CC17 Workshop 10 - Beyond Words: Somatic Interventions for Couples Treatment - Janina Fisher, PhD
In traumatized couples, talking about 'what happened' often evokes more conflict than empathy and does not alter their habitual trauma-related animal defense survival responses of fight, flight, freeze, submission, or cry for help. By teaching couples to observe their somatic responses to each other and to use gesture instead of words, the language of blame is inhibited. In addition, somatic interventions regulate the body and nervous system, which reduces each partner's sense of threat. Without words, each partner can be taught the ability to simultaneously open and protect the heart--creating a sense of safety for self and other.
● Identify patterns that increase/decrease activation of animal defense survival responses
● Demonstrate understanding of increasing couples’ ability to observe their somatic communication
● Integrate somatic interventions into couples treatment
Janina Fisher, PhD is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and Instructor at the Trauma Center, an outpatient clinic and research center founded by Bessel van der Kolk. Known for her expertise as both a therapist and consultant, she is also past president of the New England Society for the Treatment of Trauma and Dissociation, an EMDR International Association Credit Provider, a faculty member of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute, and a former Instructor, Harvard Medical School. Dr. Fisher has been an invited speaker at the Cape Cod Institute, Harvard Medical School Conference Series, the EMDR International Association Annual Conference, University of Wisconsin, University of Westminster in London, the Psychotraumatology Institute of Europe, and the Esalen Institute. Dr. Fisher lectures and teaches nationally and internationally on topics related to the integration of research and treatment and how to introduce these newer trauma treatment paradigms in traditional therapeutic approaches.