The Psychotherapist's Self-Care - offered by Confer
17th March 2018

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The Psychotherapist's Self-Care

Developing resilience in relation to the emotional pressures of our work

With Elizabeth Wilde-McCormick and Anthea Millar

While it is a given that psychotherapists robustly expose themselves to distressing stories and painful emotions, we may find that we are unexpectedly thrown by working with a particular person or psychological condition. Even the most experience therapist can feel disarmed or threatened: indirect exposure to trauma of a particular kind can unexpectedly trigger a therapist's historical trauma; being verbally attacked may be particularly stressful for another. It is important to know and to accept these pressure points and vulnerabilities so they can be thought about creatively. A relational understanding of feeling under attack in the countertransference, for example, would allow for the inclusion of our own history to be noted, but would also suggest that something has occurred within the therapeutic couple that is an opportunity for deeper understanding of the client or patient's inner world. We will be examining our personal triggers and how to develop resilience when our own energy or equilibrium is threatened by work with particular people. Secondary trauma, burnout and hyperarousal will be considered, and skills for restoring affect regulation when we are under extreme pressure will be offered. 


Elizabeth Wilde-McCormick

Elizabeth Wilde McCormick has been practicing as a psychotherapist for over thirty years in both private and NHS settings. Her background is in Transpersonal and Humanistic Psychology, Social Psychiatry, Cognitive Analytic Therapy, Sensorimotor Psychotherapy and Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction. 

She is a Founder member of the Association for Cognitive Analytic Therapy and the author of a number of books including Surviving Breakdown; Living On The Edge. And with Nigel Wellings: Nothing To Lose; Transpersonal Psychotherapy Theory and Practice. A fifth edition of Change For The Better, the CAT self help book was published in 2017

Anthea Millar

Anthea Millar is a BACP Senior Accredited Psychotherapist with 35 years' experience. She has a busy therapy and supervision practice, and is regularly invited to provide training in supervision and trauma therapy both in the UK and abroad. Increasing her understanding of the most effective ways to work with trauma through ongoing specialised training has been a long time concern. Anthea's first career as a speech and language therapist, when she worked with serious neurological trauma, set the scene for her interest in psychological as well as physical trauma. Anthea is a founder and a co-director of Cambridge Supervision Training, and a co-author of Practical Supervision: How to become a Supervisor for the Helping Professions (JKP 2014).

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17th March 2018

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