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CAPE COD INSTITUTE, JULY 9 – 13, 2018
The Optimal Future Self: Overcoming Blocks, Accessing Possibilities
A 5-day workshop with Nancy Napier at the
Cape Cod Institute in Massachusetts
For registration and Additional information:
Working with clients, we encounter many early rules that told us who and what it was possible for us to be. These survival rules came from family, religion, and peer groups. They constituted rules of attachment and continued connection, rules of how to be acceptable to caregivers, how to belong. In a deeply embodied and unconscious sense of the consequences of breaking these rules, clients spontaneously hold themselves back from more fully inhabiting who they could more authentically be.
Often, attempts to break these early rules elicit powerful survival responses that may stop or block clients from fully inhabiting their potential. One way to address these blocks is to orient to the optimal future self (OFS). In this work, clients access the body state of the OFS, allowing the present-day body to experience directly the felt-sense of the OFS. One of the key questions we ask clients is: how does the optimal future self inhabit his or her body in ways that are different from present-day experience? Then, we allow time for the present-day body-mind to learn these new body states. This work offers a “dress rehearsal” of new body states, perspectives, and responses.
Because the OFS represents a new body-mind state, the process asks clients to let go of actively preconceiving or imagining a future, or attempting to predict what these new opportunities may entail. What the body learns the psyche tends to follow, so we emphasize the direct, embodied experience of the OFS in order to allow the present-day body to actively learn from this wiser, more mature self.
Drawing on principles from Ericksonian hypnosis, Somatic Experiencing(TM), and parts work, among other approaches, we will explore both the direct experience of the optimal future self and how to use it clinically. As with so many approaches that deal with direct experience, the more clinicians have an intimate relationship with this approach, the more we can hold a resilient and reliable container for clients’ experiences.
WORKSHOPS FOR PROFESSIONALS IN NEW YORK CITY
WITH NANCY NAPIER
For information on workshops in New York City, please contact Sharon Kleinberg at firstname.lastname@example.org.
These workshops are for health and education professionals: psychotherapists, body workers, coaches, medical practitioners, ministers, pastoral counselors, and others who support clients’ health and well-being. A background in body-based approaches, or what is currently called “bottom up” treatment, is helpful.
Currently, we offer continuing education credits for NYS Licensed Social Workers.
October 26, 2018 – New York City
UNBLOCKING WHAT’S STUCK
Working with Parts and Coupling Dynamics Using Body-Based Approaches
Most every psychotherapist who works with a healing practice has had the experience of encountering seemingly intractable issues that clients say they want to change but can’t seem to be able to do. Often, healing is blocked by unmetabolized, unintegrated aspects of traumatic experience, which then express as parts, sub-personalities, ego states, or other representations. Equally as often, healing may be blocked by trauma-based coupling dynamics. These include traumatic associations that create over-couplings (what fires together wires together), and traumatic dissociations that create under-couplings (an unconscious attempt to energetically push experience out of awareness). These coupling dynamics operate outside conscious awareness and have a great deal of power. They affect the survival responses that clients with trauma histories so often experience in the course of daily life.
In this all-day workshop, Nancy will explore these concepts and teach participants how to identify trauma-based “parts” and coupling dynamics and how to work with them. Through the presentation of didactic material and demonstrations, participants will learn how to listen for trauma-based perceptions and beliefs that can point to the presence of unmetabolized traumatic experience and/or the irrational tangle of elements of experience that don’t belong together in a healthy, well functioning life.
Drawing on elements of Somatic Experiencing, hypnosis, features of EMDR, and Nancy’s approach to parts work (which she developed in the early 1980’s), the focus will include tracking and working with sensations and other responses in the body that signal these trauma-based dynamics. Often, the only pathway into unprocessed experience and trauma-based material is through a sensory modality without specific content or storyline. Learning to track sensory awareness and other elements of experience is essential to the healing process.
For information about this workshop, or to register, please contact Sharon Kleinberg at email@example.com.
To be added to our mailing list, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, requesting to be added.
Here are some of Nancy’s NEW YORK CITY offerings that were offered earlier in 2018:
JANUARY 26, 2018: Consult and Demo day on working with parts, the optimal future self, and coupling dynamics
This consult/demo day is designed to help you go deeper in your work with the optimal future self, as well as work with other parts, and coupling dynamics. While consults on specific cases will be part of the day, I also want to offer you more technical information about the specific dynamics of working with the optimal future self–which can have unexpected complexities arise; can access wounded child parts, shamed child parts, shadow parts, and others; uncoupling “then and now” with clients who may be triggered into trauma states and need to recenter themselves, and helping clients have tools and a perspective available that can help them come back into the present. If people are interested, we will also have a live demo along the way.
