Friday Continuing Education Series: Attachment Theory in Clinical Practice: From Reactivity to Responsiveness, Daniel Sonkin, PhD, LMFT

  • Fri, February 09, 2018
  • 11:30 AM - 2:00 PM
  • Corte Madera Town Center, Room 201 - 770 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera, CA 94925



Attachment Theory in Clinical Practice:  

From Reactivity to Responsiveness

Daniel Sonkin, LMFT

Friday, February 9, 2018

This workshop will explore how attachment theory, neuroscience and evolutionary psychology can help therapists understand the nature of reactivity in close relationships and in light of that understanding strategies for helping clients learn how to be more responsive, rather than reactive.  

Attachment theory has been conceptualized as a theory of affect regulation.  Affect is a central aspect of personal relationships.  Seeking proximity to an attachment figure during times of emotional distress is the primary strategy that helps both children and adults survive these periods and reestablish hope, optimism and emotional equanimity.  Proximity-seeking can be physical, but it can also be psychological (thinking about an attachment figure).  

Individuals with secure attachment generally respond adaptively to stressful partner interactions, whereas individuals with insecure attachment demonstrate a variety of maladaptive emotion regulation strategies.  These behavioral strategies are activated immediately and are often expressed before the individual realizes what is happening.  When automatic affect strategies are adaptive, the outcome is generally positive.  When the automatic strategies are maladaptive (such as verbal attacks, emotional withdrawal, intense anger, aggression, etc), the outcome is usually much less positive and often results in extreme relationship discord, disfunction and eventually one or both member of the couple seeking therapy.  Though an understanding of these processes, therapists can implement a variety of strategies to reduce emotional reactivity in clients and help individuals experience more productive interpersonal relationships.  

Daniel Sonkin, Ph.D. is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in an independent practice in Sausalito, California. Since 1981, his work has focused on the treatment of individuals and couples facing a variety interpersonal problems. As one of the early specialists in the field of family violence, Dr. Sonkin has developed a widely used protocol for treating perpetrators and is an international speaker on domestic violence.  He is the author of numerous books and articles on domestic violence, child abuse and attachment theory.  For the past twenty-five years he has been integrating attachment theory and neuroscience into his clinical practice. He is now involved in several research projects examining the effects of secure base priming on attachment security and mood.   In addition to his clinical practice, he was an adjunct faculty member in the Department of Counseling at Sonoma State University from 1994 through 2004, a former member of the Ethics Committee (1989-1998) and is a former member of the Board of Directors (1998-2000) of the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.  He is the recipient of the 1989 Clark Vincent Award for Literary Contribution to the field of Marriage and Family Therapy from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists, and is the 2000 recipient of the Honorary Distinguished Clinical Member Award from the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists.

Workshop Goals:

  1. Understand the affective and cognitive aspect of attachment theory.
  2. Recognize secure and insecure attachment-based affect regulation strategies.
  3. Learn strategies that help clients strengthen their responsiveness to emotions/cognitions. 

Time: Networking is from 11:30 to 12:00 p.m. Presentation begins at 12:00 pm and ends at 2:00 p.m.

Cost: Free for Marin CAMFT members, $10 for non-members.

Location: Corte Madera Town Center, Room 201 - 770 Tamalpais Drive, Corte Madera, CA 94925 (map)

Information: For more information about the Friday Continuing Education Series and about joining the Committee, please contact CE Director, Laurie Buntain.

Continuing Education Goal: Marin CAMFT is committed to offering continuing education courses to train LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs to treat any client in an ethically and clinically sound manner based upon current accepted standards of practice. Course completion certificates will be awarded at the conclusion of the training and upon participant’s submission of his or her completed evaluation. 

Refund Policy: Requests for refunds must be in writing and received by the CE Director on no later than ten days before the program. There will be a $25.00 administrative fee to cancel registration for any program. The refund will be sent within ten days of the request.

Accommodation for Special Needs: The special needs of persons with disabilities will be accommodated. The Program Committee will endeavor to assure that continuing education program materials, content and venue selections will meet the special needs of the disabled and that reasonable accommodation will be made. A request for accommodation can be made to the CE Director, who will work with the Committee and event venue to meet the need.All instructors will read and adhere to Marin CAMFT’s stated policies.

Marin CAMFT encourages those who attend its events to respect the fact that some individuals may have allergies to fragrances and pet dander. We ask that you refrain from introducing these elements into our meeting room. Registered service animals are welcome, of course. 

Grievance Procedure: Marin CAMFT will respond to complaints in a reasonable, ethical and timely manner, when submitted by program attendees in writing to the CE Director.

Anti-Discrimination Policy: Marin CAMFT shall not discriminate against any individual or group with respect to any service, program or activity based on gender, race, creed, national origin, sexual orientation, religion, age or other prohibited basis. Marin CAMFT does not require attendees to adhere to any particular religion or creed in order to participate in training. Marin CAMFT will not promote or advocate for a single modality of treatment that is discriminatory or likely to harm clients based on current accepted standards or practice.

CEUs: This workshop meets the qualifications for 2 CEUs for LMFTs, LCSWs, LEPs and LPCCs. These will be provided by Marin CAMFT (CEP # 56895), which is approved by CAMFT to sponsor CE for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs and LEPs. Marin CAMFT maintains responsibility for this program and its contents contact Laurie Buntain, Continuing Education Director for more information.

Marin County Chapter of CAMFT                  

PO Box 9065 San Rafael, CA 94912-9065     

(415) 459 3484

Marin CAMFT is approved by  the California Association of Marriage and Family Therapists (CAMFT Provider #56895) to sponsor continuing education for LMFTs, LCSWs, LPCCs, and LEPs

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