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Digital Seminar

The Attachment Dance with Traumatized Clients: One Step Forward and Two Steps Back

Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA
3 Hours 42 Minutes
Mar 24, 2017
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Digital Seminar
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While every therapist understands that treatment is most effective when it unfolds within the context of a safe therapeutic relationship, it’s often challenging to build a meaningful alliance with traumatized clients who turn therapy into an emotional roller coaster. This is even more challenging when therapists have their own attachment wounds. Through case examples, videos, and discussion, you’ll discover how to:

  • Handle the impact of disorganized attachment and traumatic transference on the client-therapist relationship
  • Recognize how your own attachment experiences can evoke countertransreferential responses that can influence therapy
  • Integrate strategies that can strengthen attunement
  • Apply approaches that address testing behaviors and increase secure attachment


Continuing Professional Development Certificates
- PESI Australia, in collaboration with PESI in the USA, offers quality online continuing professional development events from the leaders in the field at a standard recognized by professional associations including psychology, social work, occupational therapy, alcohol and drug professionals, counselling and psychotherapy. On completion of the training, a Professional Development Certificate is issued after the individual has answered and submitted a quiz and course evaluation. This online program is worth 3.75 hours CPD for points calculation by your association.


Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA's Profile

Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA Related seminars and products

Lisa Ferentz, LCSW-C, DAPA, is a recognized expert in the strengths-based, de-pathologized treatment of trauma and has been in private practice for over 35 years. She presents workshops and keynote addresses nationally and internationally, and is a clinical consultant to practitioners and mental health agencies in the United States, Canada, the UK and Ireland.

She has been an adjunct faculty member at several Universities, and is the Founder of “The Ferentz Institute,” now in its 11th year of providing continuing education to mental health professionals and graduating over 1,200 clinicians from her two certificate programs in Advanced Trauma Treatment.

In 2009, she was voted the “Social Worker of Year” by the Maryland Society for Clinical Social Work. Lisa is the author of Treating Self-Destructive Behaviors in Trauma Survivors: A Clinician’s Guide, 2nd Edition (Routledge, 2014), Letting Go of Self-Destructive Behaviors: A Workbook of Hope and Healing (Routledge, 2014), and Finding Your Ruby Slippers: Transformative Life Lessons From the Therapist’s Couch (PESI, 2017). Lisa also hosted a weekly radio talk show, writes blogs and articles for websites on self-harm and self-care, and teaches on many webinars.

Speaker Disclosures:
Financial: Lisa Ferentz maintains a private practice and is the Founder and President of the Ferentz Institute. She receives royalties as a published author and is a consultant for Northwest Hospital. Lisa Ferentz receives a speaking honorarium and product royalties from Psychotherapy Networker and PESI, Inc. She has no relevant financial relationships with ineligible organizations.
Non-financial: Lisa Ferentz is a member of the National Association of Social Workers and the American Psychotherapy Association.


  • Types of Trauma and Abuse
    • Physical & Emotional
    • Inconsistent Roles & Expectations
  • Losses Associated with Trauma
    • Boundaries
    • Trust
    • Innocence
    • Emotional Expression
  • Relationship between Attachment and Trauma
    • Desire for Connection
    • Fear of Connection
  • Physiology & Attachment
    • Positive and Negative Triggers
    • Regulating Stress
  • Early Childhood Attachment Patterns
    • Free/Autonomous
    • Dismissing
    • Ambivalent
    • Disorganized
  • Frightened vs. Frightening Behaviors
    • Withdrawn & Avoidant
    • Reactive & Aggressive
  • Managing Emotional States
    • Inter-regulation
    • Auto-Regulation
  • Affect Dysregulation
    • Hypoarousal
    • Hyperarousal
  • Art Therapy Strategies
    • Types of Art Expression
    • Strategic Prompts
    • Open vs. Closed Questions
  • Therapist countertransference responses
    • Empathy and compassion
    • Secure attachment
  • De-pathologizing Trauma
    • Borderline Personality Disorder
    • Complex Trauma
  • Attachment Dance
    • Stepping In
    • Stepping Out
    • Normalizing
  • Trauma-Informed Therapy
    • Optimum Window of Arousal
    • Assessment
    • Prioritizing
  • Traumatic Transference
    • Fear of Abandonment
    • Sabotaging the Relationship
    • Not asking for help
    • Ambivalence
  • Manifestations of Counter-transference
    • Empathetic Disequilibrium
    • Empathetic Withdrawal
    • Empathetic Enmeshment
    • Empathetic Repression


  • Determine how to handle the impact of disorganized attachment and traumatic transference on the client-therapist relationship
  • Explore how to recognize how your own attachment experiences can evoke counter-transreferential responses that can influence therapy
  • Ascertain how to integrate strategies that can strengthen attunement
  • Explore how to apply approaches that address testing behaviors and increase secure attachment

Target Audience

Addiction Counselors, Counselors, Marriage and Family Therapists, Nurses, Psychologists, Social Workers

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