Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy

Integrative Psychotherapy
Training Programs and Workshops


Affect Confusion, Cumulative Trauma, and Attachment Disruptions:Psychotherapy for the Borderline Client

Dr. Richard G. Erskine
Sponsored by UK Relational Psychotherapy Association

A Zoom Seminar : 4 Monday Evenings, 3 hours each,
17:00 to 20:00 UK Time
September 21 & 28, October 5 & 12, 2020

For many psychotherapists and counsellors, borderline clients present a professional challenge because of their frequent relational conflicts, varying developmental levels of transference, and their polarization of emotions, such as idealization and hate, elation and despair, anger and dependency.

In this unique and practical 4 session Zoom Seminar Dr. Erskine will make use of a developmental and relational perspective to focus our attention on clients whose life story is characterized by affect confusion and attachment disruptionsere they alternate between blaming others and self-criticism, where they seek justification for felt rage and harbour fantasized confusions about how others treat them.

In a developmentally-based and relationally-focused psychotherapy, the therapist’s self is focused on assisting the client’s process of integrating his or her affect, physiology, and cognition so that behaviour is by choice in the current context. Of particular importance is the process of attunement, not just to thoughts, feelings, behaviours and physical sensations, but also to vitality affects, such that an experience of unbroken feeling-connectedness is created.

Through lecture, case-vignettes, and clinical discussions, this 4 session Zoom Seminar will examine and identify various reparative actions the therapist may take in responding to clients’ unmet Relational needs such as:
• Validation and affirmation within a relationship;
• Acceptance by a stable, dependable and protective other person;
• Confirmation of personal experience;
• Self-definition; and,
• Making an Impact on the other person.

Keeping in mind the therapeutic challenges we face as psychotherapists, psychologists, counsellors, and psychiatrists, Dr. Erskine will focus on the centrality of an involved therapeutic relationship while emphasizing the in-depth methods of a psychotherapy that integrates the client's affect, cognition, physiology and behaviour. Emphasis will be placed on:
• diagnostic perspectives of Attachment Disruptions
• an understanding of the aetiology of early Affect-Confusion and the formation of the Borderline Personality;
• the therapeutic use of treatment contracts;
• the significance of an attuned therapeutic relationship; and,
• a working knowledge of when and how to use behavioural interventions and/or supportive regressions;
• methods of transference resolution and countertransference identification;
• alternative responses to therapeutically relevant challenges;
• calibrating for juxtaposition reactions;
• responding to oscillating relational-needs; and,
• the importance of a sustained phenomenological inquiry and affect attunement.

In preparation for this workshop participants are requested to be familiar with chapters 13, 14, & 15 in Richard Erskine’s recent book, “Relational Patterns, Therapeutic Presence” published by Karnac Books (

The objectives of this 12 hour zoom seminar are to provide the participants with the skills to:
1. Assimilate and comprehend a series of therapeutic interventions that reflect relational, co-constructive, and intersubjective sensitivity in the psychotherapy of clients with Borderline Personality traits.
2. Differentiate between various forms of therapeutic inquiry and apply the
skills of acknowledgement, validation, normalization and presence.
3. Formulate a therapeutic perspective that will include the significance of
attunement to the client’s affects and rhythm while resonating with the
client’s level of emotional development.
4. Apply the methods of a Developmentally-based, Relationally-focused
Relational Psychotherapy in the treatment of clients.

Richard G. Erskine, Ph.D., is a Clinical Psychologist and Training Director of the Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy. Originally trained in client-centered child therapy, Dr Erskine also studied Gestalt therapy with both Fritz and Laura Perls. He is a certified clinical Transactional Analyst and a Licensed Psychoanalyst who has specialized in psychoanalytic self-psychology and object-relations theory. His work is an integration of these concepts and fifty years of clinical experience, which has included working with disturbed children, inmates in a maximum security prison, borderline and narcissistic clients, post-traumatic stress and dissociative identity disorders. Recently his research and clinical practice have focused on the treatment of the schizoid process and on the psychotherapy of obsession. He is the author of several books and scores of articles on psychotherapy theory and methods. His best-selling book (with Jan Moursund and Rebecca Trautmann) is " Beyond Empathy: A Therapy of Contact-in-Relationship " (1999, Brunner/Mazel).

Contact: For Information and to register please contact:
Brenda Palmer, UK Relational Psychotherapy Association
Phone: Phone: +44 (0) 1572 757004, Text: +44 (0)7702333351
The Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists, by the National Board of Certified Counselors for counselors and by the American Board of Examiners in Pastoral Counseling for pastoral counselors. The Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy maintains responsibility for this program and its content.