Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy

Integrative Psychotherapy
Training Programs and Workshops


Applying Child Development Theory and Research in Psychotherapy with Adult Clients

Dr. Richard G. Erskine
Hosted by: nscience UK

A Zoom Seminar: 5:00pm to 8pm London time; 6:00 pm to 9pm Western European time;
12 noon to 3pm Eastern North America; 9am to 12 noon Pacific time.
20 & 21 November 2020

Six hours of Continuing Professional Development credit.

This workshop will present various concepts from a Developmentally-based, Relationally-focused Integrative Psychotherapy

Healing the neglects and traumas of childhood requires a psychotherapist who is attuned to each client’s levels of emotional and cognitive development. To achieve this form of healing, psychotherapists and counsellors need to be able to apply Child Development concepts and research findings in their therapeutic practice in order to identify and effectively work with challenges such as:
• Early childhood memory that is embodied in physiological sensations, entrenched in affect, or unconsciously enacted in relationships. Such memories are not available to conscious thought because they are prelinguistic, presymbolic, procedural, and implicit. However, these neurological imprints give rise to unconscious relational patterns that effect our clients in their adult lives.
• Physiological, emotional and behavioral signs of infant and parent relational disruptions are evident from the first few months of a child’s life and throughout adolescence. We may see subtle versions of these same self-stabilizing dynamics in adult clients when they tighten their bodies, agitate, avoid eye contact, or deflect from their feelings. Such behaviours may signal unresolved relational disruptions in early childhood, that continue to create disruptions and conflicts later in adulthood.
• Generating methods that are attuned to an infant’s, young child’s, or school-age child’s particular rhythm, their affect and cognitive level of functioning, and the unique relational-needs at the level of development where an adult client may be fixated. We need to be therapeutically responsive to the withdrawn and silent client, the client who is either hypo- or hyperactive, as well as the client who is resistive or belligerent. Each of these behavioural manifestations may reflect the neglects and traumas that leave a person stuck at an earlier level of development.

This 6 hours seminar (two-sessions, 3 hours each session) will focus on various methods of psychotherapy that are influenced by the theories and research in Child Development. We will explore various child development hypotheses and concepts that are based on the writings of John Bowlby, Eric Erickson, Selma Fraiberg, Jean Piaget, and Donald Winnicott as well as a number of current child development researchers. Specifically, we will look at:
• creating developmental images and hypotheses
• assessing and responding to unconscious attachment patterns
• converting body sensations and affect to language
• enabling the formation of vocabulary and concepts
• constructing life narratives through inference
• using phenomenological and historical inquiry, and
• facilitating an emotionally safe therapeutic age regression

To prepare for this workshop participants are requested to read the following:
1) Moursund, J.P. and Erskine, R.G. (2003). Integrative Psychotherapy: The Art and Science of Relationship. Pacific Grove: Brooks/Cole Thomson Learning.
2) Erskine, R. G. (2015). Relational Patterns, Therapeutic Presence: Concepts and Practice of Integrative Psychotherapy. London: Karnac Books.

Contact: nScienceUK
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.