Clinical Training Group

This short-term case-focused group develops untapped emotional resources as clinical members explore professional challenges together.

Get comfortable with your emotional strengths and vulnerabilities.
Connect profoundly and empathically with your clients/patients.
Trust your use-of-self in therapeutic relationships.

Open to Licensed Graduate Mental Health Providers & Licensed Clinical Practitioners.

Co-facilitated by
National Group Psychotherapy Trainers & Approved LGPC Supervisors in Maryland & DC  
Trish Cleary, MS, LCPC-MFT-ADC, CGP, LFAGPA
301-654-4936 trishcleary@comcast.net - www.trishcleary.com  &
Ginger Sullivan, MA, LPC, CGP, FAGPA
202-265-5855 vmsmail@aol.com  - www.gingersullivan.org

Details:
Four 2-hour sessions from September to December meet one Saturday a month.
The 2019 Fall Series starts on Saturday, September 14th from 2 to 4 PM.
Continuing dates will be scheduled together as a group.

Earn:
LGPC Group Supervision Hours: DC and Maryland. 
Category B CEUs: Licensed Mental Health Clinicians.
CGP Certification Hours: Certified Group Psychotherapist.

Upcoming Dates:
See the Announcements page for details.

Where:
Office of Trish Cleary:
5119 Bradley Boulevard, Chevy Chase, MD 20815
Convenient to Washington/Baltimore metro area.
Directions

How:
Contact Kelly Case at kelly@gingersullivan.org to register for the 2019 Fall Series.
Certificates of Attendance issued at the end of the 4-session series.
Fee: $150.00 per 2-hour group session.

Updated August 10, 2019

Process Group for Therapists

Process Group for Therapists   

Participation in this experiential group for mental health providers offers an opportunity for professional growth that can enhance your work with clients/patients. This group is limited to 10 members. Openings are currently available on the wait-list.

Earn: Category B CEUs; Certified Group Psychotherapist (CGP) credentialing hours; and/or LGPC hours for licensure in Maryland and the District of Columbia.  

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“Knowing” & “Not Knowing”

Many of us may feel overwhelmed by the recent advances in communication technology: social media, 24/7 news coverage, and feature stories about “15-minute” celebrities as well as “real” superstars. Amidst rapid-fire sound-bites, continual distractions and unrelenting interruptions, our psyches are bombarded with information that disappears as quickly as it appears. The added insult of “fake news” and “alternative facts” create chaos and make it difficult to “know” anything accurately.

In this fast-paced world, important information can be missed if it doesn’t capture our attention. Targeted disruptions make it easy to glide past whatever makes us uncomfortable. Living in a culture that advocates “not knowing” is demonstrated in our preoccupation with the “quick fix.” In the past it was the glossy magazine ads and whimsical TV commercials that peddled alcohol and cigarettes as a cure-all for whatever ailed you. Now drug corporations’ feel-bad-feel-better messaging provides a ready remedy without exploring the cause of symptoms. With no lens to view ourselves, in a culture where feelings are taboo, we are left with “quick fix” solutions that numb our ability to “know” who we are and what we need.

For those who experience traumatic injury it is difficult to feel secure in a fast-paced dismissive world. However, they are not doomed to live in misery (as we explored in last year’s focus on the “Adult Child.”) As we journeyed with them, we came to understand the emotional weight of their burdens and the high price of hiding their secret shame. While “not knowing” shielded them from acknowledging generational dysfunction, it didn’t protect them and their families from suffering.

Healing the emotional wounds in the “Adult Child” necessitated slowing down in order to willingly look at the menacing beliefs and distractions that kept them stuck. As they made room for “knowing,” their anxiety quieted. We also learned how going inward to explore self-defeating behaviors could promote awareness and change. When the “Adult Child” courageously dared to experience confusion, pain and sorrow, we witnessed their developing self-esteem. Throughout their healing journey, they peeled away their defenses and found their lost puzzle pieces - parts of themselves that liberated their personal “knowing” and supported congruent confidence.

