Relational Trauma Training

Relational Trauma Training for Clinicians

Core Psychotherapy Center, Ltd. annually offers a full day training event for clinicians. This includes 2-4 presenters discussing topics relevant to the treatment of relational trauma.

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Understanding Attachment and Affect Regulation in the Experience of Childhood Sexual Abuse

For interest or inquiries, please send email to or call 847.240.5080.

The experience of childhood sexual abuse poses a complex and enduring impact on survivors. The traumatic impact manifests in an array of psychological, emotional, and relational difficulties in life. This seminar discusses work with adult survivors of childhood sexual abuse, with a particular focus on understanding the development of the self. Theoretical concepts of attachment and affect regulation are highlighted.

Therapeutic work with adult survivors requires comprehension of the complex dynamics of the abuse and its impact on survivor’s overall functioning. The experience of childhood sexual abuse is characterized by betrayal and sets the framework of relationships being injurious. Survivors often struggle with trust and maintaining relationships with others. Patterns of coping and relating are attempts towards avoiding re-traumatization.

The traumatic experience of childhood sexual abuse influences survivors’ ability to experience and regulate affects. Painful and overwhelming affects necessitate use of protective mechanisms to be rid of these painful affects. Shame, a core affect arising from the experience of childhood sexual abuse, characterizes survivors’ identity and embodies the meanings attached to the traumatic experiences.

This seminar will also include discussions of treatment perspectives, specifically focusing on the concepts of reenactment and countertransference. Dynamics of the abuse and its traumatic impact inevitably manifest in the therapy relationship. The skillful use of countertransferential feelings is critical in establishing safety and essentially in developing trust in the therapy relationship.

Sexual Assault and the Reconfiguration of the Self

For interest or inquiries, please send email to or call 847.240.5080.

A person’s sense of self is in constant development from infancy through adulthood. Our experiences in the world and with others shape our character, mind, developing identity and our bodies. The experience of sexual violence can leave survivors feeling confused and conflicted about their sense of self, others and their purpose in the world.

The complex emotions that evolve from sexual assault, such as anger, shame, self-blame, disgust, distrust, denial, loss, anxiety and depression are often felt for years and in varying degrees of intensity after the trauma which can lead survivors feeling immobilized and hopeless about the therapeutic process. Survivors of sexual assault may present with post-traumatic stress symptoms from a single assault or a culmination of symptomatology representative of complex PTSD or repeated, ongoing relational trauma. Maintaining therapeutic attachment and compassion with survivors during this vulnerable phase of treatment can lead to the pinnacle of healing and is often the therapists’ hardest work. Within the context of a safe, validating, therapeutic relationship survivors can explore their sense of self before sexual assault and how their sense of self has changed as a result of sexual assault. Treatment focuses on helping survivors acknowledge the deep and layered impact of sexual trauma, the complexities of disorganized attachments and assists them in restructuring or reshaping their concept of self.

In this seminar, participants will explore sexual assault healing through the lens of the developing and changing self. You will receive tools on how to help clients gain insight about the evolving self and sexual trauma. In addition, participants will gain an understanding of treating sexual assault survivors with an existing foundation of complex PTSD or repeated and ongoing relational trauma. The seminar will highlight how therapists can encourage a “self” focused dialogue with survivors in order to assist them in developing a more self-compassionate, self-validating, mobilized and flexible concept of identity in the wake of sexual trauma.

Ready to embark on your journey towards healing?

Contact us today to schedule your appointment.