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Digital Seminar

Brain to Brain: Interpersonal Neurobiology & The Traumatic Transference

Janina Fisher, Ph.D.
1 Hour 33 Minutes
Audio and Video
Copyright :
Apr 21, 2014
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Media Type:
Digital Seminar
Never expires.

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Psychotherapy is a complex, shifting, neurobiological exchange or “dyadic dance” between two human beings.  How we “dance” is determined by unconscious body and emotional memories of our early attachment experiences that have determined patterns of eye contact, proximity or distance, autonomic arousal, internal sense of safety or danger, trust and mistrust.  When their early experience includes neglect and abuse, our clients find themselves driven by conflicting wishes and fears of relationship.  While wishing to trust or tolerate disappointment and misattunement in the therapy, powerful emotional memories of threat, humiliation, hurt, and betrayal invade the therapeutic relationship.  Rather than making things better, the therapist’s expressions of empathy or attempts to process what happened in the transference often seem to make things worse.

Interpersonal neurobiology offers therapists a new window into how we can change the post-traumatic “dance” without the need to process empathic failures and misattunements intellectually.  Maintaining a smooth dance rhythm with our clients requires knowing how to monitor and regulate our own nervous systems and somatic experience, as well as theirs.  Utilizing insights gleaned from the field of interpersonal neurobiology and from Sensorimotor Psychotherapy, a body-centred talking therapy for attachment and trauma, we can learn to facilitate moments of attunement and connection even with our most challenging clients.



Janina Fisher, Ph.D.'s Profile

Janina Fisher, Ph.D. Related seminars and products

Janina Fisher, PhD, is a licensed clinical psychologist in private practice; Assistant Educational Director of the Sensorimotor Psychotherapy Institute; and EMDRIA Approved Consultant and Credit Provider; former president of the New England Society for the Treatment of of Trauma and Dissociation; and a former instructor, Harvard Medical School. An international writer and lecturer on the treatment of trauma, she is co-author with Pat Ogden of Sensorimotor Psychotherapy: Interventions for Attachment and Trauma, and author of Healing the Fragmented Selves of Trauma Survivors: Overcoming Self-Alienation and Transforming the Living Legacy of Trauma. Dr. Fisher lectures and teaches nationally and internationally on topics related to the integration of the neurobiological research and newer trauma treatment paradigms into traditional therapeutic modalities. For more information, go to


Speaker Disclosures:

Financial: Janina Fisher is in private practice. She receives a speaking honorarium from PESI, Inc.

Non-financial: Janina Fisher has no relevant non-financial relationship to disclose.

Additional Info

Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.

Target Audience

Psychologists, Counselors, Social Workers, Case Managers, Addiction Counselors, Marriage & Family Therapists, Nurses, and other Mental Health Professionals


  • Describe the concepts of the “dyadic dance” and “interpersonal neurobiological regulation”
  • Summarize the effects of implicit memory and dysregulated autonomic arousal
  • Identify somatic signs that client and/or therapist is becoming dysregulated
  • Describe somatic interventions for therapist self-regulation and interactive regulation of the client’s nervous system


  • Interpersonal neurobiology and attachment behaviour: a new lens for understanding transference behaviour
  • Traumatic attachment, transference, and countertransference
  • Right brain to right brain communication as an essential ingredient in good trauma therapy

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