Accessing the Unconscious; A Jungian Exploration of Dream and Fantasy with Stephen Bushell (Feb. 2021)
PLEASE SCROLL DOWN FOR DELEGATE FEEDBACK SCORES AND COMMENTS Stephen Bushell, a Jungian Analyst, skilfully…
The aims of the seminar included :
What are our Attachments styles?
After a brief introduction we began exploring our own attachments styles through the use of the George and West (2001) Adult Attachment Projective Test (AAP). It seemed that, unsurprisingly to Christiane, many of us, although hopefully having a secure attachment style, were also able to acknowledge remnants of an avoidant style. The other common attachment styles being secure or ambivalent (preoccupied).
Four important points to note about attachment:
Relational trauma happens in the context of close attachment relationships where there is a power imbalance, e.g. primary caregiver. Complex or isolated, relational trauma is caused by a consistent disruption of the child’s sense of feeling safe and loved. This is invariably as a result of either abandonment, emotional or physical, or enmeshment.
Some key facts concerning the impact of relational trauma on the individual and how they connect:
Attachment disorders and therapy:
Noticing a client’s attachment style in therapy is crucial in helping the therapist be attuned to the client. An avoidant client in therapy might be disconnected, give minimal answers, avoid sessions/turn up late, resist the counsellor’s empathy and display pessimism for change or experiencing intimacy. An ambivalent client can feel suffocating to the therapist, display an intense focus on relationships and be overly sensitive to any perceived signs of rejection. A disorganised client can feel chaotic, attacking, confused and dissociated.
The Therapeutic Relationship:
The relationship in therapy is crucial, and when working with a client who has suffered relational trauma, we must be forever vigilant of the danger of re-activating the trauma. Christiane talked about the importance of boundaries, authenticity, collaboration. In addition, one must remain non-judgemental, non-shaming, calm, containing, responsive and present. I felt she summed this up well when she referred to our role as therapists to be “with the client rather than doing to the client.”
Therapists self-care :
Finally we discussed our own self-care when working with clients with relational trauma. We talked of :
Crucial to supporting ourselves as therapists, along with questionnaires such as Brian E Bride’s 1999 Secondary Traumatic Stress Scale, we must be able to share our concerns and develop supportive strategies, including reaching out to our co-workers and supervisors. It is vital that we nurture ourselves, experience a fulfilling, active personal life away from work.
Christiane’s seminar gave a very vivid and informative picture, particularly through her personal experience of working with this client group. She illustrated where relational trauma begins, how it presents itself in therapy, how we as therapists work with these clients and how, through our own self-care, we are able to fully extend our duty of care and transform this most challenging work into the most rewarding.
By Laura Ryall (delegate), October 2018
We were thrilled by the 100% 5 out of 5 scores received for our speaker (Christiane Sanderson) from 19 feedback forms.
We also received 4.89 out of 5 for the organisation of the event.
Delegates’ written comments:
Thank you to:
Wendy Bramham, October 2018