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Withdraw-Withdraw Couples: Moving into Increased Engagement

  • 28 Jun 2014
  • 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM
  • First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley 2407 Dana Street Berkeley, CA 94704
  • 11


(depends on selected options)

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Withdraw-Withdraw Couples: Moving into Increased Engagement

Presented by:
Jamie Bachman, LCSW and John Wiskind, LCSW

Withdraw/Withdraw couples present one of the most perplexing challenges faced by the EFT therapist. The experience of working with these couples is frequently one where the room feels lacking in the “emotional juice” upon which our work depends. Accustomed to moving toward de-escalation in Stage 1 of EFT, we find ourselves instead wishing for a little escalation!

In this presentation, we will explore common dynamics of w/w couples, such as rapid withdrawal responses to the tiniest of triggers, distancing behaviors, intellectualization, shutting down, and clients who are deeply reluctant to process present moment experience in the room due to affect anxiety in the presence of the therapist and significant other. We will look at common issues such as the “soft” and/or “burnt-out pursuer,” and also the way that trauma can create and support a withdraw/withdraw dynamic. Using video and roleplay, we will practice skills related to catching and deepening affect within and between individuals in the couple, and through group discussion we will draw upon the experience and expertise of our community in addressing these challenging issues.

Participants will:
A) Increase their familiarity with the subtleties of the Withdraw/Withdraw cycle.
B) Obtain practical tools to understand and work with people with dismissive-avoidant attachment styles.
C) Practice noticing and seizing behavioral and somatic indicators to track triggers and moves in the cycle.
D) Learn and practice techniques for slowing the rapid withdrawal moves in order to allow primary affect to emerge.

Jamie Bachman, LCSW
 is in private practice in Berkeley, working with individuals, couples and families, particularly LGBT couples. He obtained an MSW from Smith College in 2004 and an MA in Education from New York University in 1997. He leads Hold Me Tight groups and Mind-Body Skills groups with Sarah Ackerman. Jamie teaches Family Therapy at UC Berkeley in the MSW program, and also teaches in UC Berkeley Extension's Health Care Advocacy certification program. In addition, he is the Social Services Manager at Pathways Hospice, providing clinical supervision to social workers supporting families at end of life. Jamie is also a clinical supervisor for A Home Within, and he has Advanced training in EFT.

John Wiskind, LCSW has a private practice in Berkeley and San Francisco’s Hayes Valley. He works with couples, individual adults, teenagers and families. He has a specialty in substance use, abuse and addiction and also does a lot of work with other compulsive shame driven behaviors. He holds Masters of Social Work and Public Health degrees from U.C. Berkeley. In addition to his psychotherapy practice he provides both individual and group clinical supervision to MSW and MFT interns. He also provides training to staff of social service agencies and hospitals on various topics including harm reduction, motivational interviewing, crisis intervention & de-escalation and mental health for non-mental health providers. He and his partner of 21 years are in the process of fostering to adopt. John has Advanced training in EFT.

10:00 AM - Networking and Professional Socialization 
(not included in CE credits)
10:30 AM - NCCEFT Announcements (not included in CE credits)

10:50 AM - Training begins
11:50 AM - 10-minute break
1:00 PM - Training ends

This training is appropriate for mental health practitioners who work with couples using Emotionally Focused Therapy.

This presentation is appropriate for mental health professionals who work with couples using Emotionally Focused Therapy.  Level is introductory to intermediate.

This training is free to members, who will receive Continuing Education (CE) credit at no charge.  This training is available to non-members for $10, and CE
credit is available for an additional $25. 
Payment may be made by cash or check made out to NCCEFT.  As payment is collected at the door, no refunds or cancellations are available.

Two hours of CE credit are available to licensed Psychologists, MFTs and LCSWs for attending this program. 

NCCEFT is approved by the California Psychological Association to provide continuing professional education for psychologists.  NCCEFT maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

This course meets the qualifications for 2 hours of continuing education credit for MFTs and/or LCSWs as required by the California Board of Behavioral Sciences.

Those who attend this workshop in full and complete the appropriate evaluation will receive CE credits.  Please note that credit will only be granted to those who attend the entire workshop.  Those arriving more than 15 minutes after the start time or leaving before the workshop is completed will not receive CE credit.

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775 East Blithedale Ave. #625

Mill Valley, CA 94941


In association with the International Centre for Excellence in Emotionally Focused Therapy

NCCEFT is a professional association of therapists practicing Emotionally Focused Therapy in Northern California. Serving communities of the San Francisco Bay Area and beyond, including San Francisco, Oakland, Berkeley, Fremont, San Jose, Sacramento, Santa Rosa, Stockton, Modesto, Fresno, and beyond; we have members throughout California and throughout the United States.
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