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Embodied ISTDP: Journeys towards healing and wholeness

July 22, 2022 @ 11:00 am - July 23, 2022 @ 6:00 pm

This training focuses on the learning journey of the therapist, including how to embody notoriously difficult ISTDP concepts.

About this event

It has been said that to find the path, one must become the path. Offering effective ISTDP treatment requires us to stretch and increase our own emotional, psychological, and energetic capacities, it may even facilitate higher states of consciousness. It is my experience that to increase our therapeutic effectiveness, we need to undertake our own inner healing journey, this in turn enhances our capacity to guide healing in others. This is the story of my journey so far and I hope by telling this story, you can understand more of your own journey as well as our collective universal journeys towards healing and wholeness.

Day 1 of this workshop aims to provide a space to consider how ISTDP, as an effective psychotherapeutic model of change, can be located within a larger spiritual framework that not only has the power to transform patients but also the person of the therapist. The workshop will explore my hero’s journey within ISTDP and you will be invited to explore yours. Across the 2 days, we will consider different ways to embody our ISTDP practice to compliment the theoretical and technical aspects of the approach. We will view clinical vignettes that demonstrate key learning phases that many therapists struggle with. We will consider how the ISTDP process can be likened to universal patterns of transformation which include death and rebirth. We will undertake some experiential exercises designed to build awareness of your own unconscious processes that may impact your ISTDP work.

On Day 2, we will have presentations from several experienced ISTDP practitioners who are actively considering spiritual innovations within their ISTDP work.  These experiential presentations will cover the following topics: Melting shame combining ISTDP and music by Liv Raissi; ISTDP and Connection by Dr. Allen Kalpin; and The Sacred Alliance: Psychotherapy, Spirituality, and the Western Unconscious by Lawson Sachter (http://psychodynamiczen.org/).

The course will cover the following elements:

-Overview of key ISTDP concepts and key learning phases of the therapist

-Overview of key spiritual concepts that locate ISTDP within a larger spiritual context

– Clinical examples of ISTDP in action to highlight elements of the approach that are notoriously difficult to master e.g. working in the transference, deactivating the transference, head on collisions, etc.

– Breakout rooms to discuss your journey as a therapist

-Experiential exercises designed to:

1. Ground participants in the present moment,

2. Uncover the unconscious ‘why’ of being a therapist,

3. Embody ISTDP skills e.g. mindfulness, music, meditation

13 Continuing Credits are available for this event and can be purchased for an additional $40 here: (Link to be added soon). Participants must have paid tuition fee, logged in and out each day, attended the entire webinar, and completed an evaluation to receive a certificate. Failure to log in or out will result in forfeiture of credit for the entire course. No exceptions will be made. Partial credit is not available. Certificates are available following course completion at www.ceuregistration.com. There is no conflict of interest or commercial support for this program.

This training is exclusively for licensed mental health and registered health professionals, including Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Social Workers, MFTs, Counselors, as well as Physicians, Nurses, Physical Therapists, etc. If you are not a mental health or health professional, you may not attend due to the protection of patient confidentiality. Students and trainees pursuing licensure or registration as a mental health or health professional under supervision are welcome. The course content level is Intermediate level.

CE Learning Objectives:

-Identify key ISTDP concepts that learners tend to struggle with

-Identify personal challenges that impact ISTDP interventions

-Describe key therapeutic moments showing growth in the therapist’s learning trajectory

-Compare the process of change in ISTDP with spiritual theories of transformation

-Apply experiential exercises to ground into the body and heighten awareness of transference processes

-Recognize emotional blocks to certain interventions and overcome them with skill building exercises.

-Analyze key ISTDP concepts e.g. the UTA, transference resistance, accessing unconscious guilt.

-Explain how the use of music can melt shame and anxiety states, which can enhance emotional breakthroughs.

-Consider the impact of music on the therapist’s own emotional capacity.

-Evaluate learning edges to define next steps for growth.

-Identify and experience how mindfulness practice can help therapist and patient better navigate resistance to emotional closeness.

-Describe how a therapeutic alliance can be sacred.

-Compare dualistic and non-dualistic approaches to psychotherapy.

Schedule (in PST, add 3 hours for EST, 4 hours for AST):

Day 1

8-9:30 Overview of Key ISTDP learning themes

9:30-9:45 Break

9:45-11:15 Overview of Key Spiritual themes

11:15 – 12:15 Midday Break/Lunch

12:15 – 13:30 Clinical Vignettes 1

13:30 – 13:50 Break

13:50 – 15:00 Clinical Vignettes 2

15:00 Conclude day 1

Day 2

8-9:30 Melting shame combining ISTDP and music – Liv Raissi

9:30-9:45 Break

9:45-11:15 ISTDP and Connection – Dr. Allen Kalpin

11:15 – 12:15 Midday Break/Lunch

12:15 – 13:30 The Sacred Alliance: Psychotherapy, Spirituality, and the Western Unconscious – Lawson Sachter

13:30 – 13:50 Break

13:50 – 15:00 Group discussion, reflections and next steps

15:00 Conclude day 2

About Dr. Cooper:

Dr. Ange Cooper is the inaugural Assistant Dean of Wellness for the Faculty of Medicine and an Assistant Professor at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada. She is also a Registered Psychologist specializing in Intensive Short -Term Dynamic Psychotherapy (ISTDP). She completed 4 years of post-doctoral ISTDP training with Dr. Patricia Coughlin, 6 years of advanced supervision with Dr. Allan Abbass specializing in functional somatic disorders (FSD) and 4 years of additional training of trainers with Jon Frederickson.

Dr. Cooper worked at the Centre for Emotions and Health and undertook a three-year pilot project to provide consultation, assessment, treatment, teaching and research on using ISTDP to address the unconscious emotional processes underlying (FSD).

Dr. Cooper offers supervision, teaching and training in ISTDP. She has an ongoing passion for disseminating the ideas and learning from ISTDP in ways that all health professionals can benefit from. Especially, the building of emotional capacities in health professionals; without which there is greater risk of stress, burnout, misalliances and clinical errors.

Dr. Cooper is committed to the dissemination and promotion of ISTDP as an integrated, open and inclusive model of therapy and is passionate about helping free people from their suffering through the power of their own innate healing mechanisms. For general enquiries, supervision, teaching or training requests, she can be contacted at: [email protected].


Ange Cooper