Learning to Love our Loathed Selves

We often encounter clients who are so mired in self-hatred that our best efforts to support a sense of self-worth only seem to dig the hole of judgment and self-loathing deeper. For some, the very prospect of self-acceptance can feel repulsive and deeply anxiety provoking.

Every step forward leads to a step back, the therapist’s compassion and encouragement of self-acceptance is regularly met by the client’s “default setting” of alienation and self-hatred. Sometimes the war may be literally between life and death as when part of the client wants to live, while another lobbies for suicide.

If we start to look at where these internal battles still leave clients, we typically discover that alienation from self has a crucial adaptive function. That by disowning the part of themselves holding the pain of rejection, abuse or trauma, they could more easily display positive aspects of self to seek praise from caretakers.

This coping approach is practical during childhood, but it eventually comes up short once the demands of adult life call for qualities and behaviors that couldn’t be part of our earlier repertoire. No matter what’s happening on the outside, no matter how much we’re loved and valued in our adult lives, judgmental parts within us are standing ready to condemn us as inadequate or undeserving.

Janina Fisher, an international thought leader on trauma and a person who has had the opportunity to work alongside industry greats like Judith Herman, Bessel van der Kolk and Pat Odgen says that by using sensorimotor psychotherapy the focus can be on differentiating between impulses, thoughts and feelings of the traumatized inner parts and the actions and reactions of the “wise adult self”.

Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, developed by Pat Ogden, PhD, directly addresses the effects of trauma on the nervous system and body without the need to use touch. Easily integrated into traditional talk therapies, Sensorimotor utilizes mindfulness techniques to facilitate resolution of trauma-related body responses first, before attempting to re-work emotional responses and meaning-making. Client responses report appreciation of its gentle and empowering intervention.

At this workshop Janina Fisher will illustrate ways of encoding the event (i.e. the effects of the memory in present time) helping clients to become more mindful of the persistent physical, cognitive and emotional responses.

You will learn to recognize how trauma leaves clients fragmented and at war within their own minds and bodies and to offer proven treatment techniques for the resolution of trauma. Janina’s 2-day workshop held by Byron Clinic in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in March of 2017.

Book online now.

Janina Fisher in Australia, March 2017

Byron Clinic is proud to announce that international trauma expert Janina Fisher is presenting a series of workshops in Brisbane (27 & 28 February, 2017), Melbourne (2 & 3 March, 2017) and Sydney (6 & 7 March 2017). To purchase tickets online click here.

“Super saver” registration rates are available for a limited time. Book early to avoid disappointment.

» Book online here

…as much as I have had the privilege of being taught by and working alongside the giants in the field of psychological trauma: the most powerful and gifted teachers I have are my patients. They have given me a window into the inner experience of the legacy of trauma, taught me what always to say and what never to say and helped to validate or disprove what the experts and theorists were claiming. It has been a privilege to learn with them and from them…

Janina Fisher, PhD