Trauma, Attachment, Affect Dysregulation and Shame: Treating the Seeds and the Cycle of Self-Destructive Behaviours

Live Broadcast Webinar led by Lisa Ferentz, MSW, LCSW-C, DAPA

This On Demand Webinar is 12 hours.
Access information, resources and CEU information will be sent to you shortly after registration and registrants will be given unlimited access to the recording for a full year.

Clients with insecure or disorganized attachment, histories of trauma, abuse or neglect, or overwhelming developmental stressors often lack appropriate affect regulation.  As a result, they are vulnerable to using self-destructive strategies including acts of self-mutilation, substance abuse and other addictions, and eating-disordered behaviours to cope and self-soothe.  Although these behaviours provide limited relief in the short term, they inevitably lead to guilt, shame and more traumatization, and increase the likelihood of chronic self-harm.

As we explore the relationship between trauma, affect dysregulation and self-harm, you’ll learn how to implement treatment strategies that incorporate a specific “cycle of self-harm” (an alternative to standard safety contracts), reparative attachment work and a variety of expressive modalities.  Clients will gain new, healthier coping strategies that ill replace their long-standing addictive and self-harming behaviours.  This strengths-based, de-pathologized approach increases internal and external safety, promotes grounding and containment, reduces flashbacks and help clients heal their pain narratives. Case examples, videos and clients’ writings and artwork will be presented and you will have the opportunity to safely “try on” expressive modalities including drawing, writing, guided imagery, somatic resourcing and breath work.

Lisa Ferentz consistently receives high approval ratings on her workshops with us. Her warm and engaging presentation style and signature approach to working with trauma and self-harming behaviours make leading-edge neuroscience accessible, practical and above all, effective.

Course Objectives:

At the conclusion of the workshop, attendees will be better able to

  1. Describe how trauma, attachment, developmental stressors, affect dysregulation, shame and self-destructive acts relate to each other
  2. Identify the challenges of building a therapeutic alliance in the context of adolescent development and the adolescent brain
  3. Discuss how to work with self-destructive behaviours from a strengths-based approach
  4. Identify a chronic cycle of self-harm and the ways in which dissociation and anxiety influence the process
  5. Discuss how to use CARESS, an alternative to standard safety contracts
  6. Discuss how to implement five creative strategies to help re-ground and re-establish a sense of safety in triggered trauma survivors
  7. Discuss the recurring themes in the artwork of traumatized clients and work with art in session
  8. Discuss the impact of counter-transference when working with self-destructive behaviours


  • About the impact of counter-transference when working with self-destructive behaviours

Target Audience and Level of Training

This Beginner to Advance Level training is aimed at Counselors, Social Workers, Marriage and Family Therapists, Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Psychiatrists, Occupational Therapists, Vocational Rehabilitation Therapists, Therapists, Addiction Counselors, Case Managers, and Nurses.

Continuing Education

This training offers 12 hours of direct contact (not counting breaks or lunch).

Webinar attendance by participants is automatically tracked, documented and archived for future reference.

For US participants

This professional continuing education activity is sponsored by The Institute Better Health (IBH), who has been approved as a provider of continuing education by the organizations listed below and co-sponsored by Leading Edge Seminars.  IBH as the approved sponsor maintains responsibility for the educational activity offered and for following the standards and regulations for the organizations listed. This live webcast is approved for 12 CE hours.

PSYCHOLOGISTS: Institute for Better Health is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. Institute for Better Health maintains responsibility for this program and its content. This course is approved for 12 CE hours.

NY COUNSELORS: Institute for Better Health, Inc is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Mental Health Practitioners as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed mental health counselors. #MHC-0063.

NY SOCIAL WORKERS: Institute for Better Health, Inc is recognized by the New York State Education Department’s State Board for Social Work as an approved provider of continuing education for licensed social workers #0091.

To receive CE credits, you must complete the course in full (no partial credit will be awarded) and complete a post-webinar evaluation.

Upon completion of the course, you will be emailed instructions on how to access the post-workshop website hosted through Institute for Better Health (IBH). You will receive a unique website link to follow in order to access the post-webinar evaluation and certificate processing site.

For Canadian and international participants

For Canadian and international registrants, the number of CE credits allocated per hour of contact may vary according to guidelines set by individual regulatory bodies. Please check with your own regulatory body for how many CEs are allocated per hour of direct contact during trainings.

Upon completion of the webinar, to receive a certificate of participation, you may take a post-webinar quiz to verify webinar attendance.

This Certificate of Participation includes:

  • Name of Participant
  • Title of Training
  • Name of Presenter plus their credentials
  • Number of hours of training
  • Date of training
  • Confirmation that you have passed a quiz with at least 75% grade to verify your attendance

Please check carefully with your regulating body/organization that this certificate is sufficient proof for you to claim CEUs.

For more information about Continuing Education, please click here


  • Lisa Ferentz, MSW, LCSW-C, DAPA,
The four attachment patterns
9:00 am – 10:30 am

videos auto- and inter-regulation the challenge of attaching to abusive caretakers

10:30 am – 10:45 am
Affect dysregulation
10:45 am – 12:15 pm

clients’ artwork the Still Face Experiment dysfunctional family-of-origin dynamics

12:15 pm – 1:30 pm
The challenges of building a therapeutic alliance, adolescent development and the adolescent brain
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm
2:45 pm – 2:55 pm
Manifestations of traumatic transference and the therapy process
2:55 pm – 4:40 pm

client-therapist videos dynamics of counter-transference

Working with self-destructive behaviours:
9:00 am – 10:30 am

the strengths-based approach defining self-harm trauma re-enactment syndrome the meta-communication of self-destructive behaviours

10:30 am – 10:45 am
Defining a cycle of self-harm
10:45 am – 12:15 pm

triggers and interventions, addressing negative cognitions and negative affect through reframing, safety and containment, clients’ artwork

Lunch (on your own)
12:15 pm – 1:30 pm
Managing anxiety and dissociation
1:30 pm – 2:45 pm

breath work, grounding techniques and flashback-halting protocols

2:45 pm – 2:55 pm
CARESS (the alternative to standard safety contracts)
2:55 pm – 4:40 pm

clients’ artwork, working with positive and negative outcomes, addressing emotional vulnerability, processing clinical pitfalls