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NICABM – Working With The Fear of Rejection

NICABM – Working With The Fear of Rejection

NICABM – Working With The Fear of Rejection

Description of Working With The Fear of Rejection

Rejection can leave profound hurt in its wake.

And because this hurt can make an imprint on the nervous system, it can keep clients stuck in fear, pain, and shame for years to come.

What’s worse, some people often turn to harmful avoidance strategies that not only create more anguish, but put them at even greater risk of being rejected.

Left untreated, a client’s fear of rejection can lead to withdrawal and isolation . . .

. . . and that can feed devastating feelings of loneliness and emptiness.

So how do we work with the isolating behaviors and hypersensitive nervous system that can shrink our clients’ lives?

We turned to 24 of the world’s top experts to hear how they work with clients who are desperately afraid of being rejected. Here are the latest strategies you can use in your work today.

What you will learn in Working With The Fear of Rejection

The Most Common Factors That Drive Your Client’s Fear of Rejection (and How to Work with Them)
Peter Levine, PhD     Pat Ogden, PhD     Shelly Harrell, PhD

  • 3 Specific Issues That Fuel a Client’s Fear of Rejection
  • What Fear of Rejection Can Feel Like in the Body (and How to Work with Those Sensations)
  • How to Work with a Fear of Rejection That Traps a Client in Chronic Self-Sabotage

How to Work with the Avoidance Strategies That Can Sustain Your Client’s Fear of Rejection
Dan Hill, PhD     Kelly McGonigal, PhD     Richard Schwartz, PhD     Deany Laliotis, LICSW

  • How a Client’s Early Traumatic Experiences Might Impact Our Approach to Their Fear of Rejection
  • How Epigenetics Can Impact the Development of Avoidant Attachment
  • One Key Question to Get at the Heart of Your Client’s Fear of Rejection

How to Work with Clients Who Equate Criticism with Rejection
Christine Padesky, PhD     Joan Borysenko, PhD     Ellyn Bader, PhD

  • One Novel Approach to Help Clients Depersonalize Being Rejected
  • Two Ways to Work with Clients Who Are Hypercritical or Rejecting of Themselves
  • How to Help Clients Turn a Rejection Experience into an Affirmation of Their Core Values

Working with Rejection at the Level of the Nervous System
Deb Dana, LICSW     Kelly McGonigal, PhD
Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW, SEP     Ron Siegel, PsyD
Laurel Parnell, PhD     Stephen Porges, PhD

  • Why Tracking Your Client’s Autonomic State Can Help You Gain Insight into Your Client’s Fear of Rejection
  • How to Help Clients Reinterpret Cues of Danger
  • A Compassion-Based Technique for Working with Clients Who Are Afraid of Being Rejected
  • The Critical Role That Your Nervous System Plays in Treating a Fear of Rejection

Key Strategies for Shifting a Client Out of a Rejection-Based Narrative
Ron Siegel, PsyD     Kelly Wilson, PhD     Rick Hanson, PhD

  • How to Use Mentalization to Help Clients Get “Unstuck” from a Rejection Mindset
  • Key Practices Clients Can Use to Ground Themselves When They Feel Rebuffed or Rejected
  • Appeasement – How Your Client Might Be Using It to Ward Off Rejection

How to Use Movement to Shift Clients Out of a Fear of Rejection
Bonnie Goldstein, PhD     Kelly McGonigal, PhD

  • How to Work with a “False Self” Defense Against a Fear of Rejection
  • A 3-Step Process for Working with the Avoidance and Shame That Often Fuels Rejection Fears
  • A Sensorimotor Intervention to Help Clients Experiment with Healthy Boundary-Setting

When Fear of Rejection Makes it Hard for Your Client to Set Healthy Boundaries
Lynn Lyons, LICSW     Terry Real, MSW, LICSW     Michael Yapko, PhD

  • How to Help When a Client’s Fear of Rejection Leads Them to Tolerate Behavior They Know They Shouldn’t
  • Clear, Concrete Boundary-Setting Language for Clients Who Are Afraid of Being Rejected
  • Working with Rejection and Boundaries in Couples Therapy

How to Structure the Therapeutic Relationship More Strategically to Heal a Client’s Fear of Rejection
Miguel Gallardo, PsyD     Zindel Segal, PhD     Ron Siegel, PsyD

  • 2 Key Elements to Consider in Building a Therapeutic Alliance with Clients Who Fear Rejection
  • How to Tell When a Client’s Fear of Rejection Is Endangering the Therapeutic Alliance
  • How to Mitigate a Client’s Fear That They’ll Be Rejected in Therapy


We proudly provide continuing education for practitioners who are dedicated to being the best in their craft. Our goal is to develop programs that connect you with the top experts and the latest strategies in the field, to help you achieve better outcomes, more quickly with each of your clients.

Course Director – Ruth Buczynski, PhD

Dr. Ruth Buczynski is a licensed psychologist and founder and president of The National Institute for the Clinical Application of Behavioral Medicine (NICABM). NICABM helps physicians, nurses, psychologists, social workers, and counselors – practitioners who have some of the most significant and life-changing missions on the planet – provide cutting-edge, research-based treatment strategies to their patients. For more than 25 years, NICABM has offered accredited training and professional development programs to thousands of practitioners worldwide.


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