From Trauma to Transformation

Working With Negative Experiences In Self-Relations Therapy

A Special 2-Day Workshop with Stephen Gilligan, Ph.D.

For the past 30 years, Dr. Gilligan has been teaching and practicing innovative approaches in both Ericksonian and Self-Relations psychotherapy. This workshop presents his most recent model of Generative Self, and how it can be used in healing traumas and transforming negative experiences.

What is the Generative Self?

Generative Self emphasizes three minds: Somatic, Cognitive, and Field; and articulates three levels of each: Ordinary, Primitive, and Generative. The model describes how most adult functioning occurs at the Ordinary (‘nside the box’) level, until trauma or other significant life events shatter a person’s identity box and regresses them into a ‘trauma trance’ at the Primitive Level. This ‘trauma trance’ will remain unless a person can access the Generative Level, where healing and transformation can occur.

Healing Trauma Through The Generative Self

Generative Self describes the practical means by which this transformation can occur in psychotherapy. Developing Generative Somatic Mind involves having a person learn the transformational tools of relaxation, centering, developing ‘second skin’, re-claiming felt sense, and creating ‘energy containers’ for negative experiences. Developing Generative Cognitive Mind is guided by the principle of sponsorship, which seeks to develop curious, skillful relationships with ‘problems.’ Developing Generative Field Mind opens and extends awareness to ‘include yet transcend’ the different trauma fields (e.g., social, memory, family, body) so that identity and awareness is greater than the trauma. These different principles and their accompanying methods and techniques will be described and demonstrated, then organized into a coherent therapy framework for effectively transforming traumas and other severe problems.