Emotion-Focused Therapy with Complex Trauma Training 

18 CE unit Hours available for Psychologists, Social Workers, LPCs, and Marriage and Family Therapists.

Training Overview

Psychotherapy clients with histories of childhood abuse and neglect (complex developmental
trauma) are ubiquitous across diagnostic groups. Disrupted emotion processes are at the core
of the constellation of disturbances associated with these childhood experiences. Successful
therapy requires helping clients to access and explore painful feelings and memories to modify
maladaptive emotions, construct more adaptive meaning, and resolve past relational trauma.
Emotion-focused therapy for trauma (EFTT) is an evidence-based approach based on 20+ years
of research supporting treatment effectiveness and posited in-session processes of change.
This three-day training is geared toward practicing professionals with a basic knowledge of
emotion-focused therapy (e.g., EFT Level One). It includes material on the nature of complex
trauma and the central role of emotional processes in the development of disturbance, the
EFTT treatment model and how EFTT addresses central features of disturbance. Training
includes numerous videotaped examples illustrating EFTT treatment principles and
interventions, and supervised peer-skills practice. Skills practice will focus on EFT interventions
specifically tailored to the needs of this client group (e.g., reducing fear, avoidance, and shame;
memory work and re-experiencing trauma; alternatives to chair work) over the phases of
therapy. This training also will introduce participants to principles and practices drawn from
yoga therapy designed to deepen client engagement in EFTT procedures and promote
emotional transformation and change.


DAY ONE
Morning – Introduction to Complex Trauma (CT) and EFTT
Introduction to yoga therapy as a complement to EFTT
Definition of CT, sources of disturbance, and effects that are the focus of EFTT
EFTT compared to other approaches for CT
Basic EFT theory and practice specifically applied to CT
Emotional processing difficulties and intervention principles
Structure of EFTT - phases and associated tasks
Video - trauma resolution using the empty-chair/imaginal confrontation procedure
Afternoon – Alliance and Experiencing
Alliance definition and development
Promoting emotional experiencing - approaching emotional pain
Case conceptualization
Video – session one illustrating basic intervention principles
Yoga therapy intervention – developing “sankalpa” (hearth-felt intentions) and grounding
Skills practice (75”)

DAY TWO
Morning – Introducing Imaginal Confrontation (empty-chair) and Alternative
Roles of anger and sadness in trauma resolution
Video – introduction of imaginal confrontation (IC) in the early phase of therapy
Evocative exploration (EE) as alternative to IC/empty-chair intervention
Video – introduction of EE alternative
Guidelines for determining when and whether to use chair-work (IC) versus EE
Yoga therapy intervention – facilitating empowerment
Skills practice (75”)
Afternoon – Memory work and Re-experiencing Trauma
Nature of fear and shame and corresponding intervention principles
Features of productive trauma narratives
Types, markers, and guidelines for memory work/re-experiencing
Video illustrating processing trauma memories during IC
Yoga therapy intervention – promoting safety Skills practice (75”)

DAY THREE
Morning – Intrapersonal (Self-Self) Conflicts as Blocks to Trauma Resolution
Intra-personal conflicts typical of complex trauma
Video - 2-chair intervention for reducing guilt
Steps in the process of resolving intra-personal conflicts
Video - work with self-interruption during IC
Yoga therapy intervention – increasing awareness of negative and positive experience
Skills practice (75”)
Afternoon – Reducing Avoidance and Accessing Self-soothing
Assessing different types of avoidance and appropriate interventions for each
Steps in the process of accessing self-soothing resources
Videos - different types of avoidance and self-soothing
Late phase of EFTT – final IC/EE, consolidating change, termination
Videos – case of EFTT over the course of therapy
Yoga therapy intervention – promoting surrender/letting go and compassion
Skills practice (75”)


About The Presenter
Sandra Paivio maintains a private practice in Toronto, Canada, provides individual psychotherapy and clinical training at the York University Psychology Clinic, and is Professor Emeritus in the Psychology Department at the University of Windsor. Dr. Paivio is a certified trainer (International Society of Emotion-focused Therapy) in emotion-focused therapy. She is one of the developers of emotion-focused therapy, particularly applied to complex trauma (EFTT), has conducted clinical trials evaluating the efficacy and processes of change in EFTT, and is author of numerous publications on trauma and psychotherapy. These include Working with Emotion in Psychotherapy (with Les Greenberg), Emotion-Focused Therapy for Complex Trauma, 2nd ed (with (Antonio Pascual-Leone), and Narrative Processes in Emotion-focused Therapy for Trauma (with Lynne Angus). Dr. Paivio is featured in several DVDs published by the American Psychological Association, has presented numerous clinical training workshops internationally on EFTT, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Trauma Section of the Canadian Psychological Association (2014) for her contributions to research and training in treatment for complex trauma.  

About The Facilitator
Katlin Robinson is a CIAYT certified Yoga Therapist, ERYT500 Yoga Teacher, located in London, ON, Canada, specializing in Yoga for mental health. She has been practicing yoga and mindfulness techniques for over 20 years. Katlin works with clients through workshops, group classes, one-on-one yoga therapy. She also offers advanced training and mentorships for yoga teachers (RYT300 and CE), body & movement therapists and mental health professionals interested in using yoga practices and philosophy to support their clients. Her focus is making yoga accessible - using the body, breath and rich inner teachings & traditions of yoga to support mental health, enrich people’s lives, and promote healing at the deepest level of Self. Katlin is co-author of a chapter, “Yoga therapy as a complement to EFTT: Integrating body-based interventions”, in Emotion-focused therapy for complex trauma, 2nd ed (Paivio & Pascual-Leone, 2023) and has facilitated and co-presented international trainings and masterclasses on integrating yoga therapy principles and practices into EFTT. www.katlinrobinson.com