Intelligence within One’s Self
- Cultivate the self-awareness and self-appreciation that help clients heal form toxic shame, retire the inner critic, and recover their inner well-being.
Relational Intelligence with Others
- Teach the relational skills – reaching out for help, communicating without shame or blame, negotiating change, setting limits and boundaries, resolving conflict, repairing ruptures, and practicing forgiveness -that allow clients to trust other people as refuges and resources in difficult times.
- Adapt practices of mindfulness to help clients identify dysfunctional patterns of coping and discern new choices of behavior.
- Help clients apply evidenced-based tools to the five factors that predict genuine post-traumatic growth:
- Acceptance of reality (and the consequences of what happened);
- Resourcing with family, friends, friends, and community.
- Recognizing the positive in the midst of the difficult; finding the gifts in the mistakes.
- Writing a coherent narrative of the event within the larger life story.
- Appreciating the new opportunities and deeper meaning that emerges because of the difficulties, not just in spite of them.
a). Describe the differences between stressors (external events) and stress (internal reactions to external events) and the differences between stress and trauma (an overwhelm of defenses against stress or external events).
b). Apply techniques of memory deconsolidation-reconsolidation to help clients change how they perceive and respond to memories of past traumatic events.
c). Utilize practices of self-compassion that help clients counter the harshness of the inner critic and inner toxic shame, deepen their self-acceptance of all inner parts and voices, and strengthen the inner secure base of resilience.
d). Incorporate techniques to cultivate positive emotions that help clients antidote the brain’s negativity bias and shift the functioning of the brain from contraction and reactivity to responsiveness and openness to learning.
e). Teach clients to use five body-based tools to regulate automatic survival responses and return the body-brain to its natural physiological equilibrium.
f). Teach clients three practices of guided visualization to create inner resources of resilience.
g). Identify 7 steps of mindfulness practice that allow clients to monitor and modify their responses to experience.
The target audience for this event includes psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, licensed counselors, MFT’s, and other clinical mental health professionals.
Instructional Level: Intermediate
Instructor(s): Linda Graham, MFT
Material Author(s): Linda Graham, MFT
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