90 Minute Workshop

Working with Self-injury: Underlying Dynamics, and Therapeutic Interventions

Monday, March 26
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM
Location: Salon 2

Self-injury is a language our clients will speak to us, with their entire being. The goals of self-injury include regulating affect, reenacting trauma, preserving the attachment with the abuser and managing annihilation anxiety, among others. This discussion will explore the ways that self-injury develops in response to trauma, how it is intended to function and "take care of" many of the client's needs, and how it "speaks" in the therapy transference. If the therapist has a no harm contract but does not know how to talk with the client about the self-injury, this may merely increase client secrecy about it, or the client will simply switch to a different high-risk behavior. We will discuss how to approach these underlying layers of meaning with the client, in a collaborative fashion.

Learning Objectives:

Willa R. Wertheimer

Advocacy Counseling Center. Director, ISSTD. Faculty, PTP
Crystal Lake, Illinois

A clinical psychologist in Crystal Lake, Illinois, Dr. Willa Wertheimer has specialized in working with survivors of trauma, abuse and combat. She enjoys presenting at the ISSTD Annual Conferences and at local Component Group meetings, to engage in the dialogue, exploration and research surrounding work with dissociation and trauma. Currently, she serves on the ISSTD Board of Directors and is a faculty member of The Professional Training Program (PTP).


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Edward Groenendal

Advocacy Counseling Center
Crystal Lake, IL

Edward Groenendal, MA is a clinical counselor in private practice in Crystal Lake, IL. He is a past vice president of the Illinois Chapter of ISSTD, and Northwest Illinois Component Group of ISSTD.He is currently of the faculty staff of The Professional Training Program of ISSTD. Mr. Groenendal has presented on a range of issues related to working with trauma and dissociation. Having been a member of ISSTD since 2005, he has also presented to health organizations about dissociation and trauma.

Mr. Groenendal’s primary focus has been providing therapy to those suffering from Dissociative Disorders. He also provides consultations for other therapists working with this population. In addition, Edward provides therapuetic services to combat vererans.


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Working with Self-injury: Underlying Dynamics, and Therapeutic Interventions

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