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The Most Unlikely Couple: Working with Child and Perpetrator Parts of the Traumatised Client: Video Course


Speaker: Kathy Steele

Product: Video Course
Price: £199

CPD Hours: 10 / CE Credits: 10

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.

For more information on ticket types and order processing times please click here

There is no known commercial support for this programme.

Clients with early relational trauma develop inner representations of themselves not only as the abused child, but also as the perpetrator. These dual representations can range from normal ego states to highly separated dissociative parts of self. Both, child-parts and perpetrator-imitating parts are a natural outcome of disorganised attachment, in which clients need to attach but also need to defend against caregivers that are abusive, resulting in an impossible dilemma that is internally enacted by these two types of parts. This inner enactment often has significant negative effects on the therapeutic relationship.

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Full Course Information

At this practical workshop, which is relevant for psychotherapists, counsellors, clinical psychologists, psychiatrists and social workers; we will explore why these aspects of the client are inseparable and how each depends on the other to define and maintain its existence. We will learn how to work with this unlikely inner couple of the child and perpetrator-imitating parts. While we are more accustomed to working with child parts of the client that may be reliving the traumatic experience, parts that imitate the perpetrator are more challenging to engage and understand. They are often hidden and serve as the last and strongest line of defence for the client against vulnerability, helplessness, rage, and yearning to be connected to others. Thus, these parts should not be banished, ignored, or resisted in therapy. Instead, they can be understood and worked with as part of the client as a whole.

Through case-vignettes and examples, delegates will learn how:

  • Child parts and perpetrator-imitating parts are bound together by a traumatic combination of fear, rage, shame, dependency and loyalty
  • These parts each enact trauma in their respective roles – serving to avoid painful emotions and memories
  • We can work systematically with both parts to promote better integration and functioning
  • Both parts require a compassionate and boundaried approach; and both hold keys to help resolve traumatic memory and attachment problems
  • Perpetrator-imitating parts exert influence over the client even though they are often hidden and reluctant to engage in therapy
  • Perpetrator-imitating parts remain the last major defence of the client as a whole against vulnerability, helplessness and the desire to connect with others
  • We can resolve the traumatic loyalty the client has for the abuser
  • We can work with child parts in a way that minimises dependency on the therapist and helps the client as a whole to accept and be responsible for these parts

The workshop is consistent with and would be a beneficial adjunct to multiple modalities of psychotherapy or specialised trauma therapy (including analytical, dynamic and somatic approaches, cognitive behavioural and EMDR).


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