Healing Broken Bonds: The Consequences of Traumatic Attachment

Course Description:

In the context of trauma, attachment failure is inevitable, leaving behind a lasting imprint on all future relationships, including the therapeutic one.  Rather than experiencing others as a haven of safety, traumatized clients are driven by powerful wishes and fears of relationship.  Because the capacity to tolerate our emotions without becoming overwhelmed or shutting down depends upon secure attachment, the therapeutic work is often challenged by the client’s vulnerability to affect dysregulation.   In this presentation, we will address the impact of traumatic attachment experiences on relationship and on the ability to tolerate emotions (one’s own and those of others).  Exploring the effects of traumatic attachment from a psychobiological perspective opens up new ways of working with its relational legacy.

This workshop combines lecture, video, and experiential exercises to explore a neurobiologically-informed understanding of the impact of trauma on attachment behavior, somatic interventions for challenging trauma-related relational patterns, and how to use ourselves as “neurobiological regulators” of the client’s dysregulated emotional and autonomic states.

Learning Objectives

  • Participants will be able to describe the effects of trauma-related attachment on affect regulation
  • Participants will be able to identify the effects of disorganized attachment on interpersonal relationships
  • Participants will be able to utilize Sensorimotor Psychotherapy interventions to address attachment and trauma-related issues in psychotherapy
  • Participants will be able to employ interactive neurobiological regulation to help clients tolerate psychotherapy and be more effective collaborators