The Attuned Therapist: Working with Reactivity and Resistance
As therapists we expect a little chaos. However, there are couples who just seem to challenge us every step of the way. Using a growing understanding of the relational paradigm, we will explore how to use our centered, embodied and attuned presence to assist clients in making sense of the anxiety which motivates them into reactivity. We will explore interventions to assist them to move toward each other, co-regulating affect and moving into safety and joy. Using safety, pacing and understanding of the dynamic cycle underlying the core struggles between maximizer and minimizer, we will use an attachment and developmental lens to understand the needs and emotions driving the power struggle and the defended self. We will explore how to work with the negative cycles using dialogue, the relationship vision and the Imago workup. Even when resistance and reactivity centre on the dialogue itself, we can track energy with skill, empathy and compassion, moving couples toward connection, replacing negativity with positivity and affirmation. Through the use of video clips, role plays, demonstrations and didactic material we will create an interactive, fun and dynamic space to focus on our own inner attunement and ability to connect, thereby deepening our work.
1: Recognize those couples who present a personal ‘challenge’ and how to use inner attunement and embodied presence, to stay present and available when challenged.