Applying Child Development Theory and Research in Psychotherapy with Adult Clients: Video Course
Speaker: Dr Richard G Erskine
Product: Video Course
CPD Hours: 6
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Healing the neglects and traumas of childhood requires a psychotherapist who is attuned to each client’s levels of emotional and cognitive development.
Full Course Information
To achieve this, psychotherapists and counsellors need to be able to apply Child Development concepts and research findings in their therapeutic practice; in order to identify and work with challenges like:
- Early childhood memory that is embodied in physiological sensations, entrenched in affect, or unconsciously enacted in relationships. Such memories are not available to conscious thought because they are prelinguistic, presymbolic, procedural, and implicit. However, these neurological imprints give rise to unconscious relational patterns that effect our clients in their adult lives.
- Physiological, emotional and behavioral signs of infant and parent relational disruptions are evident in the first few months of a child’s life and throughout adolescence. We may see subtle versions of these same self-stabilizing dynamics in adult clients when they tighten their bodies, agitate, avoid eye contact, or deflect from their feelings. Such behaviours may signal unresolved relational disruptions in early childhood, that continue to create disruptions and conflicts later in adulthood.
- Generating methods that are attuned to an infant’s, young child’s, or school-age child’s particular rhythm, their affect and cognitive level of functioning, and the unique relational-needs at the level of development where an adult client may be fixated. We need to be therapeutically responsive to the withdrawn and silent client, the client who is either hypo- or hyperactive, as well as the client who is resistive or belligerent. Each of these behavioural manifestations may reflect the neglects and traumas that leave a person stuck at an earlier level of development.
This workshop will focus on various methods of psychotherapy that are influenced by the theories and research in Child Development. We will explore various child development hypotheses and concepts that are based on the writings of John Bowlby, Eric Erickson, Selma Fraiberg, Lawrence Kohlberg, Jean Piaget, Daniel Stern, and Donald Winnicott as well as a number of current child development researchers. Specifically, we will look at:
- creating developmental images and hypotheses
- assessing and responding to unconscious attachment patterns
- converting body sensations and affect to language
- enabling the formation of vocabulary and concepts
- constructing life narratives through inference
- using phenomenological and historical inquiry, and
- facilitating an emotionally safe therapeutic age regression
About the speaker
Richard G. Erskine, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and Training Director of the Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy(New York City and Vancouver). Originally trained in client-centered child therapy, Dr Erskine also studied Gestalt therapy with both Fritz and Laura Perls. He is a certified clinical Transactional Analyst and a Licensed Psychoanalyst who has specialized in psychoanalytic self-psychology and object-relations theory. His work is an integration of these concepts and more than forty years of clinical experience, which has included working with disturbed children, inmates in a maximum-security prison, borderline and narcissistic clients, post-traumatic stress and dissociative identity disorders. Recently his research and clinical practice have focused on the treatment of the schizoid process and on the psychotherapy of obsession.
He is the author of several books and scores of articles on psychotherapy theory and methods. His best-selling book (with Jan Moursund and Rebecca Trautmann) is “Beyond Empathy: A Therapy of Contact-in-Relationship” (1999, Brunner/Mazel) and most recently, in 2015, he has published “Relational Patterns, Therapeutic Presence” (Karnac).