When we are called to our life’s purpose we are called not as we are but to become who we can be.
The body is “our primary text and starting point for knowledge”. Rountree, 2006
Restoring energetic boundaries and innate defensive and protective strategies that have been thwarted and immobilized.
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ATTACHMENT, THE BODY & RELATIONAL REPAIR: THREE PILLARS OF CLINICAL PRACTICE
Attachment trauma deeply impacts the integrity of the self, creating a split between the psyche and the body. This fragmentation and disembodiment, at the heart of insecure attachment, disrupts healthy development and forges a neurophysiological template that endures throughout the lifespan and across generations. Corresponding affect management strategies and attachment patterns, accompanied by dysregulation of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS), distorts one’s internal working model, ultimately skewing one’s self-perception, world, and identity.
As clinicians, we understand that the wounded psyche and neurophysiological body call for embodied, affectively oriented and relationally focused therapy, heeding Kalsched’s (2013) assertion “what has been broken relationally must be repaired relationally” (p. 13) yet, we are left with the questions, How do we translate attachment theory into embodied clinical practice and, how do we regulate and facilitate reparation of attachment injury, particularly when it drives unconscious relational strategies and affect management systems of both client and therapist?
This workshop explores these questions. We will delve into clinical practice with regards to attachment injuries (insecure attachment), their repair and affect regulation within the context of embodied relational practice to facilitate regulation of the ANS and offer reparative relational experiences to shift attachment patterning and aid in the maturation and development of the right brain. Conceptual frameworks include: attachment theory, interpersonal/relational practice, The Polyvagal Theory, the window of arousal, affect regulation theory, an introduction to somatic work and working with right hemispheric processes, and the implications of trauma, particularly relational/attachment trauma, from a body oriented perspective.
CHRONIC SHAME, INSECURE ATTACHMENT & EMBODIED RELATIONAL REPAIR
Chronic shame is at the heart of insecure attachment which disrupts healthy development of the emerging infant self and forges a neurophysiological template that endures throughout the lifespan and across generations. Insecure attachment has corresponding affect management and relational strategies accompanied by dysregulation of the Autonomic Nervous System that impact one’s self-perception, world, and identity. This distorted internal working model layers chronic shame with shaming experiences throughout the lifespan and can be a forceful inhibitor to the therapeutic process, with far reaching implications in clinical practice. Because chronic shame begins in late infancy there are no overt memories of shame or early narratives of these childhood shame events – making it preverbal and often unconscious. As clinicians, we are left with the question of: How do we regulate this unconscious affect?
This workshop introduces clinicians to working with chronic shame and affect regulation within the context of embodied relational practice. Conceptual frameworks include: attachment theory, the polyvagal theory, the window of arousal, affect regulation theory, an introduction to somatic work and working on the right hemisphere, and the implications of trauma from a somatic perspective. We will also delve into current understandings about shame/chronic shame, the physiological and psychological interplay of shame, as well as shame conceptually and as seen in clinical practice. This work calls for therapists to aid in the maturation and development of the right brain and shifting of the affect management strategies and attachment patterns rather than merely working with symptom reduction.