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The Body as a Shared Whole: Using Visualization Techniques to Treat Dissociation

Disconnection from self in the context of traumatic experience is a survival strategy that allows victims to disown what is happening and disown the parts that are victimized. The cost of dissociation as an instinctive mental survival response is often lifelong internal conflicts, shame and self-loathing, difficulty self-soothing, and complications in relationships with others.  Without internal coherence or compassion, these individuals are vulnerable to suicidality and self-harm or substance abuse, often marginalized by the label of “borderline.”

Despite the feeling of being irretrievably damaged, all humans have a brain capable of visualizing or imagining experiences of acceptance, closeness, and comfort that evoke the same somatic sensations associated with early secure attachment.  Helping clients discover their split-off younger selves and imaginatively bring them “home” spontaneously leads to an internal sense of warmth and safety they have never known.  In this presentation, we will explore the therapeutic power of using somatic experience to foster internal attachment to clients’ most deeply disowned younger selves.


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Janina Fisher, Ph.D.
1 Hour 02 Minutes
Sep 24, 2020
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Digital Recordings



This online program is worth 1 hours CPD.



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.

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Program Information

Access for Self-Study (Non-Interactive)

Access never expires for this product.


  1. Determine signs of disowned parts and their internal conflicts experienced by clients  
  2. Employ visualization techniques that create a sense of closeness or attunement 
  3. Practice somatic interventions that foster an increased sense of compassion for dissociated parts 


Dissociation as a Survival Strategy

Visualization as a somatic strategy to foster a felt sense attunement

“Self-Compassion”: welcoming every part of the personality 

Target Audience

  • Counselors
  • Marriage and Family Therapists
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists
  • Psychotherapists
  • Other Mental Health Professionals


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