TRAUMATIC ATTACHMENT AND CO-REGULATION
the neurobiology of relationship In the context of fear, attachment failure is inevitable, leaving behind a lasting imprint on all future relationships. Rather than experiencing close-ness as a haven of safety, traumatized clients are driven by powerful wishes and fears of relationship. In this presentation, we will address the impact of traumatic attachment on affect regulation, exploring how to understand the effects of trauma on attachment from a psychobiological perspective, and how to work with the somatic legacy of attachment. Using interventions drawn from neuroscience and attachment research and from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a body-centered talking therapy for the treatment of trauma and affect dysregulation, this workshop will present a neurobiologically-informed understanding of the impact of trauma on attachment behavior and describe how to use “co-regulation” rather than interpretation to help our clients tolerate their emotional and autonomic di-stress. Co-regulation is not dependent on words: it is a relational exchange of emotional and somatic communication in which every adjustment in the bodily or affective state in one participant helps to calm, soothe, regulate or dysregulate the other. When we “co-regulate” our clients, they often experience safety in the relationship they may never have felt before.
• Identify the long-term effects of trauma-related or disorganized attachment on affect regulation
• Describe the internal conflicts experienced by clients with traumatic attachment issues • Utilize somatic interventions to address attachment and trauma-related issues that arise in psychotherapy
• Employ co-regulation techniques to modulate client dysregulation and repair empathic failures
• Describe the use of the social engagement system with traumatic attachment issues
JANINA FISHER, PH.D.
is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Instructor at the Trauma Center, an outpatient clinic and research center founded by Bessel van der Kolk. Known for her expertise as both a clinician and consultant, she is the Assistant Director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, an EMDR International Association Credit Provider, past president of the New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation, and a former Instructor, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fisher lectures and publishes internationally on topics related to the integration of the neurobiological and attachment research and newer trauma treatment paradigms into traditional therapeutic modalities.