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Navigating Countertransference with Ritually Abused Clients

About the Course:

Survivors of ritual abuse and mind control are stepping forward in unprecedented numbers on social media and revealing themselves in therapy settings. These clients are almost universally engineered with techniques that involve creation of polyfragmented Dissociative Identity Disorder. Treating such clients requires a high degree of skill, especially in forming and maintaining a caring treatment relationship. In many cases these clients have been conditioned to accept that they are unlovable and untreatable. Their experiences are extreme and highly traumatic. In some cases their handlers (abusers) have even mimicked psychologists and/or psychiatrists creating aversive conditioning to therapy itself. Therapists of these clients are challenged with intense visceral reactions to both disclosures of unimaginable abuse and the extreme dysregulation these clients can display in and out of sessions. Their stories and behavior will push all the countertransference buttons from extreme maternal sympathy to horror and revulsion. This is advanced practice! Ideally therapists help these dissociative clients develop a strong attachment to their treater that can weather the ups and downs of extreme trauma work. Yet each therapist has thresholds of affect tolerance and belief that affect their clinical ability to stay connected to clients and help process catastrophic experiences. This workshop focuses on: growing relational ability in the therapist, techniques to hear and respond effectively to extreme trauma disclosures, and increasing mindfulness of countertransference reactions from moment to moment without shutting down or acting out. Effective therapeutic apology and other reparative strategies are presented for working through the inevitable ruptures of attachment in trauma therapy when countertransference gets away from us.

Publication Date:

12:00pm – 1:30 PM EDT 10/3/2019

Course Material Author

Susan Pease Banitt, LCSW

Susan Pease Banitt, LCSW is a psychotherapist and author who specializes in the treatment of severe trauma and PTSD. She has worked in the field of mental health for more than four decades and has written two award-winning books: Wisdom, Attachment and Love in Trauma Therapy: Beyond Evidence-Based Practice (Routledge, 2018) and The Trauma Tool Kit: Healing PTSD From the Inside Out (Quest, 2012). Susan lives and practices in Portland, Oregon.

Recommended For:

Counselors, marriage and family therapists, psychologists and social workers. This course is appropriate for intermediate levels of knowledge.

Course Objectives:

  1. Name three common ways that therapists compromise patient attachment in trauma treatment

  2. Identify and utilize evidence-based session rating metrics in their clinical practices

  3. Deliver an effective apology that rehabilitates and strengthens attachment in the therapy setting

  4. Respond compassionately to traumatic or unbelievable disclosures in a way that does not rupture the attachment to the treater and facilitates a greater holding environment for the treatment

  5. Identify areas of countertransference that include thresholds of belief, spirituality and horror in themselves and neutralize reactivity that could cause a rupture in attachment in treatment.

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American Psychological Association (APA)

CE Learning Systems is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CE Learning Systems maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB)

Our Provider Number: 1020

CE Learning Systems, provider #1020, is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved as ACE providers. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. CE Learning Systems maintains responsibility for this course. ACE provider approval period: 2/23/2019 – 2/23/2022. Social workers completing this course receive 1.5 clinical continuing education credit(s).

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National Association of School Psychologists (NASP)

NASP accepts 30 CPD credits of sequenced self-study per each three year renewal.

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American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders (AAHCPAD)

Our Provider Number: 17-1460

CE Learning Systems dba has been approved to offer Continuing Education credit for Certified Addiction Specialists (CAS) in accordance with the American Academy of Health Care Providers in the Addictive Disorders. Approval No. 17-1460.

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Course Material

This material is available to purchase for $45.00. For your convenience, has arranged with ISSTD to make it available for purchase right here. » More info

References for Presentation

Exam Questions

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Course Number 102754
1.5 credit hour
  • Recorded Webinar
Exam Fee: $10.46No exam fee with a Plus or Unlimited membership package!
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