As part of the teaching I want to offer you are pieces around: what do you do with clients who don’t access images or who can’t come into their felt-sense; how to draw on principles of hypnosis to offer indirect suggestions that support the work; and, ways to increase your comfort and curiosity with the unexpected content and processes that may emerge when doing this ever-deepening work with parts of the self, especially the optimal future self.
As always, I’ll point out how to identify and work with over- and under-couplings that reveal themselves when we offer a step into possibility.
FEBRUARY 23, 2018:
DAY-LONG WORKSHOP ON WORKING WITH SHOCK TRAUMA
Clinicians are all aware of those times in the course of psychotherapy where a client’s process seems to become blocked by, or stuck in, a particular place. Sometimes, this “place” becomes the stopping point no matter what interventions may be used and no matter how earnestly the client wishes to change. Two dynamics that may block trauma resolution and healing through psychotherapy are the presence of shock trauma and habituated responses.
Shock trauma reflects a powerful “snapshot” present in the nervous system that becomes a constant reference point for a client’s unfolding experience. Whenever an element of experience resonates with the traumatic moment that has been frozen in time, the client re-experiences the traumatic qualities of the original shock. Working through the nervous system and with imaginal processes, clients are invited to rework the original shock to allow it to become part of memory rather than a present-day source of threat.
As part of the process, we’ll touch on the dynamics inherent in habituated responses, where clients automatically return to what is familiar in order to unconsciously move away from what are challenging or previously-overwhelming experiences. Work with shock trauma generally falls into these categories, so it helps to be able to identify and interrupt these spontaneous self-protective responses. For example, when a client spontaneously shifts away from a painful memory into cognitive activity or a client shifts into associated ideas or recollections when beginning to feel into a traumatic experience. This return to habituated responses block new experience and new learning. We’ll look at the collaborative process that can evolve between therapist and client where these habituated responses are interrupted on the spot. When therapists are able to track habituated responses, blocking them allows what was unmanageable in the shock trauma experience to begin to emerge, reorganize, and shift.
This workshop will offer didactic material, along with live demos.
MARCH 16, 2018:
CONSULT AND DEMO DAY ON WORKING WITH SHOCK TRAUMA
During this consult/demo day, we’ll revisit the elements involved in shock trauma. We’ll review why it is important to track for unresolved shock trauma. Given how the inability to prepare to meet experiences disorganizes the nervous system, and takes a powerful “snapshot” of the moment of shock, clients may respond to benign circumstances as if they were overwhelming. We will look at specific cases with an emphasis on technical interventions, as well as on the practitioner’s ability to identify when a shock trauma may be in the way of healing. There will also be live demos, if there is interest.
MARCH 17, 2018:
WHEN SPIRITUALITY ENTERS:
INCLUDING SPIRITUAL PROCESS IN PSYCHOTHERAPY
Back in the 1980’s, when I began to offer workshops through the New York Open Center, a pattern emerged that touched me then and that I’ve never forgotten. Because I taught workshops that often centered on people’s spiritual process as part of their psychological healing, I began to get calls from potential clients from a wide range of professions. What touched me deeply was how many of these people found themselves crying when they realized that their spiritual experience wasn’t being pathologized or “psychologized”. They expressed surprised relief in being able to openly talk about their deepest and most sacred beliefs and discoveries. without being diagnosed as having mental illness.
In this workshop, we will explore how to hold space for people’s spiritual experience, regardless of their religion, belief system, spiritual practice, or approach. Through an Ericksonian-oriented approach to language, as well as a permissive and individualized stance of adapting to clients’ unique beliefs and experiences, we’ll explore how to honor spiritual realities that may be unfamiliar to you. We’ll also look at therapist’s countertransference responses to spiritual perspectives on reality that may be at odds with your own world view and yet may be commonplace in other cultures. For those who focus on relational issues, it is often also important to invite clients to explore their relationship with God or with whatever other spiritual being they may have an intimate and ongoing relationship. It’s not unusual, when terrible things happen, for some clients to become angry with God and feel alienated from what, before, had been a deep source of connection and nourishment. Repair in the spiritual realm is as important as it is in any relationship, so we’ll discuss how to engage this kind of therapy exploration. We’ll also look at the often very real possibility that what a client experiences as spiritual may well be wishful thinking, misperception, unconsciously manufactured experience, or a personalizing of universal experience. There are many pitfalls on the spiritual path, and one of our challenges is to find a gentle and compassionate way to help clients find their way out of potentially damaging grandiosity, misinterpretation of subtle or multidimensional experiences, or acting on misperceived information.
We’ll also attend to the powerful impact of your presence as you hold the space for these explorations, and as you manage your own self-regulation. Embodied presence has entered a more mainstream awareness, with the deepening understanding that our ability to engage in expanded states of awareness while remaining embodied and present generates the anchor, the container, the source of steadiness for clients as they explore the spiritual aspect of their lives.
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