On Demand: Healing Relational Trauma III: Sensitivity and Blind Spots Across Patterns of Attachment

Presented by Sr Faculty Member Karen Pando-Mars, MFT

Duration: 10 hours, 52 minutes

This online seminar is for professionals and students in mental health and the healing arts and sciences including: Psychologists, Psychotherapists, Psychiatrists, Psychoanalysts, Social Workers, Counselors, MFTs, MD’s, Nurses, Creative Arts Therapists, and Masters & Doctoral students as well as soon-to-be licensed Interns & Trainees.


Sensitivity and responsiveness are key to establishing attachment security. In this seminar we will explore how attachment theory and caregiver-infant interaction studies inform the therapist stance in AEDP. When we recognize the individual differences that arise with insecure patterns of attachment, in light of the fact that attunement is based on the dyadic interaction of the patient and the therapist, we can be better prepared to help each patient transform their suffering from relational wounding. Sometimes the pattern of attachment at play can challenge our capacity to be present, responsive, attuned and empathic. I propose that it is not actually the pattern itself that challenges us to feel inadequate or unable to empathize or triggers our self-at-worst attachment strategy. Rather, our reaction to the specific behavior that is manifesting in the moment may drive us outside our capacity to respond with the help that is needed. This seminar is about expanding the clinician’s capacity to respond moment-to-moment to an interaction that is co-created and informed not only by the pattern of attachment, but also by the various intersectionalities that both therapist and patient bring to the dyad.

This seminar will identify classic blind spots that may arise with each attachment pattern. We will break down the configuration of each pattern into its affect regulation strategies and defenses, caregiver’s state of mind and its impact on self-other relational patterning, and the seeds of resilience. Video of psychotherapy sessions will illustrate how these strategies can be depicted on AEDP’s representational schemas and how we can intervene experientially to engage positive neuroplasticity. We will explore the way therapist’s sensitivity plays a part in enhancing attachment security and how metaskills can be chosen in service of the patient’s therapy. AEDP’s interventions about making the implicit explicit and making the explicit relational can be helpful to apply with specificity to each pattern of attachment. The aim of this workshop is to move towards strengthening a base of safety and connection through which our patient’s self-at-best can be engaged to gain traction and momentum for treatment.

Participants will learn:

  • How psychotherapists can draw upon attachment theory and mother-infant interaction studies to set the conditions for building a secure base to bring patients self-at-best to the fore
  • The individual differences and configurations of each pattern of attachment
  • How caregiver sensitivity and responsiveness provide attachment security and the implications for the therapist stance, activity and interventions.
  • How AEDP’s representational schemas can help therapists orient and select interventions when insecure attachment patterns arise
  • Therapists use of metaskills to address implicit and explicit messages that arise with each pattern of attachment
  • How therapist self-disclosure and affirmation can be tailored according to each attachment pattern to help patients know that they matter in the specific way that they need to know they matter
  • Ways to engage AEDP’s experiential focus and interventions to harness positive neuroplasticity to rewire the patient’s internal working model.

Learning Objectives:

  • Identify two characteristics of avoidant patterns of attachment
  • Identify two metaskills therapists can use when patients display avoidant patterns of attachment
  • Describe two ways to intervene with dismissive defenses 
  • Describe two characteristics of anxious/ambivalent patterns of attachment 
  • Name two ways to regulate anxiety when clients are distressed. 
  • Identify two metaskills therapists can use when patients display ambivalent patterns of attachment 
  • Describe two characteristics of disorganization/unresolved trauma in patients.
  • Name two interventions for working with a patient who is processing unresolved trauma.
  • Describe two ways the therapist can intervene to help establish a secure base.
  • Name two characteristics of sensitivity.

Meet the Presenter

Karen Pando-Mars, MFT

Karen Pando-Mars, MFT, is a psychotherapist in San Rafael, California, and Senior Faculty of the AEDP Institute. She was irresistibly drawn to AEDP in 2005 and captivated by the depth and breadth of this transformational model. She immersed herself in training and consultation with Dr. Fosha and three years of core training with Dr. Frederick. Ms. Pando-Mars is one of the founders of AEDP West and chaired the AEDP Institute Education Committee from 2011-2018.  Since 2020, Ms. Pando-Mars is a member of the AEDP DBEI (Diversity, Belonging, Equity and Inclusion Committee). Ms. Pando-Mars’ passionate interest in what cultivates deep connection between Self and Other has been furthered by attachment theory and related neuroscience. She is known for her presence, warmth, and the clarity of her presentations. Videotapes of her clinical work are moving and inspiring examples of how AEDP explicit relational and experiential practices can help patients heal from relational trauma. (Read More…)


AEDP Institute On Demand Trainings are to be viewed on your private computer or smart device. They are intentionally not downloadable; we “stream” them. So, having a high speed Internet connection is important to having a good learning experience.

This training is intended to be viewed only by mental health professionals and students in mental health or related fields. You will be asked to provide evidence of and swear to upholad your professional credentials before completing registration and payment and receiving access to the materials.

Fees and Registration (does not include continuing education credits)

$149 USD Non-Members
$129 AEDP Institute Members – please login to receive the discounted price.

Continuing Education Credits

You may be eligible to receive 11 continuing education credits after watching this recording, passing a test, and completing a course evaluation. CE fee $25

Refund Policy, Suggestions & Grievances 


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