Foundations 5: Working with Reactivity and Strong Affect in Therapy Sessions

CE Hours: 6.0
Cost: $120
Instructors: Frani Pollack, MSW, PhD, Marlene N. Reiff, LCSW, LMFT

Thursday, 2/3/22, Norristown via Zoom
Friday 2/4/22, Philhaven via Zoom

This workshop is designed to assist participants with decreasing emotional intensity to a productive level in sessions. During the workshop, participants will explore common themes, situations, and experiences that may contribute to reactivity in family sessions, as well as strategies to decrease intensity.  The workshop will emphasize the clinician’s self-regulation as one of the key tools to successfully decreasing intensity. Vicarious trauma and vicarious resiliency will be introduced, and participants will have time to discuss their experiences with high intensity families, strategies for remaining calm during intense moments, and clues that the clinician may need more support. Karpman’s drama triangle will be introduced and participants will have opportunities to role-play high intensity sessions.


As a result of participating in this workshop, therapists will be able to:

  1. List three reasons why family members may react in therapy sessions
  2. Identify two techniques to create emotional safety in therapy sessions
  3. Select two strategies to use for self-regulation during emotionally intense or highly reactive sessions.
  4. Summarize Karpman’s drama triangle 
  5. Define Vicarious Trauma and Vicarious Resilience

8:30am-12:30pm: Objectives 1-3
12:30-1:30pm: Break
1:30-3:30pm: Objectives 4-5

This is a beginner level course. The target audience is behavioral health professionals working within an Ecosystemic Family Therapy Model. This is a live synchronous distance learning activity conducted in real time, allowing for simultaneous participation of participants and instructors from different locations.

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