Imaginal Nurturing, Ego States, and Attachment: An Integrated Approach to Early Deficits – Training

Picasso - Mother and ChildThis online distance training is a continuing education program for therapists working with adults. The training presents an attachment-based, ego-state approach that provides an attachment context for EMDR therapy. Imaginal Nurturing addresses the attachment aspects of therapy with adults, through the therapeutic relationship and imagery involving younger aspects of self. As an infant and/or child, the client may have missed out on the attuned and loving presence and responsiveness needed for healthy development. Such deficits may lead to problems such as low self-esteem and confidence, shame, anxiety, depression, and if there is a history of abuse, complex PTSD and dissociative disorders.

The goals of Imaginal Nurturing include helping the client develop a new relationship with the self in the present, and strengthening the self-structure and emotional skills. It is based on an ego-state conceptualization of the client and the therapy, but is focused on addressing deficits unlike other ego-state approaches which tend to be trauma or pathology based. It is not a protocol or intervention, but rather a means of grounding younger parts in the present, and capitalizing on opportunities to interweave experiences of connectedness and nurturance into and through the therapeutic process in the context of a secure or becoming-secure therapeutic relationship.

Imaginal Nurturing is a natural complement to EMDR work and leads to more gentle and easier trauma processing, as well as being valuable in and of itself.

The training is approved for 13 hours of EMDRIA CEUs. It is not simply a video of a workshop you were unable to attend, but rather was created specifically for distance learning. In it, you will have the opportunity to “sit in on” segments of numerous sessions with a client who generously allowed some of her sessions to be videotaped to foster the learning of other therapists in this approach. Many other clinical examples are given throughout the training. There are also two experiential segments so you have some personal experience of what you will be asking clients to do.

The training is in digital format and consists of:

  • Links to the video of each chapter of the training
  • a pdf file of the manual and clinical sheets
  • mp3 files providing an experiential segment
  • the CEU test and course evaluation will be emailed to you

The program has the advantage of allowing you to proceed at your own pace, in your own time and space. No need to get overloaded with masses of material being squeezed into two days! It also makes more sense ecologically than travelling some distance to attend a workshop and it allows continuing education to be more economical.

Evaluations of the distance training program

A summary of the evaluations from this training program have have averaged:

  • Content (average) 4.9 (range from 1=strongly disagree to 5=strongly agree)
  • Presenter (average) 4.9
  • Overall workshop (average) 4.9

Some therapists’ responses to the distance training program

“April Steele’s training has been absolutely invaluable in my work with my clients. There have been several clients who may not have bee able to resolve their trauma so quickly and flawlessly had it not been for her training. EMDR, as we all know is robust, wonderful and as some clients describe it “like magic.” April’s approach works alongside EMDR for amazing outcomes. The attachment perspective has been key along recognizing and filling in the deficits.” ~ April Minjarez, PhD, EMDRIA Approved Consultant

“This presentation has been the most enlightening training I have ever taken. It has given me a lens to see my clients from an attachment approach and a method to attend to these needs of the younger parts of my adult clients in all stages of therapy, including trauma processing.

I truly appreciated understanding characteristics of my own attachment style in relation to the client’s and how this can be used as a guidepost for establishing more secure therapeutic relationshiops. Gradually incorporating these new understandings has already greatly enriched my practice. The manual also, is in itself an excellent reference guide that I will keep handy in my office. I highly recommend this training. Thank you, April!” ~ Karole Holtkamp, MA LPC

Content Differences from 2002-2008 Trainings

Since my early trainings, both the approach and my teaching of it have changed, becoming more fully developed and fine-tuned. Imaginal Nurturing began in 2000 as an intervention, but over time has evolved into an ego-state approach that is integrated into the whole of therapy from the conceptualization of the client and the therapeutic relationship to the therapy itself.

