Institute for Integrative Psychotherapy

Integrative Psychotherapy
Training Programs and Workshops


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

Richard G. Erskine, PhD.
A Zoom program hosted by Essential Therapy Training

A Zoom program : Thursday and Friday, January 25 & 26, 2024
This Zoom course will meet twice, 3 hours each session.

UK 16:00 to 19 hours: Western Europe 5:00 to 8pm:
Eastern Europe 6:00 to 9:00pm; US Pacific time 8:00 to 11:00am; Eastern US 11:00am to 2:00pm.

Anger and dependency, elation and despair, idealization and hate. For many psychotherapists clients who enact such behaviour present a professional challenge because they frequently engage in relational conflicts, enact varying developmental levels of transference, and polarize both their emotions and relationships. Their affect, behaviour, and relationships reflect an Early Affect Confusion.
In this two-session course Richard Erskine will teach:
• A diagnostic perspective on Attachment Disruptions and the Affect Confusions that children my experience in early childhood;
• an understanding of the aetiology of Early Affect-Confusion and the relational development of the Borderline Personality;
• the therapeutic use of treatment contracts that build security and stability;
• the significance of an attuned therapeutic relationship and a working knowledge of when and how to use behavioural interventions and/or supportive age regression;
• the psychological functions of Stability, Regulation, Reparation, and Enhancement and how they create a healing relationship; and
• a variety of methods that are effective in the psychotherapy of borderline clients.
Dr. Erskine will present a Developmentally-based, Relationally-focused Integrative Psychotherapy in working with clients who’s life story is characterized by affect confusion and attachment disruptions –- where their behaviour alternates between blaming others and self-criticism, where the client seeks justification for felt rage, and harbours explicit confusions about how others treat them.
In a relationship-focused psychotherapy, the therapist is focused on assisting the client’s understanding the affect confusion of a young child, how this early affect confusion in enacted in relationships, the significant of relational needs, and process of developing and integrating full internal and interpersonal contact. Of particular importance is the process of attunement to the client’s affect and physical sensations, their process of thinking, as well has how their behaviours impact their relationships. Specifically, we consider the interpersonal needs which may often have been absent in our client’s significant relationships.
This two-day workshop will provide the participant with practical methods that are effective in psychotherapy of Early Affect Confusion:
• Various methods of transference resolution and countertransference identification;
• The effective use on Inquiry, Attunement, and Involvement.
• Identifying Eight Relational Needs
• Responding to sudden oscillations in relational-needs:
• Identifying juxtaposition reactions and providing effective therapeutic responses;
• Bifurcating therapeutic responses;
• The importance of a sustained phenomenological inquiry and affect attunement and interpersonal involvement in creating a healing relationship.

Readings that will be useful in preparing for this workshop are:

1. A Healing Relationship: Commentary of Therapeutic Dialogues
by Richard G. Erskine.(2021) Phoenix Publishing.

2. Early Affect Confusion: Relational Psychotherapy for the
Borderline Client by Richard G. Erskine (2022). nScience Publishing,
Available as an e-book via Amazon.

Contact: For registration and further information please go to the Essential Therapy Training website

Web page:
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.