Family of Origin Workshops or Bottom Up Trauma Work by Jan Bergstrom, LMHC

Every year on a regular basis I conduct family of origin workshops called “Healing Our Core Issues”. They investigate the origins of adult dysfunctional behaviors. These workshops are based on the empowering work of Pia Mellody.

During this dynamic educational and experiential process, participants learn to identify and address those early childhood issues, which have fueled various addictions, depression, eating disorders and painful relationships. The program is not about blaming caregivers; it is about getting in touch with the feelings that follow any less-than-nurturing event that occurred in the past, and resolving the consequential grief and anguish. The “Healing Our Core Issues” Workshop in separated into four phases:

Informational Phase – during this phase, participants will learn about the two forms of trauma: Abandonment and neglect, which is a parent being too far away or enmeshment, a parent being too close. Participants discover what kind and to what degree of trauma they got, and how it shows up today. Participants will begin to understand the relationship between the child and the adult as perceived by the child.

Debriefing Phase – This phase consists of delving into the past and recollecting less-than-nurturing and/or abusive childhood experiences and identifying associated thinking and feelings.

Experiential Phase – In this phase, participants will re-experience childhood in a safe and nurturing environment. They will release painful emotions and begin to reclaim their rights and personal power through Inner Child and Feelings Reduction work.

Ongoing Recovery and Empowerment Strategies – Lastly participants will receive a set of strategies, tools, and resources to make permanent these empowering principles in their daily lives.

This workshop ultimately assists the client in being able to live more fully from their functional adult self. Most clients are aware that without some therapy or intensive work, they struggle and slide into “trauma reactions” in their interactions. Through the education and three experiential processes during the workshop, they work toward the goal of”having their own back” and being empowered.

In reviewing their childhood, then accepting and speaking the truth of what occurred they make an adult to child connection, by meeting the needs of the younger parts that are wounded during childhood. This essentially is a process of re-parenting them. Finally they work to protect and stand up for their childhood parts and step fully into functional adult by learning to care for self, advocate for self, shedding emotions and beliefs that no longer work.