The Transformative Power of Optimal Stress: From Cursing the Darkness to Lighting a Candle

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Martha Stark, MD

Long intrigued by the idea that superimposing an acute injury on top of a chronic one is sometimes exactly what the body needs in order to heal, Martha has come to appreciate that, so too with respect to the mind, the therapeutic provision of “optimal stress”—against the backdrop of an empathically attuned and authentically engaged therapy relationship—is sometimes the magic ingredient needed to overcome the inherent resistance to change so frequently manifested by clients with longstanding emotional injuries and scars. In this core course, Martha will demonstrate the transformative power of “superimposed” optimally stressful psychotherapeutic interventions specifically designed “to precipitate disruption in order to trigger repair.”

Specific learning objectives:

Upon completion of this course, you will be able to:

1. Elaborate upon the transformative power of optimally stressful interventions that precipitate disruption in order to trigger repair
2. Demonstrate a working knowledge of the differences between defensive reactions (“cursing the darkness”) and adaptive responses (“lighting a candle”)
3. Explain the importance of prompting clients to tap into their intrinsic ability to self-correct in the face of optimal challenge.

Program Code: PPP18-1
Credits: 18
Fees: $450

Additional Information

This course is fully online and takes place over 4 weeks. Each week runs from Sunday to Saturday. The schedule is below:

Week 1: April 1-7, 2018
Week 2: April 8-14, 2018
Week 3: April 15-21, 2018
Week 4: April 22-28, 2018

While there are no "live" requirements, there are some modest weekly deadlines that you will be expected to meet. Each week is comprised of a lecture, readings, discussion board, and brief quiz. Additionally, there will be at least one opportunity for a live conference call with Dr. Stark.

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