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Rethinking Use of Self in Trauma-informed Practice

March 15, 2018 @ 8:30 am - 12:30 pm

The effective use of self is one of the most powerful tools that practitioners deploy in the therapeutic relationship. Most clinicians are exposed early in their education to this idea, which includes the strategic use of self-disclosure to deepen the client’s sense of safety as well as the unspoken ways our bodies resonate with the client’s inner experience.

Emerging ideas from the field of trauma and interpersonal neurobiology provide another lens for practitioners to consider–perhaps even re-think–their boundaries and their use of personal stories.

What thoughts go through your mind when you contemplate sharing personal or vulnerable information with clients? How do you use your own unique story–which is really your humanness–in service to them? What is the link between self-knowledge and self-compassion, and how do you model this to the people you help?


Kennedy School
5736 Northeast 33rd Avenue
Portland, OR 97211 United States
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