This workshop will help participants harness the natural rhythm of relational change and healing with the Collaborative Change Model. If it weren’t for inter and extra familial trauma, there would be far less need for counseling and far less suffering. Working with couples and families when there has been trauma is far less common than working with individuals. The Collaborative Change Model is a road map for including family of origin and family of creation as a key treatment element and resource, even in the face of extreme events and trauma reactivity. This work is deeply healing, co-creating more just relationships in current and future generations.
No two traumas are identical: the dynamics of interpersonal trauma and violence vary from situation to situation. Likewise, no two treatment modalities are identical. Yet there are common variables both in what our clients present in psychotherapy and in the models clinicians employ. One of the key ingredients in complex developmental trauma is that it is embedded within a relationship that should have been protected by healthy attachment. Traumatic events within families result in an experience of betrayal in our foundational relationships. This accounts for much of the fight, flight, freeze, fix, and submission difficulties of our clients. The myriad of difficulties people suffer from these experiences account for the abundance of innovative interventions and treatment approaches to trauma that have been developed in recent years. Therapist/client relationships need to harness the natural cycles of emotional social engagement in people’s real lives. Family of origin as well as current relationships can be used to heal past traumas. When trauma is healed in the relationships that held it, the outcomes are multiply meaningful, real, and far reaching in their effects.
Mary Jo will review the Collaborative Change Model, a practical three-tiered, systemically cyclical strength-based meta blueprint; CCM is a relational contextual model. The CCM can be applied to all models of trauma treatment as it harnesses the universal recursive nature of change. One of the key innovations of this model is working directly with relationships in which there has been harm. We will explore the repetitive cycles of trauma in relationships and will learn the Collaborative Change framework that utilizes cycles of change when working in all treatment modalities. Mary Jo will describe a Family Dialogue process that guides conversations to improve relationships between people who are in significant relational distress, disagreement and even estrangement. Through video tape examples, live role play demonstration, and experiential exercises, participants will understand key principles of the Collaborative Change Model, learning to harness natural cycles of change in intimate relationships.
Liz will describe a systemic approach used to invite family and couple members to take responsibility for change. The focus is helping each individual work on their part of the problem pattern in their relationships. Harnessing this motivation to act is the art of the work. This transtheoretical systemic model utilizes strategies of reframing as well as solution focused, collaborative, narrative approaches in a socio-culturally attuned framework. The lens described prioritizes intersectional identities and socio-political contexts of the trauma including who has what power with a goal of enhancing relational justice. This model will be described then demonstrated with a video of a role play couple which will then be discussed. The case shown will provide an example of working cross racially with parents who have been investigated for neglect by the child welfare system and are struggling with issues related to substance abuse and an incident of interpersonal partner violence. Unpacking of the learning from the role play demonstration will include paying attention to racial and cultural differences between the therapist and couple and within the couple.
Anti-racist and anti-discrimination content: In order to truly harness the natural cycle of change, clinicians must recognize and be sensitive to the intersectionality of all the layers of a human’s experience of violation. We will explore Intersecting traumatic experience of our clients and our own historical trauma and traumas of identities examining who we are and the violations of factors including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender identity, gender expression, race, class (past and present), religious beliefs, sexual identity and sexual expression.
Teaching methods will include lecture, discussion in small groups, Q&A, live role play demonstration and a video taped role play demonstration. The content will enhance clinical practice with clients who have experienced a wide range of traumatic experiences. We will teach clinicians how to focus on freeing people of the effects of trauma in their current lives. Examples of addressing abuse of power to facilitate more just relationships in a variety of contexts will be explored.