“Help me become a real person” Working clinically with developmental annihilation of self experience

Presented by Jeff Barlow

According to the Shorter Oxford Dictionary, the verb, ‘to annihilate’ means to reduce to nothing; to blot out of existence; to reduce to insignificance or powerlessness; to silence or humiliate completely.

Sometimes we meet adult clients where the expression, ‘annihilated self’ is the most apt description to understand the origins of their experience and their behavior. But what does this mean and what is involved in the developmental process for a person with an ‘annihilated’ self? What is meant by the plea from a client, ‘Help me become a real person?’ and how can a psychotherapy process actually assist in the emergence of a ‘real person’ from a state of annihilation? How can trauma ‘responsive’ psychotherapy become trauma ‘transforming’ psychotherapy and how do we engage both therapist and client in an embodied intersubjective emergence of Being from a state of annihilation?

The journey is very difficult for both therapist and client; the therapy requires significant time; keeping the therapy safe enough for both therapist and client for effective work to be done can become seriously problematic. Managing the client’s profound emotional experience and titrating that experience in the dynamic relationship that emerges between therapist and client becomes a central feature of the clinical work.

In this professional development seminar Jeff will engage participants in a conversation about this therapeutic work. Using clinical vignettes from his work with clients, Jeff will outline the theoretical basis of the therapeutic work he has found useful and how this translates into his clinical practice.

Jeff Barlow B.A. B.Ed. M.Ed. is a relationally based somatic psychotherapist with over 40 years’ experience working with clients in Australia, New Zealand and Europe and over 38 years training and supervising psychotherapists, primarily in the training college he founded and directed, the Australian College of Contemporary Somatic Psychotherapy. Jeff’s psychotherapy work is founded on a deep understanding of the significance of embodied intersubjective engagement as the essence of our Being gradually unfolds.

Members $55 (inc. GST)
Students: $30 (inc. GST)
Non-members $70 (inc. GST)

This event counts as 3 hours of category A CPD for PACFA’s membership renewal requirements
Coffee and Tea provided


Cancellations made more than 5 working days prior to the course commencement date may apply via email to admin@pacfa.org.au for a 50% refund. Alternatively, course bookings may be transferred to another person or to a future course or event. (excluding the PACFA conference)

Requests to transfer must be made via email to admin@pacfa.org.au prior to the course commencing. After the commencement date/time of the course, no refunds or transfers are possible.

Cancellations made 5 or less working days prior to the course commencement date are 100% non-refundable and cannot be transferred to a future course or event.


Register via the PACFA PORTAL 

2:00 pm - 5:00 pm

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