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NICABM – Work with Client’s Emotional Triggers

NICABM – Work with Client’s Emotional Triggers

NICABM – Work with Client’s Emotional Triggers

How to Help Your Client Manage Their Emotional Triggers with Practical Skills They Can Use in Real Time

When clients get triggered, it can set off a chain reaction of emotional overwhelm and reactivity.

So how do we help clients shift out of this difficult cycle when their nervous system starts to rev up (or shut down)?

First, we need specific strategies that can keep clients from becoming overwhelmed when difficult emotions get triggered.

Then we have to help clients learn how to interrupt powerful behavior-trigger-reward loops.

From there, we have to address the emotional triggers associated with trauma and attachment wounds.

Most importantly, we have to help clients carry this work out into the real world so that they can function more fully and effectively.

That’s why we got together with 26 top experts and asked for their best strategies for working with clients’ emotional triggers. For the first time ever, all their expert insights have been gathered in one place . . .

What you will learn in Work with Clients Emotional Triggers

The Neurobiology of an Emotional Trigger
Ron Siegel, PsyD      Dan Siegel, MD

  • How the brain primes us for emotional triggers
  • Two ways the brain processes emotion that can fuel emotional sensitivity
  • The trigger pipeline that connects unprocessed feelings to impulsivity

How to Help Clients Avoid Being Overwhelmed When Strong Emotions Are Triggered
Shelly Harrell, PhD      Lynn Lyons, LICSW
Kelly McGonigal, PhD      Joan Borysenko, PhD
Rick Hanson, PhD

  • The “Band-Aid” strategy to prevent an emotional wound from getting triggered
  • The trigger-resistant mindset that can help clients escape a reactivity cycle
  • How to keep your client regulated when an emotional trigger gets tripped

How to Prevent Vulnerabilities from Turning into Painful Triggers
Michael Yapko, PHD      Deany Laliotis, LICSW
Joan Borysenko, PhD      Ron Siegel, PsyD

  • One question that can hit the “pause button” on a client’s trigger response
  • A simple reframe that can disarm the power of an emotional trigger
  • How to connect clients with trigger-resistant resources to keep them from being emotionally flooded

How to Break Habit-Trigger-Reward Loops
Donald Meichenbaum, PhD      Kelly McGonigal, PhD
Judson Brewer, MD, PhD

  • One simple strategy that can shift a blamer out of their deeply-ingrained justifications
  • How to help clients reduce the shame they attach to their reactivity
  • Why shame can glue clients to their triggers
  • Why guilt makes an emotional trigger so much more powerful (and how to undo this)
  • How to help clients visualize their trigger sequence to find their pain points

How to Work with a Client Whose Nervous System is Easily Triggered
Stephen Porges, PhD      Deb Dana, LCSW
Kelly McGonigal, PhD

  • How a trigger response can block a client’s ability to process safety cues
  • How a triggered physiology can spark a downward spiral of negative experience

How to Help Clients Who Dissociate When Triggered
Christine Padesky, PhD      Pat Ogden PhD
Rick Hanson, PhD

  • The vital first step before working with a dissociated client
  • How to strengthen a client’s emotional tolerance when they dissociate
  • A simple strategy to neutralize emotional overwhelm and prevent dissociation

How To Work with Emotional Triggers Connected to Trauma
Resmaa Menakem, MSW, LICSW      Peter Levine, PhD
Kelly McGonigal, PhD      Ron Siegel, PsyD
Rick Hanson, PhD

  • How traumatic memory can lead to unpredictable triggers
  • How to safely foster better present-moment awareness in traumatized clients who feel disconnected from their body
  • How to avoid getting triggered by a client’s high-octane reactivity

How to Help Clients Build Powerful Self-Regulation Skills
Ron Siegel, PsyD      Terry Real, MSW, LICSW
David Wallin, PhD      Kelly McGonigal, PhD
Rick Hanson, PhD

  • One critical skill that can prevent triggered emotions from escalating
  • How to work with clients who have become attached to their reactive response
  • A 3-step approach to help clients take back control from their trigger

How to Work with Triggers Fueled by Negative Attachment
Richard Schwartz, PhD      Pat Ogden, PhD
Rick Hanson, PhD

  • Why it’s crucial to discriminate whether a trigger’s origin is trauma or attachment
  • How to work with the 3 main fears that can undermine the treatment of triggers

How to Neutralize a Reactivity Pattern
Kelly Wilson, PhD     Zindel Segal, PhD

  • The first two steps in addressing a trigger response that can profoundly affect outcome
  • How to help diminish a client’s road rage that’s leaving them tired and angry
  • How to expand a client’s capacity to choose a better response to their trigger
  • One way to help a war veteran shift a core belief that’s fueling their trigger

How to Help Clients Shift from Reactivity to Healing
Bill O’Hanlon, LMFT     Kelly McGonigal, PhD
Steven Hayes, PhD

  • A strong coping strategy for the unmet needs that drive reactivity
  • How to deepen a client’s context sensitivity to increase the space between trigger and reaction


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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