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The Pain Paradox: Engagement. Acceptance, and Processing in a New Paradigm for Trauma Therapy

May 21, 2015 at 8:39 AM

John Briere, PhD, will present this one-day workshop in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

In the real world of clinical practice, therapists increasingly confront the limitations of current cognitive-behavioral and psychodynamic techniques in work with survivors of severe and/or complex trauma. In an exciting turn of events, new research and practice increasingly supports the use of empirically-based mindfulness and compassion approaches that extend beyond classic medical model attempts to “fix” posttraumatic distress.

This workshop presents the Pain Paradox, a hybrid East-West theory of trauma-related suffering that suggests that the “solution” to unwanted states is not to avoid, suppress, or intellectualize, but rather to carefully engage, accept, process, and even use painful material in the context of a compassionate therapeutic environment.

This new workshop includes:

  • clinical implications of the Pain Paradox;
  • reduced self-identification with posttraumatic thoughts and feelings;
  • metacognitive and existential awareness, urge-surfing, and trigger identification;
  • mindfulness-based breath training; ?? mindful processing; 
  • self-compassion as it counters harsh self-perceptions and other-directedness;
  • the Buddhist notion of dependent arising as it informs compassion and facilitates the processing of anger; and 
  • therapist compassion as it activates positive attachment neuro-circuitry and reprocesses early relational schema.

Who should attend?

These seminars are for all clinicians who provide treatment/therapy for adults and adolescents who have experienced abuse/sexual abuse trauma.

Auckland: Monday 31 August 2015

Auckland: Waipuna Hotel & Conference Centre, 58 Waipuna Road, Mt Wellington, Auckland

Training provided by DSAC (Doctors for Sexual Abuse Care Inc.)

Cost: $310, full time student/beneficiary $200. Early bird rates ($290/$180) available until31 July 2015Register now



John Briere, PhD, is Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Psychology at the University of Southern California, Keck School of Medicine.

More information and registration