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Robin Spiro LCSW

Complex Trauma and Dissociation—Developing the Healthy Adult and Treating Challenging Modes


Robin Spiro LSCW

Date & Time

December 7 from 11am -1 pm EST


Virtual (Zoom Video)


The purpose of this Workshop is to engage in a deeper and more expansive exploration of the Enmeshment & Undeveloped Self Schema and to consider viable strategies and interactions for healing this Schema. This is a powerful core Schema that is experienced by many therapy patients and perhaps several the therapists who work with them. Unhealed, this Schema can be a deep pattern that undermines self-understanding, causes confusion, and provokes anxiety around forming close relationships and limits the ability to function in the world at full potential. Attention will be given to the ways in which the Schema is engendered in the family system and the impact of cultural variables that help inculcate this Schema. Emphasis will be placed on the 2 main unmet needs that foster Enmeshment and the Undeveloped Self: Attunement and Autonomy. These 2 needs will be explored and discussed in terms of how they contribute to the development of a strong sense of self and that when these 2 needs are not adequately met, a person is likely to struggle with an “Undeveloped Self.” We will consider how limited reparenting, a central way of being for a Schema Therapist, can help a person develop greater autonomy and a deeper awareness and value of one’s thoughts, emotions, and inclinations.


Brief Overview 

Our most challenging and yet ultimately most rewarding clients are those who have experienced the most hardship in childhood – often including multiple abusers and profound emotional and physical neglect. Our complex trauma survivors come to treatment with a severely depleted “healthy adult mode” and often present with comorbidities, functional impairment, emotional dysregulation and difficulties with attachment. In this workshop we will learn about the schemas and modes which are commonly presented and about how everything we do in treatment – from crisis intervention to providing choices within the therapy space to respect for all modes – is in the service of developing and bolstering the healthy adult of the client. We will address the difficulties in fostering the crucial limited reparenting relationship and how to earn trust. We will also focus on one of the most difficult aspects of treating this population – how to reach and transform the extreme coping modes, including parts of the client who are suicidal, self-harming, angry protectors or frozen. We will learn how to approach each mode with an open mind regarding its purpose and perspective. In addition, we will compare the modes of complex trauma clients with those found in Dissociative Identity Disorder.


1. Understand how to help the healthy adult mode achieve a greater sense of safety, choice, connection and self-esteem.


2. Anticipate and work through obstacles to creating and maintaining an effective limited reparenting relationship.

3. Build bridges between complex trauma clients and their vulnerable child and coping modes with curiosity, compassion and respect.


Robin Spiro is a Schema Therapy Trainer and Supervisor for over 25 years with a specialty in treating Complex Trauma and Dissociative Disorders. She has lectured internationally on these topics and facilitates supervision groups concerning general trauma issues and specifically on treatment of Dissociative Identity Disorder. Using schema therapy as the foundation for trauma treatment, Robin also integrates concepts from other trauma treatment models, including EMDR, somatic therapies and internal family systems. Robin additionally chairs the International Society of Schema Therapy committee dedicated to the education and training of accredited supervisors.

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$59.99 (CAD)

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