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Digital Seminar

Chronic Pain & Trauma

Janina Fisher, PhD
1 Hour 28 Minutes
Mar 10, 2014
Product Code:
Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.


Many of our clients with harsh or traumatic childhood histories suffer physical pain and chronic health conditions that defy medical diagnosis and conventional treatments.  While hoping to address their current issues or post-traumatic stress, the preoccupation with their bodies and physical suffering often gets in the way of focusing on the therapy.  Equally, attempts to address the psychosomatic issues are apt to be misinterpreted by clients as an invalidating “It’s all in your head.”   While therapists often suspect that there is a connection between the trauma and medical issues, psychotherapy models do not offer one clear-cut treatment method.

In this recording, we will approach chronic physical symptoms in trauma clients as a manifestation of unprocessed traumatic memories held in the body.   Inspired by the work of Robert Scaer, this approach draws on interventions from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, Internal Family Systems, and clinical hypnosis to help clients locate the origins of their pain in the events of their past. You will learn how to help clients “hear” the communication conveyed by their symptoms, connect with the child self holding the bodily manifestation of memory, and begin to resolve the trauma-related fear and pain driving the chronic physical issues.



Janina Fisher, PhD's Profile

Janina Fisher, PhD Related seminars and products

Janina Fisher, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist and former instructor at The Trauma Center, a research and treatment center founded by Bessel van der Kolk. Known as an expert on the treatment of trauma, Dr. Fisher has also been treating individuals, couples and families since 1980.

She is past president of the New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation, an EMDR International Association Credit Provider, Assistant Educational Director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and a former Instructor, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fisher lectures and teaches nationally and internationally on topics related to the integration of the neurobiological research and newer trauma treatment paradigms into traditional therapeutic modalities.

She is co-author with Pat Ogden of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Attachment and Trauma (2015) and author of Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Internal Self-Alienation (2017) and the forthcoming book, Working with the Neurobiological Legacy of Trauma (in press).


Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Dr. Janina Fisher has an employment relationship with the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute. She is a consultant for Khiron House Clinics and the Massachusetts Department of MH Restraint and Seclusion Initiative. Dr. Fisher receives royalties as a published author. She receives a speaking honorarium, recording royalties and book royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. Dr. Fisher has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Dr. Janina Fisher is on the advisory board for the Trauma Research Foundation.


Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  • Identify chronic medical issues and pain as expressions of traumatic memory
  • Educate clients about the relationship between trauma and physical symptoms or pain
  • Apply Sensorimotor Psychotherapy techniques to address the pain or condition as body memory
  • Describe interventions that facilitate re-processing the memories and alleviate the physical distress


  • Understanding the relationship between trauma and chronic pain or illness
  • Challenges for clients in accepting medical issues as unresolved memory
  • Interventions for addressing the interaction between chronic pain and traumatic experience

Target Audience

Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Case Managers, Addiction Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, and other Mental Health Professionals

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