Developmental Attunement, Relational-Needs and Therapeutic Presence
A one-day training workshop at Dublin on Relational Psychotherapy with Dr Richard G. Erskine
DUBLIN, 13 NOVEMBER 2017, MONDAY
10:00 – 17:00
“The healing of cumulative neglects, traumas, and attachment disruptions occurs through a contactful therapeutic relationship”
A contact-oriented and Relational psychotherapy through inquiry, attunement and involvement responds to the client’s current needs for an emotionally nurturing relationship that is reparative and sustaining. The aim of such therapy is the integration of the affect-laden experiences and an intrapsychic reorganization of the client’s beliefs about self and others while acknowledging, validating and normalizing the client’s essential relational needs. As therapists, how do we allow affective, behavioural, cognitive and physiological dimensions to inform our therapeutic direction while effectively interpreting whether ego state regression, activation of the intrapsychic influence of introjection and presence of defence mechanisms are indications of contact deficits that seek fulfilment?
At this unique and practical training workshop, Dr Richard Erskine draws on an integrative therapeutic approach and explains Relational Psychotherapy as a process of making whole: taking disowned, unaware, unresolved aspects of the ego and making them part of the cohesive self. He especially highlights how ‘developmental attunement’ is key to this reparative process – through which, we as therapists can sensitise our therapeutic responses to a client’s regression, while remaining aware that such regression allows clients to access defended memories and experience otherwise forbidden affect.
Through lecture, case vignettes, videos & therapy demonstrations and clinical discussions, the workshop helps us comprehend a series of psychotherapeutic methods that include:
- the creation of interpersonal contact;
- the formation of a healing relationship;
- the therapeutic use of phenomenological inquiry;
- the relational centrality of attunement to the client’s affects and rhythm;
- the timing of relational-inquiry;
- the significance of resonating with the client’s level of emotional development;
- the affirming use of acknowledgement, validation, and normalization;
- the distinction between a reactive and responsive countertransference;
- the centrality of therapeutic presence
Keeping in mind the therapeutic challenges we face as psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors and psychiatrists, Richard describes the Eight Relational-Needs essential for human development and wellbeing. He focusses on the centrality of an involved therapeutic relationship while emphasizing the in-depth methods of a psychotherapy that integrates the client's affect, cognition, physiology and behaviour.
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