Personality, Dissociation & Compassion
withJanina Fisher, Deirdre Fay, Paul Gilbert, Andrew Rayner
Dates: From 25th-26th May, 2024
Live streaming available on Zoom Meetings
Recordings of the course available without time limits
Location: Milan

(also in Live Streaming)

Available in Italian, English


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Event Partner (Turkey):
Event Partner (Malta):
Janina Fisher

Phobia of Vulnerability: Working with Dissociation and Avoidance in Trauma Treatment


Child abusers exploit their victims’ vulnerability. Without the power to escape or fight back, often attached to the perpetrator, children are helpless in an unsafe world. They can’t cry or look frightened or voice any emotion for fear of punishment. Their only defenses are submission and dissociation. They instinctively go on with normal life because they have no choice other than to appear “fine.”

These automatic strategies are adaptive in a threatening unsafe environment, but they become obstacles in treatment. Years later, when traumatized clients come for ‘help,’ their phobias of emotion and vulnerability pose obstacles for the therapist. Thinking or talking about the events, emotions, and body sensations is overwhelming and frightening. Even a little emotion, even acknowledging their hurt, can lead to shutting down or intellectualizing. Therapists want to help clients process the memories and emotions, only to get blocked by their phobia of feeling.

Successfully working with traumatized clients begins with facing the degree to which our interest in vulnerability stimulates fear. The perpetrator was only interested in their vulnerability. Therapists need to be interested in how clients survived and adapted, how their dissociative abilities preserved their ability to go on with life. Fortunately, modern trauma treatment affords us many ways to help survivors by capitalizing on their dissociativeness as a therapeutic tool.

You will learn:

  • How dissociation facilitates survival-related “avoidance”
  • Differentiating intentional from instinctual avoidance?

Using dissociative abilities to heal traumatic wounds

Janina Fisher, Ph.D. is a licensed clinical psychologist and a former instructor, Harvard Medical School. An international expert on the treatment of trauma, she is an Executive Board member of the Trauma Research Foundation and a Patron of the John Bowlby Centre. Dr. Fisher is the author of Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Self-Alienation (2017), Transforming the Living Legacy of Trauma: a Workbook for Survivors and Therapists (2021), and The Living Legacy Instructional Flip Chart (2022). She is best known for her work on integrating mindfulness-based and somatic interventions into trauma treatment. More information can be found on her website:
Deirdre Fay

Living UnTriggered: Developing a Toolbox of Embodied Practices to Resolve Triggers

Getting triggered is one of the unfortunate by products of life, especially with trauma and attachment wounding. This workshop explores a radically positive approach based on cutting edge integration of attachment theory, trauma treatment and wisdom traditions to Resolving Triggers. It is designed to provide teaching as well as experiential growth.

The course is presented as a psycho-educational format, integrating self-reflection and practice to practically develop ways to pivot when triggered by life circumstances. You’ll be able to assist your clients to create their unique Toolbox to Resolve Triggers, compassionately allowing them to intervene when triggered.

What will you learn?

  • Identify the three main layers of the Pyramid of Triggers
  • Describe what thoughts, feelings & impulses create individual Reactive Cycles
  • Apply interventions to externalize fears, blocks, resistances, anxieties & worries
  • Utilize embodied awareness practices to link emotional states, increasing resilience

Apply Bowlby & Robertson's research on separation distress in clinical work

Deirdre Fay, MSW, encourages a transformational methodology, allowing our traumas to shift, no longer keeping us from having the life we want. Developing a self structure a person can name and normalize their fundamental attachment needs. With over 30 years of experience as a psychotherapist, international trainer, and author, Deirdre brings together modern science and wisdom traditions to explore the Transformational Journey of Life which has been called a radically positive approach to healing trauma. Deirdre’s message resonates deeply with those whose work focuses on attachment neglect and ruptures in relationship(s) who deal with feeling invisible, lonely, despair, self-criticism, anxiety and depression. These are people plagued by shame, anxiety, distress, depression – wondering why they’re stuck in repeating relational life patterns.Her third book, Becoming Safely Embodied (2021) became a best-seller before it was published now selling over 35,000 copies a year.
* The event will be formally confirmed upon reaching a minimum attendance threshold of 50 participants.


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