In my early trainings, I offered sample guided imagery scripts to facilitate the participant’s transition into working in this way. What I have found is that many therapists stayed with the scripts and used them simply as an intervention rather than as a stepping stone to relating directly and responsively to the younger ego states of the client. There is now more emphasis on the therapeutic relationship and on DSS as an over-all ego state approach that differs from other such methods which are trauma and/or pathology based. I have made changes in the training to better facilitate the incorporation of DSS into the practice of participants. There are also new videos of clinical work demonstrating both the therapeutic relationship as one of attachment and of incorporating Imaginal Nurturing into EMDR therapy.

Some therapist responses to the earlier Developing a Secure Self trainings:

“An amazing workshop in every respect! April’s work, to me, represents a very skilled approach to ego state therapy…. As a clinician/psychologist practising for almost 20 years, I can count on one hand the workshops that have changed my practice. April’s is now one of them.” ~ Hilary Searles, PhD

“I enjoyed your workshop and have recommended it to many people. The materials and the concepts were fabulous. You seem like a master clinician as well…. Thanks again for the great workshop. (Just to put this in perspective, I have never written a thank you after a workshop and I have been doing them for 30 years.” ~ Carol Lindquist, PhD

“Thank you for your independence of thought, your creative vision, focused on the client’s needs. The presentation reflected discernment, intelligence, and integrity, plus a grounded self-awareness as a basis for safety in the therapeutic environment….The material, and the affirmation of the total client, as well as resourcing the therapist with tools which impact the self-awareness of the client with empowerment and love, well, as you know, this is few and far between….” and six months later “I have been consistently pleased by the sustainability, the endurance, of the outcomes….” ~ Paul Albert, MA

“You have made an incredible contribution to our field. Thank you!” ~ Sherri Gonzales, MA MFT

The Contents of the Distance Training Program

The program is divided into video chapters ranging from 20 to 48 minutes to allow you to more easily make use of the program in convenient blocks of time. You will have a link to each chapter plus mp3 files for the experiential component.

Chapter 1: Introduction (26 min.)
Chapter 2.: Early Research and Attachment Classification (28 min.)
Chapter 3: Attachment and Self Structure (26 min.)
Chapter 4: The Therapeutic Relationship as an Attachment Relationship (33 min.)
Chapter 5: Therapy and the Child (31 min.)
Chapter 6: Imaginal Nurturing Introduction (28 min.)
Chapter 7: More Principles of Imaginal Nurturing (31 min.)
Chapter 8: Still More Principles of Imaginal Nurturing (21 min.)

Track 1: Suggestions
Track 2: (Women) Experiencing Imaginal Nurturing with the Child
Track 3: (Men) Experiencing Imaginal Nurturing with the Child

Chapter 9: Basic Imaginal Nurturing 1 (29 min.)
Chapter 10: Basic Imaginal Nurturing 2 (36 min.)
Chapter 11: The Retrieval, Traumatic Memories as Movies, and Straight Talking (48 min.)
Chapter 12: Introduction to Newborn Imaginal Nurturing (40 min.)

Track 4 (Women) Experiencing Imaginal Nurturing with the Infant
Track 5 (Men) Experiencing Imaginal Nurturing with the Infant

Chapter 13: Newborn Imaginal Nurturing Example (28 min.)
Chapter 14: Infants and Attachment Imagery (31 min.)
Chapter 15: Attachment Processing (20 min.)
Chapter 16: Exploration Imagery (39 min.)
Chapter 17: The Relationship to EMDR – Phase 1 (38 min.)
Chapter 18: The Relationship to EMDR – Phases 2-8 (25 min.)

The accompanying 53-page manual, in pdf format, includes the Nurturing and Encouraging Messages sheet and the Therapy Lifeline which may be copied for clinical use.

Technological Requirements for the Distance Training Program

The digital format requires a computer with internet access and the ability to play mp3 files.

Continuing Education Hours

The program is approved by EMDRIA (approval #2001-DL18 ) for 13 hours for those who have completed an EMDRIA-approved basic training in EMDR.

In order to receive a certificate of completion for this program, you must have purchased the program, completed the test with a grade of at least 75%, and submitted the course evaluation form.

Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions about this program.

For prices and to order please click here

Painting CREDIT – Picasso – Mother and Child