Reducing Disruptive Behavior in Children by Fostering Secure Attachment and Non-Violent Communication

CE Hours: 6.0
Instructor: Barbara Kopystecki, MA & Lauren Verbilla, LPC

Thursday, June 24, 2020 & Friday, June 25, 2020
9:00am-12:00pm, Catholic Charities, Harrisburg, PA via Zoom Webconference

Participants will increase their understanding of the Secure Attachment, Insecure Attachment and Disorganized Attachment patterns and how these patterns present in children and families. By learning the principles and process of Nonviolent Communication, participants will learn how to increase self-awareness, self-empathy and empathic connection with others. Participants will practice and build effective communication skills with the intention of introducing Nonviolent Communication to clients. Through the actual practice of the Nonviolent Communication four part process participants will be able to look beneath the surface of behavior to the needs that are driving the behavior, be able to create more understanding and empathic connection between people and rebuild suboptimal attachment patterns to more safety and security.

As a result of attending this educational activity, participants will be able to:

  1. Participants will be able to identify the basic components of Secure Attachment, Insecure Attachment and Disorganized Attachment.
  2. Participants will be able to recognize the traits of each of the Attachment type.
  3. Participants will be able to identify caregiving patterns that are likely to produce shame states and disruptive behavior children.
  4. Participants will be able to identify the importance and benefits of Nonviolent Communication, including its application to parental self-awareness and attuning to the needs of children.
  5. Participants will be able to describe the basic principles of Nonviolent Communication
  6. Participants will be able to identify the importance of empathy in relationships, and be able to identify what is empathy and what is not empathy.


Barbara Kopystecki, MA, has worked with children and families for over 20 years as a family therapist.  She is currently the Director of the Family Based Program at the Penn Foundation in Sellersville, PA, where she also serves as the Director of Trauma Services.  She holds a certification in Traumatic Stress Studies from the Trauma Center in Brookline, MA.  Most recently, Barbara has taught workshops in Attachment and Nonviolent Communication, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), as well as conducted various trainings on topics related to trauma awareness and trauma treatment.

Lauren Verbilla, LPC has many years of experience working with families within the community, serving as director of Family Based Services at Penn Foundation for five years and owner of Lauren Verbilla Counseling, where she currently works with families struggling with anxiety or addictions that have impacted their relationships. Lauren has written and presented on issues concerning families including maintaining connection with children during difficult times, fostering resilience in adolescents and the benefits of using nonviolent communication. Lauren is passionate about helping families reconnect and enjoys seeing families grow and embrace positive change within their family systems.

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