The Healing Power of the Therapist’s Presence: Holding Self-energy even with Triggering Clients

Masters Series in Clinical Practice 

Psychodynamic Psychotherapy Conference Sponsors



Richard Schwartz, PhD, Instructor

There are clients you love working with—you look forward to seeing them and admire their courage. You are consistently in a state of loving kindness with them and their sense of that is a big element in their healing.  Then there are the clients that get to you. They are passive, or angry, uncooperative or resistant. They see you through distorted lens or engage in dangerous behaviors. You sense that your strong reactions to them are not that useful but you can’t help it. You find yourself getting into power struggles or dreading their sessions and feeling impotent. Actually those clients are your best teachers—your tor-mentors—because they bring up in you what you need to heal. IFS offers a unique and effective approach both to handling such “countertransference,” and helping you access and maintain an open-hearted, confident, calm and curious presence with clients throughout their treatment. This presence—what IFS calls Self-energy—is healing in and of itself. Your ability to hold this presence will help clients regardless of your therapeutic approach. Correspondingly, when you lose this presence it your clients will sense it and will suffer for it.  In this workshop I will not only discuss in depth this process but through exercises and videos you will be able to see and experience it in action. This ability to remain Self-led with all your clients will make you love being a therapist.

Program Code: MS102

Credits: 6 CE/CME

About The Masters Series

The Master Series affords the chance to spend a complete day with leaders in our field to consider the unique perspective each speaker brings to the challenging dilemmas in both theory and practice. We hope that you will consider joining us for the entire series or choose the programs most relevant to your own practice. You can visit our other Master Series offerings here.


  • When

  • Friday, June 15, 2018
    9:00 AM - 4:30 PM
    Eastern Time

  • Where

  • William James College
    1 Wells Avenue
    Newton, Massachusetts 02459

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