327 – The Essentials of Effective Trauma Treatment

How to Go Beyond Technique
Mary Jo Barrett

When it comes to working with complex developmental trauma, it seems like therapists can’t get enough tools for their tool bag. And yet what determines effectiveness in this challenging arena of practice are crucial dimensions of the therapeutic relationship that go beyond any technical intervention. In this workshop, we’ll explore what trauma clients themselves say about the key elements in their own experience of healing. You’ll focus on:

  • Recognizing the client’s natural change cycle and how to organize therapy around it
  • Procedures for creating a secure, safe attachment, including a transparent and overt collaborative contract
  • How to emphasize clients’ resources rather than becoming preoccupied with pathology
  • How to assess the client’s resources and your own to create an effective treatment plan


Mary Jo Barrett, MSW, is the founder and director of the Center for Contextual Change and adjunct faculty at University of Chicago, SSA. She’s the coauthor of Treating Complex Trauma: A Relational Blueprint for Collaboration and Change and The Systemic Treatment of Incest.

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