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Don’t Leave Me Alone! Working Relationally with the Terror of Abandonment: Video Course

Don’t Leave Me Alone! Working Relationally with the Terror of Abandonment: Video Course

The fear of abandonment can stem from a myriad of causes ranging from an anxious attachment style to interpersonal difficulties, reflecting in manifestations including:

  • Constant worry that friends and/or partners will leave them
  • Constantly searching for signs that others do not really like them
  • Needing frequent reassurances of love from those around them
  • Excessive attempts at pleasing others, often at their own expense
  • Giving far too much in relationships and having a lack of boundaries
  • Staying in unhealthy relationships for fear of being alone

Video course packs, including all notes are available immediately on booking. The access links are part of your ticket. Online video access remains available for 1 year from the date you receive the video course.

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$85.89

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Course Credits

CPD: 3 / CE: 3

Speaker(s)

Christiane Sanderson

Course length in hours

3 hrs of video content

Full course information

In its extreme form, this terror of abandonment can catapult clients into a spiral of panic as painful sensations are triggered from the past which can cascade into a chain of events: it first activates the threat system, causing intense emotional dysregulation; which can compromise breathing, eventually leading to panic attacks or paralysis. Even when this severe chain of events is not triggered, the physiological and psychological impact can make clients fearful of attachment as it becomes a representation of abandonment and loss in their minds. Abandonment trauma can make it extremely difficult to enter or maintain healthy relationships, including the therapeutic one, as the risk of rejection and abandonment is heightened once again.

This intellectually challenging and practical webinar looks at the origins of abandonment trauma, in particular childhood physical or emotional neglect, trauma, or loss through death or separation, as well as emotional abandonment. In addition, it will:

  • Examine the impact of abusive relationships, divorce, or the death of a partner as triggers for abandonment trauma in adulthood
  • Explore the impact of abandonment trauma on attachment styles, sense of loss, unlovability and lack of relational worth
  • Consider the deep sense of insecurity making it difficult to form stable relationships in both childhood and adulthood.
  • Examine the link between abandonment trauma and other mental health difficulties such as anxiety, depression, social anxiety and isolation
  • Identify obsessive ruminations about rejection and abandonment as well low self-esteem and negative self-beliefs  
  • Explore how we can manage the terror of abandonment in the therapeutic process and how therapists can create the requisite safety which allows for exploration of abandonment trauma, reduce client sensitivity to rejection and perceived abandonment while restoring relational worth

This webinar will be of particular interest to couples’ therapists, addiction counsellors, and all those psychotherapists and counsellors who support clients who feel lonely and are unable to form healthy relationships. With an increased awareness of the impact of abandonment and abandonment trauma symptoms, whether in childhood or adulthood, practitioners will be much better equipped to help clients heal from abandonment; and to build relational worth, enabling them to develop healthy relationships.

Specifically, we will:

  • Identify the range of causes that lead to abandonment trauma such as childhood physical or emotional neglect, trauma, or loss through death or separation, as well as emotional abandonment
  • Acknowledge how abusive relationships, divorce, or the death of a partner can all be triggers for abandonment trauma in adulthood
  • Link abandonment trauma to child and adult attachment style in particular insecure anxious-preoccupied, insecure avoidant and disorganised attachment, and how this manifests in the therapeutic relationship
  • Recognise the symptoms of abandonment trauma such as lack of relational worth, rejection sensitivity, difficulties forming and maintaining relationships, withdrawal and isolation, rumination, negative self-beliefs and self-talk
  • Identify factors that can help to heal from abandonment trauma through the safety of the therapeutic relationship in restoring relational worth, developing earned secure attachment and mastering healthy relationship skills
  • Build an awareness of the interplay of practitioner’s attachment style and own fears of rejection and abandonment and that of the client

© nscience 2022 / 2023

What's included in this course

What you’ll learn

This webinar will be of particular interest to couples’ therapists, addiction counsellors, and all those psychotherapists and counsellors who support clients who feel lonely and are unable to form healthy relationships. With an increased awareness of the impact of abandonment and abandonment trauma symptoms, whether in childhood or adulthood, practitioners will be much better equipped to help clients heal from abandonment; and to build relational worth, enabling them to develop healthy relationships.

Learning objectives

  • Describe the symptoms of abandonment trauma such as lack of relational worth, rejection sensitivity, difficulties forming and maintaining relationships, withdrawal and isolation, rumination, negative self-beliefs and self-talk
  • Explain how to link abandonment trauma to child and adult attachment style in particular insecure anxious-preoccupied, insecure avoidant and disorganised attachment, and how this manifests in the therapeutic relationship
  • Discuss how abusive relationships, divorce, or the death of a partner can all be triggers for abandonment trauma in adulthood

About the speaker(s)

Christiane Sanderson BSc, MSc. is an Honorary Senior Lecturer in Psychology at the University of Roehampton, of London with 35years of experience working with survivors of childhood sexual abuse and sexual violence. She has delivered consultancy, continuous professional development and professional training for parents, teachers, social workers, nurses, therapists, counsellors, solicitors, the NSPCC, the Catholic Safeguarding Advisory Committee, the Methodist Church, the Metropolitan Police Service, SOLACE, the Refugee Council, Birmingham City Council Youth Offending Team, and HMP Bronzefield.

She is the author of Counselling Skills for Working with Shame, Counselling Skills for Working with Trauma: Healing from Child Sexual Abuse, Sexual Violence and Domestic Abuse, Counselling Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse, 3rd edition, Counselling Survivors of Domestic Abuse, The Seduction of Children: Empowering Parents and Teachers to Protect Children from Child Sexual Abuse, and Introduction to Counselling Survivors of Interpersonal Trauma, all published by Jessica Kingsley Publishers. She has also written The Warrior Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Sexual Violence; The Spirit Within: A One in Four Handbook to Aid Recovery from Religious Sexual Abuse Across All Faiths and Responding to Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse: A pocket guide for professionals, partners, families and friends for the charity One in Four for whom she is a trustee. Her next book, The Taboo of Sibling Sexual Abuse: Working with Adult Survivors is out soon with nscience publishing house.

nscience UK is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. nscience UK maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

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