This year, we will continue to explore the debilitating impact of trauma. We will spend time discovering varied emotional adaptations of “not knowing” and “knowing” needed to cope with challenging life-circumstances. We will continue to retrieve lost puzzle pieces and increase our understanding about how connecting once-lost puzzle pieces can promote emotional well-being and wholeness.

The Power of the Adult Child’s Shame-filled Secrets

Emotional distance caused by secret shame can be reversed with heartfelt attention.

Clare’s therapy continued. She was happy to report that things were going well between her and Charles. Clare noted, however, that her confusion about her mother’s reaction to the whole Charles situation persisted. “I asked my mom if we could talk about what has been going on between us; she cried but then said nothing. While she’s always been somewhat distant, this is different. I can’t find a way to connect with her and I am scared for her and for me.”

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Dancing with Danger

An Adult Child tends to partner with another Adult Child in their relationships. As kindred spirits with intergenerational family secrets, they don’t realize they are at risk for heartache. Without awareness of their family histories, they get lost in a dangerous dance that tosses them in-and-out of Persecutor, Victim and Rescuer roles in the closed system of the Dysfunctional Triangle. These roles surface and play out in endless cycles of Rupture and Regression inside each individual, between each other, and within their families. Overwhelmed and confused by unexpected yet familiar feelings of shame, they struggle. Only when the dancing slows down enough can the Adult Child begin to access the depths of their concealed pain and sorrow and achieve emotional safety and secure connections.

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Flirting with Infatuation

The Adult Child longs for love and yet avoids emotional closeness.

The Adult Child grows up wanting the loving connections promised in TV shows and movies. They struggle to connect in their relationships in the hope of insuring success. As forgotten emotional vulnerabilities threaten, the Adult Child’s “as if” wish to thrive in a relationship is forgotten and they return to their proven coping strategies in order to survive.

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“…Shining Armor”

The Adult Child is drawn to shining armor and is blinded by it.

The Adult Child becomes emotionally intoxicated by the wearer of shining armor. They are drawn to them as a kindred spirit. They are comforted and affirmed by their reflection in the armor’s glow. They are excited by what is concealed beneath the armor. Is it an attraction to the wearer’s strength, weakness, or to familiar danger?

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Mother’s Day

Our ongoing need for secure and satisfying connections is important. Consider yourself blessed if you have someone in your life who gives you the space to share your feelings openly; who finds time to be with you; and who expresses concern without judgment. If you don’t have such a person in your life, allow yourself to discover and experience a connection with someone you trust. It may be the “beginning of a beautiful friendship.”

A GPS for Life

A GPS for Life

Imagine possessing an emotional GPS to navigate the roads of life. 

Once upon a time, before the days of GPS (global positioning systems) technologies that now provide directions, identify obstacles and recalculate our route when necessary, we crossed our fingers and hoped for the best! Maybe you remember that long stretch of miles traveling in the wrong direction before the sinking awareness that you were lost.

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WHO IS AN ADULT CHILD?

Children securely embraced by parents/caregivers with comfort and direction during difficult times integrate supportive care into their playtime fantasies and expand upon these nurturing qualities as they mature. Children burdened by parent’s/caretaker’s insecurities or tragic circumstances rely on playtime fantasies to help them cope with emotional uncertainty. Children, who grow numb to their needs and emotions, redirect early fantasies into Adult Child defenses.

Who is an Adult Child? If you recognize yourself in the case examples, s/he could be you.

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PUTTING THE PIECES TOGETHER WITH THE 4 Rs

The 4 Rs model is a guiding framework for self-observation, self-awareness and self-reflection and can be used to move through one’s puzzling emotional struggles and transform outdated coping strategies.

This post features moments from previous group vignettes to demonstrate how interactions between group members promote personal awareness for all the members in the group.

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